October 2013
Prosecution Group Luncheon
October 17, 2013
Trademark Office Announcements
• Online ID Manual enhanced – more examples,
more quick tips and guidance
• RFC for draft g...
“Super” Trademarks – aren’t
• App for SUPERJAWS for machine and hand
tools, including “jaws” for precision clamping
and “m...
Don’t Disparage Yourself
• Band applied to register THE SLANTS
• USPTO denied as disparaging to persons of
Asian descent.
...
Did You Hehr That Mahk?
• JIN-JA for herbal tea – rejected as merely descriptive
• Applicant contended that JIN-JA is an a...
ACHOUFFE? Gesundheit
• ACHOUFFE refused for beer geographically descriptive
• Achouffe is the name of a small village in t...
Patent Application Initiatives Website at USPTO
After Final Pilot Program 2.0.
• The original pilot program has been relaunched.
• To be eligible for consideration under ...
Pre and Post AIA - Design Patent Priority
• Review
– No provisional application priority
– May be a continuing application...
Hamilton Beach v. Sunbeam Products (CAFC)
Timeline

Feb 25, 2005

Sunbeam introduces
Cook & Carry®
designing around
application with clips
on lid.

Supplier confirm...
Purchase order
February 8, 2005: Hamilton Beach issues
purchase order to foreign supplier for
manufacture of Stay or Go® s...
Hamilton Beach v. Sunbeam Products
35 U.S.C. § 102(b) Pre-AIA:
A person shall be entitled to a patent unless —
(b) the inv...
On-Sale Bar
Two conditions must be satisfied before the
critical date:
1. The claimed invention must be the subject of
a c...
“. . .on sale in this country. . .”
A commercial offer for sale made by a foreign entity
that is directed to a United Stat...
Ready for patenting
An invention is ready for patenting if the claimed
invention is:
1. Reduced to practice; or
2. Depicte...
Purchase order
February 8, 2005: Hamilton Beach issues
purchase order to foreign supplier for
manufacture of Stay or Go® s...
Holding
Hamilton Beach’s asserted claims are invalid
under the on-sale bar of § 102(b).
Fair Use of References at the USPTO
• Magistrate judge in Minnesota finds that the
copying and use of copyrighted referenc...
• Questions?
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October 2013 Prosecution Practice Group Luncheon

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October 2013 Prosecution Practice Group Luncheon

  1. 1. October 2013 Prosecution Group Luncheon October 17, 2013
  2. 2. Trademark Office Announcements • Online ID Manual enhanced – more examples, more quick tips and guidance • RFC for draft guidelines on examination of gTLDs (10/23/13) • RFC for potential change in policy for postregistration amendments of goods/services based on changes in technology (e.g. audio tapes to music recordings, printed magazines to online publications, installed software to software as a service) (12/1/13)
  3. 3. “Super” Trademarks – aren’t • App for SUPERJAWS for machine and hand tools, including “jaws” for precision clamping and “metal vice jaws” – rejected as descriptive • There is no per se rule for how USPTO should treat word “super” when used in composite mark, – if “super” is combined with word that names goods or services, or principal component, grade or size thereof, mark will be considered merely descriptive, – if “super” is joined with suggestive term, combination remains suggestive of products and services; • consumers would readily understand that “Superjaws” mark describes superior vice system for grasping and holding workpieces. • In re Positec Grp. Ltd., 108 USPQ2d 1161 (TTAB 2013)
  4. 4. Don’t Disparage Yourself • Band applied to register THE SLANTS • USPTO denied as disparaging to persons of Asian descent. • EA relied on dictionary definitions, online articles, and applicant's own webpage and Wikipedia. – The band tried to “own the stereotype” – even if applicant is willing to take on the disparaging term as a band name, that does not mean that all members of the referenced group share his view • In re Simon Shiao Tam, Serial No. 85472044 (September 26, 2013) [precedential].
  5. 5. Did You Hehr That Mahk? • JIN-JA for herbal tea – rejected as merely descriptive • Applicant contended that JIN-JA is an arbitrary term with no recognized meaning in English, and that U.S. consumers would not recognize or pronounce Jin-Ja as "ginger." • EA - the mark is the phonetic equivalent of "ginger," particularly as pronounced by persons with non-rhotic accents (i.e., a Boston accent) • SPLIT Decision – majority found insufficient evidence, dissent suggested Examiners supply more evidence when arguing based on regional accents • In re Canada Enterprises LLC, Serial No. 85026331 (September 27, 2013) [not precedential].
  6. 6. ACHOUFFE? Gesundheit • ACHOUFFE refused for beer geographically descriptive • Achouffe is the name of a small village in the municipality of Houffalize, located in the Wallonia region of Belgium • EA ‘s evidence insufficient to show that Achouffe is generally known to beer drinkers. Achouffe is "very much an obscure location and would be relatively unknown to the relevant American consumer." • In re Brasserie D’Achouffe, Société Anonyme, Serial No. 79107741 (September 26, 2013) [not precedential].
  7. 7. Patent Application Initiatives Website at USPTO
  8. 8. After Final Pilot Program 2.0. • The original pilot program has been relaunched. • To be eligible for consideration under AFCP 2.0, you must:  file a response under 37 CFR §1.116, which includes a request for consideration under the pilot (Form PTO/SB/434) and  amend at least one independent claim that does not broaden the scope of the independent claim in any aspect  be willing to interview
  9. 9. Pre and Post AIA - Design Patent Priority • Review – No provisional application priority – May be a continuing application of a utility, U.S. or PCT – A design application must be filed within six months of the foreign application to be entitled to foreign priority  35 USC §§119(a)-(d), 172 – No design application priority for PCT applications
  10. 10. Hamilton Beach v. Sunbeam Products (CAFC)
  11. 11. Timeline Feb 25, 2005 Sunbeam introduces Cook & Carry® designing around application with clips on lid. Supplier confirms receipt Feb 8, 2005 March 2006 June 2010 Hamilton Beach Purchase Order Hamilton Beach files Patent application – discloses clips on cooker Hamilton Beach files Patent application – claims clips on lid.
  12. 12. Purchase order February 8, 2005: Hamilton Beach issues purchase order to foreign supplier for manufacture of Stay or Go® slow cooker. February 25, 2005: Supplier confirms receipt of purchase order via email and notes it will begin production of the slow cookers after receiving Hamilton Beach’s “release.” March 2006: First patent application.
  13. 13. Hamilton Beach v. Sunbeam Products 35 U.S.C. § 102(b) Pre-AIA: A person shall be entitled to a patent unless — (b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country, more than one year prior to the date of the application for patent in the United States, . . .
  14. 14. On-Sale Bar Two conditions must be satisfied before the critical date: 1. The claimed invention must be the subject of a commercial offer for sale; and 2. The invention must be ready for patenting. Question of law based on underlying factual findings. Pfaff v. Wells Elecs., Inc., 525 U.S. 55 (1998)
  15. 15. “. . .on sale in this country. . .” A commercial offer for sale made by a foreign entity that is directed to a United States customer at its place of business in the United States may serve as an invalidating activity. A commercial offer for sale under 102(b) is “one which the other party could make into a binding contract by simple acceptance. In re Caveny, 761, F.2d 671 (Fed. Cir. 1985) Grp. One Ltd. V. Hallmark Cards, Inc., 254 F.3d 1041 (Fed. Cir. 2012)
  16. 16. Ready for patenting An invention is ready for patenting if the claimed invention is: 1. Reduced to practice; or 2. Depicted in drawings or other descriptions “that were sufficiently specific to enable a person skilled in the art to practice the invention. This does not require a detailed “element-by-element analysis on the prototypes and products samples on which it was working prior to the critical date.” Pfaff
  17. 17. Purchase order February 8, 2005: Hamilton Beach issues purchase order to foreign supplier for manufacture of Stay or Go® slow cooker. Offer to buy February 25, 2005: Supplier confirms receipt of purchase order via email and notes it will begin production of the slow cookers after receiving Hamilton Beach’s “release.” Offer to sell – it is at this point that the commercial offer for sale was made. Hamilton Beach could make into a binding contract by simple acceptance.
  18. 18. Holding Hamilton Beach’s asserted claims are invalid under the on-sale bar of § 102(b).
  19. 19. Fair Use of References at the USPTO • Magistrate judge in Minnesota finds that the copying and use of copyrighted reference at the USPTO is fair use. • “[T]his Court concludes that [defendant] Is entitled to the fair use defense as a matter of law and recommends that the District Court grant [defendant]’s motion for summary judgment” JEFFREY J. KEYES, United States Magistrate Judge in American Institute of Physics, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and Wiley Periodicals, Inc., v. Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner, P.A., and John Doe Nos. 1-10
  20. 20. • Questions?

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