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Recent Blog Articles

New USPTO Rule Requires Trademark Owner Email Address


On February 6, 2020, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”) published an Examination Guide announcing new rules scheduled to go into effect on February 15. Among the new rules, is a requirement that any trademark owner (e.g. applicant, registrant, or party to a litigation matter before the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board) provide a valid email address for correspondence, even if there is an appointed U.S. attorney.

Category: Trademark

Protecting a Product's Appearance or Configuration


When a company wants to protect the appearance or configuration of a product, trade dress intellectual property protection most immediately comes to mind. This is sensible. But, other types of protection, copyright and design patents, can each provide their own unique advantages.

New USPTO Rules For Foreign Applicants Are In Effect. Are You Covered?


The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) now requires all foreign-domiciled trademark applicants and registrants to retain licensed counsel in the United States to prosecute trademark applications, file post-registration maintenance documents, file submissions in Madrid applications, or respond to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) proceedings.

Category: Patent, Trademark

Washington State Legislation to Protect Social Gaming Companies From Litigation


Washington state legislators have introduced legislation that would amend the definition of “illegal gambling games” in current laws to exclude most video games which would prevent further litigation against game companies.

Brush Up on Your Alcohol Trade Best Practices with New TTB Video Series


The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the agency which regulates alcohol beverages at the federal level, recently posted several educational videos about the history of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act and an overview of TTB trade practice laws and regulations.

As Ransomware Attacks Evolve, Potential Targets Should Reassess Strategies


Ransomware—malicious software that locks or alters computer data and demands a ransom payment to unlock or restore the data—is not a new phenomenon. Recently, though, ransomware attacks have become increasingly common and increasingly sophisticated, with hackers not only locking but also stealing the data.

Don't Forget About Wine When Filing a Trademark Registration for Beer


When seeking to register a federal trademark registration that covers beer, you not only need to search for the same or similar marks that are used with the same goods (beer) but also look for marks that are used with commercially related goods (wine and spirits).

Don't Throw Away Tax-Exempt Status: Electronic Annual Filings Now Required


All organizations that have tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) Section 501 or 527 are required to annually file an information return with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). Failure to make a filing for three consecutive years results in the automatic revocation of the organization’s exemption. Under recently enacted law, organizations are now required to file information returns and related forms electronically for tax years beginning after July 1, 2019.

Wire Transfer Fraud: Financial Losses and Regulatory Sanctions


Wire transfer fraud is rampant. FINRA member firms and their employees must be diligent in the detection of scams and the prevention of client losses. In addition, adherence to the member firm’s wire transfer policies and procedures is important for the avoidance of losses and potential regulatory sanctions.

Congressional Action on PFAS May Impose Significant Burdens on Water Utilities

12/20/2019 - By: Stanley Lutz

On November 25, 2019, the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of the potential impacts of a Senate measure that would set concentration standards for per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water and require drinking water providers to meet new drinking water standards for PFAS.

The 2019 Guide to Arizona's Speculative Builder's Tax


Arizona’s speculative builder’s tax is a hidden real property transfer tax imposed by Arizona cities but is not imposed by the state. The speculative builder’s tax is a sales tax on the sale of “improved real property.” It is triggered for commercial buildings if the property is sold within 24 months of substantial completion.

Category: Taxation

Adult-Themed Domain Blocks - Discount Expires December 31, 2019

Intellectual Property

A new adult-themed domain name blocking mechanism has announced a promotional price incentive that expires on December 31, 2019. We recommend considering this option for your most valuable marks.

Nevada Gaming Regulators Propose Revisions to Draft Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Regulations

11/07/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

In the last several years, the United States has experienced a surge in the number of sexual assault victims who have publically disclosed their stories. Sexual harassment is prevalent across a broad range of industries, including Hollywood, media, hospitality and healthcare. As such, it has spurred many industries to reexamine their own policies to prevent sexual harassment. The gaming industry is no different.

Nevada Reaches a Compromise in the Debate Over Participation in Charitable Lotteries by Minors

11/04/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

On October 24, 2019, the Nevada Gaming Commission (“NGC”) voted unanimously to adopt amendments to Regulation 4A, which governs lotteries and games of chance that raise money for nonprofit organizations in the state.

Revised Examination Guide Addresses Concerns with Determining Applicant's Domicile - IP Blog

10/03/2019 - By: Oliver Bajracharya, David Jackson

The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) new rule requiring foreign-domiciled trademark applicants, registrants, or trademark-proceeding parties to be represented by a U.S. attorney (84 FR 31498) took effect on August 3, 2019. The USPTO issued an accompanying initial Examination Guide in early August to help implement the rule. After taking into account responses …

Beware Your Design Language – Curver v. Home Expressions

Intellectual Property
09/25/2019 - By: Kurt Prange

In Curver v. Home Expressions, decided on September 12, 2019, the Federal Circuit affirmed the dismissal of Curver’s design patent infringement suit against Home Expressions. The Federal Circuit held that “claim language can limit the scope of a design patent where the claim language supplies the only instance of an article of manufacture that appears …

The post Beware Your Design Language – Curver v. Home Expressions appeared first on The Intellectual Property Blog.

Use Requirements in the United States for Foreign Applicants

09/19/2019 - By: Oliver Bajracharya, David Jackson

The United States, unlike many other countries, requires proof of use before a trademark registration will be granted.  Applicants can still file an application before use commences, provided that the applicant has a bona fide intent to use a mark, but the trademark registration still will not issue until acceptable use evidence is submitted. …

PFAS Legislation May Impact Utilities and Other Unprepared Sectors - Energy Blog

09/16/2019 - By: Stanley Lutz

Per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (collectively known as a class as “PFAS”) have been widely used in industrial and consumer applications for years.  PFAS are a class of long-lasting chemicals that have been shown to accumulate in the human body.  PFAS have historically been used in non-stick cookware, stain and water-resistant fabrics, and are also...

Remote Registration for Sports Wagering Accounts in Nevada

Commercial Gaming
08/23/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

A discussion regarding remote registration for Nevada sports books has been raised recently with sports betting commentators having arguments for both innovation and keeping the status quo. On the one hand, the argument is that given the numerous casinos in Las Vegas, it is not difficult to register for a sports wagering account in-person. The …

The post Remote Registration for Sports Wagering Accounts in Nevada appeared first on The Commercial Gaming Blog.

Video Game Industry Pledges to Disclose Odd of Winning In-Game Items from Loot Boxes

Commercial Gaming
08/22/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

Entertainment Software Association (ESA)’s Chief Counsel of Tech Policy, Michael Warnecke, announced at a recent Federal Trade Commission workshop examining loot boxes,[1] that the video game industry will require disclosure of the odds of winning in-game items from paid loot boxes. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony Interactive Entertainment have agreed to new platform policies with regard …

The post Video Game Industry Pledges to Disclose Odd of Winning In-Game Items from Loot Boxes appeared first on The Commercial Gaming Blog.

Arizona Supreme Court Affirms Lower Court's Ruling on Death Penalty

08/12/2019 - By: Stephen Richer

On Wednesday morning, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled to uphold the death sentence of Alan Matthew Champagne who killed two people and then buried them in his mother’s backyard, only to be discovered 20 months later by a landscaper. In affirming the lower court’s ruling, the Court rejected Champagne’s argument that Arizona’s death penalty violated both the U.S. Constitution and the Arizona Constitution. Champagne also lost on a host of other challenges that the Court assessed and rejected.

New USPTO Rules for Foreign Applicants Ensure Compliance With U.S. Use Requirements

Intellectual Property
07/29/2019 - By: Oliver Bajracharya, David Jackson

The impetus for the upcoming August 3, 2019 rule change requiring all foreign-domiciled trademark applicants and registrants to retain licensed counsel in the United States is an increase in foreign trademark applicants acting pro se and who are failing to comply with the rules of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”)....

End of the Line? A Halt to Funding the Phoenix Light Rail Expansion Now Officially on the Ballot

07/29/2019 - By: Stephen Richer

The Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled that a Phoenix light rail ballot initiative can proceed to the polls in August 2019. According to the Court, the proponents of the ballot initiative did not violate ARS 19-118.01(A) by paying signature gatherers per signature because that prohibition only applies to statewide ballot initiatives, not city initiatives. Nor did the initiative supporters violate ARS 19-102(A) through a misleading 100-word descriptive statement.

The ballot initiative before the Court in Associated General Contractors v. City of Phoenix and Building a Better Phoenix seeks to end all funding for the expansion of the city’s light rail system. If passed by Phoenix voters, current light rail operations would remain, but planned expansions would be scrapped (listen to this AZCentral podcast for more details).

New Hampshire Sports Betting Legislation Approved

Commercial Gaming
07/12/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

The governor of New Hampshire signed sports betting legislation, HB 480, on July 12, 2019. The new law authorizes sports betting at retail locations and mobile wagering while located within the geographic boundaries of the state. If you would like to discuss this recent legislation, please contact authors Karl Rutledge at, Glenn Light at …

The post New Hampshire Sports Betting Legislation Approved appeared first on The Commercial Gaming Blog.

The Federal Circuit Clamps Down on Broadening Reissues – Or Does It?

Intellectual Property
07/01/2019 - By: Kyle Kellar

By Kyle Kellar and Christopher Underwood Last week, the Federal Circuit, in Forum US v. Flow Valve[i], affirmed the lower court’s ruling invalidating a reissue patent because the broadened claims added in the reissue failed to satisfy the original patent requirement under 35 U.S.C. § 251. As a brief refresher, the original patent requirement requires that …

The post The Federal Circuit Clampsdown on Broadening Reissues – Or Does It? appeared first on The Intellectual Property Blog.

SCOTUS Decision on "Immoral or Scandalous" Trademarks

Intellectual Property
06/25/2019 - By: David Jackson

What exactly is an “immoral” or “scandalous” trademark, and should the government be the arbiter of making such a determination? In the second landmark trademark decision in two years, the Supreme Court invalidated the Lanham Act’s prohibition on registering “immoral” or “scandalous” trademarks. Iancu v. Brunetti, 588 U.S. ___ (2019). The Court’s decision expands the …

Federal Water Quality – WOTUS Rule Updates Leave Some States in Flux

Energy & Natural Resources
06/24/2019 - By: Dietrich Hoefner

Southern District of Texas Remands Obama WOTUS Rule The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas decided on May 28, 2019, that the Obama-era Clean Water Rule defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS Rule), see 80 Fed. Reg. 37,054 (June 29, 2015), must be remanded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and …

The post Federal Water Quality – WOTUS Rule Updates Leave Some States in Flux appeared first on The Energy & Natural Resources Blog.

DOJ Extends Deadline to Enforce Wire Act Reinterpretation, Yet Again

06/13/2019 - By: Glenn Light, Karl Rutledge, Mary Tran

In light of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission Wire Act ruling issued on June 3, 2019, the Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a new memorandum on June 12, 2019 extending the June 14, 2019 deadline for implementation of the Wire Act reinterpretation. The last extension we reported was issued on …

The post DOJ Extends Deadline to Enforce Wire Act Reinterpretation, Yet Again appeared first on The Commercial Gaming Blog.

Growing a Business to Multiple Locations Can Be Both Exciting and Daunting

06/12/2019 - By: Amy Altshuler

From a business perspective, many factors must be considered when growing a business to multiple locations, and this will vary based on the product or service being provided.

Podcast: Cybersecurity Panel with Doug DePeppe, Hilary Wells, Ed Barkel and Bill Nelson on the Business Leaders Podcast

Cybersecurity attorneys Doug DePeppe, Hilary Wells, Bill Nelson and Ed Barkel explore why businesses must start paying attention to their 'Cyber Hygiene' on the latest episode of the Business Leaders Podcast.