The TTAB changes its spots ... so what about the CAFC?
The IPKat is delighted to read a feature published in today's subscription-only email release of the World Trademark Law Report by Eugene Pak (DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP, San Francisco) on the prospects for changing the practice of the USPTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of deeming most of its decisions non-citable.
With some understatement, Pak mentions that trade mark practitioners have expressed frustration at the relative lack of opposition and ex parte decisions made citable by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. He also cites data compiled by John Welch (he of the excellent TTABlog) that shows that only a derisory 25 decisions a year, on average, have been sanctified with citable status over the past three years. It seems that things are changing at TTAB level, where the number of citable decisions has suddenly increased noticeably, although the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is still deeming decisions to be non-citable.
The IPKat is overjoyed at the prospect of change. To him it seems pointless to deem decisions non-citable. If they reflect good law, why can't they be relied upon? And if they don't, then let's get them scrutinised by the courts in later cases in which they will either be approved or condemned. Merpel adds, you can't justify non-citability on the grounds that there are too many cases or that they're inaccessible, since we've all entered the age of computerisation.
Sample non-citable decision here
Find the Fish competition
Tomorrow mid-day is also the closing date for entries to the IPKat's Find the Fish competition (details here), the prize for which is free entry to CLT's popular and informative 8th Annual Information Technology Law Conference (programme details here). This event is also held in London, on Tuesday 21 March 2006.
Left: is this the IPKatfish ...?
Tomorrow mid-day is the closing date for the IPKat's Haiku Competition (details here). The prize is free admission to CLT's excellent and exciting one-day conference on Copying Without Infringing (programme details here), to be held in London on Thursday 23 March 2006.
Right: copying - an even older pastime than infringing.
So if you want to spend the day contemplating how much use a business can manage to make of other people's trade marks, patents and copyrights without ending up as an infringer, this is the place for you.
Wednesday, 8 March 2006
Posted by Jeremy at 14:08:00