New Jersey trademark owners and applicants should remain vigilant against ruses designed to compel them to purchase unnecessary trademark services. Scammers are obtaining the names of the owners from a database at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and are pretending to operate on behalf of the USPTO. The prevalence of this practice has been so rampant that a public meeting was held by the USPTO in order to spread awareness about the issue and to propose methods for combating it.
It seems self-driving cars are on their way to New Jersey and the rest of the nation. However, there's a lot of debate and conflict regarding which companies will lead the way. While tech giant Google has spun off its own self-driving vehicle company, called Waymo, the ride sharing service Uber has thrown itself into the fray as well. However, Waymo is claiming that Uber's technology was not developed or acquired legally. It has filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming trade secret violations.
Intellectual property plays a significant role in the economy of New Jersey, and patent holders have a financial interest in defending their ideas. The Inter Partes Review system developed five years ago by the America Invents Act was intended to be an alternative to lengthy litigation when someone challenged the validity of a patent. The process gave the Patent Trial and Appeals Board the ability to settle a patent question. Critics, including many patent holders, have concerns about the fairness and consistency of the process.
New Jersey comic fans might be interested in a trademark dispute involving Hasbro, Warner Bros. and DC Comics. Hasbro is the owner of the Transformers brand, and it claims that Warner Bros. and DC have committed trademark infringement. Specifically, Hasbro claims that a DC character named Bumblebee could be confused with the Autobot also named Bumblebee. The character created by DC is a teenage girl who has the ability to shrink.