June 2011

June 27, 2011 4:20 PM | Posted by Campbell, Flavia | Permalink
The Internet Committee for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved the launch of the new .XXX top-level domain name (“TLD”), targeted to serve the needs of the adult entertainment industry. As we've seen in the past, the launch of new TLDs may give cybersquatters the opportunity to register domain names that incorporate famous marks to later profit from selling them to their rightful owners. The risk of brand damage caused by such cybersquatting activities is enhanced in this case by the fact that the .XXX TLDs are, by definition, associated with sexually-oriented content. Sensitive to the issue, the registry behind the .XXX TLD is giving trademark owners outside the adult industry the opportunity to preemptively block their marks from being registered within a .XXX web address. read more
June 24, 2011 5:37 PM | Posted by Aikman-Scalese, Anne | Permalink
Brand owners need to be aware that the complex world of Internet domain name registrations is about to get more confusing. On Monday, June 20, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) approved taking applications for an unlimited number of generic Top Level (after the dot) Domains. Qualified registrars may apply for any string of letters after the dot, e.g. (dot)realestate, (dot)casinos, (dot)sports, (dot)toys, (dot)music, or (dot)movies. The new “gTLDs” are expected to increase competition and foster free speech, but they also present a much more difficult trademark enforcement environment as brand owners struggle to ferret out and shut down unauthorized use of their marks and sales of counterfeit goods and services on the web. read more
June 2, 2011 6:36 PM | Posted by Olafson, Shane | Permalink
Sitting en banc last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit stiffened the tests for claims of inequitable conduct. As Chief Judge Rader stated: “This court now tightens the standards for finding both intent and materiality in order to redirect a doctrine that has been overused to the detriment of the public.” In doing so, the Federal Circuit vacated a lower court finding of inequitable conduct, and called the inequitable conduct defense a “plague” not only on the courts but also the entire patent system.

read more
June 1, 2011 5:57 PM | Posted by Olafson, Shane | Permalink
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that, to be liable for induced patent infringement, the would-be infringer must have actual knowledge of infringement, and that willful blindness can constitute actual knowledge. In doing so, the Court affirmed an infringement verdict against Pentalpha Enterprises Ltd. and clarified the amount of knowledge necessary to prove induced infringement, which had split the circuit courts for years. read more