Monday, January 25, 2016

Free License In Work Developed With Department Of Education Funding

The U.S. Department of Education has published notice of proposed rule making in the Federal Register that would require all recipients of DOE competitive grant funds to openly license all copyrightable work created with the grant funds.
Proposed Regulations: Proposed § 3474.20 would establish an open licensing requirement for copyrightable works created using funds from direct competitive grant programs. Section 3474.20 would require that all Department grantees awarded direct competitive grant funds openly license to the public all copyrightable intellectual property created with Department grant funds. 
The open licensing requirement would allow the public to freely use the copyrightable work developed from DOE grants.
These proposed regulations would allow the public to access and use copyrightable intellectual property created with direct competitive grant funds for any purpose, provided that the user gives attribution to the designated authors or copyright holders of the intellectual property. 
The DOE believes that the considerable material created by grantees funded with DOE grants, "including lesson plans, instructional plans, professional development tools, and other teaching and learning resources," should be "shared broadly with the public."

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Feds Are Taking Down The "Trademark Compliance Center"

Perhaps you may have received "invoices" in the past from the Trademark Compliance Center or the Trademark Compliance Office. These invoices seek compensation from trademark applicants for trademark filing services, but no services were ever provided. Now, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles has brought an amended indictment against two L.A.-based men, Artashes Darbinyan and Orbel Hakobyan, involving various fraud claims related to their operation of these so-called compliance businesses. The indictment claims that trademark owners were invoiced for services never performed. More information is available in the Los Angeles Daily News.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The CTM Is Changing !

The process of registering a trademark in the EU through OHIM's CTM system is changing effective March 23, 2016. The OHIM name will be changed to EUIPO and CTM will become EUTM. Beyond this aesthetic, there are numerous substantive changes to the EU trademark registration system, including:
  1. Changes to filing procedures, including changes to priority, searching, filing fees, graphical representations of trademarks and certification marks.
  2. Changes to oppositions, including the opposition period, basis for opposition, and proof of use dates. A Mediation Centre will be established to assist in resolution of oppositions.
There are many other changes, as well. For a more complete discussion of the upcoming changes, refer to this excellent article from our friends at Boult Wade Tennant in London.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Is there A Santa Claus?

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Thank you, Francis Pharcellus Church, New York Sun, Sept. 21, 1897.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Federal Circuit Allows Disparagement of Asians

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this morning that it is illegal for the federal trademark office to refuse to register a trademark that disparages Asians. As pointedly explained by Judge Reyna:
The Majority holds today that Mr. Tam’s speech, which disparages those of Asian descent, is valuable political speech that the government may not regulate except to ban its use in commerce by everyone but Mr. Tam. 
Goodness. So, does this also mean that it is OK for the Washington Redskins to disparage Native Americans via the team's ongoing trademark registration? It certainly appears that way!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Birthday America

Freedom, happiness, true voting rights, true religious liberty, and true free speech are keystones of a true, stable and strong democracy.

Happy Birthday USA on the Fourth of July!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

ICANN Considers Eliminating Anonymity For Commercial Websites

ICANN is studying a proposal to eliminate the ability of owners of commercial websites from hiding their identity through alias registrations. Presently, a commercial website owner can register its domain with an alias so as to avoid identification by a WhoIs search. ICANN is considering changing its policy concerning alias registration by commercial website owners. Toward this end, ICANN is inviting public comment through July 7, 2015 on this issue. The title of ICANN's policy study is "Next-Generation gTLD Registration Directory Services (RDS) to Replace Whois Preliminary Issue Report." To provide comment, contact ICANN within the coming week via e-mail, at, attention Marila Konings.