Sixth Circuit Finds No Likelihood of Confusion in Jewelry Dispute

By Beverly A. Marsh, Partner, Standley Law Group LLP

The Sixth Circuit recently presided over a dispute between Artistry, Ltd. (“Artistry”), a jewelry wholesaler, and Sterling Jewelers (“Sterling”), the largest specialty jewelry retailer in the country, over the use of “Artistry.” See Sterling Jewelers, Inc. v. Artistry Ltd., Appeal No. 17-4132 (Decided July 24, 2018). Sterling owns roughly 1,300 jewelry stores, including Kay Jewelers and Jared. Artistry accused Sterling of trademark infringement when Kay Jewelers began marketing a line of jewelry under the name “Artistry Diamond Collection.” Artistry never registered a trademark for its name, whereas Sterling registered several of its “Artistry Diamond Collection” marks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, including ARTISTRY DIAMONDS, ARTISTRY BLUE DIAMONDS, and ARTISTRY BLACK DIAMONDS. Artistry asked Sterling to stop using “Artistry” in Sterling’s marks and filed a petition to cancel Sterling’s trademark registrations.

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Battle Over the Bourbon

By Stephen L. Grant, Senior Attorney, Standley Law Group LLP

Being the son of two native Kentuckians, as well as an occasional sipper of bourbon, a recent case from the Sixth Circuit caught my eye. Along the trail, it even teaches a good lesson about trademark law, specifically, nominative fair use. Besides that, the Kentucky party wins. An all-around good case to know about, with an opinion written by Judge Sutton.

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Standley Law Group LLP names new partner!

Standley Law Group LLP is pleased to announce the appointment of Melissa Rogers-McCurdy as a new partner to the firm. Melissa’s practice consists mainly of litigation and trademark/patent prosecution. Her litigation experience encompasses patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, and other intellectual property claims.

She received her degree cum laude in Materials Science Engineering from the Ohio State University. Melissa was an active member of the Honors & Scholars and the Women in Engineering programs. She went on to earn her Juris Doctorate from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. In law school, Melissa served as marketing editor of The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, which is the official law journal of the American Bar Association’s Section on Dispute Resolution.

Melissa has experience throughout the various stages of the litigation process including preparing and responding to pleadings, conducting discovery, taking and defending depositions, and drafting and responding to motions at the discovery and summary judgment stages. Melissa also has experience in drafting briefs at the appellate level and experience in the preparation of patentability opinions and domestic patent applications involving the mechanical arts and software.

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Biotech, Business Method, and Software Patents Receive a Boost

By Jeffrey C. Norris, Partner, Standley Law Group LLP

The determination of what constitutes patent eligible subject matter has been at the forefront of patent law in recent years. The United States Code has long held that “[w]hoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.” 35 U.S.C. § 101. Judicially-created exceptions to eligibility have, however, lead to uncertainty. In 2014, the United States Supreme Court addressed the patent eligibility of an invention for a computer-implemented scheme for mitigating settlement risk, wherein the Court determined that the invention was directed to patent-ineligible subject matter. See Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. V. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct. 2347. In the wake of that decision, there has been heightened dispute and confusion about what qualifies as patent eligible subject matter, as well as the mechanisms used to make that determination. Inventions in fields such as biotech, business methods, and software have been caught in the crosshairs.

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Pleading Your Case: Complaint Drafting for Patent Infringement Following the Abrogation of Form 18

By Adam J. Smith, Associate Attorney, Standley Law Group LLP

The former Form 18 set out a bare-bones, minimum level of acceptability, complaint template for pleading patent infringement. In the not-so-distant-past, plaintiffs pleading patent infringement often relied on Form 18 when drafting complaints and rested easy knowing that their complaint would satisfy minimum pleading requirements. However, the relatively recent abrogation of Form 18 has upended this standard practice and left plaintiffs wondering with what level of specificity must they plead their case to avoid a potential dismissal.

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