Heading into the long holiday weekend, here are several items that client responsibilities have prevented me from devoting full posts to:
* Next week, on December 28, new trademark rules go into effect that are intended to codify current PTO practice. Click here for the excellent new Pittsburgh IP Law Blog’s take on the new rules. Welcome to the world of regional IP blogs. I look forward to reading your local IP analysis.
* If you are looking for some top notch CLE or just want a broader view of the Bilski argument, check out Doug Lichtman’s IP Colloquium where Lichtman and his UCLA students do a dramatic reading of the argument. It is a great way to absorb the transcript and is an hour of free CLE.
* Congratulations to Mark Herrman of Jones Day and the Drug and Device Law Blog. Herrman is leaving both the firm and the blog at the end of the month to take a senior litigation position with Aon. Herrman will be greatly missed in the blogosphere. Although I do not practice Herrman’s area of law, Drug and Device Law is a must read blog for me because of both Herrman and his blogging counterpart Jim Beck of Dechert, who is continuing to write the blog.

Continue Reading Bilski, Regional IP Blogs & Farewell to Mark Herrman

Here are several stories and updates, as well as a new IP blog:
At Patently-O, Dennis Crouch covers the Federal Circuit decision in the appeal from the Northern District of Illinois case SourceOne Global Partners, LLC v. KGK Synergize, Inc. — Click here for Crouch’s post on the appeal and here for my post on the underlying decision.
The latest installment of Doug Lichtman’s IP Colloquium is available — click here to listen. Lichtman and his guests from Microsoft, Paramount Pictures and MySpace discuss the protection of content in the digital age. As always, it is an excellent listen and CLE credit is available.
Seattle Trademark Lawyer Michael Atkins has another great post up about Olympic trademarks, this time featuring an article that ran in the Chicago Tribune (here) and LA Times (here) quoting both Atkins and me.
California attorney and mediator Erica Bristol has started the IP Watchtower blog. The blog covers all facets of intellectual property and the initial posts suggest it will be a great read. I have added it to my feed reader.

Continue Reading IP News Shorts

While I travel for a few pressing client matters, here are a couple of podcasts and IP stories worth a read or listen:
At the end of August, I had the privilege of joining Jeremy Phillips and Philip Parker on Duncan Bucknell’s IP Think Tank Podcast. We discussed the impact of the recession on global patenting and the quality of patents in the US, Japan and Europe. Click here for the podcast.
The latest installment of Doug Lichtman’s IP Colloquium is available here. Lichtman investigates the scope of the derivative work rights in copyright law, using a recent case that questioned whehter a Harry Potter was a derivative work based upon J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. It is a great listen and comes with free CLE credit. Click here for the podcast.

Continue Reading IP Podcasts

Here are a few stories from the blogosphere that I did not have time to fully cover this week because of pressing client matters and some new opportunities:
* The Federalist Society is offering an excellent podcast discussing Bilski from almost every possible angle. The podcast features West Virginia University Law Professor Michael Risch and American University Law Professor Joshua Sarnoff, who filed competing amicus briefs. The podcast is a half-hour well spent for anyone involved in patent law. Click here to listen to the podcast. Hat tip to Duncan Bucknell at the IP Think Tank Blog for pointing out the podcast.
* Doug Lichtman’s IP Colloquium takes a thorough look at the copyright issue of the year thus far, Shepard Fairey’s iconic Obama image, and Lichtman offers free CLE credit for listening. Click here for that edition and here for the IP Colloquium’s archives.
* Michael Atkins has identified the top five trademark cases of the last year at the Seattle Trademark Lawyer. Number 4 is the Seventh Circuit’s decision in AutoZone v. Strick. Click here for more on the district court decisions in the case from the Blog’s archives. This is what Atkins had to say about the Seventh Circuit’s decision:
[G]ood likelihood of confusion analysis in reversal of hard-fought trademark infringement case, which also was one of the first dilution cases under the [Trademark Dilution Revision Act].

Continue Reading IP News Shorts

Here are several items from around the web that are worth your attention:
The latest edition of Doug Lichtman’s IP Colloquium is available here and it is another excellent listen. The program looks at copyright’s statutory damages regime through the lens of music downloading. Lichtman moderates an impressive group of experts and stakeholders in the debate. It would be worth the time, even if CLE credit was not available, but it is.
Congratulations to Victoria Pynchon of the IP ADR Blog and Settle It Now on her move to ADR Services — click here to read Pynchon’s post about the move.
The Alternative Patent Dispute Resolution Project at San Diego’s Thomas Jefferson School of Law has an interesting survey up about how ADR should be used in patent cases. No results yet, but I will discuss them here when they are made available. The survey follows up a survey done ten years ago by IPWatchdog’s Gene Quinn. Click here to take the survey.

Continue Reading IP News: ADR & Copyright Damages

At his IP Think Tank Blog, Duncan Bucknell reflected upon Doug Lichtman’s recent IP Colloquium interview with Federal Circuit Chief Judge Michel — click here to read Bucknell’s post and here to get the Michel interview, which you is well worth any patent litigator’s time. Bucknell’s take away from the interview is a very timely question in light of the news that patent reform may be back before Congress in 2009:
If the intellectual property laws could be codified so that the result in intellectual property disputes is always certain – even though it might not be fair – would that be ok? Or would you prefer that the legislative guidelines remain broad and the fine details in each circumstance be worked out in context – in litigation? (As happens today?)
I think this is a difficult question to answer. My experience is that many, maybe most, would like certainty over justice in the abstract. It makes sense to reduce transaction costs and to provide businesses increased certainty. But when asked the same question about their own IP case, most prefer a more complex and less certain system designed with the goal of reaching fair (I would substitute the word “just” here) outcomes.

Continue Reading Do you prefer IP law certain or fair?

Making good on his promise to turn his IP Colloquium into National Public Radio for IP law, Doug Lichtman’s newest offering is an extended interview with Federal Circuit Chief Judge Michel. Click here to listen to Licthman’s interview, you can even apply for New York or California CLE credit after listening. Here are some of Judge Michel’s more interesting observations:
Petitions for rehearing are too often “shallow and weak.”
Votes denying en banc rehearings are often close, making the poor petitions for rehearing especially surprising and disappointing.
Parties interested in supporting cases with amicus briefs should consider filing briefs supporting rehearing petitions. An amicus brief that was both well researched and well written could play an important role in strengthening a case’s en banc potential and tipping close votes for rehearing.
In re Bilski did not answer all of the 101 questions because not all of the questions were raised in the case or ripe for consideration. It will take a series of 101 cases to flesh out the post-Bilski state of the law.
Judge Michel is hopeful that the new patent jury instructions — click here to read the Blog’s post about them — will help bring some clarity and continuity to, among other things, damages and obviousness instructions, although at the time of the interview it appeared that he had not seen the instructions yet.
The Doctrine of Equivalents has almost “dried up.”

Continue Reading Chief Judge Michel: The State of Patent Law

Here are some IP stories that will give you weekend reading and viewing:
* UCLA Professor Doug Lichtman launched the IP Colloquium, a series of podcasts focused on the most pressing IP issues of the day. Lichtman tells me he aspires for the IP Colloquium to become National Public Radio for IP lawyers. Lichtman is well on his way. In his first episode, Lichtman discusses copyright issue with the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Fred von Lohmann. And if the content is not enough, Lichtman has also secured CLE credit in several states.
* IPTABlog has a comprehensive post — click here to read it — on Google’s settlement with the Association of American Publishers over the Google Book Search. The post links to much of the media coverage, as well as the settlement agreement. Also, check out the WSJ Law Blog’s post on the settlement’s impact on related cases (click here to read it) and Madisonian’s take on the issues springing from the settlement (click here to read that post).

Continue Reading IP Legal News