Spread Some LOVE . . . Or Not

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Today, May 1, is Global Love Day.  To commemorate the day, we spotlight ”love,” specifically the trademark registrations and copyright applications for LOVE.  Registrant At World Properties, LLC, a real estate brokerage company based in Chicago, Illinois, registered two marks with the USPTO, one each stylized trademark and service mark for LOVE®.   The first …

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Dark Horse No Joyful Noise to Ears of 9th Circuit

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On March 10, 2022, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held in Gray v. Hudson,[1] that an eight-note ostinato allegedly copied by defendants lacked originality to warrant copyright protection, affirming a district court ruling. Plaintiffs Marcus Gray (aka Flame), Emanuel Lambert, and Chilke Ojukwu form the three-member Christian hip-hop group known as Joyful …

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Ukrpatent Is, Amazingly, Still Operating

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As news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine happened last week, the Ukraine State Intellectual Property Institute, or Ukrpatent, announced that it is, in fact, still operating on full-time “providing all the necessary functions and continuous operation of the state system of legal protection of intellectual property.” The Ukrpatent office is located in downtown Kyiv, …

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In U.S., Only Humans Can Be Inventors or Creators

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In the U.S., patents are issued to inventors and copyrights are registered to authors. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been gaining traction in automation of business processes, creating more efficient applications, and gathering of data analysis. However, as seen with the recent U.S. Copyright Office’s recent Copyright Review Board’s (CRB) decision demonstrates that under U.S. copyright …

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Senator Requests Study on Uniting Federal IP Offices Into Single Office

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U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) has requested the Administrative Conference of the United States, the federal agency tasked with making federal functions more efficient, to conduct a study into the feasibility of having a unified, singular federal office devoted to intellectual property, combining the registration and prosecution functions currently handled by both the United States …

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Presidential Inauguration Day

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This is something trivial, but important to the daily IP practice.  Consistent with 5 U.S.C. §6103(c), which deems “January 20 of each fourth year after 1965, Inauguration Day, is a legal public holiday . . . . ,” the USPTO is closed.  The Copyright Office is also closed for the presidential inauguration.  Any deadlines that …

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Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021

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On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the annual defense spending bill, was signed into law.  Focused on COVID-19 relief and funding the federal government operations, there are also several IP-related authorizations approved in the bill itself. First, the Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act) creates a …

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Arguing Takings of IP Rights is, Sadly, a Losing Proposition

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The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment states that private property “shall not be taken for public use, without just compensation.”[1]  Intellectual property rights – patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other IP – have long been considered property rights.  This belief, however, has been tested by the Supreme Court’s reluctance to specifically define IP as a …

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Collecting Royalties Indicative of Authorship, not Work for Hire

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On August 21, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in an interesting example of what is deemed “work for hire,” as defined by the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §201(b), in Morricone Music Inc. v. Bixio Music Group Ltd..[1] Ennio Morricone is the late Italian composer of several musical film scores, which …

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Constitution Day

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Today is Constitution Day.  On this day, September 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed thirty-nine Founding Fathers, ushering the birth of the United States.  Several clauses in the Constitution have direct import to intellectual property.  Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 is the Patent and Copyright Clause, which is the basis of U.S. patent …

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