Two brothers in India formed a partnership to carry on the family business. Their partnership agreement contained a clause requiring the brothers to resolve all disputes “of any type whatsoever in respect of the partnership” by arbitration in India. Later, the brothers each also started separate companies. A dispute arose between the brothers regarding the rights to use certain trademarks. One brother (and his company) sued the other brother’s company (but not the other brother) in federal district court in Seattle, alleging violations of the federal Lanham Act governing trademark rights. The other brother’s company (Shrinivas Sugandhalaya, LLP) hired Brian Esler and the lawyers at Miller Nash to defend it. Continue Reading
As a further update to our earlier posts (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Increases Extensions to Deadlines under the CARES Act; How the USPTO is Responding to the Coronavirus Outbreak; and USPTO and Copyright Office Announce Extensions to Deadlines Under the CARES Act) regarding actions taken by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) responsive to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the USPTO recently announced a further extension of time for the filing of various patent-related documents and payment of certain fees. While this latest extension is automatically available for patent applicants that qualify for small or micro entity status, relief is provided to large entity filings only on a case-by-case basis. Continue Reading
As an update to our earlier blog post, Judge Preska asked the defendant Performance Supply why she should not make the temporary restraining order permanent and ordered them to appear before her in person on May 4, 2020. They failed to show up, and the temporary restraining order is now a preliminary injunction.
3M has also filed suit in the Eastern District of California, two suits in the Middle District of Florida, one suit in the Northern District of Florida, one suit in the Southern District of Indiana, and one suit in the Northern District of Texas.
We may be living in uncertain times right now but that does not mean the end of technological innovations. In fact, many individuals, companies, and even entire industries are innovating more than ever now—intentionally or not—as they strive to adapt to the changing needs of users and consumers due to the ongoing pandemic. However, because companies are generally wanting (or needing) to spend less money and may be cutting back on various expenses such as for pursuing patent protection on their innovations, they may find themselves regretting those choices down the road. The cost of obtaining a patent is not insignificant but what people and companies need to understand—now more than ever—is that there is a lower cost option for securing priority and patent protection down the road: provisional patent applications. Continue Reading
In early April, 3M filed a lawsuit against Performance Supply LLC of New Jersey for violating trademark law because they were reselling N95 masks they had purchased from 3M at more than a 500% markup (3M Co. v. Performance Supply LLC, SDNY No. 1:20-cv-0249, 04/10/20.)
Normally, when someone buys products from a manufacturer, they can resell them without trademark issues under the “first-sale doctrine.” Imagine buying a pair of Nikes at a store not owned by Nike, and then Nike suing the store. What? No store would be in business except those that exclusively sold their own products! Continue Reading