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Uncategorized / 14.12.2015

Fay Sharpe LLP is pleased to announce that it has achieved a national Top 10 ranking for patent allowance rates as determined by Juristat using data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Technology Center 2100. With an allowance rate of 90.17 percent, Fay Sharpe ranked seventh in the nation for 2015, well above TC 2100’s overall allowance rate of 66.2 percent, and well above the average of 71.3 percent across all USPTO patent examining centers. TC 2100 examines computer-related patent applications for the USPTO, including applications related to data processing, information security and artificial intelligence. All 10 firms honored as TC 2100 Top 10 were selected from IP Today’s top firms for 2015 and have at least 100 disposed patent applications in TC 2100. “For an intellectual property law firm such as ours, this is a tremendous achievement,” says Steven Haas, Fay Sharpe Partner and Management Committee member. “It’s proof that...

Uncategorized / 02.11.2015

By Alan C. Brandt, attorney, Fay Sharpe LLP Copyright audits determine if the copyright assets of a party (e.g., an author or a copyright claimant) are suitably protected in a manner that is consistent with their value to the party. A more comprehensive audit could also determine whether the copyrights are being infringed and, if so, determine if they are being enforced. The audit might also investigate one’s own use of copyrighted materials to confirm compliance with applicable laws, regulations, license agreements and contracts. A copyright is an exclusive legal right that originates in an author when an original expression is fixed in some physical form. The original expression is considered a work of authorship after it is fixed in some tangible medium. Works that qualify for copyright protection include literary works, musical works, dramatic works, pantomimes and choreographic works, pictorial, graphic and sculptural works, motion pictures and other audiovisual works, sound...

Uncategorized / 26.10.2015

  By Rachel Smoot, attorney, and Diane Jacquinot, legal and research services manager, Fay Sharpe LLP There was a time when you only found counterfeit goods at flea markets and on the sidewalks of metropolitan cities. However, the Internet has allowed counterfeit products to easily make their way into our homes and businesses. For consumers, the increasing number of counterfeit goods purchased on the Internet is both intentional and accidental. Online consumers can quickly find cheap imitations and fake versions of name-brand goods, making it easier for them to knowingly buy counterfeit products. But because online shoppers cannot inspect products firsthand, they may have a harder time determining whether an item is counterfeit or name brand before they buy. The explosion of counterfeiting over the Internet has led to massive financial losses for many brands and corporations. However, cheap forgeries are not limited to high-dollar and luxury items. Counterfeiters have copied and sold watches,...

Uncategorized / 20.10.2015

By Philip J. Moy Jr., partner, Fay Sharpe LLP There are a number of universal truths that we all recognize. One is that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Another is that the Cubs will not win the World Series this year. A third is that intellectual property (IP) litigation — especially patent litigation — is very expensive. In certain industries, paying lawyers to litigate IP disputes appears to be a recognized cost of doing business. Even among the Apples and Samsungs of the world, however, there is a compelling need to avoid IP litigation to the extent possible. So, how does a company reduce its chances of being a named party in an IP lawsuit? Patents Perhaps the most important step a company can take is to invest in understanding its industry and keeping track of the IP of its competitors. For example, a patent is infringed by...

Uncategorized / 16.10.2015

Fay Sharpe will be inducted into the 100 Year Club of the Western Reserve Historical Society on Dec. 7, 2015. The 100 Year Club was created in 1953 to honor an elite group of the region’s corporations and institutions that have been in continuous existence for at least 100 years. The club recognizes and celebrates the longstanding entrepreneurial spirit embodied by Northeast Ohio organizations. There are currently 197 members. “We are honored to be joining the ranks of such an accomplished group of companies,” says Doug Graham, director of administration for Fay Sharpe. “We look forward to another 100 years of serving our clients and the region.” Fay Sharpe client Cleveland Play House is also an inductee. Proceeds from the December event support youth entrepreneurship education. For more information on the club and the event, visit https://www.wrhs.org/get-involved/100-year-club....

Uncategorized / 14.10.2015

Fay Sharpe is honored to announce that counsel Colleen Goss has been appointed to the Publications Committee (formerly the Legal Practice Resources Committee) of the prestigious International Trademark Association (INTA). INTA is a global association of trademark owners and professionals who support trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and promote fair and effective commerce. As a member of the Publication Committee, Colleen will help select, develop, write and edit content for INTA members-only online resources. She will also participate in conference calls and attend annual meetings and leadership meetings. Colleen has been an attorney with Fay Sharpe since 1995. Her two-year INTA committee term begins January 1 2016....

Uncategorized / 14.10.2015

Fay Sharpe is proud to announce that partner Sandra Koenig has been appointed to a two-year term on the Public Information Committee of the International Trademark Association (INTA). INTA is a global association of trademark owners and professionals who support trademarks and related intellectual property to protect consumers and promote fair and effective commerce. Koenig will help research, write and maintain material for placement on the INTA website that will teach and inform the general public about trademarks and brands. Additional responsibilities include participating in conference calls and attending INTA annual and leadership meetings. Koenig has been with Fay Sharpe since 1985 and is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Her term will begin Jan. 1, 2016, and last through the end of 2017....

Uncategorized / 29.09.2015

By Ameera Haider, law clerk, and Jay Moldovanyi, partner, Fay Sharpe LLP Inventors occasionally create complex, technical devices that can be better described by the function they perform, as opposed to their structure. This is particularly true of inventions in the electronic and computer arts but can also be true of mechanical inventions. Traditional patent claims describe the specific structure of an invention. In contrast, “means-plus-function” claims express a technical feature in functional terms. This offers patent writers more flexibility in how they describe the function a device performs. For example, an inventor could claim an electronic or electromechanical device by describing circuits performing specific functions, as opposed to the circuitry of the actual device. Statutory support for means-plus-function claims is found in 35 U.S.C. 112(f), which states, “An element in a claim for a combination may be expressed as a means or step for performing a specified function without the recital of...

Uncategorized / 08.09.2015

How startups and small businesses should handle their intellectual property By Theresa A. Rakocy, attorney, Fay Sharpe LLP As a startup or small business, you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect yourself and your assets. You’ve insured your physical assets, such as your building, equipment and vehicles, and you’ve protected yourself by securing insurance and possibly incorporating your business. You started your business with a great idea in mind, but have you taken the necessary steps to protect your most important and valuable asset, your intellectual property? Intangible assets such as product development ideas and prototypes, branding ideas, business and product names, logos and proprietary manufacturing methods may be a small business’s most important assets, but too many businesses fail to protect them. You may not think it’s important to protect your intellectual property, but failing to do so can hurt you in the long run. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t think about IP...

Uncategorized / 25.08.2015

By William Samore, attorney, Fay Sharpe LLP Marking a product with the word “patent,” or the abbreviation “pat.,” along with one or more relevant patent numbers, is considered constructive notice of the existence of a patent. Providing this constructive notice gives an advantage in infringement disputes because damages for patent infringement are limited to the period of time after the alleged infringer had knowledge of the infringement. Written notification to the alleged infringer provides the infringer with actual notice of infringement, but such notice could occur months, if not years, after the infringing activity began. On the other hand, constructive notice can be provided long before actual notice by simply marking a patented product with the corresponding patent number, effectively extending the period for which infringement damages can be recovered. Under the America Invents Act, patent holders can provide constructive notice by affixing “patent,” or “pat.,” combined with an address of an Internet...