In 2022, the Federal Circuit definitively ruled that artificial intelligence (AI) systems cannot be named inventors or co-inventors on patent applications, reinforcing the longstanding principle that only natural persons are eligible as inventors under the Patent Act.  This decision, however, left an important question unanswered: Are inventions created with AI assistance patentable?

Today, the United

As attorneys, we’ve all taken Legal Research and Writing. This is where we first encountered Westlaw and Lexis, using these sites to delve into case law for various assignments while chasing Westlaw and Lexis points in the hopes of getting a free TV or iPod (back when that was a thing). Professors always emphasized the critical process of tracing the history of a case and determining if the case is still considered “good law.”

With the rise of generative AI over the past year, it’s unsurprising that lawyers are turning to this advanced technology for legal research. However, there’s a growing concern: the blind acceptance of AI-generated content. This issue was highlighted in U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Robert’s 2023 year-end report on the federal judiciary. A notable incident involved the Second Circuit reprimanding a New York attorney for submitting a brief with reference to a non-existent case, hallucinated by ChatGPT, without proper verification.Continue Reading USPTO Sets to Clarify Attorney Guidelines in the Age of Generative AI

This article was originally published to Seyfarth’s The Blunt Truth blog.

Republic Technologies (NA) LLC (“Republic”) filed an application to register the proposed mark 4:20 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).  Republic amended its goods twice during prosecution of the application and ultimately sought to register “tobacco; cigarette papers; cigarette filters; cigarette tubes; cigarette rolling machines; handheld machines for injecting tobacco into cigarette tubes; machines allowing smokers to make cigarettes by themselves; none of the foregoing containing or for use with cannabis” (emphasis added). The USPTO alleged that consumers would understand 4:20 to mean cannabis, the mark misdescribes non-cannabis related goods, and consumers would believe the misrepresentation. Therefore, the USPTO refused registration alleging that the mark was deceptively misdescriptive of the goods in the application. Republic appealed the decision to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”). But the Board saw through the smoke of Republic’s arguments and affirmed the refusal. 

Republic is a leading provider of smoking accessories. Republic initially filed its application for the mark 4:20 for use in association with the goods “tobacco; cigarette papers; cigarette filters; cigarette tubes; cigarette rolling machines; handheld machines for injecting tobacco into cigarette tubes; machines allowing smokers to make cigarettes by themselves.” Perhaps familiar with the many uses of Republic’s goods, the USPTO refused the application on mere descriptiveness grounds. It alleged that consumers understand 4:20 to mean cannabis and the goods describe a product containing or to be used with cannabis. The USPTO also asked Republic to provide additional information about its goods. In particular, whether the goods contain or would be used in connection with cannabis or marijuana. Continue Reading 4:20 Unfriendly – TTAB Says 4:20 is Deceptively Misdescriptive of Goods Not Used with Cannabis

Thursday, January 25, 2024
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern
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About the Program

Join Seyfarth partners Ken Wilton and Lauren Leipold for an examination of pivotal 2023 developments in trademark litigation, from U.S. Supreme Court decisions to new guidance from federal appellate courts, district courts, and the USPTO. This webinar will provide actionable takeaways for your legal practice in 2024, from doctrinal shifts in the application of trademark law to technicalities in TTAB procedure. Learn how these developments will impact the ongoing protection, maintenance, and enforcement of trademarks in the United States and beyond.

Speakers

Kenneth Wilton, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Lauren Leipold, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLPContinue Reading Upcoming Webinar! How to Win Your Next Trademark Battle: Lessons Learned in 2023

Decking the halls with festive flair is a beloved tradition, from cozy and simple to dazzling displays that could rival Clark Griswold’s winter wonderland. In this yuletide landscape, lights play a starring role, sparking whole industries focused on holiday home illumination. A centerpiece of this seasonal spectacle is often the twinkling Christmas tree.

Traditional tree lighting mainly focuses on the tree’s exterior, with their daytime wiring detracting from the tree’s aesthetic, requiring the wiring to be tucked away under tinsel and ornaments. Enter U.S. Patent No. 7,784,961, with its “clip-attachable light strings for Christmas tree branches,” a merry makeover for tree lighting. This jolly invention lights up each branch individually, featuring a central bus wire nestled near the trunk, branching into 5 to 10 light circuits, each sporting 10 to 20 bulbs. Clipped at each branch’s end, these strands can be extended to fit any tree, from a small spruce to a grand fir, creating a more enchanted, branch-by-branch illumination compared to the old ring-around-the-rosy style.Continue Reading Legal Lessons from Holiday Lights: Clarity in Patent Drafting

Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season, a beloved time of the year where family and friends gather over delicious meals to share and create memories and to express love and gratitude. Thanksgiving also commences the annual Thanksgiving showdown, when silent (or not so silent) competitiveness emerges in the kitchen and beyond.

Activate: Feast

As our colleagues reported in this Seyfarth Shaw Legal Update, President Biden signed a comprehensive Executive Order addressing AI regulation across a wide range of industries and issues. Intellectual property is a key focus. The Order calls on the U.S. Copyright Office and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to provide guidance on IP risks and related regulation to address emerging issues related to AI.Continue Reading White House Directs Copyright Office and USPTO to Provide Guidance on AI-Related Issues

When jack-o’-lanterns begin to glow and youngsters chart out their candy-collecting routes, an often-overlooked trend takes over every October: the Halloween commercial extravaganza! Beneath the shadows of ghouls and goblins, a profitable domain emerges for candy makers and costume creators. Yet, it’s not just about commerce; the essence of innovation is very much alive in