Amster Rothstein & Ebenstein, LLP - Intellectual Property Law http://www.arelaw.com/ Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein is a well-established mid-sized legal firm engaged exclusively in the practice of intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, unfair competition and related matters. Since our inception in 1953, we have earned an impressive record of successes for our clients, from individuals to multinational corporations, both domestic and worldwide. These successes are borne of the vigorous application of legal expertise, innovation and objective analysis. en Fri, 15 Nov 2019 16:07:06 +0000 Floodlight Design CMS ARE PTAB Law Alert:<br>FEDERAL CIRCUIT DECLARES PTAB APJs TO BE SUPERIOR OFFICERS APPOINTED IN AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL MANNER, BUT OFFERS A FIX GOING FORWARD WITH LIMITED RELIEF GOING BACK<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/alert11042019/ On Thursday, October 31, 2019, in <i>Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith &amp; Nephew, Inc.,</i> the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a 30-page decision declaring that Administrative Patent Judges (&ldquo;APJs&rdquo;) at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (&ldquo;PTAB&rdquo;) are &ldquo;principal officers&rdquo; as the Patent Act (Title 35) has been enacted and structured.&nbsp; As such, the appointment of APJs by the Secretary of Commerce, as set forth in Title 35, violates the Appointments Clause, U.S. <span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-caps: small-caps;">Const.</span>, art. II, &sect; 2, cl. 2. &nbsp;<a href="http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/18-2140.Opinion.10-31-2019.pdf" target="_blank"><i>Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith &amp; Nephew, Inc.</i>, No. 2018-2140, slip op. (Fed. Cir. Oct. 31, 2019).</a><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Notwithstanding this sweeping holding, after rejecting other alternatives, <i>Arthrex </i>provided as a &ldquo;fix&rdquo; to this constitutional flaw, severing the portion of the Patent Act restricting removal of the APJs only &ldquo;for cause&rdquo; as sufficient to render APJs inferior officers going forward and remedy the appointment problem. In this regard, <i>Arthrex </i>relied upon the Supreme Court&rsquo;s holding: &ldquo;[T]he power to remove officers at will and without cause is a powerful tool for control of an inferior.&rdquo; <i>Free Enterprise Fund. v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board</i>, 561 U.S. 477, 501 (2010). &nbsp;<i>Arthrex </i>summed up its conclusion that &ldquo;severing the portion of the Patent Act restricting removal of the APJs is sufficient to render the APJs inferior officers and remedy the constitutional appointment problem.&rdquo; <i>Arthrex</i>, slip op. at 2. &nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For the patentee in <i>Arthrex</i>, because the Board&rsquo;s decision was rendered by a panel of APJs that were not constitutionally appointed, this decision resulted in the Final Written Decision being vacated and the case remanded for a new panel of properly appointed APJs &ldquo;to hear &hellip; anew on remand&rdquo; without reaching the merits, as the Supreme Court instructed <i>in SEC v. Lucia</i>, 138 S. Ct. 2044 (2018). <i>Arthrex</i>, slip op. at 29-30.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Significantly, even <i>Arthrex</i> put limits on its holding:</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-left: 40px;">1.<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;To be clear, on remand the decision to institute is not suspect; we see no constitutional infirmity in the institution decision as the statute clearly bestows such authority on the Director pursuant to 35 U.S.C. &sect; 314.&rdquo; <i>Id</i>. at 30.&nbsp;<br /><br /> 2.<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;[W]e see no error in the new panel proceeding on the existing written record but leave to the Board&rsquo;s sound discretion whether it should allow additional briefing or reopen the record in any individual case.&rdquo; <i style="font-size: small;">Id</i>.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In <i>Lucia</i>, as <i>Arthrex</i> noted, &ldquo;[t]o cure the constitutional error, another ALJ &hellip; must hold the new hearing.&rdquo; <i>Id</i>. at 30 (quoting Lucia, 138 S. Ct. at 2055).&nbsp; <i>Arthrex</i> does not appear to decide if a new oral hearing must be held on remand.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><i>Arthrex </i>recognized that a waiver of an Appointments Clause challenge does not arise by the failure to raise it before the Administrative Agency, here in the PTAB proceeding below. <i>Id</i>. at 5.&nbsp; But the panel also noted that such challenges are not &ldquo;jurisdictional&rdquo;. <i>Id</i>. at 29. &nbsp;Thus, <i>Arthrex</i> confirmed its holding was &ldquo;only that this case, where the final decision was rendered by a panel of APJs who were not constitutionally appointed and where the parties presented an Appointments Clause challenge on appeal, must be vacated and remanded.&rdquo; <i>Id</i>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Thus, while<i> Arthrex</i> recognized that the patentee in that case did not waive its challenge by waiting until its Appeal to raise the issue, subsequent decisions have clarified that to preserve the argument on appeal, the argument must be raised in the opening brief or be forfeited. <i>See, e.g., </i><a href="http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/18-2239.Order.11-1-2019.1.pdf" target="_blank"><i>Customedia Technologies, LLC v. Dish Network Corp.</i>,</a> No. 2018-2239, Order (Fed. Cir. Nov. 1, 2019) (denying motions to vacate and remand because &ldquo;Customedia did not raise any semblance of an Appointments Clause challenge in its opening brief or raise this challenge in a motion filed prior to its opening brief&rdquo;); <a href="http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/19-1001.Order.11-1-2019.1.pdf" target="_blank"><i>Customedia Technologies, LLC v. Dish Network Corp</i>.</a>, No. 2019-1001, Order (Fed. Cir. Nov. 1, 2019).&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In sum, it appears that:&nbsp;</div><ol><li>Any Final Written Decision of the PTAB issued by APJs appointed prior to October 31, 2019 by the Secretary of Commerce is at risk of being vacated and remanded to be decided by a new panel of properly appointed APJs on appeal, to the extent that a challenge is made on appeal either by motion before an opening brief is filed or in an opening brief on appeal.&nbsp; <i>See, e.g.</i>,<a href="http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/Uniloc_Order_18-2251.pdf" target="_blank"><i>Uniloc 2017 v. Facebook, Inc.</i></a>, No. 2018-2251, Order (Fed. Cir. Oct. 31, 2019) (vacating and remanding PTAB decision to the Board &ldquo;consistent with this court&rsquo;s decision in <i>Arthrex</i>&rdquo;).</li><li>Any institution decisions or records developed before or after October 31, 2019, remain in force and effect and unscathed by <i>Arthrex</i>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>Any final written decisions in which the challenge was not timely made on appeal in a pre-Opening Brief motion or on a motion, remain in force and effect.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</li></ol><div>Presumably, future decisions by the PTAB will include APJs that are reappointed by the Secretary of Commerce that can be removed at will and thus made by inferior officers in accordance with the Appointments Clause.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>We will continue to monitor and report on developments in this area.&nbsp; In the meantime, please feel free to contact us to learn more.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> *<a href="https://www.arelaw.com/professional/cmacedo/" target="_blank">Charles R. Macedo</a> is a Partner at Amster Rothstein &amp; Ebenstein LLC, which specializes in intellectual property issues, including litigating patent, trademark and other intellectual property disputes.&nbsp;The author may be reached at&nbsp;<a href="mailto:cmacedo@arelaw.com">cmacedo@arelaw.com</a>. Mon, 04 Nov 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/alert11042019/ In The Press: <br>US Supreme Court hears argument on whether Patent Office can collect employees’ salaries in defending district court actions<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/inthepress10092019/ Los Angeles &amp; San Fransico's Daily Journal (October 9, 2019) -- publishes Amster, Rothstein &amp; Ebenstein's Charles Macedo, Christopher Lisiewski and Chandler Sturm's article on the Supreme Court Hearing Whether Patent Office Can Collect Employees&rsquo; Salaries In Defending District Court Actions &ndash; Even When The Patent Office Is Wrong.<br /><br />The latest term of the Supreme Court began with the high court answering the peculiar question of whether the Government can recoup the salaries of its staff attorneys and paralegals from an adversary in a district court proceeding challenging an adverse decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (&ldquo;Patent Office&rdquo;) in Federal Court&ndash;even when the adversary wins the challenge. See Peters v. Nantkwest, Inc., No. 18-801 (U.S. argued October 7, 2019).<br /><br />For the full article, please click <a href="/images/file/Amster%20(DJ%2010-14-19).pdf" target="_blank">here</a>.<br type="_moz" /> Mon, 14 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/inthepress10092019/ In The Press: <br>Super Lawyers Names Partner Douglas A. Miro<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/superlawyers2019/ <em>New York &mdash; Metro 2019 Intellectual Property Super Lawyers</em><br /><br />October 2019<br />Super Lawyers names partner <a href="https://www.arelaw.com/professional/miro/" target="_blank">Douglas A. Miro</a>&nbsp;One of the Top 100 Attorneys in the New York Metro area Fri, 11 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/superlawyers2019/ In The Press: <br>2019 New York Metro Super Lawyers Names Six Attorneys From The Firm For Intellectual Property and One Attorney as a Rising Star<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/inthepress10112019/ <span style="font-size: small;"><em>New York &mdash; Metro 2019 Intellectual Property Super Lawyers</em></span><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;">Amster, Rothstein &amp; Ebenstein LLP is pleased to announce that 2019 New York Metro&nbsp;</span><i>Super Lawyer</i>&nbsp;<i>Magazine&nbsp;</i><span style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;">has named six of its Attorneys including:</span>&nbsp;</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></div><span style="font-size: small;"><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><b>Partners:</b>&nbsp;&nbsp;</div></span><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://www.arelaw.com/professional/debenstein/" target="_blank"><span style="color: blue;">Daniel S. Ebenstein</span></a></span><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;<br /> Intellectual Property&nbsp;<br /> Selected to Super Lawyers 2006, 2013 - 2019</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://www.arelaw.com/professional/cmacedo/" target="_blank"><span style="color: blue;">Charles R. Macedo</span></a></span><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;<br /> Intellectual Property&nbsp;<br /> Selected to Super Lawyers 2011 - 2019</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://www.arelaw.com/professional/miro/" target="_blank" title="https://profiles.superlawyers.com/new-york-metro/new-york/lawyer/douglas-a-miro/08f1f4ef-2702-4537-9fc9-802e785143fa.htmlCmd+Click to follow link"><span style="color: blue;">Douglas A. Miro</span></a></span><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;">Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property Litigation&nbsp;</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;">Selected to Super Lawyers 2006, 2009 - 2019</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://www.arelaw.com/professional/nzipkin/" target="_blank"><span style="color: blue;">Neil M. Zipkin</span></a></span><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;<br /> Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution&nbsp;<br /> Selected to Super Lawyers 2006, 2013 - 2019</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></div><span style="font-size: small;"><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><b>Senior Counsel:</b><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal">&nbsp;</div></div></span><span style="font-size: small;"><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><a href="http://www.arelaw.com/professional/rmandaro/"><span style="color: blue;">Richard S. Mandaro</span></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;<div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;">Intellectual Property&nbsp;<br /> Selected to Super Lawyers 2013 - 2019&nbsp;</span></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></span><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><b>Associates:</b><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;<br /></span><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></div></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://www.arelaw.com/professional/shudak/" target="_blank"><span style="color: blue;">Sandra A. Hudak</span></a>&nbsp;<br /> Intellectual Property Litigation, Intellectual Property&nbsp;<br /> Rising Stars 2019&nbsp;</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></div><span style="font-size: small;"><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><b>Congratulations to our Super Lawyers.</b>&nbsp;&nbsp;</div></span><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></div><div style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height:&#10;normal"><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="https://profiles.superlawyers.com/new-york-metro/new-york/lawfirm/amster-rothstein-and-ebenstein-llp/8f061797-a903-4c7a-938f-2e0ce2b082a5.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: blue;">https://profiles.superlawyers.com/new-york-metro/new-york/lawfirm/amster-rothstein-and-ebenstein-llp/8f061797-a903-4c7a-938f-2e0ce2b082a5.html</span></a></span></div> Fri, 11 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/inthepress10112019/ IPWatchdog<br>Navigating Bitcoin and Blockchain for Digital Businesses: Key Use Cases<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/article10012019/ IP Watchdog reports --&nbsp;Today, blockchain projects are proceeding in nearly every major industry and occur in more than 140 countries. According to blockchain IP landscape research by Perception Partners, over the past three years, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of patent families publishing in the United States, Europe, Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), China, Japan and Korea is about 23%. The space has more than 13,000 global competitors of every size with nearly 23,000 inventors or authors disclosing or researching blockchain innovations.<br /><br type="_moz" />Full article available <a href="https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2019/10/01/navigating-bitcoin-blockchain-digital-businesses-key-use-cases/id=114097/" target="_blank">here</a>.<br type="_moz" /> Wed, 02 Oct 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/article10012019/ In The Press:<br>Passing of Morton Amster<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/inthenews09032019/ Our founding partner, Morton Amster, passed away after a long illness on September 2, 2019, one month short of his 92nd birthday.<div>&nbsp;</div><div>Mort started our firm with nothing but an idea. After a stint as a Patent Examiner in the U.S. Patent and Trademark office in Washington, he rented a room and a desk in New York and in 1953 began writing patent applications as overflow for an&nbsp; in-house counsel at a major company.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>His intelligence, skill, and energy attracted other clients, as well as associates and partners. Under Mort&rsquo;s oversight over the years, the firm came to represent major domestic and foreign clients in litigation, licensing, and patent prosecution; and developed a broad-based domestic and foreign intellectual property practice.&nbsp; Mort&rsquo;s advice to his partners was always: &ldquo;the best source of new business is doing great work for existing clients.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Mort was, for decades, the spirit of our firm. He knew, as many lawyers don&rsquo;t, that the practice of law is about people more than law books. He cultivated long and deep relationships with his firm colleagues and with the clients he counseled.&nbsp; He focused on our clients&rsquo; business concerns and their solutions. To this end, he led the development of innovative legal theories in intellectual property law, including broadening the scope and effectiveness of the Lanham Trademark Act.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>He was a consummate negotiator and a tough and aggressive litigator. He mentored his colleagues and imbued them and the firm with his approach and philosophy.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Mort was always bursting with energy and was dedicated to the practice of law and to the firm. The firm was his passion.&nbsp; In recent years, age and ultimately illness slowed him down and he became &ldquo;of counsel&rdquo; to the firm. He participated in the affairs of the firm as a counselor and advisor until his last illness made that impossible.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>His spirit and philosophy remain alive in the firm, but he will be sorely missed. Rest in peace our dear friend.<br /><br /><img src="/images/image/Amster%20M.jpg" width="190" height="283" alt="" /></div> Tue, 03 Sep 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/inthenews09032019/ Practical Law:<br>Understanding PTAB Trials: Key Milestones in IPR, PGR, and CBM Proceedings<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/practicallaw08292019/ <strong>REVISED&nbsp; August 29, 2019 --&nbsp;<a href="/images/file/2019-08-29%20Understanding%20PTAB%20Trials%20Key%20Milestones%20in%20IPR%20PGR%20and%20CBM%20Proceedings.pdf" target="_blank">Understanding PTAB Trials: Key Milestones in IPR, PGR, and CBM Proceedings</a></strong> Thu, 29 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/practicallaw08292019/ Technology Transfer Tactics reports on UK Court Decision Highlights Need for U.S. Patent Reform http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/inthepress08152019/ Amos B. and Miller A.D. (2019) UK Court Decision Highlights Need for U.S. Patent Reform. Technology Transfer Tactics 13(8): 123-125<br /><br /><a href="https://techtransfercentral.com/2019/08/15/technology-transfer-tactics-august-2019-issue/" target="_blank">Subscription Required</a> Thu, 15 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/inthepress08152019/ Practical Law <br>General Contract Clauses: Confidentiality Agreement Clauses After the Defend Trade Secrets Act<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/practicallaw08072019/ <div><strong>REVISED August 7, 2019</strong>&nbsp;<a href="/images/file/General%20Contract%20Clauses%20Confidentiality%20Agreement%20Clauses%20After%20the%20Defend%20Trade%20Secrets%20Act%20(w-002-9194)%208_7_19.pdf" target="_blank">General Contract Clauses:&nbsp;Confidentiality Agreement Clauses&nbsp;After the Defend Trade Secrets Act&nbsp;</a></div> Wed, 07 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/practicallaw08072019/ IPWatchdog<br>NYIPLA Urges Supreme Court Not to Award USPTO Staff Attorney Salaries as ‘Expenses’ in Patent Appeals to ED of Virginia http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/07102019article/ On June 25, 2019, the New York Intellectual Property Association (NYIPLA) filed an <a href="https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/18/18-801/104097/20190625162730763_18-801%20Amicus%20Brief.pdf" target="_blank">Amicus Brief</a> in support of the Respondent in <a href="https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/peter-v-nantkwest-inc/" target="_blank">Peter v. NantKwest, Inc.</a>, No. 18-801, pending before the Supreme Court. NantKwest raises the issue of whether patent applicants who are dissatisfied with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) decisions and subsequently appeal to the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia must pay USPTO staff attorney salaries as part of &ldquo;[a]ll the expenses of the proceedings&rdquo; under 35 U.S.C. Section 145, which allows applicants to pursue a civil action against decisions of the USPTO Director.<br /><br /><a href="https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2019/07/10/nyipla-urges-supreme-court-not-award-uspto-staff-attorney-salaries-expenses-patent-appeals-ed-virginia/id=111140/" target="_blank">Full Article</a> Wed, 10 Jul 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/07102019article/ ARE Trademark Law Alert:<br>New U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Rule Requires Foreign Trademark Applicants and Registrants to Be Represented by U.S. Attorneys<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/alert07082019/ A new rule introduced by the U.S. Patent &amp; Trademark Office (&ldquo;USPTO&rdquo;) and taking effect on August 3, 2019 requires foreign trademark applicants and registrants to be represented by licensed U.S. attorneys. <br /><br />After that date, the USPTO will no longer accept trademark applications, renewal applications, statements or declarations of use, or any other trademark filings from individuals and organizations outside the U.S. who are not represented by U.S. attorneys. In other words, foreign trademark owners will not be able to make any trademark-related filings with the USPTO on their own (&ldquo;pro se&rdquo;). This change was made to combat the rapidly increasing number of fraudulent pro se trademark filings made by foreign applicants, which constitutes a significant problem for the USPTO and legitimate trademark owners alike. From now on, foreign owners of trademark rights wishing to seek, secure and maintain trademark protection in the United States should either retain services and work directly with U.S. counsel or have their local trademark counsel retain qualified U.S. attorneys to represent them.<br /><br />Foreign applicants who designate the United States for trademark protection as part of International Registration under the Madrid Protocol are also subject to this requirement. The World Intellectual Property Organization (&ldquo;WIPO&rdquo;) does not presently offer an option in the Madrid Protocol application form to designate U.S. counsel to represent the applicant. Therefore, until such time as WIPO changes its practices and forms to accommodate this new rule, the USPTO will waive the requirement for the small subset of Madrid applications that are submitted with all other U.S. formalities and statutory requirements satisfied, so that they are in condition for acceptance and publication for opposition purposes. For the vast majority (97%) of Madrid Protocol applications designating the United States, however, foreign applicants will be informed in the first Office Action of the requirement to appoint a qualified U.S. attorney to represent them, and such applications will be deemed abandoned if the Office Action is not addressed within the prescribed six-month response period by a U.S. attorney. <br /><br />All official communications that require a response (e.g., Office Actions) that the USPTO issues with respect to pro se U.S. trademark applications, renewals, or maintenance filings pending or due as of August 3, 2019, regardless of their application or registration basis, will include the requirement to retain services of U.S. counsel. <br /><br />To combat fraud, the USPTO has set up internal auditing policies to detect foreign pro se applicants or registrants who would attempt to get around this rule by using temporary or false U.S. addresses, or by alleging that they are represented by U.S. attorneys whom they have not actually engaged. The USPTO may sanction foreign applicants or registrants who seek to circumvent the rule in this manner by deeming their applications to be abandoned or cancelling their registrations.<br /><br />The USPTO anticipates that this rule change will decrease the amount of fraudulent pro se trademark applications filed by foreign applicants, and will increase the overall quality and integrity of registered U.S. trademarks by ensuring that foreign applicants and registrants have the benefit of the expertise of qualified U.S. attorneys subject to the higher standards of professional care as well as rules of professional ethics and USPTO&rsquo;s disciplinary authority. Although this change may increase the cost of obtaining and maintaining U.S. trademarks for parties who previously acted pro se, the USPTO anticipates that this rule should ultimately benefit all legitimate trademark owners as they will enjoy cost savings on prosecution as well as enforcement proceedings involving fraudulent trademark applications or registrations.<br /><br />Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this issue. We will continue to monitor and report on further developments in this area of the law as they occur.<br /><br />*Anthony F. Lo Cicero and Max Vern are partners, and David P. Goldberg is an associate, at the U.S. law firm Amster, Rothstein &amp; Ebenstein LLP. Their practice specializes in obtaining and enforcing trademarks rights in the U.S. and around the world. They may be reached at <a href="mailto:alocicero@arelaw.com">alocicero@arelaw.com</a>, <a href="mailto:mvern@arelaw.com">mvern@arelaw.com</a>, and <a href="mailto:dgoldberg@arelaw.com">dgoldberg@arelaw.com</a>. Mon, 08 Jul 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/alert07082019/ In The Press: <br>New York Foundation for the Arts Names New Board Chair<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/inthepress07022019/ New York Foundation for the Arts has appointed Marc Jason, senior counsel at Amster, Rothstein &amp; Ebenstein LLP, as chair of its board of trustees. Jason has been a member of NYFA&rsquo;s board since 2013, and he specializes in trademark and copyright litigation. He succeeds Judith K. Brodsky, founding director of Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions, as chair.<br /><br />Full article:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.artnews.com/2019/07/01/breaking-art-industry-news-july-1-2019/" target="_blank">www.artnews.com/2019/07/01/breaking-art-industry-news-july-1-2019/</a> Tue, 02 Jul 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/inthepress07022019/ In The Press:<br>Law360 turns to partner Charles R. Macedo for his insights on patent-eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101 in view of the recent Federal Circuit decision in Cellspin Soft, Inc. v. Fitbit, Inc<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/inthepress06282019/ Law360 turns to partner Charles R. Macedo for his insights on patent-eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101 in view of the recent Federal Circuit decision in Cellspin Soft, Inc. v. Fitbit, Inc.:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;">However, since the Federal Circuit had already held that ineligibility must be proven by clear and convincing evidence, &quot;I think that this is really the natural consequence of Berkheimer,&rdquo; said Charles R. Macedo of Amster Rothstein &amp; Ebenstein LLP.<br />&nbsp;</div><div style="margin-left: 40px;">Potentially more impactful is another part of the decision about the type of evidence from patent owners that is sufficient to defeat a motion to dismiss on eligibility grounds, which &ldquo;to me is a much bigger holding,&rdquo; he said.<br /> ***</div><div style="margin-left: 40px;">What had been happening up to this point, Macedo said, is that those challenging patents have argued that because the patent owner did not write out in the specification that the invention is unconventional or solves specific problems, it is grounds for the patent to be found ineligible. The Federal Circuit's ruling means that if patentees can prove the invention has benefits, that's enough, regardless of whether they are spelled out in the specification, he said.&nbsp;&nbsp;That is &quot;more appropriate place for the law to be,&quot; he said. &quot;There shouldn't be gamesmanship about draftsmanship. The question should be: Is the invention deserving of protection?&quot;&nbsp;&nbsp;As a result of the decision, if the patent owner can put up a good technical explanation of why the claims are unconventional and do not cover an abstract idea, &ldquo;they now have a wider array of evidence that they can rely upon&quot; beyond the language in the specification, he said.</div><div><br />For the full article, please click <a href="/images/file/Fed_%20Circ_%20Ruling%20May%20Mean%20Higher%20Bar%20For%20Alice%20Motions.pdf" target="_blank">here</a>.</div> Fri, 28 Jun 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/inthepress06282019/ In The Press:<br>Law360 Reports on NYIPLA Amicus Brief Submitted to SCOTUS By Firm Regarding USPTO's Controversial Policy of Seeking Attorney Fees<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/inthepress06262019/ Law360 Reports on NYIPLA Amicus Brief Submitted to SCOTUS By Firm Regarding&nbsp;USPTO's Controversial Policy of Seeking Attorney Fees.<br /><br />(June 26, 2019, Law360) Law 360 Reported on amicus brief filing on behalf of NYIPLA by Partner Charles R. Macedo (as counsel of record and Co-Chair of the NYIPLA PTAB Committee) and Associate David Goldberg (as Co-Chair of the NYIPLA Amicus Briefs Committee) in&nbsp;Peter v. Nantkwest Inc.<br /><br />&ldquo;Allowing the [USPTO]&rsquo;s interpretation &hellip; to stand would penalize parties for merely commencing a lawsuit to such a degree that many parties of limited means simply could not have their statutorily granted day in court,&rdquo; said Charles Macedo of Amster Rothstein &amp; Ebenstein LLP, co-chair of the NYIPLA's PTAB committee.<br /><br />For the full article, please click <a href="/images/file/USPTO's%20'Peculiar'%20Fee%20Rule%20Hurts%20Inventors%20IP%20Attys%20Say.pdf" target="_blank">here</a>. Wed, 26 Jun 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/inthepress06262019/ Brief of Amicus Curiae New York Intellectual Property Law Association in Support of Respondent, Peter v. Nantkwest, No. 18-801 (S.Ct. Jun. 26, 2019) http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/amicus06252019/ Click to download PDF:&nbsp; <a href="/images/file/Brief%20of%20Amicus%20Curiae%20New%20York%20Intellectual%20Property%20Law%20Association%20in%20Support%20of%20Respondent,%20Peter%20v_%20Nantkwest,%20No_%2018-801%20(S_Ct_%20Jun_%2026,%202019).pdf" target="_blank">Brief of Amicus Curiae New York Intellectual Property Law Association in Support of Respondent, Peter v. Nantkwest, No. 18-801</a>&nbsp; Tue, 25 Jun 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/amicus06252019/ ARE Trademark Law Alert:<br>SUPREME COURT CONFIRMS THAT IT IS A VIOLATION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH FOR THE US TRADEMARK OFFICE TO REFUSE REGISTRATION TO IMMORAL OR SCANDALOUS MARKS<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/alert06242019/ (June 24, 2019)&nbsp; In its June 24, 2019 decision in <i>Iancu v. Brunetti</i>, the Supreme Court held that the Lanham Act&rsquo;s Section 2(a) prohibition against the registration of &ldquo;immoral&rdquo; or &ldquo;scandalous&rdquo; trademarks violates the First Amendment.&nbsp; This ruling has been widely expected since the Court&rsquo;s 2017 decision in <i>Matal v. Tam</i>, which held that the Lanham Act&rsquo;s similar bar to the registration of &ldquo;disparaging trademarks&rdquo; violated the First Amendment. &nbsp;Unsurprisingly, the Court drew heavily from the <i>Tam</i> decision for its opinion in this matter.<div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In 2011, Erik Brunetti filed a U.S. trademark application for FUCT, the name of his clothing line. &nbsp;Brunetti&rsquo;s application was rejected by the US Patent &amp; Trademark Office (&ldquo;PTO&rdquo;) as being &ldquo;highly offensive&rdquo; and &ldquo;vulgar,&rdquo; and therefore unregistrable under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act. &nbsp;The Examining Attorney&rsquo;s rejection was affirmed by the PTO&rsquo;s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (&ldquo;TTAB&rdquo;). &nbsp;Even though the brand name is &ldquo;the equivalent of [the] past participle form of a well-known word of profanity&rdquo; (<i>see Brunetti</i>,588 U.S. __ (2019), Tr. of Oral Arg. 5) the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned the TTAB&rsquo;s decision, because it found that the Lanham Act&rsquo;s restriction violated the First Amendment.&nbsp; The Supreme Court granted certiorari to review the Federal Circuit&rsquo;s decision, which it affirmed.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The Supreme Court&rsquo;s majority opinion<i>, </i>written by Justice Kagan and joined by Justices Thomas, Ginsburg, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh,noted &ldquo;this Court first considered a First Amendment challenge to a trademark registration restriction in <i>Tam</i>, just two Terms ago.&rdquo; <i>Brunetti</i>,588 U.S. __ (2019) (slip op., at 4). &nbsp;While acknowledging that in <i>Tam, </i>the Court split between two non-majority opinions, all the <i>Tam</i> Justices agreed on two points. First, that trademark registration bars are unconstitutional if they are &ldquo;viewpoint-based,&rdquo; and second, that the bar on &ldquo;disparaging trademarks&rdquo; was viewpoint-based. <i>Id</i>.&nbsp; &ldquo;The Justices thus found common ground in a core postulate of free speech law: The government may not discriminate on speech based on the ideas or opinions it contains.&rdquo; <i>Id. </i></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Having established that the &ldquo;viewpoint-based&rdquo; test is settled law for restrictions on trademark applications, &ldquo;the key question becomes: Is the &lsquo;immoral or scandalous&rsquo; criterion in the Lanham Act viewpoint-neutral or viewpoint-based?&rdquo; <i>Id</i>. at 5.&nbsp; The Court overwhelmingly found that the bar on &ldquo;immoral or scandalous&rdquo; trademarks is &ldquo;viewpoint-based,&rdquo; given the dictionary definition of the terms as well as their use in practice. The Court noted that &ldquo;immoral and scandalous&rdquo; terms are those that defy &ldquo;society&rsquo;s sense of decency or propriety&rdquo; and that &ldquo;the statute on its face, distinguishes between &hellip; those [trademarks] aligned with conventional moral standards and those hostile to them; those including societal nods of approval and those provoking offense and condemnation.&rdquo; <i>Id. </i>at 6. &nbsp;The Court also found that, in practice, the PTO&rsquo;s refusal to register trademarks under the &ldquo;immoral or scandalous&rdquo; standard was based on their <i>message </i>and not their <i>content</i>.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>As an example of the kind of improper message-based discrimination under the &ldquo;immoral or scandalous,&rdquo; standard, the Supreme Court found it improper that the PTO denied registrations for the trademarks YOU CAN&rsquo;T SPELL HEALTHCARE WITHOUT THC (for pain relief medicine) and KO KANE (for a beverage), but granted registrations for D.A.R.E. TO RESIST DRUGS AND VIOLENCE or SAY NO TO DRUGS &ndash; REALITY IS THE BEST TRIP IN LIFE. It would be one thing if <i>all </i>trademarks making references to drugs were barred, but the Court thought it improper that, depending on content, only certain drug references were barred.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In addition to the majority opinion of the Court, four Justices filed separate opinions.&nbsp; Justice Alito filed a concurring opinion in which he agreed with the reasoning of the majority but encouraged Congress to draft &ldquo;a more carefully focused statute that precludes the registration of marks containing vulgar terms.&rdquo; <i>Brunetti</i>,588 U.S. __ (2019) (Alito, J., concurring slip op., at 1).</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Three other Justices, Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Breyer and Sotomayor, filed separate opinions concurring-in-part and dissenting-in-part to express their separate reasons for thinking that, while the bar to registering &ldquo;immoral&rdquo; marks is unconstitutional, the bar to registering &ldquo;scandalous&rdquo; marks can be construed narrowly so as not to violate First Amendment free speech rights.&nbsp; For instance, in Justice Sotomayor&rsquo;s view, scandalous &ldquo;can be read broadly (to cover both offensive ideas and offensive manners of expressing ideas), or it can be read narrowly (to cover only offensive modes of expression).&rdquo; <i>Iancu v. Brunetti</i>, 588 U.S. __ (2019) (Sotomayor, J., concurring/dissenting slip op., at 3). &nbsp;Because &ldquo;scandalous&rdquo; can have both a narrow and a broad meaning, the doctrine of constitutional avoidance dictates that the Court should construe it narrowly. Additionally, Justice Sotomayor cited several other canons of construction to argue that &ldquo;scandalous&rdquo; only covers &ldquo;offensive modes of expression,&rdquo; and took the majority to task for collapsing &ldquo;immoral and scandalous&rdquo; into one phrase, rather than two distinct terms. <i>Id</i>. at 6.<i> &nbsp;</i>In Justice Sotomayor&rsquo;s view, the Court should have held the bar on &ldquo;scandalous&rdquo; trademarks to be constitutional under the First Amendment. <i>Id.</i> at 19.</div> <div><i>&nbsp;</i></div> <div>The Supreme Court&rsquo;s holding in this case is expected to have a large impact on trademark law.&nbsp; Indeed, in her separate opinion, Justice Sotomayor predicted a &ldquo;rush&rdquo; to register offensive trademarks following this decision. <i>Id</i>. at 1. &nbsp;However, the Court explicitly left open the possibility that Congress may in the future consider passing a more narrowly tailored law to bar trademarking obscenities and other offensive content that would pass constitutional muster.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>We will continue to monitor the law in this area and publish further alerts as developments occur.&nbsp; In the meantime, please feel free to contact our attorneys if you have any questions regarding this alert.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> *Anthony F. Lo Cicero and Charles R. Macedo are partners, David P. Goldberg is an associate, and Barak Bacharach is a Summer Associate at Amster, Rothstein &amp; Ebenstein LLP. Their practice specializes in intellectual property issues. They may be reached at <a href="mailto:alocicero@arelaw.com">alocicero@arelaw.com</a>, <a href="mailto:cmacedo@arelaw.com">cmacedo@arelaw.com</a>, <a href="mailto:dgoldberg@arelaw.com">dgoldberg@arelaw.com</a>, and <a href="mailto:bbacharach@arelaw.com">bbacharach@arelaw.com</a>.<br /> Mon, 24 Jun 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/alert06242019/ ARE Patent Law Alert:<br>SUPREME COURT HOLDS THAT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT IS NOT A “PERSON” CAPABLE OF PETITIONING FOR INSTITUTION OF AIA REVIEW PROCEEDINGS<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/alert06102019/ Messrs. Macedo and Goldberg represented amicus curiae New York Intellectual Property Law Association in this case at the Supreme Court.Messrs. Macedo and Goldberg represented amicus curiae New York Intellectual Property Law Association in this case at the Supreme Court.S. Supreme Court delivered an opinion in <i>Return Mail, Inc. v. United States Postal Service</i>, No. 17-1594, slip op. (U.S. June 10, 2019), addressing the question of whether the government is a &ldquo;person&rdquo; who may petition to institute review proceedings under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (&ldquo;AIA&rdquo;).&nbsp; In a 6-3 decision, the Court held that the U.S. Government is not a &ldquo;person&rdquo; capable of petitioning for institution of AIA review proceedings. &nbsp;Slip op. at 17-18.<br /><br /><div style="margin-bottom:12.0pt">In the proceedings below, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (&ldquo;PTAB&rdquo;) issued a final written decision in a Covered Business Method patent review (&ldquo;CBM&rdquo;) proceeding brought by the U.S. Postal Service (&ldquo;Postal Service&rdquo;) as a petitioner, invalidating certain claims of a patent owned (and asserted in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims) by Return Mail, Inc.&nbsp; USPS is a &ldquo;government entity&rdquo; as recognized in <i>United States Postal Serv. v. Flamingo Indus. (USA) Ltd.</i>, 540 U.S. 736, 748 (2004). &nbsp;The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (&ldquo;Federal Circuit&rdquo;) affirmed the PTAB&rsquo;s holding that the Postal Service has standing to file a petition to institute a CBM proceeding.&nbsp; The U.S. Supreme Court then granted Return Mail&rsquo;s petition for a writ of certiorari on the question of whether the government is a &ldquo;person&rdquo; who may petition to institute review proceedings under the AIA.</div> <div>The New York Intellectual Property Law Association (&ldquo;NYIPLA&rdquo;), represented by Amster, Rothstein &amp; Ebenstein, LLP and others submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of neither party. While the NYIPLA took no position as to the ultimate merits of Petitioner Return Mail&rsquo;s underlying position, i.e., whether the government is a &ldquo;person&rdquo; who may petition to institute a CBM proceeding under AIA &sect; 18(a)(1)(B), the NYIPLA argued that it strongly believes that the Court should carefully consider the potential implications of interpreting &ldquo;person&rdquo; in Title 35 of the U.S. Code (&ldquo;Patent Act&rdquo;) and the AIA as including or excluding the government generally, and then issue only a narrow holding on the scope of &ldquo;person&rdquo; under AIA &sect; 18(a)(1)(B) and, if at all, under 35 U.S.C. &sect;&sect; 311(a) and 321(a). (See Brief for Amicus Curiae NYIPLA in Support of Neither Party, Return Mail, Inc. v. United States Postal Service et al., No. 17-1594, (U.S. Dec. 17, 2018) (<a href="https://www.arelaw.com/images/file/17-1594%20ac%20NY%20Intellectual%20Property%20Law%20Association.pdf" target="_blank">https://www.arelaw.com/images/file/17-1594%20ac%20NY%20Intellectual%20Property%20Law%20Association.pdf</a>)).<br />&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin-bottom:12.0pt">Justice Sotomayor (joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh) wrote the majority opinion of the Court.&nbsp; Justice Sotomayor&rsquo;s opinion notes that the relevant patent statutes do not define the term &ldquo;person,&rdquo; thus weighing in favor of a long-standing presumption against including the sovereign within that term in a way that reflects the term&rsquo;s common usage. &nbsp;Slip op. at 6-7.&nbsp; The opinion points out that courts have used the definition of &ldquo;person&rdquo; that is laid out by the Dictionary Act, unless the context indicates otherwise, and that the definition of &ldquo;person&rdquo; includes many entities but not the federal government.<i>&nbsp; Id. </i>at 7-9.</div> <div style="margin-bottom:12.0pt">The majority also addressed the Postal Service&rsquo;s arguments that the context of the AIA itself indicates intent to include the government as a &ldquo;person.&rdquo; &nbsp;The Postal Service argued that the AIA&rsquo;s reference to a &ldquo;person&rdquo; in the context of post-issuance review proceedings must include the government because other references to persons in the patent statutes appear to do so. &nbsp;<i>Id.</i> at 9-10.&nbsp; While the majority opinion noted that words used by Congress in one part of a statute often have the same meaning elsewhere in the same statute, there are at least 18 references to &ldquo;person&rdquo; throughout the Patent Act with no clear trend shown.&nbsp; Some of the references include the government, others exclude the government, and others could be read either way.&nbsp; <i>Id.</i> at 10.</div> <div style="margin-bottom:12.0pt">The Postal Service cited to 35 U.S.C. &sect; 207(a)(1), which authorizes federal agencies to obtain patents, as a sufficient contextual clue that &ldquo;person&rdquo; as is referred to within the statute governing the patent application process must include federal agencies. &nbsp;<i>Id. </i>at 10.&nbsp; However, Justice Sotomayor wrote that Section 207 &ldquo;implies nothing about what a federal agency may or may not do following the issuance of someone else&rsquo;s patent.&rdquo; <i>Id.</i> at 11.</div> <div style="margin-bottom:12.0pt">The Postal Service then pointed to the USPTO&rsquo;s Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP).&nbsp; <i>Id. </i>at 13.&nbsp; Specifically, the MPEP has considered federal agencies to be &ldquo;persons&rdquo; capable of requesting<i> ex parte</i> reexamination at USPTO since 1981. &nbsp;<i>Id.</i>&nbsp; However, the Court&rsquo;s majority held that this has no direct relevance on the case here because an <i>ex parte</i> reexamination, a proceeding handled internally within the USPTO, and AIA validity trials, which are adversarial, adjudicatory proceedings handled between parties, are meaningfully different. <i>Id.</i> at 14-15.</div> <div style="margin-bottom:12.0pt">Finally, the Postal Service argued that it must be a &ldquo;person&rdquo; who may petition for AIA review proceedings because, like other potential infringers, it is subject to civil liability and can assert a defense of patent invalidity. &nbsp;<i>Id.</i> at 15-16.&nbsp; However, the Court noted that &ldquo;the Postal Service overstates the asymmetry.&rdquo; &nbsp;<i>Id.</i> at 15.&nbsp; Non-governmental actors might face injunctions, a jury trial, or punitive damages for their infringement while government agencies only have to provide &ldquo;reasonable and entire compensation.&rdquo; &nbsp;<i>Id.</i> at 16.&nbsp; The majority held that &ldquo;[b]ecause federal agencies face lower risks, it is reasonable for Congress to have treated them differently.&rdquo;&nbsp; <i>Id.</i>&nbsp; Furthermore, excluding federal agencies from AIA review avoids the &ldquo;awkward situation&rdquo; that would follow if a civilian patent owner had to face a validity challenge from a federal agency in a proceeding overseen by a different federal agency.&nbsp; <i>Id.</i> at 17.</div> <div style="margin-bottom:12.0pt">In a separate opinion, Justice Breyer (joined by Justices Ginsburg and Kagan) dissented the Court&rsquo;s majority opinion.&nbsp; <i>Return Mail, Inc. v. United States Postal Service</i>, No. 17-1594, slip op. (U.S. June 10, 2019) (Breyer, J., dissenting). &nbsp;The dissent argued that the factors regarding congressional intent on the definition of &ldquo;person&rdquo; weighed against the Court&rsquo;s traditional presumption excluding the sovereign from that definition. &nbsp;Justice Breyer agreed with the Postal Service that Section 207(a)(1)&rsquo;s authorization of federal agencies to obtain patents led to &ldquo;no dispute&rdquo; that the word &ldquo;person&rdquo; in the patent-eligibility provisions must include the government.&nbsp; <i>Id. </i>at 3.</div> <div style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;">We expect that related issues will likely arise soon, and will continue to monitor the PTAB, Federal Circuit, and Supreme Court for the latest developments in the interpretation of the AIA.&nbsp; In the meantime, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our lawyers.</span></div> <div style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;">&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;">*Charles R. Macedo is a Partner, and&nbsp;</span>David P. Goldberg and Christopher Lisiewski<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;"> are Associates at Amster Rothstein &amp; Ebenstein LLP. Their practice specializes in intellectual property issues, including litigating patent, trademark and other intellectual property disputes. </span>The authors may be reached at cmacedo@arelaw.com, dgoldberg@arelaw.com, and clisiewski@arelaw.com.<br /><span style="font-size:12.0pt;Times New Roman"><br /></span>Messrs. Macedo and Goldberg represented amicus curiae New York Intellectual Property Law Association in this case at the Supreme Court.</div> Mon, 10 Jun 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/alert06102019/ AR&E TRADEMARK LAW ALERT: SUPREME COURT HOLDS TRADEMARK LICENSE CANNOT BE RESCINDED IN BANKRUPTCY IN MISSION PRODUCT HOLDINGS INC. V. TEMPNOLOGY, LLC http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/alert05222019/ <span style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><span id="1558625635057S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="1558625634921S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="1558625635138S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="1558625634397S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; (May 22, 2019), On May 20, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court strengthened trademark licenses by holding that a bankrupt debtor&rsquo;s right to reject certain contracts under Section 365(a) of the Bankruptcy Code does not permit the debtor to rescind trademark licenses. <em>See Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC</em>, 587 U.S. __ (2019).&nbsp;</span><div style="text-indent:.5in">&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-indent:.5in">The Court ruled in favor of trademark licensee Mission Product Holdings Inc., which had a license from clothing designer Tempnology. When Tempnology filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it sought to rescind its license to Mission.&nbsp; Mission objected under Section 365(n) of the Bankruptcy Code, which stated that a &ldquo;licensee of a right to intellectual property&rdquo; could choose to retain its licensed rights, so long as it was not in breach (e.g., paying its Royalty obligations). Tempnology argued that &ldquo;intellectual property&rdquo; was defined in the Bankruptcy Code to include trade secrets, patents, and copyrights, but it did not include &ldquo;trademarks.&rdquo;&nbsp; The Bankruptcy Court ruled with Tempnology, and extinguished the license. <i>In re Tempnology, LLC</i>, 541 B.R. 1 (Bankr. D.N.H. 2015).</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel reversed the decision relying on the decision in <i>Sunbeam Products, Inc. </i>v. <i>Chicago A. Mfg., LLC</i>, 686 F. 3d 372, 376&ndash;377 (7th Cir. 2012). The Panel focused heavily on the statement in Section 365(g) that rejection of a contract &ldquo;constitutes a breach.&rdquo; Therefore, while a rejection converts a debtor&rsquo;s unfulfilled obligations to a pre-petition damages claim, it does not terminate the contract or extinguish the licensee&rsquo;s rights. <i>Mission Products Holdings, Inc. </i>v. <i>Tempnology, LLC</i>, 589 B.R. 809 (B.A.P. 1st Cir. 2016).</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit then rejected the Appellate Panel&rsquo;s view, and reinstated the lower court decision, reasoning that the trademark owner&rsquo;s inability to monitor and exercise quality control over goods associated with the mark jeopardizes the continued validity of its own rights. <i>Mission Products Holdings, Inc. </i>v. <i>Tempnology, LLC</i>, 879 F.3d 389 (1st Cir. 2018).</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The Supreme Court granted certiorari to address the question of whether a rejection has the same consequences as a contract breach, or if the rejection terminates the entire agreement, effectively rescinding the contract altogether. The Supreme Court took the former view and reversed the First Circuit, agreeing with the Seventh Circuit&rsquo;s rejection-as-breach approach. The decision effectively gives each party distinct options, similar to those in typical breach of contract cases. The debtor-licensor, upon filing for bankruptcy, may choose to continue its contracts or reject its obligations, repudiating any further performance of its duties. The licensee may keep up its side of the agreement, continuing to pay for the use of the trademark while also having the opportunity to seek damages for the breach. The licensee may also choose to walk away from the agreement and sue for the resulting damages. The termination of the trademark license is entirely at the hands of the licensee. <i>Mission Product Holdings, Inc.</i> v. <i>Tempnology, LLC</i>, 587 U.S. __ (2019).&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-indent:.5in">The Court explained that the rejection-as-breach rule ensures that a debtor is subject to its counterparty&rsquo;s contractual rights even after the bankruptcy petition is filed. The rule prevents a debtor in bankruptcy from recapturing interests it had given up through contract. In its rejection of Tempnology&rsquo;s argument that trademarks were specifically left out of Section 365, the Court pointed out that Congress has enacted the provisions in that section when needed to enforce or clarify the general rule that contractual rights survive rejection. For example, following the Fourth Circuit&rsquo;s decision in <i>Lubrizol Enterprises </i>v. <i>Richmond Metal Finishers</i>, 756 F. 2d 1043 (1985)to adopt the same rule for patent licenses that the First Circuit erroneously applied in this case, Congress sprang into action to enact Section 365(n). This section reversed <i>Lubrizol</i> and ensured the continuation of patent licensees&rsquo; rights.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Ultimately, the Court declined to distinguish trademarks from other types of intellectual property licenses covered under Section 365. &nbsp;The implications for trademark law are significant.&nbsp; Parties contemplating reliance on a licensed mark for building a business will now have more comfort that their rights will not be pulled by an unexpected bankruptcy by the licensor.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; However the Court left certain important questions unanswered though, which may be presented in future cases.&nbsp; For example, if the bankrupt licensor no longer provides actual control over the nature and the quality of the use by the licensee, the Court did not address whether the result may invalidate the trademark under the rules against &ldquo;naked licensing.&rdquo;&nbsp; Future trademark licenses should include detailed provisions attempting to address issues such as this.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We will continue to follow developments in the law of trademark licensing as it applies to bankruptcy. In the meantime, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our lawyers.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> * Mr. Rothstein is a partner and Mr. Garrity is a Law Clerk at Amster, Rothstein &amp; Ebenstein LLP. They be reached at crothstein@arelaw.com and dgarrity@arelaw.com.<br /> Wed, 22 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/alert05222019/ Brief of Amicus Curiae NYIPLA in Support of Petitioner http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/amicus05162019/ <a href="https://www.nyipla.org/NewsBot.asp?MODE=VIEW&amp;ID=27902" target="_blank">NYIPLA Urges Supreme Court to Clarify the Definition of &ldquo;Expenses&rdquo; in Lanham Act</a>.<br /><br />On Thursday, May 16, 2019, the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (&ldquo;NYIPLA&rdquo;) filed an amicus brief in support of a petition for a writ of certiorari by Booking.com B.V. urging the Supreme Court to decide whether a trademark applicant must pay the United States Patent and Trademark Office&rsquo;s (&ldquo;PTO&rdquo;) attorneys&rsquo; fees as &ldquo;expenses in United States district court appeals pursuant to 15 U.S.C. &sect; 1071 (b)(3). The NYIPLA takes the position that the Supreme Court should grant certiorari in this case and consolidate it with Peter v. Nantkwest, No. 18-801 under Rules of the Supreme Court 27. <br /> <br />In support, the NYIPLA argued that Booking.com raises the same issue as NantKwest, but challenges the statutory definition of &ldquo;expenses&rdquo; for the Trademark Act (15 U.S.C.) instead of the Patent Act (35 U.S.C.) [&hellip;]<br /><br />Click to download pdf:&nbsp;<a href="/images/file/18-1309%20Motion%20For%20Leave%20To%20File%20Amicus%20Curiae%20Brief%20and%20Brief%20of%20New%20York%20Intellectual%20Property%20Law%20Association%20As%20Amicus%20Curiae%20In%20Support%20of%20Petitioner.pdf" target="_blank">Motion For Leave To File Amicus Curiae Brief and Brief of New York Intellectual Property Law Association As Amicus Curiae In Support of Petitioner</a><br type="_moz" /> Thu, 16 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/amicus05162019/ Iancu v. NantKwest, Inc.<br>USPTO Expenses And Attorneys’ Fees Under Section 145<br> http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/05022019presentation/ <a href="/images/file/2019%20JPPCLE%20-%20Presentation.pdf" target="_blank">USPTO Expenses And Attorneys&rsquo; Fees Under Section 145</a> Thu, 02 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.arelaw.com/publications/view/05022019presentation/