Wei Wu is an associate at Grable Martin Fulton PLLC. Wei has a passion for patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret. As a prior patent examiner in China, Wei has significant experience working with cutting-edge technology and handling patent and trademark application and prosecution. Wei is also a frequent contributor to IP publications both in the U.S. and China.
Recently, Netflix released a documentary titled, “The Most Hated Man on the Internet,” which is about anti-revenge porn activists and their efforts to take down the website, IsAnyoneUp.com. The site was founded by Hunter Moore and allowed anyone to anonymously upload nude photos with social media handles or to submit sexually explicit photos of others without their consent. The documentary follows Charlotte Laws, whose daughter’s photos were shared on the site, as she launches a campaign to shut it down.
“A” is one of the smallest words, but it is not the simplest—most Supreme Court judges can disagree on its meaning. In Niz-Chavez v. Garland, 141 S. Ct. 1474 (2021), the Court issued a 5-3 decision and held that “a” meant “one” in a statute regarding “a notice to appear.” Although the Niz-Chavez case is not about patent claim interpretation, it behooves us to pay attention to this tiny word. Soon after the Supreme Court decision, this issue has appeared again, this time in a patent case.
To quote a popular saying: “Let’s eat grandpa. Let’s eat, grandpa. Correct punctuation can save a person’s life.” And incorrect punctuation can cost millions of dollars. Do you know when to use a comma versus a semicolon? Do you know how to indent a plurality of elements in a claim? Do you know when to write “patent, copyright, or trademark” or “patent, copyright or trademark”? As Judge David J. Barron said: “For want of a comma, we have this case.”… Although there are no hard and fast grammatical rules, it’s better to err on the side of caution, following rules that courts have recognized.
In responding to the unprecedented COVID-19 challenges, companies around the world are rushing to capitalize on the current crisis by advertising the effectiveness of their products in containing the virus spread. Among these ads and messages, some may be useful in building the public’s confidence and marketing effective products to consumers, but some may mislead and deceive desperate consumers into buying treatments and products without any scientific support. As fear and anxiety proliferate during this pandemic, fraudulent or false advertisements also surge and explode. Petitioners raise false advertising claims and try to stop misleading advertisements by seeking injunctions. However, the injunction standard in the false advertising context is still the subject of debate.
Beginners in answering office actions may find it intimidating and hope to learn from similar cases. If they are able to learn from the formats and arguments adopted by experienced patent agents, they will better handle tasks in a new work environment. This article will introduce several ways to help beginning patent attorneys and agents refer to templates of similar responses in answering office actions.