- PTO Funding Emergency: Andrew Noyes reports on an emergency funding bill for the PTO that would allow the agency to use surplus funds from its trademark budget to fund the growing shortfall on the patent side. Link. The current trademark budget surplus is estimated at $60 million. [Diane Bartz’s Reuters article on the same topic]
- John Duffy: Michael Orey of BusinessWeek has published an article recognizing the ongoing contributions of Professor Duffy: A Scholar-Activist Challenges U.S. Patent Law.
- Todd Dickinson: Joff Wild of IAM recently interviewed former PTO Director Todd Dickinson and posted the 9 minute video on YouTube. [Watch the Video][IAM Blog]. Dickinson walks through the three major priorities for the next director: Priority I: Reestablish the stakeholder relationship with the PTO; Priority II: Pendency & backlog (in the shadow of the financial shortfall); Priority III: Quality.
- False Marking: PUBPAT continues its campaign against false marking. Earlier, I reported on its false marking lawsuits against Cumberland (Sweet’N Low) and Iovate (Xenadrine). Last week, the nonprofit filed a false marking suit against McNeil (Tylenol) and filed an amici brief in Pequignot v. Solo Cup. In that brief, PUBPAT argues that damages should be based on “each falsely marked article.” The brief also spells out some of the harms of falsely marked products:
“The reason why companies mark and advertise their products as patented is because they expect doing so will provide them some benefit in the marketplace, such as by winning over consumers, building a superior brand associated with innovativeness, implying that their product has been reviewed and approved by the federal government, or implicitly threatening actual or potential competitors with allegations of patent infringement. Thus, when products are falsely marked or advertised as “patented” or with the numbers of expired, invalid, or inapplicable patents, such false marking provides these potential benefits to the false marker/advertiser without any commensurate justification and, as such, creates the potential to negatively impact the marketplace, the public interests, and the integrity of the patent system.”
- File Attachment: SoloAmiciBrief.pdf (1100 KB)
- File Attachment: PUBPAT v McNeil – Complaint.pdf (321 KB)