Uncategorized

Uncategorized / 13.01.2015

Fay Sharpe LLP, a leading intellectual property law firm, has promoted three people to partner and named its Management Committee for 2015. John Zanghi and Robert Sieg have both been promoted to equity partnership, while George Huang has been promoted to non-equity partner. In addition, Tom Kocovsky, as part of his retirement transition process, is moving from equity partner to non-equity partner. Zanghi has been with the firm since 2002 and specializes in patent preparation and prosecution in electrical and mechanical arts, with an additional emphasis on intellectual property litigation. Sieg has been with the firm since 2000 and specializes in patent preparation and prosecution in general electrical arts and manufacturing processes. Sieg holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, he has substantial experience with semiconductors, medical imaging, LCD and other technologies.. Huang joined the firm in 2004 and specializes in patent preparation and prosecution in chemical engineering. His specific expertise includes biomedical engineering, pharmacology,...

Uncategorized / 08.12.2014

[caption id="attachment_825" align="alignleft" width="231"] Ashley Johnson, Law Clerk[/caption][caption id="attachment_652" align="alignleft" width="200"] Rachel Smoot, Associate[/caption] One of the more interesting and controversial trademark cases of the past decade is the invalidation of the Washington Redskins trademarks. The social implications are apparent, but there are also lessons to be learned for businesses. Nearly 10 years ago, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) cancelled all Washington Redskins marks, a decision that was later reversed by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Pro-Football, Inc. v. Harjo. Under Section 2 of the Lanham Act, a trademark cannot be registered if it is disparaging to persons living or dead, and a mark is disparaging if it may ‘slight, deprecate, degrade, or affect or injure by unjust comparison.’ “The social ramifications stemming from any decision are fairly predictable. Legally, however, the lasting effects are less obvious,” says Ashley Johnson, a law clerk at...

Uncategorized / 01.11.2014

[caption id="attachment_347" align="alignleft" width="200"] Sandra M. Koenig, Partner at Fay Sharpe LLP[/caption] Corporate videos are a popular means of promotion for companies, and for reaching internal employees with important messages. What companies often miss is that many of the images, sounds or references included in these presentations may be legally protected under copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property(IP) rights. Even something as innocuous as a painting on the wall in the background of a shot may be protected under copyright, and displaying it in the video without proper permission can result in heavy penalties. “As companies work through the planning stages of their corporate video, it’s critical that they consider what releases and licenses must legally be obtained before shooting,” says Sandra M. Koenig, a partner at Fay Sharpe LLP. Smart Business spoke with Koenig about corporate videos and how companies can ensure they are free from copyright violations before broadcasting. How is ownership determined? The...

Uncategorized / 01.10.2014

[caption id="attachment_361" align="alignleft" width="200"] John Ling, partner at Fay Sharpe LLP[/caption] Filing patent applications with the European Patent Office (EPO) requires a different approach than when filing solely in the U.S. The differences range from administrative to technical. There are, however, filing strategies that will save applicants time and improve their chances of success. “There are many ways to adjust your drafting technique for your U.S. patent application that won’t hurt you when submitting it in America, but will align it with European standards. A little more work up front will save you a lot of money down the road,” says John Ling, partner at Fay Sharpe LLP. Smart Business spoke with Ling about how to save money and ensure success when filing patents with the EPO. How should companies approach filing patents in multiple countries? Some companies file informal provisional patent applications that establish an early effective filing date in the U.S. and then...

Uncategorized / 16.09.2014

Partner Steve Haas was quoted in this week's Crain's Cleveland Business in the section on Innovation. Haas explains that “protecting ideas, innovations and brands requires early and close coordination with our patent and trademark lawyers — delay can be lethal." Click here to read the full article....

Uncategorized / 01.09.2014

Many companies face an unrealized risk when approached by a customer with a problem. Companies will devote a great deal of time and money developing a solution, only to have that customer seek to secretly patent the solution without naming the company’s personnel as inventors or at least co-inventors. “This leads to several bad outcomes, depending upon the particular facts,” says Steve Haas, a partner at Fay Sharpe LLP. “At worst, the company and its other customers can be sued for patent infringement by the first customer, even though the company created the solution. Also, the first customer can source the solution from a third-party supplier without compensating the company that solved the problem — the original company that developed the solution does not get to supply it and cannot stop the new supplier.” Smart Business spoke with Haas about unscrupulous customers that profit from a company’s hard work, and how to avoid...

Uncategorized / 01.08.2014

A Supreme Court decision from this past June could mean that companies with patents on software-related inventions will lose that protection. The ruling in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd v. CLS Bank International changes what is patent-eligible subject matter. That could leave some patents unenforceable, and will challenge companies to rethink how they draft patent applications. “Up until this decision, it was understood by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and patent attorneys in general that software-related patents were patent-eligible subject matter if they were sufficiently tied to a machine, such as a computer” says Christian Drago, a senior associate at Fay Sharpe LLP. “In essence, you’re not claiming the software, you’re claiming the computer that’s performing the function that the software is instructing it to do. After Alice, the court said adding a computer is not enough. They’re looking for something that tangibly affects the real world.” Smart Business spoke with Drago and...

Uncategorized / 01.07.2014

As businesses invest in new products or services, the importance of identifying and protecting their intellectual property (IP) may not be at the forefront of their thinking. “However, if you want to recoup your investment you have to be able to protect it, and IP is one way to do that,” says George Huang, an associate at Fay Sharpe LLP. “Most people are familiar with Chinese companies that knock off a product and can sell it much cheaper than the original manufacturer, because the Chinese company didn’t have to invest in developing the product and its market. Protecting your IP can keep others from harvesting the rewards of your work.” Smart Business spoke with Huang about how your IP attorney can help analyze IP, so you can protect your investments. What kind of IP needs to be protected and how can an IP attorney help? What product or service makes your business stand out...

Uncategorized / 01.06.2014

Businesses will want to plan ahead for changes to the patent system that are likely to be implemented across much of Europe. Continent-wide patent protection under the new system could introduce consistency and cost-effectiveness, making access to hundreds of millions of consumers more profitable. Smart Business spoke with Mark D. Klinko, an attorney at Fay Sharpe LLP, to learn more about the potential impact of Europe’s Unified Patent Court (UPC) and its affect businesses active in those countries. What is the UPC? Under Europe’s current system, a patent applicant must seek validation in each country where protection is sought. Validation can be prohibitively expensive if protection is sought in many different countries, particularly if the countries have different language requirements. Patent rights also are enforced on a country-by-country basis, which can mean inconsistent results and uncertainty. The European Union patent package (EUpp) was designed to streamline the validation process and address enforcement inconsistencies. It included...