November 2020

What to Expect from a Joe Biden Presidency Concerning Intellectual Property

Takeaway: A Biden Presidency would probably change existing efforts to protect United States intellectual property rights and ward off infringers and counterfeiters as president.

Any Biden appointment to the USPTO would likely set the stage for how the administration will approach intellectual property. Biden has vocalized his stance on protecting American intellectual property and has stated his intention to combat foreign infringement and counterfeit efforts. Biden’s attempts to enforce American intellectual property rights abroad will also likely come from foreign policy and diplomacy.

Biden has been known for being a copyright crusader in the past for the Motion Picture Association and will also likely continue his efforts to aid copyright owners in further protecting their works as president of the United States.


Amazon’s Efforts to Protect Intellectual Property Owner’s Rights

Takeaway: Amazon has multiple report forms and programs available to intellectual property owners to protect intellectual property rights.

Online shopping has been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic began. As such, Amazon sales have been thriving, increasing a need to protect intellectual property rights and owners from infringing and counterfeit goods. The Amazon platform offers multiple opportunities for intellectual property owners to protect themselves.

Amazon has an online report form for intellectual property owners to report infringing listings based on patent or trademark rights. Amazon also has a program for resolving possible patent infringement disputes outside of litigation quickly and cost-effectively called the Utility Patent Neutral Program. Registering a brand with the Amazon Brand Registry will also aid trademark owners in protecting their intellectual property rights by submitting infringement reports for listings and offers additional tools for reporting and searching for counterfeit goods. Amazon also launched its Project Zero program which is part of its Counterfeit Crimes Unit to aid brand owners in removing infringing content from the online marketplace platform.

As many businesses are only available to shop online due to the effects of the pandemic, combating infringement efforts is essential for business owners. Amazon’s platform offers useful tools for intellectual property owners to protect their intellectual property rights.


“Millennial Falcon” Successfully Opposed by Lucasfilm

Takeaway: Parody typically applies where the marks are not confusingly similar.

In a final opinion from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), Lucasfilm successfully opposed a musician’s attempt to register “Millennial Falcon” as a trademark. The trademark applicant asserted that the name was a parody about Disney corporate culture, but the TTAB disagreed and noted that the “Millennium Falcon” was so well known because of its longstanding use in the Star Wars stories that consumers would be confused by the applicant’s trademark into thinking of Star Wars and the iconic spaceship that is a centerpiece of the Star Wars story.


New Copyright Group Registration Option for “Short Online Literary Works”

Takeaway: Protecting short, online text postings has become much easier, particularly for bloggers and other online authors.

In August of this year, the U.S. Copyright Office amended its regulations to establish a new “group registration” option for “short online literary works.” For this new registration option, each work must contain at least 50 but no more than 17,500 words. The applicant can submit up to 50 works with one application and one filing fee, but all of the works must be created by the same individual or jointly by the same individuals, and each creator must be named as the copyright claimant or claimants for each work. The works must all be published online within a three-calendar-month period, and if the U.S. Copyright Office registers the claim, the registration will cover each work as a separate work of authorship.

This is particularly beneficial for bloggers, social media influencers, and other online authors who put out short, frequent postings. That being said, these copyright registrations currently only cover text. If an author wants to cover photographs, there is an exception for group registration of photographs, but that must be filed separately.


Cislo & Thomas LLP Spotlight

Cislo & Thomas LLP in U.S. News & World Report’s the Eleventh Edition of the “Best Law Firms” ranking

We are proud to announce that we have been honored as a Tier 1 Best Law Firm recipient in the 2021 Best Lawyers of U.S. News & World Report!

We always strive to provide Quality Client Care in helping you achieve your intellectual property goals, and we owe this honor to our incredible clients. So thank you!


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