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  • Posts by Brian Chellgren, Ph.D.
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    Brian is an attorney in the firm's Lexington office, a member of the firm's Corporate Services Department, and Chair of the Intellectual Property Practice Group. A registered patent attorney with degrees in molecular biology ...

A federal court in California recently rejected a motion by the San Diego Comic Convention and will hear whether the mark COMIC-CON is generic. 

Background

The San Diego Comic Convention (“SDCC”), a non-profit corporation, has been celebrating comic art, books, and other aspects of popular culture in San Diego since 1970.  The organization’s eponymous “Comic-Con” convention has grown in popularity with attendance exceeding over 135,000 attendees in 2016.   SDCC applied for and obtained a federal trademark registration for the mark COMIC-CON in connection with “education and entertainment services, namely, organizing and conducting conventions in the fields of animation, comic books and popular art.”  However, while SDCC may be the largest gathering of comic fans, it is not the first and certainly not the only entity using the phrase “Comic Con.”

A federal court in New York recently ruled that Costco Wholesale Corp. (“Costco”) owes Tiffany & Co. approximately $19.4 million dollars for selling diamond rings falsely advertised as “Tiffany” rings.

Cosplay is a performance art in which participants wear, and often create, costumes representing characters from comic books, cartoons, games, television shows, movies or other media. The word “cosplay” is a contraction of the words “costume play.” A clarification of copyright law could potentially create obstacles to cosplay, depending on an upcoming decision of the Supreme Court in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. et al. 

A federal court in Texas recently ruled that the structure and game play of a card game are not protected by copyright law in DaVinci Editrice S.r.l vs. Ziko Games, LLC et al. 

Emojis are small symbols, often smiley faces, used in electronic messages and web pages. Emojis are distinguished from emoticons, which are pictorial representations made using punctuation marks, numbers and letters, such as :) or :-(.   

Posted in General

I am a member of the Leadership Lexington Class of 2015-16, a leadership development program based in Lexington, Kentucky. Each year, participants are asked to design and submit ideas for community service or charitable projects. The class members then vote on the projects they feel are most worthy, and the top four selected projects move forward for implementation during the course ...

A recent decision of the Supreme Court creates broader effect for decisions of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”), suggesting that parties may expend greater effort and expense in opposition and cancellation actions before the TTAB.

The TTAB, part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, provides an administrative venue for resolving disputes regarding the ...

Since the Supreme Court’s Myriad decision of 2013 (see Ass’n. for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 2107), inventors and patent owners have struggled with trying to protect inventions that were suddenly declared patent-ineligible laws of nature or natural phenomena. On Dec. 16, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) formally ...

There has been growing concern in Congress and the White House regarding patent licensing and patent litigation tactics utilized by patent trolls. The term “patent troll” generally refers to non-academic entities enforcing patents that they own, but do not put into practice. The House of Representatives recently approved the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309), aimed at curbing ...

A recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit exemplifies the continuing lack of clarity regarding what constitutes patent-eligible subject matter.

 

U.S. patent law, specifically 35 U.S.C. § 101, states that a patent may be obtained for “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement ...

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