Friday, October 31, 2014

Moonshiners Take Their Fight to the Trademark Office

by Patricia Clark  October 30, 2014
Read about how trademark law has been used to protect a moonshine signature product.

Under U.S. law, the right to use a trademark is usually conferred to the first company to make commercial use of a given word, symbol, or phrase. But what qualifies as commercial use? That question was at the heart of what passes for a modern-day moonshine war.

The story begins in 2011, when Carolina Moon Distillery, an Edgefield (S.C.)-based company whose signature product is a small-batch corn whiskey marketed as moonshine, started the process of gaining federal and state distillery licenses. The distilling company didn’t start selling hooch until the end of last year. In the meantime, North Charleston (S.C.)-based Terressentia, which makes private-label booze using a process that’s supposed to make unaged spirits taste older, applied for the “Carolina Moon” trademark.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

 What is PubEast?

  •  PubEAST - The "public" version of the Examiner's Automated Search Tool provides seamless access to multiple text data sources including the Pre-Grant Publications (US-PGPUB), U.S. Patents (USPAT), U.S. Optical Character Recognition (USOCR), European Patent Office (EPO) Abstracts, Japanese Patent Office (JPO) Abstracts, and Foreign Patent Retrieval system (FPRS) databases, as well as image data sources for full and clipped images.  PubEAST provides a form-based search capability for novice users, and enables expert users to submit searches in Bibliographic Retrieval System (BRS) syntax and IS&R syntax. (Access via a PTRC Workstation
This is the definition from the USPTO web site of what PubEast is all about. From a librarian, it is another method to search the USPTO patent database. When we search an electronic catalog for materials found in our Library, we often use Boolean search terms of "and", "or", and "not". These are terms that you can use when searching PubEast. I would recommend an advanced patent search to use PubEast. Come prepared. Figure out your keywords that you idea/invention entails. It will make searching much easier and faster.

When you want to search to see if a patent has been already approved for your idea, and you want to search using PubEast, call (314) 539-0390 to ask when you can make an appointment to use one of the two dedicated computers available to search located in the Science and Technology Room / Patent and Trademark Resource Center

I will be presenting on November 18th a PubEast presentation, where attendees will find in more detail how to search this resource. Please call (314) 539-0390 to reserve a spot. Space is limited.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Next Meeting of Inventors Association of Saint Louis is Thursday, November 13, from 5-8p.m.

-  5-6 p.m. Networking
-  6-7 p.m.  IASL Panel Discussion - Speakers TBA
-  7-8 p.m.  Meet the Panel/Break out discussions/networking

Venture Cafe @ Cambridge Innovation Center
4240 Duncan Ave., 2 nd FLOOR  - St.Louis, MO  63110 (near HWY 40 and Vandeventer)

Free, ample parking (park on the NW corner of the building); enter on the NW corner


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cortex Innovation Community

The beginning of October this month the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC)opened at the Cortex technology district. The Cambridge Innovation Center, also known in St. Louis as CIC@4240, houses start-ups, emerging and industry-leading companies. It is based in Cambridge, MA.

RubinBrown, an accounting and business consulting firm based in Clayton, MO, have opened a satellite office at Cortex so that they can help emerge companies to build their own businesses. CIC hopes to eventually house as many as 75 companies at this CIC@4240 location, from entrepreneurs and growth businesses to strategic service firms and investor groups.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

USPTO Announces On-Line Trademark Resources

IPO Daily News - October 1, 2014

The USPTO is helping trademark customers. Today they announced that there is a new on-line resource available. If you go to their web site, you will have an opportunity to use a new tool.

Besides finding new tools on their web site, customers are asked to provide their comments for trademark improvements. If you go to their website and click on the link for trademark news, you are provided information on how to submit your comments on improving trademark information on the web site.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Provisional Patents

When inventors visit our Saint Louis Public Library Patent and Trademark Resource Center, one of the first things they ask me is, "Do I need a provisional patent?" Of course, as a librarian, I kindly advise them that I am not an attorney and can not provide them any legal advice. However, I can provide them a paper brochure and web site link that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has created to help inventors solve that question.

Since June 8, 1995, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has offered inventors the option of filing a provisional application for a patent which was designed to provide a lower-cost first patent filing in the United States and to give U.S. applicants parity with foreign application under the GATT Uruguay Round Agreements.

According to the USPTO, "a provisional patent application for a patent is a U.S. national application for patent filed in the USPTO under 35 U.S.C. 111(b). It allows filing without a formal patent claim,
oath, or declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement.  It provides the means to establish an early effective filing date in a later filed non-provisional patent application files under 35 U.S.C. 111(a). It also allows the term "Patent Pending" to be applied in connection with the description of the invention."

So, do still come in to visit the PTRC to talk with the Patent and Trademark Resource Center librarian. However, just do not expect to walk out with their decision of what you should be doing - filing a patent or a provisional patent. That will always be your decision.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

South Florida Federal Courts Ends Pilot Patent Program

Daily Business Review, September 8, 2014

As the Southern District of Florida became a mecca for patent cases, judges decided to opt out of a 10-year pilot program assigning the bulk of newly filed cases to a handful of judges.
John Pacenti, Daily Business Review
The patent troll has struck again.
As the Southern District of Florida became a mecca for patent cases, judges decided to opt out of a 10-year pilot program assigning the bulk of newly filed cases to a handful of judges.
Three years into the program, the district decided to pull the plug, partly because the complex cases are led by claims from parties that don't make real products. They just purchase patents for the sake of litigation.
In one of his final acts as chief judge, U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno in June issued an administrative order terminating the pilot program for patent case assignments.