The IP Beacon, December 2013

12/16/2013

The IP Beacon is a Haynes and Boone Newsletter highlighting current issues in Intellectual Property Law. Articles featured in the December 2013 issue include: 

Trademark Owners: Protect Yourselves NOW as the New gTLDs Are Finally Launching

The first wave of the new Generic Top Level Domain Names (the "new gTLDs") was recently approved to go live, and cybersquatters and speculators may already be pre-registering your brand as one of these new domain names. The remaining 900 or so expected new gTLDs, such as .shop and .online, will go live on a rolling basis with little advance warning. Accordingly, it is time for trademark owners to review their domain name enforcement strategies and scale them appropriately to meet the challenges and opportunities brought by the introduction of hundreds of new gTLDs.

Copyright Report on Small Claims Recommends Voluntary Copyright Claims Board, $30,000 Damages Cap, Remote Hearings 

The U.S. Copyright Office has released the long awaited Report on Copyright Small Claims. The report recommends a voluntary tribunal, called the Copyright Claims Board, which would hear all types of copyright infringement cases and permit all defenses to be raised.

PTAB Rearranging the Face of Patent Litigation 

It has been over a year since the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) began directly accepting petitions from third parties to review and invalidate patents. In the first year, approximately 600 petitions for inter partes review have been filed, mostly for patents that are being asserted in concurrent district court litigation. The entrance of PTAB review marks a major change in the interplay of patent rights and U.S. patent litigation - one that could have a dramatic impact in the years to come. Understanding PTAB review will be critical for all parties enmeshed in patent litigation. This article attempts to address many of the open questions about PTAB review that still remain. 

Fifth Circuit Expansion of Cyber Liability 

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a company may be liable for weak cybersecurity measures that cause another party economic injury, even if there is no contractual relationship between the parties. This holding could signal an expansion in cyber liability and is yet another reason for companies that manage sensitive data to ensure they have effective cybersecurity measures in place.

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