Standley Law Group Celebrates 25 Years!

Standley Law Group LLP opened in February, 1994. The firm’s business focus has remained the same since day one. Its business has always been about helping clients with their intellectual property needs, whether that be in the form of patent matters, trademark matters, copyright matters, computer system contracts, and other instances where technology and law intersect. The firm has six paralegals and eleven attorneys plus staff members. Standley Law Group has been a proud resident of the central Ohio area since inception. Its offices are in Dublin. Clients range in size from individual inventors to Fortune 100 companies. Due to the varied scientific backgrounds of each of the firm’s attorneys (including mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, chemical engineers, software engineers, and biotech), they are able to assist clients in practically all technical fields.

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It’s Your Name, but that Doesn’t Mean it can or should be the Trademark for Your Business…

By Melissa A. McCurdy, Partner, Standley Law Group LLP

A common misconception regarding U.S. trademark law is that a person has a natural right to use his or her family name (surname) in conjunction with offering goods or services in commerce. The general rule is that surnames cannot be registered as trademarks. See Lanham Act, Section 2(e)(4). However, this rule can be overcome. To determine whether a surname should be federally registered as a trademark, and hence protectable as such, the U.S. Trademark Office looks at various factors to determine whether the mark will be perceived as predominantly a “surname”, including whether the proposed mark is a common or a rare surname, the latter favoring registration, and whether the proposed mark has any other recognized meanings other than a surname (if yes, this tips in favor of registration).

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The CAFC Finds That User Interfaces May be Patent Eligible

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

Breathing new life into the § 101 analysis post-Alice , the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) found claims directed to a user interface to be patent eligible in Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L., v. LG Electronics, Inc., LG Electronics Mobilecomm U.S.A., Inc., Case No 2016-2684, 2017-1922 (Decided January 25, 2018).

In Core Wireless, the Applicant’s claims were directed to an improved interface for a mobile electronic device which allowed a user to quickly “drill down” into specific applications and data by presenting a summary window with a limited list of common functions and commonly accessed data for immediate access from the main menu. The CAFC found this invention to solve the common problem of how to most efficiently provide access to frequently used applications, as well as navigate otherwise complex menus and voluminous data indexes. The CAFC noted that this problem was particularly apparent in the context of mobile devices, which typically have a single small screen that limit the amount of information which may be presented to a user.

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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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