• Evolution of Fireworks in Patents

    Patents have documented the evolution of fireworks for well over 100 years. All over the world people bring in the 2020 new year with fireworks. How this tradition began is unclear. There are many different hypotheses. Some believe that fireworks were originally invented in China to ward off evil spirits. We may never definitively know… Read full article

  • The Santa Claus Detector!

    With the holidays fast approaching, we were curious to see what sort of holiday-inspired tech has been patented. We came across U.S. Patent No. 5,523,741 which discloses a Santa Claus detector. In one variation, the detector is inconspicuously disguised as a standard Christmas stocking. Thus, a user can hang the device from a fireplace—Santa’s preferred access point. However,… Read full article

  • Can Halloween Costumes Violate Copyright?

    While most Halloween costumes are not eligible for copyright protection there are exceptions and infringement cases have been successfully brought. Each year, tens of millions of individuals and families around the United States participate in annual Halloween celebrations and events. Dressing up as their favorite superhero, monster, villain, or outer space alien is all part… Read full article

  • Offensive Trademarks Protected by 1st Amendment

    Offensive trademarks are protected by the 1st Amendment. The Supreme Court held that the USPTO’s blanket bar on the registration of these marks is a violation of the 1st Amendment. As a result, you can now register disparaging, scandalous, and/or offensive trademarks. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled in Iancu v. Brunetti that §1052(a)… Read full article

  • Trademarks for Cannabis and CBD Products

    New guidelines provide a path to obtain trademarks for Cannabis and CBD Products. However, the restrictions are limiting for most applications. As of May 3, 2019, over 600 pending trademark applications were in limbo while the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) issued refusals on otherwise registrable trademarks claiming cannibis or cannabis-derived goods such as… Read full article

  • Six Questions for Building a Brand

    There are six questions every business should ask themselves when they are building a brand (i.e., developing their trademark) for their products and services. 1.      Is your brand already in use by another? When creating a brand, you should verify that there aren’t other similar brand names used in connection with similar goods/services. The existence of… Read full article

  • Stacking Judges in IPR Proceedings

    The USPTO has admitted to intentionally stacking judges on the Patent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) during IPR proceedings. Through Solicitors for the USPTO, it conceded that in several different instances the Director intentionally manipulated the composition of the Patent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) during rehearings. The USPTO adjusted judges to reverse… Read full article