Timelines Inc., a Chicago-based company filed a lawsuit against Facebook for trademark infringement based on Facebook’s much-hyped and anticipated Timeline, which is a new profile touted by Facebook as “”the story of your life.” Timelines Inc. operates the www.timelines.com website, which allows users to record and share personal or historic events, and contribute descriptions, links, photos and videos related to those events, people, etc. In its Complaint, Timelines alleges that it has been using the “TIMELINE” mark since 2008 and is the owner of two federal trademark registrations for “TIMELINE” and claims that Facebook’s Timeline could eliminate” its entire business.” Timelines has its own Facebook page and alleges that Facebook is redirecting visitors to Facebook’s own Timeline page and away from Timeline’s Facebook page. The lawsuit seeks damages and a temporary restraining order to prevent itself from “being rolled over and quite possibly eliminated by… the world’s largest and most powerful social media company.” Facebook’s Timeline is scheduled to go live any day to Facebook’s 750 million users.>
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A few moments ago, the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor (93 yea, 5 nay) of cloture on H.R. 1249, commonly referred to as the America Invents Act. Accordingly, further debate on the bill is now limited to 30 hours and only currently existing amendments can be considered. A vote on the merits of the bill itself (highlights to be presented in a forthcoming blog entry) will then occur before moving to the President for approval or veto.
Stay tuned for further updates to this important legislation affecting patent reform in the U.S.
Last night, the Senate voted 89-9 to pass H.R. 1249, commonly referred to as the America Invents Act, which seeks to introduce vast changes to the current patent system in the U.S. The most notable change will be moving from a “first-to-invent” to a “first-inventor-to-file” system, placing more emphasis than ever on the need to move quickly to file patent applications. Other notable provisions include: allowing third party submissions of prior art during prosecution of applications, prioritized examination option for patent applications, post-grant review of patents, inter partes review replacing interference proceedings, derivation proceedings, an increase in many fees charged by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”), prohibition of patents for business methods on tax strategies and human organisms, allowing for virtual marking, revamping standards for false marking claims, some diversion of USPTO fees, and additional programs and studies for the USPTO.
This morning, President Obama signed the America Invents Act (H.R. 1249) into law. This represents the largest reform to the U.S. patent system in over 60 years. The goal of the Act is to create better quality patents in a shorter time, spur the economy, and create jobs. Whether this will be the reality remains to be seen.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is set to raise many patent-related fees on Monday, September 26, 2011. Many fees will experience an approximately 15% increase. The new fee schedule can be found here.