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U.S. companies and the intellectual property bar have ignored the importance of trade secret assets and continue to view them as second-tier intellectual property. The reality is that trade secret assets will become a major economic driver in the United States, and their protection is in the national economic and security interests of the United States.
The Honorable Gerard F. Rogers began his public service career with the USPTO and today is chief administrative law judge for the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. He discusses a variety of topics including the changing landscape of the Board, current initiatives, and the advantages of practicing before the Board.
Copyright law protects the expression of an idea, but not the idea itself, leaving it difficult to determine whether building plans are entitled to copyright protection. Courts, however, have wrestled with copyright claims on these works and few have been willing to tackle the arguments about ideas and expressions.
Intellectual property licenses have become indispensable parts of most businesses, and the bankruptcy of a licensor can be a daunting prospect for a licensee. The rights of licensees have been dramatically affected by the holdings in Sunbeam and Lubrizol and by Congress’s attempt to temper Lubrizol with the passage of § 365(n).
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California recently faced the issue of privacy and public expression in the context of a right of publicity case involving the estate of Albert Einstein. Author Gan reviews the decision in conjunction with the postmortem right of publicity.
The decision in eBay v. MercExchange changed the rules for awarding injunctions in patent litigation, requiring patent holders to satisfy the same four-part test used to assess nonpatent requests for an injunction. Since eBay, many of the district courts’ focuses have been on whether a patent holder will suffer irreparable harm.
The ITC recently increased the attention it gives to the statutory public interest concerns it must address before issuing a remedy, and altered its rules to allow more public interest fact-finding. This article examines the changing practice before the ITC and the increasing role of third parties and the public interest in ITC remedies.
The litigation of intellectual property cases involves excessive costs and extended time frames and leads to unpredictable results. The use of mediation over litigation in resolving disputes involving copyright and other intellectual property is encouraged in light of the many advantages that mediation offers.
The decisions in Lexmark and Fresenius II are discussed.
The Section chair discusses the ABA-IPL’s mission to advocate practical and productive action.
“Reverse-payment” license agreements may no longer enjoy antitrust immunity, but they are far from dead.
The column provides highlights of recent trademark, copyright, trade secret, and patent cases.
Recent IP developments from around the globe are discussed.