U.S. SEC Charges Indian Firms with Acting as Unregistered Broker-Dealers

By David Smyth and Christopher Poe, Brooks Pierce

On November 27, 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged four Indian financial services firms with acting as unregistered broker-dealers in the United States. The firms were accused of providing brokerage services to institutional investors in the United States without registering with the SEC as required by Section 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act"). The SEC censured the firms, who paid a combined total of $1.8 million to settle the SEC's charges. These actions are part of a recent spate of activity for the SEC, which treats Section 15(a) seriously and enforces it to ensure that securities brokers satisfy professional standards, have adequate capital, treat their customers fairly and provide accurate disclosures to investors.

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Patent Marking Under the America Invents Act - Virtual Marking

By Charles A. Gaglia, Jr., Gibbons

As practitioners know, U.S. patent law provides for the recovery of patent infringement damages for a period of time when an infringer has actual or constructive notice of the infringed patent. Actual notice is provided by way of letter or similar mechanism to the infringer after infringement has begun. Constructive notice can be provided by placing the patent number on the patented product. Such constructive notice provides notice to the infringer of the existence of a patent prior to actual notice, thereby extending the time period for recovering damages up to the date the infringement begins.

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Patent Classification Harmonization

By John J. Cahill, Gibbons

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) jointly launched the Cooperative Patent Classification System (CPC) and released a finalized set of CPC definitions. The CPC is operational at both the EPO and USPTO. The USPTO and EPO developed the CPC with the collaborative aim of producing a common classification system for technical documents. The CPC brings the promise of transparent and harmonized global classification for patent documents.

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Declaratory Judgment Suit Over ROHAN Trademark

By Ralph A. Dengler and Luis J. Diaz, Gibbons

D'Artagnan Trademarks LLC, ("DT") recently sued the Saul Zaentz Company ("SZ") in the District of New Jersey regarding the trademark ROHAN. In December 2011, DT filed a trademark application for ROHAN in connection with the sale of poultry, namely, duck. The PTO approved the application and SZ opposed its registration when it published for opposition in late March. SZ alleged that it has exclusive rights to certain trademarks (the "Marks") derived from the trilogy of books known as "The Lord of the Rings," by J.R.R. Tolkien. Readers might recall that in the books, "Rohan" is a fictional realm within the fantasy world of the stories. SZ alleges it owns federal trademark registrations for ROHAN, RIDERS OF ROHAN and ROHAN NUTRITION, relating to animal feed and feed supplements for horses, plastic figurines for use with table top hobby battle games, and website services about computer games. SZ has a number of licensees using these marks.

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