The United States Copyright Office (“Copyright Office”) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) have taken steps to follow the CDC recommendations for slow the spread of COVID-19.
As (hopefully) most of the country practices social distancing and extra conscientious hygiene techniques, somewhat less than most of the country may be curious about what this Coronavirus could possibly have to do with trademarks.
On February 15, 2020, the PTO’s new examination guide will go into effect in accordance with new rule changes. In this post, we highlight two of the changes described in the guide that may have more of an impact on brand owners, namely, those pertaining to new email address and specimen requirements.
We have previously blogged about the intersection between patents and trademarks. In that post, we noted that if certain features are protected by a utility patent, that is strong evidence those features are functional and therefore ineligible for trade dress protection. But the content of patents can affect whether trademark protection is available in other ways as well.
Earlier this week, in Peter v. Nantkwest, Inc., Case No. 18-801 the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “PTO”) cannot recover the salaries of its legal personnel as expenses under Section 145 of the Patent Act.