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Alt Legal Blog

Your source for news, updates and guidance on all things trademarks and intellectual property.

Alt Legal IP News – Issue # 181

Bri Van Til | March 24, 2020
2 min read

Remote Possibilities

– Come join the Alt Legal team for a virtual happy hour on Thursdays at 5 pm EST. Let me clarify, though: the happiness and the hour are both real. We’re also hosting a semimonthly webinar series starting next Tuesday. To receive updates, go here.

– If you are gearing up to work remotely for the first time, here are some cybersecurity recommendations, a list of tech resources to gather, some tips for being more productive at home, a rundown of OSHA requirements for at-home work, and a list of issues for employers to consider.

– Furia Rubel has put together some handy templates for communicating with employees and the public about COVID-19 updates.

– Is Alexa listening to your confidential client calls?

– Finding yourself on a lot of video conferences these days? Consider using an EFF virtual background to spice things up.

Medical Patents

– Labrador Diagnostics, the firm that bought Theranos’s patents, asked a judge to block a company developing coronavirus tests from using its patented technology. After public backlash, Labrador has since announced that it will provide royalty-free licenses to those developing coronavirus tests.

– Some attorneys have argued that Mayo v. Prometheus discourages companies from producing tests, though, because they aren’t offered adequate patent protection.

– Despite AbbVie Inc.’s patent on HIV drug Kaletra, officials in Israel are importing generics of the drug to treat coronavirus patients. AbbVie has since issued a statement saying it will allow the use.

– Mobilization efforts to allow other companies to manufacture equipment needed to combat coronavirus may leave producers vulnerable to patent-infringement claims.

Please Don’t Stop the Music

– The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the “inverse ratio rule” and sided with Led Zeppelin in finding that “Stairway to Heaven” does not infringe on Spirit’s song “Taurus.”

– A federal judge vacated the jury’s verdict in the copyright infringement suit against Katy Perry, writing that the “relatively common 8-note combination of unprotected elements… cannot be so original as to warrant copyright protection.”

– Spotify has patented technology that can read emotions. No word on if the technology can be used to communicate those emotions to your significant other.

– The USPTO has rejected The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s application to trademark THE JOINT, stating the term for a music venue is too generic to be afforded protection.

– Heritage Guitars is preemptively suing Gibson to defend the appearance of their guitars.

Professional Concerns

– Kaiser Permanente is looking for a senior IP attorney, Amazon is looking for IP counsel, T-Mobile is looking for senior corporate counsel, and Everlaw is looking for a head of legal.

– IP law firm Billion & Armitage and Axiom Law are each looking to hire a patent attorney.

– Charles Schwab wants a transactional and trademark attorney, Bristol-Myers Squibb is looking for associate counsel for its R&D team, and the USPS wants a litigation and appeals attorney.

– Have an open role on your team? Send a link to your job listing to, and we’ll publish it in our next newsletter.

Odds and Ends

– Novartis has instituted a diversity policy for its outside counsel, requiring that 20-30% of billable time “will be provided by women, or members of ethnic minority or LGBT communities.”

– In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the USPTO may waive some petition fees; however, many deadlines are not extendable by petition, so be sure to check!

– Buzz Photo, Freedom Watch, and others are suing officials and agencies in China for $20 trillion, alleging they’re responsible for the release of COVID-19.

– Artist Lauren Adele Oliver is suing Meow Wolf for copyright infringement of her House of Eternal Return sculpture.

– Akin Gump has created a tracker to help you know which federal and state courts are closed.

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