ALS Association Withdraws Trademark Applications for “Ice Bucket Challenge”


By now you have more than likely seen videos depicting or may have at  least heard about the “ice bucket challenge.” If not, the “ice bucket challenge” refers to a viral social media phenomenon where countless people and several celebrities have recorded themselves dumping icy water on their heads as a means of raising awareness and funds to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (“ALS”), commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which affects the brain and spinal cord.  The...
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Johnny Football files trademark application for "Johnny Cleveland"


Although Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel may not lead the NFL in passing yards at the end of this season, he will likely lead the league in trademark applications.  A few weeks prior to the start of the 2014 season, Manziel's company, JMAN2 Enterprises, LLC, filed its 10th trademark application, this time for "Johnny Cleveland".  Other applications include "JFF", "JMAN", "ManzIIiel", and the one that started it all, "Johnny Football".   But Manziel isn't the only one trying to trademark "Johnny Cleveland"....
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Eastern District of Texas: A Popular Place to Be


Despite a decline of 10 percent in patent litigation filings across the country, the Eastern District of Texas is more popular than ever.  With 912 lawsuits filed in the first half of 2014, the Eastern District of Texas saw a 26 percent increase in patent lawsuits being filed.   Almost half of these cases were filed by ten plaintiffs.  The busiest judge, with more than 860 open patent cases, is Judge Gilstrap in Marshall. Although still popular among plaintiffs, the Eastern District of Texas appears –...
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Privileged Information is Not Necessarily Always Privileged


The Delaware Supreme Court recently ordered Wal-Mart to disclose allegedly privileged documents to the Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund IBEW (“IBEW”).  IBEW is investigating whether Wal-Mart directors and executives attempted to conceal alleged wrongdoing related to allegations of bribery by a company subsidiary as part of potential claims by shareholders.   The Delaware Supreme Court determined that IBEW proved that the documents were “necessary and essential” to achieve “a...
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Trademark Trouble is Brewing in the Craft Beer Industry


Double Barrel Brewing is now Eastwood Brewing.  Denver Pearl will relaunch with a new name in September.  Aviator and Lost Coast are coming to blows over their labels.  What is happening in the craft beer industry? As this developing sector continues to expand, local breweries are seeking to increase their distribution and establish an identity.  Helped along by regional and national restaurant chains, smaller brewing companies are quickly finding their “unique” brands on tables and bar tops in new...
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PTO Seeks Comment on PTAB Trials


On June 27, 2014, the U.S. Patent Office (PTO) published a "Request for Comments on Trial Proceedings Under the America Invents Act Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board," seeking comments about the new administrative trial proceedings at the PTO that went into effect on September 16, 2012 as part of the America Invents Act (AIA). The administrative trial proceedings are conducted according to final rules and a trial practice guide that were issued in August and September 2012.  During the rulemaking phase, the PTO held...
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PTAB Determines Patentability of Indefinite Claims


In a decision that issued on July 28, 2014 in an inter partes review (IPR), the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in Vibrant Media, Inc. v. General Electric Co (IPR2013-00172) analyzed the patentability of claims that it recognized as failing to comply with the definiteness requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112, second paragraph. The claims at issue recited a "computer system," but also included method steps.  During the IPR, the Patent Owner did not seek to amend the claims to correct the ambiguity, but instead argued...
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