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Glossaries

Term Definition
15 U.S.C. §1052

15 U.S.C. §1052, also known as Section 2 of the Lanham Act, sets forth the conditions required for registering a US federal trademark on the principal register.

15 U.S.C. §1052(e)(4)

15 U.S.C. §1052(e)(4), also known as Section 2(e)(4) of the Lanham Act, states that a federally registered trademark cannot be "primarily merely a surname".

17 U.S.C. §512

The DMCA Safe Harbor provision, codified in 17 U.S.C. § 512, provides limitations to liability for certain conduct of a service provider's users which may violate the copyright ownership of another, so long as the service provider is in compliance with a registration and notice requirement.

35 U.S.C. §101

35 U.S.C. § 101 sets forth the "subject matter" requirement as an initial threshold to patentability, which states that any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof may qualify for a patent. Over time, the courts have interpreted these categories to exclude  three judicial exceptions, including: laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas. Practically speaking, generally if an invention falls under one of the categories, and does not fall into a judicial exception, then it passes the 101 test.

35 U.S.C. §102

35 U.S.C. § 102 sets forth the "novelty" requirement as a condition for patentability, which states that an invention must be new. In practical terms, this generally means that if a patent examiner can find all elements of an invention described in a printed publication, then a 102 rejection will be issued by the USPTO.

35 U.S.C. §103

35 U.S.C. § 103 sets forth the "obviousness" requirement as a condition for patentability, which states that an invention must be non-obvious. In practical terms, this generally means that if a patent examiner can find all elements of an invention described in two or more printed publications and these publications relate to the same field of endeavor, then a 103 rejection will be issued by the USPTO.

47 U.S.C. §230

Section 230 of the Communicaitons Decency Act provides limited immunity to service providers and users of an "interactive computer service" as to information published by others. This immunity is not absolute, and excepts federal criminal liability and intellectual property claims.

CBM

A Covered Business Method (CBM) patent is any patent that claims a method or apparatus used in the practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service. CBM review (called the "transitional program for covered business method patents" or "TPCBM") is available for these types of patents, which is a type of administrative proceeding that allows a party to challenge the validity of a CBM patent in front of the PTAB.

Design Patent

A design patent is issued for a new and ornamental design embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture. Design patents are intended to separately protect only the ornamental aspect of an invention for a term of 14 years from the date of grant, and not its function.

DMCA

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a U.S. copyright law that was enacted on October 28, 1998. Among its key provisionsm, the DMCA: criminalized production and dissemination of technology which circumvented digital rights management (DRM); criminalized the act of circumventing access control regardless of actual copyright infringement; and limited the liability of service providers for copyright infringement by its users.

Federal Circuit

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit or CAFC) is a specialized United States court of appeals headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is unique among all the courts of appeals as it is the only court based entirely on subject matter jurisdiction rather than geographic location. The Federal Circuit handles all patent appeals from US district courts, and its decisions are binding throughout the US, unless superseded by a decision of the Supreme Court or changes in legislation.

IPR

An Inter Partes Review (IPR) is a trial proceeding conducted at the PTAB, in which a party contests that an issued patent is invalid on a ground raised under §102 or §103 on the basis of prior art consisting of patents or printed publications. The timing limitation for requesting an IPR is 1 year from the date the requester is served with an infringement complaint.

ITU

An Intent-to-Use (ITU) application is a trademark application filed to the USPTO based on a good faith "bona fide intention to use your mark" in commerce with your goods and/or services "in the near future". An advantage of pursuing an ITU application before you're actually ready to use your mark in commerce is to create an early filing date, which may be important in the event a legal conflict develops, and could provide your mark priority over another party.

PGR

A Post Grant Review (PGR) is a trial proceeding conducted at the PTAB, in which a party contests that an issued patent is invalid on any grounds that were a condition for patentability, including §102, §103, §112. A PGR must be initiated within 9 months of the grant of a patent.

Plant Patent

A plant patent is issued for a new and distinct, invented or discovered asexually reproduced plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or one found in an uncultivated state. A plant patent lasts for a period of 20 years from the date of filing.