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.
By Catherine M. Clayton and Ralph A. Dengler, Gibbons
On January 7, 2013, Cincinnati Reds second baseman, and three-time Gold Glove Award-winner, Brandon Phillips, moved to dismiss Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. Inc.'s ("Rawlings") trademark infringement action arising from his use of a glove with gold-colored features.
By Ralph A. Dengler, Christopher Viceconte and and Andrew P. MacArthur, Gibbons
Deferring judgment until after he hears testimony prior to trial, U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews of the District of Delaware nonetheless indicated in a recent Memorandum Opinion that he was inclined to exclude plaintiff's patent damages expert.
By Thomas J. Bean and Robert E. Rudnick, Gibbons
In an effort to "enhance the quality of software patents," the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") has announced a partnership with the software community.
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.
By Charles H. Chevalier and Ralph A. Dengler, Gibbons
The Federal Circuit recently reversed the Northern District of Georgia's judgment of unenforceability based on inequitable conduct, in Outside The Box Innovations, LLC v. Travel Caddy, Inc Other aspects of the decision are outside the scope of this blog.
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.