Florida Statute §784.049: Sexual Cyberharassment

Robert Thornburg, April 1, 2016 The Sexual Cyberharassment Act (“Act”), enacted on October 1, 2015 as Florida Statute § 784.049 et seq., makes it a first-degree misdemeanor for a person to willfully and maliciously sexually cyberharass another person. In May 2015, Florida became one of the twenty-six states to criminalize…

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Florida Statute § 934.50: Searches and Seizures using a Drone

Robert Thornburg, January 15, 2016 The Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act (“Act”), recently enacted on July 1, 2015 as Florida Statute § 934.50 et seq. makes it illegal for: (1) a law enforcement agency to use a drone to gather information without a warrant; and (2) a drone operator to…

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Restoring the Right of Priority in U.S. Non-provisional Patent Applications

Justin R. Sauer, November 7, 2015 The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has long allowed revival of non-provisional patent applications for unintentional failures to respond to office actions or pay issue fees, as well as to reinstate patents following an unintentional failure to pay maintenance fees.  At the same…

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Florida Statute § 501.155: Florida’s New Accountability Law for Third-Party E-Commerce Vendors

Robert H. Thornburg, October 9, 2015 The True Origin of Digital Goods Act  (“Act”), recently codified on July 1, 2015 as Florida Statute § 501.155 et seq, makes it illegal for any retailers whose primary business is distributing commercial music to withhold their contact information on their websites.   The underlying…

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Musings from a Patent Attorney Traveling in South America

Richard Warther, July 9, 2015 “If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is…

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Protecting the Intellectual Property Found in Florida’s Indian Arts and Crafts

Robert H. Thornburg, July 6, 2015 The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 makes it illegal to falsely indicate or suggest that a craft is Indian produced, an Indian product, or is affiliated with a certain Indian tribe. Accordingly, the Act is a truth in advertising law preventing merchants…

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Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc .

Robert H. Thornburg, July 1, 2015 Judge Darrin Gayles of the Southern District of Florida recently ruled against Flo and Eddie, which owns the rights to The Turtles master recordings. The Turtles is the band behind the 1967 hit “Happy Together. In their action against Sirius XM Radio, Flo and…

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The Million Dollar Email

Brian Gilchrist, April 13, 2015 In a recent patent infringement trial, our client produced a collection of what were innocuous emails going back several years. Unfortunately, once in the hands of a skilled lawyer, these emails became a central issue in the case, despite having nothing to do with infringement.…

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Are Referral Fees Permitted For A Registered Patent Attorney

Christopher Regan, February 21, 2015 The question sometimes arises whether a registered patent attorney may participate in referral fee arrangements. The Code of Federal Regulations provides the answer. The pertinent language got juggled around a bit from 37 CFR § 10.32 (now removed) to 37 CFR § 11.702. The short…

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Reduced Fees Means There’s No Better Time Than Now to Register Your Trademark

Brock A. Hankins, February 4, 2015 If you’ve been putting off registering your trade or service mark, now may be the time to take action. As of January 17, 2015, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has lowered—you heard right, lowered—the fee to apply for registration by $50, and…

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Aero: Retransmission Fails to Transmit

Michael W. Taylor, October 27, 2014 In the United States, the copyright owner of motion pictures and other audiovisual works  has exclusive rights to perform the copyrighted work publicly. Exclusive rights in copyrighted works may be found in 17 U.S. Code § 106(4). In a case with far-reaching implications for…

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The Monkey Business of Copyright Law

Allison R. Imber, October 6, 2014 In the United States, copyright law protects original expressions that are fixed in a tangible medium, such as photographs, works of art, sound recordings, books, etc.  Generally speaking, the creator of an expression is presumptively the owner of the copyrights in that expression.  For…

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Are The Seminoles Next? Whither The Washington Redskins: Black Horse v. Pro-Football, Inc., TTAB Cancellation No 92046185 (6/18/14)

Ava K. Doppelt, August 18, 2014 By now, everyone has heard about the decision cancelling six Washington Redskins trademark registrations because the word “REDSKINS” disparaged Native Americans. How did this happen, and what does it mean? What happened? On June 18, 2014 the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the…

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Configuring My Claims

David S. Carus, August 7, 2014 The claims of a patent application are configured to define the metes and bounds of what is regarded as one’s invention.  It seems that the term “configured to” is causing some controversy these days inasmuch as Federal Circuit Chief Judge Rader1 went out of…

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PREPARING FOR A FIRST MEETING WITH A PATENT ATTORNEY

Herbert L. Allen, July 16, 2014 The following points are offered as general suggestions for you in preparing for a first visit with a registered patent attorney. First: Prepare a thorough description of your invention, including any variations that may come to mind. Add any sketches that help a reader…

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THE USPTO ANNOUNCES A NEW GLOSSARY PILOT PROGRAM IN RESPONSE TO AN EXECUTIVE ORDER FROM THE PRESIDENT

In June 2013, the White House issued a series of Executive Actions concerning high-tech patent issues. Executive Action No. 2 concerned functional claiming, specifically, improving functional claim clarity, and possible glossary usage in patent specifications. The White House assigned Executive Action No. 2 to the USPTO, stating: “The AIA made…

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