As a fourth post on this blog series regarding blockchain, Stein IP introduces “Blockchain and IP Law.” Due to Blockchain is frequently related with Bitcoin exclusively, people might think Intellectual Property (‘IP’) Law and Blockchain are incompatible or perhaps never thought of a potential combination of these two. But what if we were able to trace an intellectual property right from its beginnings? Seems like Blockchain may have the answer to that question and many others, opening a wide range of opportunities where IP Law proceeds. First of all, Blockchain could help fix IP registration system inefficiencies. In the United States, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it takes more than a year to take action after a filing because a lot of applications are subject to manual review, resulting in the total length of time from filing to completing the registration to be 2 years in most cases. This is a real problem if we talk
The Gwinnett (Ga.) Chamber of Commerce Small Business Pinnacle Awards pays tribute to the leading small businesses that take the chance to start, strive to sustain and persevere to succeed. This year, thirteen businesses and entrepreneurs were awarded for their extraordinary achievements and pivotal role in the county’s economic growth and stability. Winton Machine Company, one of Stein IP LLC’s oldest clients, attended the Small Business Pinnacle Awards on Wednesday, October 17th 2018 and was awarded recognition for being the “Small Business of the Year” in the categories of 25+ Employees and the Best Overall. Our client specializes in providing engineered solutions in major industries, such as HVAC/Refrigeration, Aerospace, Furniture, Electronics, Automotive Aftermarket and Military. Although the company started in the owner’s home basement in 1997, within a year it quickly grew to a basement machine shop filled with equipment and supplies. A few short months later, Winton Machine received its initial machinery order and the company moved into its
There has been a change, effective December 1, 2018, on how documents are electronically retrieved between the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). From that date on, electronic retrievals of priority documents between the USPTO and KIPO will be managed via the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Digital Access Service (DAS). By notification on April 20, 2009, the USPTO expanded its PDX (Electronic Priority Document Exchange) program by agreement with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to participate in the multilateral exchange of certain priority documents with other IP offices participating in the WIPO Digital Access Service (DAS) for Priority Documents. DAS is a service currently provided by WIPO that offers a simple and safe digital alternative to filing paper copies of priority documents with multiple IP Offices. It enables an applicant claiming priority to ask Offices of second filing to retrieve a copy of the priority document themselves via the service.
As a third post on this blog series regarding blockchain, Stein IP introduces “How is the world using blockchain?” In our previous two posts we have explained what blockchain is and how it affects businesses, in this post we will be talking about the different uses blockchain has or can potentially have in different sectors. From financial services, to voting, to healthcare, blockchain has many applications to today’s world and companies and individuals are starting to dive into them. Cryptocurrencies Probably the most known application of blockchain has been cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are essentially digital money, digital tools of exchange that use cryptography and with blockchain technology it can facilitate secure and anonymous transactions among users. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum (the two biggest cryptocurrencies of this technology) are necessary for many of the applications and transactions in blockchain. Even when writing and executing smart contracts in the network, participants in the transaction must have a cryptocurrency stake and unlike traditional markets,
By Carla Vercellone In May of this year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (‘USPTO’) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Therein, it solicited and collected comments on the potential switch from the Broadest Reasonable Interpretation (‘BRI’) standard to the Ordinary and Customary meaning of a claim in Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303 (Fed. Circ. 2005) on claim construction for AIA Trial Proceedings. Due to the public’s favoring of this change, the issue was submitted to the Office of Management & Budget (‘OMB’) for final regulatory approval. Finally, the Final Rule Package was published on October 10th, 2018; it will affect inter partes review (IPR), post-grant review (PGR), and the transitional program for covered business method patents (CBM) proceedings before the PTAB filed on or after the effective date of this new rule, November 13th, 2018. There are three parts within a claim that patent owners need to keep in mind as they write it: it must be written
By Carla Vercellone For many years graffiti was seen as a delinquent activity and public disturbance made by outlaws of society who sprayed their work on subway cars and alleyways, hiding behind an alias while trying not to be pursued by the police. But nowadays, society’s view on graffiti has changed and it has been used by fashion labels and major corporations in their ad campaigns. Although the perception of it may be more accepting by society, the law hasn’t necessarily caught up to us just yet. Currently, the Copyright Act (17 U.S. Code, §102(a)) protects any “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device”  this includes: (1) literary works; (2) musical works; (3) dramatic works; (4) pantomimes and choreographic work; (5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; (6) motion pictures and
By Pablo N. Garcia Rodriguez As a second post on this blog series regarding Blockchain, Stein IP introduces “Blockchain & Business: Improving Your Companies’ Future.” Considering the power of Blockchain, it is not surprising that it can also be applied to business. In fact, companies such as Walmart and FedEx implement Blockchain technology as a way to manage their supply chains since it makes possible tracking a product from its origin and controlling assets’ conditions instantly. There are a lot of applications for this technology in the business field, such as smart contracts and transactions recording which can be achieved thanks to Blockchain being a distributed ledger. But what is a distributed ledger and why is everyone talking about it? A distributed ledger is a decentralized, synchronized and shared database where information is recorded. Decentralized: Data doesn’t rely on a central point of control, it is stored within a network of nodes. Due to lack of a single authority, is
By Carla Vercellone As the first post in our new series on Blockchain technology, we will comment on the basics of blockchain, who participates in a blockchain network and how it works, and finally we’ll touch on the major cryptocurrency in the network, Bitcoin. Since its introduction in 2008 as the creation of a person, or group of people, known by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, blockchain has grown and evolved into becoming the future of today’s internet and transactions. What is blockchain? The blockchain is a decentralized, shared, and immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. An asset can be tangible (a house, a car, etc.) or intangible (intellectual property, patents, copyrights, etc.). Anything of value can be tracked and traded on a blockchain network, reducing risk and cutting costs for all involved. Transactions made in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are recorded chronologically and publicly between two parties, being efficient and in
By Pablo N. Garcia Rodriguez and Carla Vercellone It was 1950 in Quincy, Massachusetts, when Bill Rosenberg founded “Open Kettle”, a coffee and doughnut shop later renamed as “Dunkin’ Donuts”  . But that has changed in 2018, and after 68 years of using this name, one of the biggest food chains in the world is changing and dropping its last name, resulting in just Dunkin’. The brand has received mixed reactions from confused consumers and fans from across the world (see at the end of this post). Last year’s opening in Pasadena, Calif. of the first store with what is the brand’s new name today, meant a change was coming for its loyal consumers. Rumors had been swirling around about a new name, but it wasn’t until January 2018 that the coffee and food chain made a move and filed a new trademark application (87768615) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (‘USPTO’) for goods such as hats,
By Pablo N. Garcia Rodriguez Nowadays renewable energies are a popular topic due to the benefits that they provide for our environment and our health. Moreover, 15 years ago, a new mechanism was implemented in the United States which enables people to get money from using alternative ways of energy. This is Net Metering. Its first implementation was in 2003 but, as it was a new technology, it was not allowed in several states. Today, considering that this system has improved people’s lives economically, new regulations allow its use in 38 states plus D.C. The chart below shows Net Metering increasing since 2003 to 2010. Chart from Eia.Gov, 2018, https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=6270. The following presentation is to provide an understanding of the basics of Net Metering and to present some existing policies that regulate this mechanism in the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington D.C.