Winter 2008

Cislo & Thomas LLP® Moves its Santa Monica Office

We are pleased to announce that we have moved our Santa Monica offices. “Our new office is only a few blocks away, and is a great improvement in both appearance and efficiency,” says managing partner Dan Cislo. “We anticipate that the improvements will yield better and faster service for our clients.” The new Santa Monica office joins our Westlake Village and Long Beach offices to better serve Southern California, including Los Angeles, Ventura, and Orange Counties.

Patent Law Reforms Still Stuck in Congress
Although very significant reforms to the U.S. Patent Law are still winding their way through Congress, key senators agreed on the importance of concluding patent reform legislation early in 2008. If passed, some of the reforms will fundamentally change the way U.S. patents are granted and enforced. If you would like us to review any of your patents or patents of a competitor, or see how the patent reforms might affect your situation, please give us a call.

Supreme Court Will Decide Patent Exhaustion case
The Supreme Court will soon decide a case, Quanta Computer v. LG Electronics, addressing the proper rules for applying the patent exhaustion doctrine and the limits of a patentee’s downstream control over sold products containing a claimed invention. One of the difficult questions in that case is whether after authorized purchases of patented components, incorporation of those components into a larger patented system can trigger additional royalty obligations.

Patent Office Strictly Enforcing Inventor Declaration
Beginning June 1, 2008, all declarations for patent applications must include specific language indicating that the inventor(s) “acknowledge their duty to disclose to the Office all information known to the person to be material to patentability.” The Patent Office will be enforcing its rules more strictly with regards to patent declarations, which reflects a general trend that the Patent Office and the Courts are getting tougher on inventor’s duties of disclosure.

California Passes New Model Trademark Act
Effective January 1, 2008, California has a new trademark law that more closely parallels the Federal Trademark Law in a number of areas. We now recommend filing California trademark applications at the same time as federal trademark applications to insure some level of trademark protection. California trademark registrations are granted more quickly than federal registrations, and with this new law, may become much more valuable.

Peter S. Veregge, Esq.- Newsletter Editor