COVID-19

Responding to Covid-19 requires innovation, and nothing encourages innovation like a functioning patent system. The USPTO has launched a program to quickly review Covid-19 related patents and to waive the fees usually required for prioritized review of those patent applications.  The average time for review of a  patent application by the USPTO usually runs a bit over […]

Dear Doc: During this social isolation, I’ve started a new hobby…I’m a podcaster! I record myself saying fascinating things and then I publish the audio files on the Internet. Lately, I’ve learned that podcasts are more interesting if you use music to mark “intros”, “outros” and transitions. Please tell me that I’m not going to […]

Policing your trademarks is as important as registering them.  Policing requires that the trademark and other rights owners monitor the world of commerce to ensure that others are not stealing their intellectual property and, if so, take immediate action against infringers.  Many corporations zealously defend their trademark portfolios. Here’s but one example. In a recent article at Wired.com, The […]

Chalk Pencil

Lanyard Toys created a popular ‘chalk pencil’ that looked like a stubby pencil but that holds chalk.  Lanyard protected the invention with a design patent.  Remember that a design patent protects the appearance of a product, but not what it does or how it does it.*  Lanyard began selling its chalk pencils through a distributor to Toys-R-Us.  […]

Heart New York

Why is the famous “I [heart] New York” logo protected by trademark and not copyright?  At first glance, you’d think that it’s artwork, and therefore can be protected by copyright.  However, the Copyright Act protects “original works of authorship.” The “I [heart] New York” logo is merely a phrase, with the word “love” replaced by […]

Dear Doc:I know that self-isolating and social distancing has changed what each of us does every day. What has the Doc been up to, and what’s new in intellectual property?Signed,Concerned Reader Dear CR: Don’t worry too much about the Doc. He’s been keeping busy in some interesting ways lately… First, a client of LW&H has […]