Author: Andrea Hill

Insights / 29.01.2021

By: Alan Brandt and Jameson Tibbs Prior to the unprecedented disruptions of 2020 many of us looked forward to going to a concert, play or recital. Although the pandemic took us out of our familiar venues, we quickly adapted to find new avenues for entertainment. As we adjust to doing less in public spaces and more in virtual spaces, streaming entertainment has become a booming business. However, whether your event is in person or virtual, sharing someone else’s music still requires that you obtain the appropriate music licenses or risk the consequences of copyright infringement. To understand music licensing, it helps to understand the difference between musical works and sound recordings. A musical work consists of the notes that make up the melody and any accompanying lyrics. A sound recording is a recording of the performance of the musical work. Quite often, there will be separate owners for the musical work and the sound recording; each with a separate copyright. To complicate matters, each...

Insights / 29.01.2021

By: Brendan Goodwine and Jacqueline Kett In efforts to address widespread health concerns and general outcry against soft beverages, many beverage companies have in recent years focused efforts on developing drinks with fewer, or zero, calories. This has resulted in marketing trends utilizing terms like “zero” or “diet.” Over the past 15 years, soft beverage company Royal Crown Co. has been engaged in a fierce legal battle with Coca-Cola Co. (“Coke”) over the trademark ZERO. This feud started in 2005, when several of Coke’s competitors, including Royal Crown, filed trademark applications for beverages using the term ZERO. These applications were rejected by the USPTO on the basis that ZERO was a generic term to describe a minimal or zero calorie drink. A few months later, Coke filed 16 different trademark applications for products that included the term ZERO. When the USPTO responded the same way as it had for Coke’s competitors, Coke instead argued that...

Insights / 23.12.2020

The USPTO has opted to raise fee prices for a variety of trademark actions effective on January 2, 2021. In making these changes, the USPTO weighed factors such as the current state of the U.S. economy, the needs of the agency, and advice from the public. Ultimately, the new changes will impact trademark application filing fees, post-registration fees, and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board fees. For more information, read the full article on our Insights page. ...

Insights / 08.10.2020

How certain companies are benefiting from the USPTO’s Fast Track Appeal Pilot Program By Timothy Nauman, Alan Brandt and Kathryn Chambers The United States Patent and Trademark Office initiated a pilot program intended to fast track Patent Trial Appeal Board (“PTAB" or “the USPTO”) Ex Parte Appeals. During patent examination, an applicant may have the opportunity to appeal an Examiner’s decision to the PTAB. Traditionally, the average length of time for pending applications is about 33 months.  The average pendency from the application filing date to the USPTO’s decision in an appeal is 77.6 months.[1] Because of this lengthy application pendency, the PTAB recognized a need to “accelerate the pace at which products incorporating new inventions are introduced to the marketplace, thereby stimulating economic growth and encouraging follow-on innovations.” On July 2, 2020, the USPTO introduced the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program. The program runs until July 2, 2021 and will be evaluated for potential continuation....

Insights / 09.07.2020

By Sandra Koenig, Colleen Flynn Goss and Kathryn Chambers Entering the new decade, we may have thought the populace was immersed in the digital world; however, the Covid-19 pandemic has surely intensified mankind’s digital presence. With the expansion of technology, millions have been transported to a digital world, which has implications in many areas of the practice of law. For example, courtrooms, businesses, and firms have been forced to hold meetings, hearings, and the like virtually. In fact, for the first time, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments via telephone conference call in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com. The Court was presented with the question of whether BOOKING.COM is ineligible for federal trademark registration. In an 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court on June 30, 2020 ruled in favor of Booking.com and permitted the registration of BOOKING.COM as a service mark for online hotel booking services. In this case, the Court rejected the USPTO’s per...

Insights / 08.07.2020

We are pleased to share The World Trademark Review's review of our partner, Colleen Goss: "A creative thinker and persuasive communicator, Colleen Flynn Goss has mastered the art of registering difficult trademarks at the USPTO; as a result, companies and correspondents from all over the world seek her out. She has ample corporate experience on her resume, too, and understands her clients' perspectives." The WTR 1000 research directory, which focuses exclusively on trademark practices and practitioners, has firmly established itself as the definitive ‘go-to’ resource for those seeking world-class legal trademark expertise. ...

Uncategorized / 25.03.2020

Dear Clients: We hope everyone is safe and healthy.   Fay Sharpe LLP is committed to ensuring the safety and health of our employees, their families and our clients during this difficult time as the current pandemic is brought under control. Even in these unconventional and ever-changing circumstances where, over the weekend, the Ohio Director of Health issued a Stay At Home order,  Fay Sharpe LLP remains able to meet your IP legal needs.  Our continuity plan and established security protocols are in place and active.   As such, Fay Sharpe remains open for business emphasizing work-from-home procedures for our employees and use of our secure remote system.  In this way, we are able to provide full service to all of our clients. On a practical note, we will not be able to accommodate client visits to the office during this time but are happy to substitute video meetings. Thank you. ...

Uncategorized / 13.03.2020

To All Our Valued Clients: Fay Sharpe extends our deepest sympathies to those who have been affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We want you to know that we are on top of the latest developments, and are committed to ensuring the safety and health of our employees and their families during this difficult time. Should there be a need for our firm to close and work remotely as a precaution, we are confident in our ability to deliver services to you without interruption. If you have any questions or concerns about how we are responding to the outbreak, please do not hesitate to give us a call. Thank you. ...

Uncategorized / 11.10.2019

We are pleased to announce that Colleen Goss, Sandra Koenig and Mandy Willis have been appointed to serve on the following International Trademark Association’s (INTA) committees for the 2020-2021 term: Colleen Goss - Vice Chair, Publications CommitteeSandra Koenig - Member, Leadership Development CommitteeMandy Willis - Member, and first-time appointee, Publications Committee As members of the Publication Committee, Colleen and Mandy will help select, develop, write and edit content for INTA members-only online resources. As a member of the Leadership Development Committee, Sandra will help develop educational programs specifically designed for the professional growth and development of INTA volunteers. INTA is a global association of over 31,000 trademark professionals who support advancement and observance of trademark and related intellectual property rights, protect and promote the rights of trademark owners, and advocate for useful legislation to meet those ends. ...

Uncategorized / 10.07.2019

On Saturday, June 8th, Fay Sharpe LLP rolled up our sleeves for a day of service and joined the Euclid Creek Watershed Program and Cleveland Metroparks to help clean up Euclid Creek!  This collaborative stream clean-up effort was wildly successful and provided Fay Sharpe a great opportunity to come together and give back.  Thank you! ...