The IP Beacon, March 2014

03/20/2014

The IP Beacon is a Haynes and Boone Newsletter highlighting current issues in Intellectual Property Law. Articles featured in the March 2014 issue include:

gTLD Domain Name Update 

On January 23rd, coinciding with the ability of trademark owners to register their brands in many of the new gTLD domain names, Haynes and Boone’s Dallas Office hosted the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex INTA Roundtable on the timely topic “gTLDs: Protecting Your Brand.” Much of the discussion at the Roundtable was centered on the mechanics of brand protection during the initial period of gTLD launches, however there were many more topics and issues raised throughout the event and can be found in this summary.

Prosecution History Estoppel Applies to Design Patents

The concept of prosecution history estoppel prevents a patent owner from later claiming infringement of subject matter that was surrendered to obtain the patent. In a case of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit determined that the concept of prosecution history estoppel applies to design patents. Pacific Coast Marine Windshields Ltd. v. Malibu Boats, LLC, 739 F.3d 694 (Fed. Cir. 2014). An exploration of this case and potential ramifications is included in this article.

Pragmatists v. Academics: The Lighting Ballast Control Decision

On February 21, 2014, the Federal Circuit’s 6-4 majority en banc ruling in Lighting Ballast Control vs. Philips Electronic North America retained the standard of de novo appellate review of district court claim construction rulings, whereby the scope of the patent grant is reviewed as a matter of law. In this article, we analyze the actions leading up to this ruling.

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