Saturday, September 22, 2012

Elephants, Donkeys to pursue trademark claims against political campaign contribution scam artists

News media have reported that scam artists have mimicked both Republican and Democratic national committees to set up donations sites.

The fake GOP site is operated from a town in Massachusetts.

The operators could face civil lawsuits for trademark infringement and media reports criminal prosecution is possible, although I have never heard of this in trademark cases.

Also, a man was arrested for selling counterfeit iPhones in Maryland.  They did work with a SIM card.  This could generate trademark civil suits as well as criminal prosecution for counterfeit.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Patent Office telecommuting possible because of electronic automation that helps writers, webmasters, inventors too

An article in the Washington Post by Lisa Rein on Sept. 11, Metro section, “At patent office, phoning it in proves productive”, discussing telecommuting by patent and trademark workers from the Alexandria VA office, link here

The story is actually important for people who need to check patents and trademark names (and particularly domain names) online, because it shows that much more effort has been made to make all the electronic records on the Web current.

I can remember a visit to the office in 2000 to check on my own domain names “manually” and there was no way to even begin. 

Sunday, September 02, 2012

VA sperm test company shows how to get patent process to be more flexible; USPTO announces new e-filing patent review system

The Washington Post, in a “Case in Point” column on p. G2 Sunday, September 02, 2012, has column by Gosia Glinska (University of Virginia) explaining the value of an inventor’s meeting with a patent examiner.
The “case in point” was a company called ContraVac, which has developed a home test kit that may help detect male infertility early, and maybe effective for certain couples.

The patent examiner, until a meeting, had objected on the grounds that a “testis-specific protein” test already existed in the literature (in patent law circles, the objection is called “prior art”).  However no test had ever used such a protein to count viable sperm, which changed how the law could be interpreted.

The link for the column is here

The article suggests that it is desirable to be able to ward off competition, which may not be the best thing for consumers or for innovation in the long run.

UVa has a story about ContraVac in 2009, here

ContraVac uses “Sperm Check” for its own domain name here

Relevant, too, is that the USPTO is implementing an electronic Patent Review Processing System (PRPS), with the “First-to-File Roundtable” on Sept. 6, story by Robyn Hogan Cain in Findlaw here (or  here)
It’s a little surprising that such a system would have taken as long to implement as apparently it did.