Seyfarth has been recognized in World Intellectual Property Review’s inaugural rankings of the leading USA trademark firms and lawyers. WIPR cited Seyfarth as “recommended” for its Non-Contentious Trademark and “notable” for its Contentious Trademark work. Individually, Ken Wilton was “recommended” for his Contentious Trademark work. WIPR bases its rankings on “research that included

Pat Muffo, Partner in Seyfarth’s Intellectual Property practice presented the “AI for Patent Attorneys: Opportunities and Challenges” session as part of myLawCLE’s “AI for Lawyers: A practical guide to generative AI, copyright, privacy, and more” webinar series. The webinar session is available on demand on Thursday, August 31, 2023 through the myLawCLE website.

Artificial intelligence

Last month, Congress was essentially “abducted” by the testimony of Air Force veteran David Grusch. He boldly asserted that the government is playing a galactic game of hide and seek with unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP) (or UFO) technology. Grusch further claimed that the U.S. government has a secretive crash retrieval program and suggested that the U.S. has obtained bodies of extraterrestrial origin.

While many have met his claims with skepticism, others argue that this could be just a glimpse into the earth-shattering revelation that we are not the sole inhabitants of the universe. Grusch’s bold revelations have ignited speculation that governments worldwide, alongside contractors, might be reverse-engineering UAP technologies for defense. This raises the question: Are we on the brink of a UAP technological arms race?

Could patent applications serve as a tangible avenue for identifying ET’s blueprints?

Continue Reading Unraveling the UAP Enigma: Are Patents the Gateway to Alien Tech?

The Federal Circuit partially refuted the long held assumption that the trademark applicant has the burden of proving third party marks were in use when determining the strength of the applicant mark. The panel led by Judge Dyk found that when determining the conceptual strength of trademarks, “absent proof of non-use [of registered marks], use

The deal market reached historic levels in recent years, with record-setting merger and acquisition activity in 2021. Markets have since cooled, with capital becoming harder to find. But any company preparing to sell within the next five years should consider the more common IP issues that arise during the legal due diligence process.

IP Ownership

The U.S. Supreme Court’s end-of-term decision in Abitron v. Hetronic seems to have created more questions than answers about U.S. brand owners’ ability to leverage the federal Lanham Act in global trademark disputes. In the few weeks since the Court issued its opinion, parties and courts alike are already struggling with exactly how to apply it.

Tenth Circuit Prompts Question As to Statute’s Reach

The Hetronic case originated in the Tenth Circuit. Oklahoma-based Hetronic, a manufacturer of remote controls for construction equipment, sued its former EU distributor for infringing trademarks and trade dress associated with authentic Hetronic products. A jury awarded Hetronic more than $115 million in damages, $96 million of which related to Lanham Act violations. The district court then granted Hetronic a worldwide injunction against defendant Abitron. Abitron appealed, arguing that the award was improper because 97 percent of the sales at issue occurred abroad. The Tenth Circuit tailored the injunction to apply only to markets where Hetronic was actually selling products, but upheld the damage award, reasoning that even activity occurring abroad had a “substantial effect” on U.S. commerce.

Continue Reading Courts and Brand Owners Struggling With SCOTUS Decision Limiting Ability to Police Against Foreign Trademark Infringement

Several U.S. courts are addressing lawsuits brought by artists alleging that AI-generated art infringes on copyrights held by the artists for their artwork. In one of those cases, a California federal judge recently indicated that he would dismiss the bulk of the plaintiffs’ complaint, while giving them a chance to re-plead their claims. A written decision from the court is forthcoming, and that decision could be an important one for plaintiffs and defendants alike in current and future AI-related copyright cases.

In Andersen, et al. v. Stability AI Ltd., et al., Case No. 3:23-cv-00201-WHO (N.D. Cal.), three artists—Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan, and Karla Ortiz—brought suit against Stability AI Ltd., Stability AI, Inc., Midjourney, Inc., and DeviantArt, Inc. Plaintiffs alleged that Stability AI “copied and scraped” billions of images to train an AI tool called “Stable Diffusion.” These images allegedly included those originally created by the plaintiff artists. Meanwhile, the other two defendants created programs allowing users to access Stability AI’s tool, which generates images in response to text prompts entered by users. Plaintiffs asserted that the defendants’ conduct resulted in, among other things, copyright infringement of the plaintiffs’ artwork. Plaintiffs also argued that the defendants engaged in vicarious copyright infringement by permitting their users to enter text prompts that resulted in infringing images.

Continue Reading California Court Casts Doubt on Copyright Claims Relating to AI Images