By Irina Pomestchenko |

The patent prosecution is a lengthy process and as a regular practice, the USPTO considers patent applications in the order they are filed. Based on the USPTO statistics, as of December 2018, there were 546,792 unexamined patent applications and the average patent pendency was 23.8 months.

If you are in the highly competitive technology sector where fast rights acquisition is critical, you may not be able to afford to wait that long to get a patent.  Fast rights acquisition can benefit your business in various ways and in some instances could be vital.

Let’s say you have a competitor who is infringing upon your product of technology. Once the patent is filed, it is pending and you can and should include “patent pending” note and all your sold or exhibited products and marketing materials. The American Inventors Protection Act (AIPA) of 1999 granted patent pending infringement protection. However, you can sue the infringing party for damages only after the patent becomes enforceable after it’s grant date. Therefore, if you have an infringer or unfriendly competitor breathing down your neck, the fast rights acquisition is critical. Granted patent rights also allow you to attract investments and leverage your licensing agreements more efficiently.

There are several approaches you can exploit to get faster to the finish line.

The first and the oldest one is the Petition to Make Special. On August 25, 2006, the USPTO implemented a revised provision for Petition to Make Special procedures and introduced the Accelerated Examination program.  All non-reissue utility (including continuing applications) and design applications filed on or thereafter this date are eligible to participate. Since then all Petitions to Make Special except ones based on applicants age, health or participation in the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program (discussed below) are required to comply with the requirements for Petitions to Make Special under the Accelerated Examination program. 

Petitions to Make Special based on applicants age (over 65) or illness do not have to comply with the accelerated examination program requirements and will be granted automatically upon providing proof of eligibility.

The objective of the Accelerated Examination (AE) program is to complete the examination of an application and give the applicant the final patentability decision within twelve months from the filing date. However, in certain circumstances, it may take longer and the failure to meet this goal by USPTO is neither petitionable nor appealable.

Upon satisfying all requirements of accelerated examination program, petition to make special will be granted for free if the subject matter of the application is materially contributing to one of the following: development or conservation of energy resources, enhancement of the quality of the environment or countering terrorism. In such instances, the applying party has to provide a statement which explains how exactly invention materially contributes to one of the above categories in support of the petition. The “materiality” of the contribution must be solid and obvious, not hypothetical.

On the other hand, if the invention is directed to other areas, the Petition to Make Special under Accelerated Examination program still can be filed. However, a fee has to be paid to file the petition and all requirements for accelerated examination status must be still met.

The Accelerated Examination fee ($140 regular, $70 small entity and $35 micro entity) is rather modest. However, the requirements for obtaining accelerated examination status are plentiful [MPEP 708.02(a)] and very challenging to satisfy. The restriction on the number of claims (not more than 3 independent claims, 20 total claims, and no multiple dependent claims), interview, pre-examination search document, and accelerated examination support document (AESD) are among such.  Basically, the inventive party has to conduct its own prior art search and examination. On the long run, the information provided in AESD by an applicant may be used against the applicant if the validity of the patent gets challenged by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Therefore, even though getting ahead of the line through the Petition to Make Special under the Accelerated Examination program could appear attractive, in practice, this approach may not be always beneficial. Based on the USPTO statistics, the number of granted petitions under that accelerated examination program was steadily declining, with only 32 petitions granted in 2015, and the AE program itself may be phased out completely in future in lieu of more popular Prioritized Examination program (a.k.a. Track I).

In the Notice in Federal Register published on 08/16/2016, USPTO states that “Since the implementation of Track I in 2011, the USPTO has received fewer than 200 Accelerated Examination requests annually. In view of the relatively low usage of the AE program, USPTO plans to publish a request for comments in the Federal Register to seek public input on whether there is a value in retaining AE program in view of more popular Track I (Prioritized Examination) program”.

Alternatively, to participating in the Accelerated Examination Program applicants for a design patent may choose to participate in the Expedited Examination program. This program is also available for international design applications designating the United States that have been published pursuant to Hague Agreement Article 10(3). [refer MPEP 1504.30 for more details]

The second and most popular option to advance your application out of turn is Prioritized Examination, also referred to as Track I.  It was introduced by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) and is available at the time of filing to any non-reissue utility (including continuing applications) or plant application filed on or after September 26, 2011.

A single request for prioritized examination can be also granted for Request for Continuing Examination (RCE) in a plant or utility application including an application that had entered U.S. national stage from Prior-Filed International (PCT) application. This type of Prioritized Examination is referred to as “Prioritized Examination for Requests for Continued Examination” or PE-RCE. [MPEP 708.02(b)]

Since its implementation, the Track I Prioritized Examination Program is rapidly gaining popularity. Similarly, to the AE, Track I is aiming to achieve a final deposition within a year. However,  for all Track, I application that has received the final deposition in fiscal 2019 year the average pendency from petition grant to final deposition is reported to be 6.9 months. That is fast!

Regardless of rather hefty Track One Prioritized Examination Fee ($4,000 regular, $2,000 small entity and $1,000 for micro entity) and other multiple fees, there are much fewer requirements to meet and neither examination support document nor pre-examination search required. The application must comply with claims restriction (maximum 4 independent, 30 total and 0 multiple dependent claims) and be in condition for examination (see MPEP 708.02 (a) subsection VIII.C).

A downside of this approach is the existing numerical cap of 10,000 granted prioritized examination requests annually, however, PTO may consider raising the cap in the near future due to the high demand of this service. [MPEP 708.02(b)]

Beginning in July 2006, there is a third possibility to accelerate the prosecution through the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programs upon meeting certain criteria. The PPH enables an applicant who receives the positive ruling on the claims from the participating office of one country to request accelerated prosecution of the allowed claims in a pending application at the patent office of another country. This allows the applicant to obtain a patentability decision in the second office more quickly. Thus, if you have already filed an international (PCT application) or foreign application at a participating patent office and at least one of your claims was found allowable, you have a basis for participation in PPH program at the USPTO. In order to participate, you must file a request and the Petition to Make Special under the PPH program before the USPTO begins examining your application. There is no limit on the number of applications admitted to the program per year and continuations are eligible for the program (before the first action is issued). Also, there are no additional fees to participate and normal claim limit (with normal excess claim fees) applies.

There are two PPH programs that are running concurrently at USPTO, Global PPH, and IP5 PPH pilot. These programs are substantially similar, differing only with regard to their respective participating offices. Therefore, an applicant doesn’t need to specify which program is being utilized. Additionally, USPTO has PPH agreements with several intellectual property offices that are not yet included in the Global PPH.

The PPH program will not yield a final deposition as quickly as Track I and Accelerated Examination programs and does not guarantee an allowance and neither to shorten the prosecution time. On average, however, PPH applications have higher allowance rates and shorter pendency periods compared to regular applications. Thus, the possibility of shorter pendency period at no additional cost to the applicant makes PPH route worthwhile.

There are other notable options available to an applicant at no additional fees during various stages of prosecution that may contribute to speeding up the process to some degree:

The First Action Interview Pilot Program was signed on May 6, 2011, and since then had been extended and currently running. It is available to all utility applications in all technology areas. Under this program, an applicant may request an interview prior to the first Office action on the merits. During the interview, an applicant will have an opportunity to reach an agreement with the Examiner on relevant prior art and proposed rejections and objections and discuss possible amendments. The effective communication with the examiner during the interview is critical and reached agreement may facilitate earlier allowance.

The After Final Consideration Pilot 2.0, (AFCP) program currently has been extended through September 30, 2019.  This program intends to facilitate communication between Examiner and applicant after Final Rejection. If you are planning to file response to a Final Rejection that you believe will place your application in the condition for allowance with limited further effort from the Examiner in terms of search and consideration, you may request to consider your response to the final Office Action under AFCP 2.0.

The Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement (QPIDS) program is part of the USPTO’s on-going efforts towards compact prosecution and pendency reduction. The QPIDS program is fully implemented on a permanent basis. QUIDS allows an applicant to submit an Information Disclosure Statement after the issue fee had been paid (but before the patent actually issues) without filing Request for Continued Examination (RCE). The RCE fee under 37 CFR 1.17(e) and the IDS fee under 37 CFR 1.17(p) are required with a QPIDS submission as well as the petition fee under 37 CFR 1.17(h) for a petition to withdraw an application from issue under 37 CFR 1.313.   However, if the Examiner determines that no item of information in the IDS necessitates reopening prosecution, the IDS and RCE fees will be automatically returned.

In summary, there are four major approaches that can be exploited to advance the prosecution at USPTO: Petition to Make Special (illness or age only), Petition to make Special under Accelerated Examination program, Prioritized Examination (Track I) and Patent Prosecution Highway.  Additionally, there are several programs that may be helpful to speed up certain stages of the prosecution process. This article represents an only general overview of the existing programs. Each program has multiple filing and eligibility requirements. The laws and application process may be complicated and right approach shall be selected on the case-by-case basis. We welcome you to contact AMD Law Group for additional information and further assistance.


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Originally posted 2016-09-23 12:00:13.

robot-laywer-primaryBy: Kristen Daly |

What defines us as human beings? When the founders put forth that “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury…”, were there to be restrictions on who could serve on that jury? Will the legal field be able to keep up with advances in both technology and biotechnology? A recent mock article in the “Law practice 2050” section of the American Bar Association regarding altered humans serving on juries, though witty and humorous in its content, generates all of these questions through its inquisitive undertone.

Although genetic manipulation has not gone as far as to be able to create a human-animal hybrid as the article suggests, the field of biotechnology, specifically genetic engineering, is rapidly growing. With new advances such as the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology, the human genome itself can be enhanced; replacing mutated and defective genes with functional ones. However, beyond disease testing, genetic testing is available for traits such as addictive behavior and athleticism.[1] If the future holds the real possibility to select for desirable traits in human testing, then the law would have to hold real regulation. Furthermore, lawmakers would need to ensure that their regulations would not discriminate solely against such altered individuals, thereby rendering any legislation unconstitutional.

Though both the resources and ethics of altered humans are ways away from coming to fruition, the future of the legal profession remains unclear as companies begin to see the advantages in using Artificial Intelligence regarding legal services. Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is essentially “the theory and development of computer systems which will perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.”[2] Although many legal process outsourcing companies, corporate legal departments, and law firms have adopted AI for review and standardization of documents[3], Artificial Intelligence is not set to replace human expertise. Rather, its main impact will be on “efficiency, risk mitigation, and dramatically shortening the time and reducing the cost of human review.”[4]

So this creates the question: If we already welcome the opportunity for Artificial Intelligence to help in the legal preparatory process, will we welcome the same opportunity for Artificial Intelligence or altered human beings to help in the ending trial and jury process?

[1] Danielle Simmons. “Genetic Inequality: Human Genetic Engineering.” Nature Education 1(1): 173 (2008)

[2] Greg Wildisen. “Is artificial intelligence the key to unlocking innovation in your law firm?” Legal Week (2015)

[3] Mark Cohen. “How Artifical Intelligence Will Transform The Delivery of Legal Services.” Forbes (2016)

[4] Ibid.


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Originally posted 2014-08-12 11:00:50.

By Eliana Rocchi |

Import box

Tariffs have been a touchy issue in global economics for hundreds of years. Simply, tariffs are taxes on imported goods. If the United States taxed coffee beans coming in from Colombia, that tax would be a tariff. They are mainly a device to protect domestic industries so as to encourage companies to purchase goods between each other, helping the national economy grow without giving any business to foreign enterprises.

In the last few decades, tariffs have been the center of many economic controversies, and have even played a major role in the economic strain between already tenuous China/United States relations. Tariffs can be used to symbolize ill feelings for a certain country, and the result is higher prices in the country that imposes the tariff. The following is a list of ten everyday items that are more expensive as a result of United States tariffs:

  1. Roquefort Cheese
    When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, France refused to follow. In a gesture of “revenge” against France, the Bush administration proposed a 300 percent import tax on the cheese. Luckily, the tariff never came to be. If it had, the price of the cheese could have risen anywhere from $60-$100.
  2. Paper Clips
    ACCO and Officemate International Corporation are the two major suppliers of paper clips to the American market, and have benefited from import taxes against China since 1994.
  3. Canned Tuna
    in 2002, Bumble Bee Seafoods began lobbying Capitol Hill to raise canned tuna tariffs against Ecuador. The tariff had been raised as high as 35%, and remains the same today.
  4. Synthetic Fabrics
    The tariff on synthetic fabrics is “…a protective tariff as that (synthetic) fabric used to be made domestically. It is no longer produced here, but the tariff remains. Manufacturers who use it as an input are at a disadvantage globally as it now costs them more to produce their products.” If it gets repealed, the cost of synthetic fabrics would fall and lessen production costs for US manufacturers.
  5. Tobacco
    The import rate on some tobacco products can be as high as 350%, making it one of the most protected American products on the market.
  6. Sneakers
    New Balance Athletic Show, Inc. has supported the sneaker tariff for quite some time, taking pride in that it’s the largest of the last shoemakers fully producing in the United States. Thetariff is vital to Boston-based New Balance if it intends to compete against manufacturers like Nike.
  7. Japanese Leather
    In 1986, Reagan claimed that the Japanese’s protectionist tariffs were “unreasonable and constitute(d) a burden or restriction on US commerce.” He retaliated by ordering a 40% tariff on all Japanese leather and footwear products being imported into the U.S.
  8. Peanuts
    Peanuts are today taxed at anywhere between 131.8% for shelled peanuts and 163.8% for unshelled.
  9. Brooms
    Tariffs on brooms are very complex. For instance, whiskbrooms valued below $0.96 each are taxed at an import rate of 8% up until 61,655 dozen units have been entered or withdrawn from a warehouse for consumption, at which time an import quota is reached. Whiskbrooms valued above 96% avoid any quota but are subject to a tariff of 14%. All other types of brooms are subject to a similar 8% tariff when valued under $0.96, but have a higher quota of 121,478 dozen units. When valued at $0.96 each, these brooms, like their whisk cousins, are free of a quota, but receive the highest duty at 32%.
  10. Tires
    In 2009, a 35% tariff was imposed on tires made in China, and the U.S. waited for tire manufacturing jobs to come back to the States. Between 2009 and 2011, tire imports from China dropped by 30%, while imports from Canada increased by the same percentage. Imports to the U.S. from South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, and Mexico all increased over 100%, with imports from Taiwan increasing by 285%.


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Originally posted 2013-03-12 20:55:56.

By Tasha Schmidt |

Have you heard of the “Harlem Shake?” The “Harlem Shake” is more than just a really popular video. Voices being heard in the background of the viral Internet hit on “Harlem Shake,” have caused quite the uproar. One of the individual’s whose voice can be heard in the video, Hector Delgado, received a surprise phone call from his former manager stating that his voice could be clearly heard in the background of the song “Harlem Shake.” The song has gone viral on the Internet and now has managed to make its way to the top of the pop charts. However, Hector Delgado is no longer a Reggaeton artist. He gave this up to become an evangelical preacher in Puerto Rico.

 This also happened to Jason Musson, who was informed by a former member of their rap group called Plastic Little, that his voice is also heard saying, “Do the Harlem Shake!” The catch is that neither individual gave permission to the song’s writer and producer. Those that produced the song simply just used little parts of other records and put them together. Both individuals are seeking compensation as they feel their voices and ideas to some extent have been used without permission.

 It is interesting how such an obscure song could gain so much popularity and momentum and then land itself in a possible copyright violations case.  Obtaining license is the routine and regular practice in the music industry. A license is needed most of the time from both the music publisher and the record label. The single was release by Mad Decent Records and many people feel that what happened here was an intellectual property rights violation. It is fascinating to think about how with the constant use and popularity of YouTube, and sites similar to it, how many copyright infringements could and may get broken.

AMD Law is there to assist you if you need guidance concerning your intellectual property rights.  

New York Times,

Originally posted 2019-01-17 17:14:25.

This is a guest podcast from our own, Irina Pomestchenko. Irina is a patent professional for AMD LAW Group. In this episode, Irina discussed the process for securing patent protection outside the U.S.


Originally posted 2012-07-26 17:03:55.

The definition of a born global firm is “a business organization that, from inception, seeks to derive significant competitive advantage from the use of resources and the sale of outputs in multiple countries.” Many companies go global, but that does not make them born global firms. What distinguishes born global firms from the rest of international organizations is that they originate internationally. Born global firms, from their beginnings, have a global focus and commit their resources to international ventures. Most companies operate from their home country, and after years of doing business domestically, slowly evolve to do business internationally. By contrast, born global firms begin with a borderless world view, and immediately develop strategies to expand themselves abroad. Born global firms have many distinctive features that allow them to start, and thrive in the international arena. 

One way born globals begin internationally is that they rely on exporting as their main method of foreign market entry. They begin exporting their goods within a couple of years after their founding, and may even export a quarter or more of their total production. Because of this, born globals must rely on external facilitators, such as FedEx, to organize international shipments. By using these external facilitators, born globals can enter or withdraw from foreign markets quickly and easily.

Born globals also have a distinct way of doing business. Top management in born globals tend to view the world as their marketplace from the very beginning, and use their aggressive entrepreneurial mindsets to pursue international markets immediately. Furthermore, when developing their markets, born globals employ differentiation strategies so as to make a niche for themselves internationally. Because of specialized resources, born globals can offer specialized and customized products, satisfying a market that is too small to interest larger firms.

Not only are born global goods specialized, but they strive for superior product quality. More often than not, born globals are leading their industries technologically. This advantage allows them to not only pursue markets around the world, but offer superior products designed for the specialized markets they have made niches out of.

Born global firms are of special interest not because of the size of these organizations, but by the age which the firm ventures into foreign markets. Born global firms are entirely unique from other major international organizations because they are born doing business abroad: something that many larger firms operate for years before even considering. These distinctive firms will eventually become the standard model for how companies do international business.

Originally posted 2013-02-26 20:38:54.

Tasha Schmidt,

Staff Writer,


Muti Time Machine Inc, v. deals with the question of whether Amazon’s search results violate trademark law. Multi Time Machine  sued Amazon for copyright infringement. For those of us who are familiar with Amazon, we have probably found ourselves searching for something on Amazon, adding it to our shopping bag, and then proceeding to find another ten items we would also like to buy. There is no doubt that Amazon benefits customers in the way that it offers complementary and competitive products. On the other hand this does not make many trademark owners happy as they may loose the purchase to a competitor.

The plaintiff Muti Time Machine makes expensive military and tactical watches. It tightly controls its distribution channel. They do those for the sole of reason of attempting to prevent Amazon from reselling their products. However, it appears that all of the Multi Time Machine watches, which are on Amazon, are received and posted through competitors like Luminox and Chase-Durer.

This is not a typical trademark lawsuit where the trademark owner sues its competitor for copying their product too closely, rather, this is a case involving the trademark owner suing the retailer for merchandising the competitor’s items.

The court has ruled on Amazon’s behalf stating that Amazon’s search results clearly state what they are doing to their customers, which makes their customers aware of where they are buying their products. What sort of implications does this have? The court rules that as long as viewers understand the relationship between search query and search results that the search engines should not suffer infringement.


United States District Court Central Court of California




Originally posted 2018-05-14 20:42:49.

Download this episode
In this episode, we discuss the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The biggest change to internet data security in 20 years.

Our lead-off quote:

It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.

~Kofi Annan, Former United Nations Secretary General

Central theme:  Business owners who depend on the web should be up on the current changes that will affect the bottom line.

Originally posted 2014-12-18 11:00:27.

By Erin Holbrook |

jobs_2019371cLate CEO of Apple Steve Jobs has been in the news lately for the large number of posthumous patents that have been won. A total of 141 patents have been awarded to Steve to be specific. The brilliant mind of Jobs are still being realized since his death in 2011. Jobs was a perfectionist and took great care for each element that went into Apple products. Up until his passing and after his lawyers had still been submitting patents for his ideas and innovations.

In comparison, Bill Gates CEO of Microsoft has only been awarded 9 new patents in the same timeframe. Also Google’s Larry Paige has only received about a dozen new patents. Jobs’ had filed for a total of 458 filed for in his lifetime of which about one third have been approved after his death. Much more than the average person could file in a lifetime.

Seems that any idea that had even the smallest contribution or idea given on a project and Steve’s name got added to the front of the patent. Some co-creators mentioned that Jobs may not have contributed as much as others, however he got most if not all of the credit. Also most of the patents had been on small design elements that Apple takes very seriously.

There had been a lot that have been approved with more coming every day. Keeping Jobs’ Lawyers busy up till the day before he died, after and far in to our future. Keeping Steve P. Jobs as the “master innovator.”


Image Credit:


Key words: Apple, patent, Steve Jobs, innovator, credit, ideas

Originally posted 2018-02-05 10:00:31.

By Gabrielle Sherwood|

Cannabis: patentable but not trademarkable

Cannabis is legal for recreational or medicinal use in almost 30 states, and this number is likely to grow. However, cannabis remains illegal under federal law. As a result, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will not register trademarks for retailers of cannabis, or for products that contain cannabis.

However, what is especially interesting is that the USPTO will grant patents involving cannabis and its derivatives. More simply put, cannabis is patentable. Examples of cannabis-related patents include drug formulations, methods of treating sickness and disease with cannabis, and even cannabis plant patents. So why is cannabis patentable, even though federally it is illegal?

The simple answer is that nothing in the law expressly bars patent protection for illegal substances. Further, historic practices of the USPTO may help answer the question. The USPTO has continued to issue cannabis related patents since 1942 and right now there are around 500 valid U.S. patents involving cannabis. It has been long said that one can patent “anything under the sun that has been made by man,” and cannabis-related patents are a great example.

In sum, with the trend being toward the legalization of cannabis-markets are forming. Owners of dispensaries want to federally protect a trademark for their shops and cannabis products, but they are stopped from doing so by the USPTO. It is not to say that marijuana brands cannot register a trademark used in connection with goods such as clothing-but definitely not for cannabis-containing products.




Originally posted 2014-06-30 13:36:11.

By Diana Chan |

2831350088_2fb3edce42_zHow do we critique fashion? What is fashion? How is it defined? Is fashion defined by the trends? or the uniqueness? or the quality? or the time period? There are such diverse brands, cuts, fabrics, accessories, colors that at first glance, fashion doesn’t seem like the type of industry that can be critically analyzed. There are too many factors, nothing is standard, and it is continually changing. Unlike art, the fashion industry is heavily business-oriented and centered on hard-pressed deadlines and at times mass production.  So how can we critique fashion?

1. Know what you are critiquing.

Just like food or art or sports, you have to know what you are critiquing. Just like food cannot be critiqued merely by the way it looks, fashion cannot be critiqued merely by photos.  Attending high fashion catwalks and actually seeing the way the clothes are pieced together and how the clothes flow give a critique that added detail to appeal to the senses of readers and goes beyond seeing a still picture online or in a magazine.

2. Critically analyze.

When critiquing fashion, go beyond “liking” the fashion or “hating” the fashion.  Look at the work critically.  Yes, fashion is about trends, but what are the details that separate the work apart from the trends? The cuts, the colors, the dimensions, the shape, the placement are all intended for a specific purpose.

3. Be aware of the inspiration.

High-end fashion lines do not miraculously appear. Designers are often inspired by something–history, politics, art, a certain decade, etc.–and the brand embodies the inspiration to create fashion with a specific aesthetic and purpose. To critically analyze fashion, you need to be able to relate the fashion to the inspiration. How does the designer’s inspiration come together with the work?

In a way, fashion is similar to art–designers are expressing themselves through the prints, the fit, the technique. For many high-end brands, the catwalk is how designers express their work through live models walking down a runway. High-end fashion tends to be exclusive with only a small number invited to catwalks and fashion shows. But at the same time, seeing fashion shows is essential to effective critique of fashion in order to see how a brand’s products are worn. Can’t attend a fashion show but want to analyze the details? New York, Milan, Paris, and London Fashion Shows are all available to watch online either live or after the show.

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Originally posted 2012-11-07 17:55:50.

On Monday October 29, 2012, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments of a copyright infringement case dealing with whether or not copyrighted goods made outside the United States can be resold in the U.S. without first attaining permission from the copyright holder. The case has garnered the attention of such companies as eBay and Google, who have stated that a person should have the right to sell an item that they have purchased regardless of where it was made.

Publisher John Wiley & Songs sued Supap Kirtsaeng, a college student from Thailand, for re-selling copyrighted textbooks on eBay. He had his family members in Thailand purchase copies of textbooks that were very similar to the ones made in the U.S., but were cheaper than those sold in the U.S. The student then launched a small business and re-sold these textbooks.

Wiley’s lawyer argued that the phrase, “lawfully made,” found in copyright law, pertains to “lawfully made under the copyright laws of theUnited States.”  This means that Kirtsaeng should have asked Wiley’s permission before selling the copyrighted textbooks.

The Motion Picture Association of America and Recording Industry Association of America are supporting  Wiley’s argument and have filed a brief that stated concerns about second-hand shops or libraries being negatively impacted were overblown since there was very little evidence backs up their claims.

Kirstaeng’s lawyer argued that this interpretation of copyright law would grant too much power to copyright holders. Justice Stephen Breyer seemed to agree, stating that it would hinder people from re-selling their Toyota cars in the U.S., for example, because they are not manufactured in the U.S.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, however, seemed to side more with Wiley, stating that Kirstaeng’s reading basically stated that “once a copy is sold anywhere, the copyright owner loses control of distribution everywhere.”

 The case is expected to be decided sometime next year.


Originally posted 2013-03-10 21:03:22.




Originally posted 2014-04-22 18:33:30.

By Sindy Wenjin Ding |


The Fashion Law Institute’s 4th Annual Symposium entitled “The spectrum of Style” was held in Fordham Law School in New York on Apr 4. I attended the symposium as a Fashion Law practitioner at AMD LAW, as well as a Fordham Law alumna. The Symposium owns high regards in fashion law industry nationwide, and as expected, it attracted many serious fashion law experts, partners in notable firms, executives from various departments and companies, fashion bloggers and law students for this year’s fabulous gathering. It consists of five panels plus a keynote address, respectively highlighting what’s NOW in fashion law: Sustainability (green garments), Compliance (jewel tones), Runway diversity (whitewash), Trademark squatting (red flag), Fashion & Film (silver screen) and Entrepreneurship (from designer to entrepreneur).

The first panel entitled “Green Light: Seeking Sustainable Style” moderated by Jeff Trexler, Esq. featured Amy Hall (Eileen Fisher), Debera Johnson (Pratt Institute), Laura Koss (Federal Trade Commission), Professor Barbara Pozzo (Universita degli Studi de Milano) who discussed the role of sustainability in global fashion. Ms. Hall from Green Fashion model brand, Eileen Fisher, shared its vision of sustainable fashion and social consciousness. The mapping of the entire supply chain from seed, to farm, to animal, all the initiatives give the company another perspective of thinking about profitability and what does a “good growth” mean. Debarah Johnson pointed out the support of Pratt Institute to young designers in terms of consciousness-built and local jobs, integrating sustainability and design entrepreneurship into education. Laura Koss, as a FTC government attorney, emphasized how the Green Guides regulates in terms of the truth advertising and accurate marketing strategies. All the companies shall comply with the Green Guides to specify the descriptions of their products with back up evidences in all marketing actions, if they state their products are “environmentally friendly” or “made of recycled materials”, etc.

The second panel “Jewel Tones: From Conflict Minerals to Multi-Destination Orders, Compliance is key” talked about Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; how FTC Jewelry Guides impact jewelry companies, how compliance standards are implemented by FJATA; how custom jewelries got tested and conflicted diamonds/mineral regions. Cecilia Gardner from the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) shared that JVC focuses on the enforcement and implementation of legal standards. It also provides tools to jewelry companies about how to effective comply with the requirements. Brent Cleaveland from (FJATA) pointed out the safety standard in fashion jewelries as some chemical elements such as lead and cadmium were already tested in a lot of jewelries that exceed the regular safety standards. Don Obert (Cowan Liebowitz & Latman PC) stated the increasing consciousness of consumers on country of origin, whether or not the diamond is conflict, etc., which would greatly shape designer’s decision.

IMG_2356The third panel “Whitewash: Fashion & Diversity — On and Off the Runway” made a great turning point from fashion items to fashion models. This panel featured Robin Givhan, Pulitzer Prize winner in 2006, a former fashion reporter from the Washington Post and now a critic at New York Magazine, as well as Bethann Hardison, former model and currently a fashion advocate and documentarian. Robin commented that as race goes in fashion, the industry sees itself as open-minded and progressive. It aims to treat race like any other aesthetic touchstone, as unremarkable as red hair or a cleft chin. Race is little more than a “paint chip”… it is not cultural but more of a “does it go with the clothes, hairstyles that I’m showing?” Bethann added that “runway faces and the whole fashion thing just recently started impacting on pop culture… it is regarded as important because runway girls decide how we define beauty since the faces end up on the Vogue cover. But beauty and fashion are two different things.” she explained. She started the “Black Girls Coalition” of models, which has had some achievements at changing things in terms of diversity on the runway. She will be honored with a CFDA Award soon for her extraordinary success on initiating runway diversity and African American models’ rights.

IMG_2358The fourth panel targeted in one particular issue in one particular country: “Red Flag: Are you a victim of unauthorized name registration in China?” This panel discussed trademark squatting and the “first to file” principle in China which allowed cyber squatters to take a US name and trademark in there. The revised Trademark Law of PRC is coming in effect on May 1st, which will make it slightly harder for the Chinese to do this due to some more detailed regulations on “famous marks” in China, “Good faith principle” and “Relative Grounds Examination” which means a comparison of the incoming application would be studied to see if there is a similar application or product already out there. Panel member Susan Anthony, of the US Patent and Trademark Office recommended that anyone who was interested in possibly doing business in China should immediately file the papers to trademark their name country by country, along with the domain names, to fully protect the IPR and prevent any misuse. Monica Richman from Dentons shared that, according the Article 13 of the revised Chinese Trademark Law, “should any rights of a trademark well known to the relevant public be infringed, the trademark holder can follow the relevant provisions in this law to request the protection of the said famous trademark”. Yet to determine whether or not it is a famous trademark, it depends on whether or not the fame is acquired among Chinese consumers, which creates tremendous difficulties for a lot of foreign brands.

IMG_2360The final panel “Silver Screen: Licensing Links Film & Fashion” integrated something very new and very interdisciplinary into this symposium. It featured not only a live panel but also the VP and the Deputy General Counsel for Warner Brothers in LA on Skype. One of the topic centered in the collaboration of products or brands with movies such as the tie-in with Tiffany & Co. and the latest release of “The Great Gatsby.” Ewa Abramas, the associated General Counsel of Tiffany & Co. commented that it was a huge success for both companies as it perfectly controlled over how the products were presented in the plot of the movie. And great tie-ins and time-proper placements could hugely promote the brand, as well as the movie. The new collaborative partnership relation requires two entities that have a great system of intellectual property rights independently, once the products get out of the scene, traditional trademark protection strategies apply.


Lastly, the symposium ended up with an inspirational speech of Sigrid Olsen, who closed her clothing company in 2008 and has now, after a long legal battle, regained her name (due to licensing agreements in the US, not China) and is embarking on a new venture. She shared her life story and how she combined design and fashion and entrepreneurship. Her newest venture “New Design for Living” draws on her decades of fashion design experiences and merges it with her more recent creative wellbeing endeavors.

AMD LAW has been conducting legal services of fashion law, and other practice areas for fashion designers, bloggers, media and start-ups for a long time. AMD LAW and its Luxury Law Firm branch are committed to creativity and providing you with the best solutions to your legal concerns to facilitate business development and to maximize the value of your brand. For more information regarding intellectual property law, please contact AMD Law (, contact@amdlawgroup,com,  (347) 699-4AMD (4263).

Pictures taken by Sindy Ding on the scene; last picture is from Fashion Law Institute Facebook page:

Originally posted 2016-10-12 12:29:38.

untitled_4By: Marvin Hooker | Editor: Kristen Daly |

Restrooms that are characterized as non-gender are becoming more popular.  Anna Stolley Persky documents this societal change in an ABA Journal article.  According to Persky, George Washington University facilitated these changes by creating four unisex restrooms in its law school.  Initially, the school labeled a pre-existing male-only restroom with three urinals and a stall as “all gender.”  This bathroom is a multiple-use, multi-occupant coed restroom.  John F. Banzhaf III, a law professor at the school, describes this change as a cost-effective way to address the concerns of transgender students torn between using the facilities for either men or women.  

The revamp was in response to a statement requesting that a unisex or all-gender bathroom be placed on the first floor where many of the students congregate.  According to the law school, the newest all-gender restroom is intended to serve as a single-, not multi-, use facility.  Well, what makes GW’s restrooms so different from other schools who have taken on this challenge?  Mr. Banzhaf III noted, “Lots of colleges have unisex restrooms that are single seater or single user.  But GW’s restroom goes much further. If a woman walks in, uses the stall and then goes to wash her hands, she could be standing almost thigh-to-thigh with a guy using a urinal, with no modesty wall.”

Amanda Siskind, a NCCJ contributor wrote that while many are concerned with comfort and safety, more than 150 colleges and universities have gender neutral bathrooms.  These include gendered and gender-neutral multi-stall restrooms.  This is the outcome of many student-led movements across the country intended on making bathrooms more inclusive and available for transgendered, or gender non-conforming students.

What are your thoughts on this subject, and do you think that there will be any proposed risks in the future?  Would you feel more comfortable with a multi- or single-person all-gender or unisex restroom?


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