For our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, November 19, 2018, we will discuss the following cases:

In re Grumpy Cat Limited (TTAB October 26, 2018 available here). Around 2012 a family posted a picture of their cat on the internet. The picture became an internet sensation and spawned the meme “grumpy cat”. The family tried to register an image of the cat with the Trademark Office, but the registration was refused, the TTAB affirmed the refusal for two main reasons. First, the image was merely descriptive of the goods being registered (lots of the goods simply had an image of the cat on them, the mark in essence was the product). Second the TTAB argued that despite the image being widely known, the image used as a mark had no acquired distinctiveness.

Image result for I had fun once it was awful


Acceleration Bay, LLC v. Activision Blizzard (CAFC November 6, 2018 here) Acceleration Bay sued Activision on various patents related to sending information over a peer to peer network. Activision filed IPRs on the patents asserted. The PTAB held some claims invalid and others  valid, the CAFC affirmed. In arguing some claims were invalid, Activision relied on a document uploaded to a computer at UCSD in 1999. The CAFC found although the document was uploaded before the critical date, it was not a printed publication. The court reasoned that although it was uploaded to an index that was searchable, a normally skilled artisan could not have likely found the document, because the search function was not very easy to use and they would have had to skim hundreds of documents before finding the one they needed.

All are invited to join us on Monday November 19, 2018, at noon in our Westlake Village office. This activity is approved for 1 hour of MCLE credit. If you will be joining us, please RSVP to Elisha Manzur by 9 am Monday morning.