Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

USPTO willing to accommodate relief those affected by the events in Japan

  • David Kappos issued a statement on March 17th stating that the “USPTO considers the events in Japan on March 11th to be an extraordinary situation within the meaning of 37 CFR 1.183 and 37 CFR 2.146 for affected applicants, patentees, reexamination parties, and trademark owners.” What this means is that the USPTO can and will grant some waivers and extensions to applications and patents having 1 or more inventors, an assignee, or a correspondence address in areas of Japan affected by earthquake or tsunami. While the USPTO can grant some waivers and extensions, others cannot be granted by statute. For example, the USPTO cannot grant an extension for the 3 month time period to pay the issue fee set forth in 35 USC. Kappos listed 5 other situation that no waiver or extension can be given. [Link]

MasterObjects sues Google and Amazon for patent infringement

  • MasterObjects has filed suit against Google and Amazon for infringing patent # 7,752,326, which was issued in July 2010. Patent 326 “supposedly” claims technology that presents possible complete search terms as users’ type characters into the search bar. Amazon first used this technology in 2008 with the introduction of what they called “search suggestions”. Google started using the technology in 2010 with the introduction of “Google Instant”. [Amazon Complaint]

Chrysler sues over trademark

  • Chrysler is suing several businesses in Detroit for making shirts with the slogan “Imported From Detroit”. The USPTO’s website indicates that Chrysler submitted in application on February 8th for the mark to be used in retail and on-line retail stores featuring a wide range of merchandise, like clothing. However, Chrysler also submitted an application on January 18th to use the mark on clothing. Chrysler claims the businesses started using the mark after the Superbowl aired on February 6th, in which Chrysler 1st used the mark in a commercial. [Link]

Patent Jobs:

  • Rosenbaum & Silvert is looking for a patent attorney or agent with 3 years experience for their Chicago office. [Link]
  • Harness, Dickey, & Pierce is searching for an experienced patent attorney with an electrical engineering background to work in their St. Louis office. [Link]
  • Edell, Shapiro & Finnan is seeking a patent attorney with experience in the mechanical arts. [Link]
  • Perkins Coie is searching for a patent attorney or agent with 2-4 years experience to work at their Denver location. [Link]

Upcoming Events:

  • The Franklin Pierce Center for IP at the University of New Hampshire will hold its 1st Annual Intellectual Property Café on March 26th. Guest speakers include Gordon Smith, Kirsten Koespel, Peter McGovern, and Dr. Catherine McGovern. [Link]
  • The John Marshall Law School Center for Intellectual Property Law Distinguished Professor Presentation will be held on April 1st. The Presentation entitled, “Patent Litigation and the Internet” will be given by Professor John Allison. [Link]
  • Seton Hall Law will host a seminar, examining the state of intellectual property practice in challenging economic times on April 6th. Guest speakers include David Opderbeck, Colleen Tracy, and Frank Bruno. [Link]

10 thoughts on “Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

  1. I’m baffled by this, too. Chrysler does not, as far as I know, produce clothing. Therefore there would be no consumer confusion that a t-shirt with “Imported from Detroit” was made by Chrysler when it, it fact, was not.

    The mark applies to what Chrysler produces — gas-guzzling cars, mostly. In order to infringe that mark, the mark must be on another manufacturer’s cars.

    The problem Chrysler has is that it’s registration application 85237193 for Imported From Detroit lists wares as key chains, paper, toys, playthings, on and on. If Chrysler does not actually produce those wares, then the application is fraudulent.

    Microsoft does the same thing. MS claims, et alia, key chains and bottle openers under the Microsoft mark.

    Chrysler may raise a dilution issue with the Imported from Detroit mark, but I believe dilution would not hold up since the mark is new. The dilution would apply to “Chrysler” but not to the new mark.

    Caveat: like you I’m not a TM guy, per se.

  2. “After a 10-year struggle, the USPTO was convinced to issue Google a patent Tuesday for Systems and Methods for Enticing Users to Access a Web Site, aka Google Doodles. Among other things, Google explains that the invention of co-founder Sergey Brin covers modifying a company logo with ‘a turkey for Thanksgiving’ and ‘a leprechaun’s pot of gold for Saint Patrick’s Day.’ To help drive home its point, Google included an illustration showing the USPTO that hearts could be displayed on the Google home page for Valentine’s, which would be deja-vu-all-over-again for the 394 lovers who used the UIUC PLATO system on Feb. 14th, 1975.”

  3. Chrysler plans to overcome its problems with geographically descriptive uses and geographically deceptively misdescriptive uses of the mark “Imported from Detroit” how?

    That clothing is virtually certainly not “Imported from Detroit.” Imported from Vietnam, maybe…

  4. It is time to unleash the applications that have not seen the light of day.

    It would be more humane and better for society if they were simply put to sleep.

  5. there is PTA of 954 days (with the big assumption that the Office calculated that correctly).

    And yet, it took some examiner 954 extra days to miss the allegedly extant applications of “term completion” technology?

    Nothing screams “Registration System” more loudly than the waste of resources even bothering examining if this is a typical result.

    Let those who want to fight it out do so in court where they can spend the resources. Let the other 98% of patent owners have their patents indays – not nearly three years beyond the already lengthy promised date.

    It is time to unleash the applications that have not seen the light of day.

  6. the ’326 patent file date be 10/5/2005 with possible priority back to 10/28/2004 – some four years before your Amazon listed date (and ’326 further made public with a publication date of 4/6/2006).

    As I recall, other applications (e.g., Microsoft Word) were using “term completion” technology well before these dates. I have no idea why completing a “search” term would be considered different from suggesting a complete word in any other context. I’m not ready for a laugh today, so I won’t bother looking up the inventive “solution” to the problem of suggesting search terms that is provided in the claims.

  7. Not commenting on the strength of the patent (Sunshine, pull your knickers out), but Larry H, it might help to have the file date as well as the issue date if ya gonna throw other “use” dates outs there for comparison.

    Since I be such a swell guy, the ’326 patent file date be 10/5/2005 with possible priority back to 10/28/2004 – some four years before your Amazon listed date (and ’326 further made public with a publication date of 4/6/2006).

    The other thing of note here is that even though there is a terminal disclaimer, there is PTA of 954 days (with the big assumption that the Office calculated that correctly).

  8. I always love finding out about New Things the Office is Now Doing from Patently-O first, rather than from the Office itself.

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