Tuesday, July 27, 2010

USPTO Extends Deadline to be Included in 2010 Trademark Expo

The US Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") has extended the deadline to file to have a trademark registration exhibited in the 2010 National Trademark Expo until August 16, 2010.

The Expo will include themed displays, exhibitors’ booths, costumed characters and much more. Exhibit themes may include, but are not limited to, celebrity trademarks, trademarks identifying products often subject to counterfeit, unusual trademarks (sound, scent, color, configurations, motion marks, etc.), certification trademarks, trademarks commonly misused as a generic term, the breadth of different types of trademarks used by one source, the evolution of certain trademarks, people behind the names of trademarks, 100-year-old trademarks, and interesting stories about trademarks and their creation.

All client trademark owners are encouraged to apply for the expo.  A link to the free application form is located here.http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/notices/tm_expo_2010.jsp

Contact us if you would like any additional information about the expo at 1-877-445-5440 or on the web.

US Copyright Office Approves "Jailbreaking" Wireless Handsets

Under 17 USC Section 1201(a)(1), the Librarian of Congress is required every three years to determine whether there are any classes of works that are exempted from the prohibition against circumvention of technology that effectively controls access to a copyrighted work.  This provision is part of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act ("DMCA").

On July 26, 2010 the Librarian of Congress announced that among the six classes of exempted works, one includes:

"Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network."

This exemption is important and may significantly effect wireless telephones such as iPhone, which attempt to restrict users' iPhone or iPad access exclusively to the Apple App Store. 

Although not easily done, "cracking", or "jailbreaking" a wireless phone can be done by a determined wireless device owner.  As time goes by, more information about how to crack wireless phones will inevitably become available on the Internet.  Also, while now an exempted use, such a modification of a wireless device will violate the terms of use of most, if not all, wireless phone user agreements and will therefore void the warranty of the wireless device.

This is a link to the US Copyright Office Announcement.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

US Patent and Trademark Office Invites Public Comment for new Strategic Plan for 2010-2015

The Patent and Trademark Office on July 9, 2010, published its Draft 2010-2015 Strategic Plan for public comment, (link to it here) which must be submitted by August 2, 2010.  The Plan is designed to strengthen the capacity of the USPTO, improve the quality of patents and trademarks issued and shorten the time it takes to get a patent.  The plan as fully implemented will enhance and accelerate the innovation and job growth needed to transform the U.S. economy, foster competitiveness and drive the creation and growth of U.S. businesses.