Steve Brachmann is a graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Law, having earned his Juris Doctor in May 2022 and served as the President of the Intellectual Property Law Society during the 2021-22 school year. He currently works as a freelancer on research projects, blogging and media consulting and is accepting offers to work. Steve has written on intellectual property topics since January 2013. Other than IPWatchdog, Steve’s work has also been published by the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding, and he has worked as a ghostwriter on IP topics for several entities. Currently living in Buffalo, NY, Steve also works as a stage actor and pet sitter.
On September 27, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2023, providing a snapshot of the relative performance of innovation economies across the world. While this year’s Index reflects mostly positive news about the state of global innovation, a slight drop in the United States’ overall ranking should encourage policymakers to advance efforts that would address issues with the country’s innovation engine.
On September 25, independent inventor Carolyn Hafeman filed a reply brief arguing that efforts by consumer tech giant LG Electronics to prejudice Hafeman’s legal claims in front of a Western Texas jury require the court to grant a new patent infringement trial in the case. Among other things, Hafeman contends that LG’s invalidity arguments at trial violated LG’s own Sotera stipulation filed in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings brought by LG suppliers Google and Microsoft to challenge the validity of Hafeman’s patent claims asserted against LG.
Legal professionals making corporate IP portfolio management decisions must have the ability to cut costs from underperforming assets while also making significant investments to protect market share. On Day 3 of IPWatchdog LIVE 2023, top legal officers for several companies currently navigating global markets offered their insights during a panel titled “The Hallmarks of a Rational IP Strategy.” While the panel discussion revealed no one-size-fits-all template for legal professionals to follow when building valuable IP portfolios, it underscored the need for IP attorneys to firmly grasp their clients’ business needs when determining which IP rights to obtain and where they should be leveraged.
Generative artificial intelligence (AI) platforms are already reshaping work life for many professionals, including those in the legal industry. On Day 3 of IPWatchdog LIVE 2023, a panel discussion titled “Impact of Generative Artificial Intelligence on Law and Innovation” explored ways that in-house legal teams can advance their company’s use of generative AI to improve productivity while balancing the need to protect confidential data and intellectual property.
Clarity, transparency and integrity were themes consistently referenced by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Kathi Vidal during a lunchtime fireside chat with IPWatchdog Founder and CEO Gene Quinn on Day 3 of IPWatchdog LIVE 2023. Throughout the discussion, which ran the gamut from the agency’s current rulemaking to potential issues with emerging technologies, Director Vidal strongly encouraged public participation from stakeholders to improve the functioning of the nation’s patent and trademark-granting agency.
The general consensus of attendees at a panel held during IPWatchdog LIVE 2023, day two, is that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) will never be eliminated. Open questions remain, however, on the effectiveness of PTAB reforms recently proposed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Those rule changes, and similar legislative efforts in Congress, were the subject of “Dissecting PTAB Rulemaking & Legislation: Will it Make Things Any Better?”
On September 13, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) announced that it had joined with 30 other signatories to publish a framework of intellectual property principles designed to maintain America’s global lead in innovation. Supported by a coalition of well-recognized individuals and trade organizations long supporting greater certainty in patent rights, the framework of IP principles is intended to serve as a guidebook for policymakers who want to address genuine issues currently facing the nation’s IP system.
On September 7, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a precedential decision on trademark functionality doctrine in PIM Brands Inc. v. Haribo of America Inc. In affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment, the Third Circuit found that PIM’s federally registered trademark to a wedge-shaped candy with green, white and red stripes should be canceled because the mark as a whole identifies the candy’s flavor.