In late 2013 we wrote about a trademark dispute between the Hershey Company and Mars Inc. over whether Mars had trademark rights in the cross-section of its Snickers candy bar. Hershey opposed the mark on grounds that it was merely descriptive, de jure functional, generic, and failed to function as a trademark. The cross-section of […]

Have you ever had a great idea for an existing product? Were you dying to approach the manufacturer to suggest it? Do you think that the manufacturer would even listen to you? David Lazarus, an LA Times reporter, recently wrote about this subject.  Mr. Lazarus recounts the experience of a Dr. Ron Aryel, who approached […]

Now we know.  On December 22 the PTO experienced what it called a ‘catastrophic failure’ of the electronic patent and trademark filing and data systems due to a power outage.  The PTO technology staff worked through the Christmas holiday, and this writer can testify that the system was back up and receiving patent filings by […]

The Federal Trade Commission both announced charges of deception against Oracle and that those claims have been settled.  The claims relate to misleading statements made by Oracle relating to security vulnerabilities of the Java software.  Java is installed on 850 million personal computers, including yours.  Oracle represented to consumers that updates to the Java product corrected security […]

Most parties to litigation have to pay their own attorneys’ fees.   The patent statute includes an exception – in “exceptional” circumstances, the successful party in patent infringement litigation can collect attorneys’ fees from the losing party. Not every losing litigant is liable for the other party’s fees.  The reasonableness of the party’s litigation position and the unreasonableness […]