Insights

Insights / 15.05.2019

By Ryan Jones and Adrianne Rose After years of growing pressure to retire Chief Wahoo, the Cleveland Indians  removed the longtime trademark from their uniforms this season. While this step may have quelled some of the public outrage surrounding the trademark, opposition still exists to the Indians’ continuing sale of items featuring the Chief. It begs the question, “if the Indians have gone this far, why don’t they just retire the trademark all together?” The answer may lie in retaining rights in the trademark. If the Indians stopped selling Chief Wahoo merchandise, the trademark could be considered abandoned. Under the Trademark Law Revision Act of 1988, a trademark is deemed abandoned when the owner has discontinued use of the trademark with no intent to resume use.  “Use” of a trademark is measured in terms of “use in commerce” or the “bona fide use of the trademark in ordinary trade.” In other words,...

Insights / 04.12.2018

By Alan Brandt Led Zeppelin may be headed back to court to defend its hit song “Stairway to Heaven” after a 9th Circuit decision ordering a new trial, but not if the Recording Industry Association of America has anything to do with it. In 2014, the famous rock band was accused of stealing a guitar arpeggio from “Taurus”, a song from the late 1960s by the band Spirit, and using it in the introduction of “Stairway to Heaven.” The district court found in favor of Led Zeppelin and determined there was no copyright infringement. In September 2018, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial after concluding that the trial judge’s instructions to the jury were improper. However, the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA), joined by the National Music Publishers Association, recently filed an amicus brief in support of a petition for the appellate court to rehear the...

Insights, Uncategorized / 16.08.2017

The Patent Practice Benchmark 20 (“PPB20™”) has identified the top 20 firms providing patent prosecution services. The nationwide study inspected data from the United States Patent and Trademark Office based on timeliness, completeness and accuracy. Fay Sharpe LLP is proud to report we are recognized and included by the PPB20™ in the top 20 patent practices. Fay Sharpe LLP was evaluated with other law firms and patent practice businesses across the country and met stringent criteria to earn a spot on this list. To be considered for the PPB20™ each nominee on the list must be based in the U.S., have a minimum number of 13 patent practitioners, a minimum number of 3,100 published patent applications, at least 600 maintenance fee payments and meet the minimum Quotia score of 800. A Quotia score sets criteria surrounding accuracy, completeness and timeliness of a practitioner’s work. With a score above 751, top tier...

Insights, Uncategorized / 14.07.2017

By: Chloe Drake Imagine being told once you enter 9th grade, you will be working in Corporate America helping Corporate America do what they do best. Imagine being 14 years old being told that your job placement is at a well-known law firm in your downtown area. Imagine walking in for your first day not having a clue what to say or how to act or even where to go. I know you are probably thinking that this could not be, but indeed it happened. Ironically, I was that 14 year old who was placed at Fay Sharpe three years ago. On my first day at Fay Sharpe, I was relentlessly nervous about if I had the talents or qualifications to fulfill the needs of the job that I just got hired to do. I mean, what ninth grader do you know that thinks of those things at that age?...

Insights, Uncategorized / 13.06.2017

Fay Sharpe's counsel,  Alan Brandt, has been featured in a segment with Cleveland's Channel 5 News and aired on June 12, 2017. Mr. Brandt provided information on copyright law and fashion. The segment can be found online here: http://www.news5cleveland.com/news/local-news/lorain-designer-provides-receipts-after-khloe-kardashian-sends-cease-and-desist-letter?page=2...

Insights, Uncategorized / 01.06.2017

On May 20, 2017, Colleen F. Goss was a panel speaker at the 139th Annual Meeting of the International Trademark Association (INTA) in Barcelona, Spain. As part of a panel, Ms. Goss contributed to the discussion on INTA’s library of member resources and how access to these materials can be used to provide quick answers to preliminary research questions....

Insights, Uncategorized / 21.03.2017

By Mark D. Klinko, attorney at Fay Sharpe LLP On March 21, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 7-1 decision in SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC.  Justice Alito delivered the opinion of the Court and Justice Breyer dissented.  The Court decided laches cannot be a defense against damages where the patent infringement occurred within a time period set by Congress. Laches is an equitable doctrine under which a court may deny relief to a claimant who made a claim after an unreasonably long delay.  Judges evaluate the defense of laches on a case-by-case basis where it is available.  A key rationale for the doctrine of laches are fairness to a defendant since evidence needed to mount a defense may be destroyed over time.  For example, witnesses may lose memories or documents may be lost.  A statute of limitations serves a similar function but is set by...

Insights, Uncategorized / 09.03.2017

Written by Mandy B. Willis, attorney You are a small, entrepreneurial company getting ready to introduce a product that will ensure your economic success. You have already taken steps to protect the intellectual property (the “IP”) behind the product. You invested in branding. You obtained a patent opinion that gives you clearance. But what if—unbeknownst to you—the product will infringe someone else’s IP? What if a larger company copies your idea, launches the product faster, and captures your customer pool? Can you afford to be involved in a dispute? Consider the Risk of Exposure How do large corporations fund the multi-million dollar suits in which they are entangled? These companies have a risk-management strategy that budgets for potential litigation. Part of the strategy is to use insurance to protect IP assets. Although not widely realized, this insurance is available to businesses of all sizes and stages of success. Insurance is available to reimburse...

Insights, Uncategorized / 23.02.2017

Written by Theresa Rakocy Non-practicing entities, or patent trolls, as they are colloquially known because they lurk waiting for an unsuspecting individual, bring a sense of anger, frustration, and foreboding to patent attorneys. A patent troll owns one or more patents with the intent to license the technology or product, but does not actually make or sell any product covered by the patent(s). Enter, MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC. For all intents and purposes, MPHJ is a patent troll. A Google search for this company turns up many lawsuits filed by MPHJ for infringement of its “scan-to-email” patent. The “scan-to-email” patent was the subject of a recent February 13, 2017 decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. MPHJ’s patent U.S. No. 8,488,173 (the ‘173 patent) is entitled “Distributed Computer Architecture and Process for Document Management” and described a system and method that “extends the notion of copying from a...

Insights, Uncategorized / 21.02.2017

Written by Brad S. Pulfer, attorney at Fay Sharpe LLP Patent owners should be keeping a close eye on a case that may come before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals that could potentially block challenges to patent validity outside of the courtroom. Cascades Projection v. Epson and Sony[ref]Appeal No. 17-1517 (Fed. Cir. 2017)[/ref] asks the court to decide whether the rights granted by a patent are public or private and, in turn, if those rights are capable of being revoked without access to a jury trial. Since the implementation of the America Invents Act, patent rights have been revocable upon a challenge brought before the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB). Last week, the owner of a patent invalidated through such a review by the PTAB petitioned the Federal Circuit, imploring them to review the constitutional authority of the PTAB to invalidate granted patent rights. The petitioner, whose patent involved LCD technology, asserts...