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Sometimes it is necessary to use a third-party trademark to refer to the owner of a trademark or its goods and services, and not to describe a particular good or service. Can this use result in trademark infringement? This second part of fair use of a trademark will examine the doctrine of nominative fair use, which regulates how third-party trademarks can be fairly and lawfully used by non-owners to refer to goods and services or…
Website operators can consider a host of potential legal claims against entities that scrape their sites’ content without authorization, such as breach of a well-crafted terms of service agreement, copyright infringement, trespass, conversion, common law misappropriation, unfair competition, violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, misappropriation of trade secrets, and trademark infringement, among others.  Each type of claim has its limits, and multiple claims may intersect or overlap in significant ways, particularly when it…
In 2017, Cytonome filed suit in the Western District of Wisconsin (“the District Court”), accusing ABS of infringing six of its patents, including US Patent No. 8,529,161 (“the ’161 patent”). Subsequently, in October 2017, ABS filed for inter partes review (“IPR”) of the ’161 patent, and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) issued a decision in April 2019 that invalidated certain claims of the ’161 patent while also finding that ABS had failed…
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office human resource policies influence patentability decisions, potentially increasing the rate at which examiners issue allowances. In our study published in the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Quarterly Journal, my co-author, Lian Huang, and I analyze the impact of production and quality incentives on the quality of patentability decisions. Our conclusions are based on an empirical analysis of USPTO transaction data from 2001 to 2012. In addition to finding that USPTO…
On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement with Everalbum, Inc., the California-based developer of a photo app called “Ever,” with regard to allegations that the company deceived consumers about the use of its facial recognition technology and its data retention practices. The Ever app allowed users to store and organize photos and videos uploaded from their mobile devices, computers, and social media accounts. In February 2017, the app launched a new “Friends”…
Facebook, the parent company to WhatsApp, is reporting near-record low revenue growth. Thus, presumably in an effort to monetize WhatsApp more heavily, WhatsApp recently announced changes to its privacy policy: as of February 8, 2021, all WhatsApp users (except those that live in Europe) must agree to share their data with Facebook. If users do not agree, WhatsApp will delete their account. Since the announcement of the changes to WhatsApp privacy policy, there has been…
Earlier this week, Biogen and ViGeneron signed a global collaboration and licensing agreement to develop gene therapies for inherited eye diseases. The companies will use Munich-based ViGeneron’s proprietary adeno-associated virus (AAV) technology platform to efficiently transduce target retinal cells via intravitreal injections. Under the agreement, ViGeneron will develop in vitro therapeutic candidates for an undisclosed target. Biogen has the right to add an additional target within two years. The companies will jointly conduct a proof-of-concept…
The Italian pharmaceutical company Angelini Pharma announced on January 4, 2021, that it will acquire emerging Swiss biotech company Arvelle Therapeutics for a total aggregate valuation of up to $960 million. Angelini Pharma will pay Arvelle Therapeutics $610 million following the European Medicines Agency’s (“EMA”) approval of the epilepsy drug cenobamate, sold under the brand name Xcopri®. Arvelle will also receive another $350 million if cenobamate reaches certain revenue targets. Cenobamate is a small…
Just before the Christmas holidays, the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued proposed rulemaking entitled “Requirements for Certain Transactions Involving Convertible Virtual Currency or Digital Assets.”  The proposed regulations seek to “require banks and money service businesses (“MSBs”) to submit reports, keep records, and verify the identity of customers in relation to transactions involving convertible virtual currency (“CVC”) or digital assets with legal tender status (“legal tender digital assets” or “LTDA”)…