Michael Ratoza

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The U.S. trademark office recently posted a notice concerning the potential for trademark hijacking of pending trademark applications. It is very easy for an unauthorized third party to pose as a trademark applicant or an authorized correspondent and enter non-approved filings in a pending application. As the PTO explains: Unauthorized changes have been made to a number of active trademark applications and registrations. These changes may be part of a scheme to register the marks…
The U.S. trademark office is vigilant in seeking to reduce fraud in trademark filings–both internal fraud by filers and external fraud by outside parties. Concerning unauthorized external filings to active trademark applications and registrations, the PTO is watching to prevent unauthorized changes that are tantamount to hijacking. The PTO’s watch-dog activity is described in its newly published policy statement.  One form of hijacking pertains to a filing by an unauthorized third party seeking to…
It has long been held that legislative enactments–statutes–are not protectable by copyright, although non-official statutory annotations created by non-government entities can be copyrightable. Now, the Eleventh Circuit’s recent decision has determined that statutory annotations created by a legislature legislative committee is not copyrightable. In the Eleventh Circuit’s October 19, 2018 decision in the Code Revision Commission case, the court states that when the Georgia legislature creates official statutory annotations pursuant to “sovereign power on behalf…
Fair Use under the U.S. Copyright Act is nebulous and a playground for expensive litigation. The most recent case in point is the Eleventh Circuit’s second remand of Cambridge University Press against the Georgia university system. You will recall that professors at the Georgia university system copied portions of published academic texts and distributed the digital excerpts to students. The publishers sued for copyright infringement. The university system claimed fair use.  The trial court reviewed…
The U.S. Department of Education has published notice of proposed rule making in the Federal Register that would require all recipients of DOE competitive grant funds to openly license all copyrightable work created with the grant funds. Proposed Regulations: Proposed § 3474.20 would establish an open licensing requirement for copyrightable works created using funds from direct competitive grant programs. Section 3474.20 would require that all Department grantees awarded direct competitive grant funds openly license to…
Perhaps you may have received “invoices” in the past from the Trademark Compliance Center or the Trademark Compliance Office. These invoices seek compensation from trademark applicants for trademark filing services, but no services were ever provided. Now, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles has brought an amended indictment against two L.A.-based men, Artashes Darbinyan and Orbel Hakobyan, involving various fraud claims related to their operation of these so-called compliance businesses. The indictment claims that…
The process of registering a trademark in the EU through OHIM’s CTM system is changing effective March 23, 2016. The OHIM name will be changed to EUIPO and CTM will become EUTM. Beyond this aesthetic, there are numerous substantive changes to the EU trademark registration system, including: Changes to filing procedures, including changes to priority, searching, filing fees, graphical representations of trademarks and certification marks. Changes to oppositions, including the opposition period, basis for opposition,…
VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured…
The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this morning that it is illegal for the federal trademark office to refuse to register a trademark that disparages Asians. As pointedly explained by Judge Reyna: The Majority holds today that Mr. Tam’s speech, which disparages those of Asian descent, is valuable political speech that the government may not regulate except to ban its use in commerce by everyone but Mr. Tam.  Goodness. So, does this also mean…
Freedom, happiness, true voting rights, true religious liberty, and true free speech are keystones of a true, stable and strong democracy. Happy Birthday USA on the Fourth of July!…