Intellectual Property Law Section


Intellectual Property Law Section

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Upcoming Standing Committee Meetings and MCLE Programs

Other News

Upcoming MCLE Programs and Meetings

The State Bar Of California Intellectual Property Presents The 2015 Trademark Office Comes to California

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Hyatt Regency Century Plaza
2025 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Merchants Exchange Building
Julia Morgan Ballroom
465 California Street
San Francisco

For more information, see Trademark Office Comes to California.

Webinar: Digital Assets After Death

Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

Presented by Intellectual Property Law Section, Technology, Internet & Privacy Interest Group

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

A review of tools and resources to guide you through the maze of what should be done with digital assets in the case of incapacity or death.

Speaker: Megan Yip, Megan started her practice as a fellow with the Borchard Foundation Center on Law & Aging with a placement at Legal Aid of Marin, where she focused on expanding services provided to low-income older adults, consumer, housing and end of life planning issues. From 2011 to 2014, she worked at Twitter, Inc. on the Trust & Safety team focusing on site rules and policies addressing sensitive issues, including impersonation, online abuse and deceased users. Megan currently serves on the advisory board of the Sacred Dying Foundation where she helps facilitate their End of Life Education project.

Webinar: 70 Tools and Tips for the Courtroom: Advice from the Bench

Thursday, April 9, 2015, 11 a.m. - 12 noon

Intellectual Property Law Section, Litigation Interest Group

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

Category: Intellectual Property Law An insider's view of what judges love and hate to see in their courtrooms will bew discussed.

Speaker: Hon. James P. Kleinberg (Ret.) has over 11 years as a California Superior Court Judge sitting in Santa Clara County and over 34 years as a federal prosecutor and private lawyer devoted to complex civil litigation.

As a lawyer, Judge Kleinberg's extensive litigation practice included numerous complex cases involving commercial disputes, class actions, securities, antitrust and trade regulation, and intellectual property issues in state and federal courts.

Judge Kleinberg continued his work on complex civil cases while on the bench. His most recent judicial experience was as one of 18 Superior Court judges in California managing the Complex Civil Litigation Program.

Moderator: Anne-Marie Dao

Licensing Interest Group Teleconference

Presented by the Licensing Interest Group

Friday, April 10, 2015, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

To participate in the meeting, the dial-in number is (855) 520-7605, passcode 1211276419#.

Monthly “All Hands” Licensing IG conference call. We’ll have a quick update on a newer technology and the unique issues associated with it. We’ll also discuss upcoming webinars and conferences, opportunities for members to get involved and Hot Topics. Please note: Our monthly calls are the 2nd Friday of every month.

Webinar: Advertising Law in the Digital Age - Part 2

Thursday, April 16, 2015, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

Presented by the Intellectual Property Law Section, Patent Interest Group

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

Regulatory insights. Each agency's representative will offer their perspective on advertising in the Internet and digital age. They will discuss relevant and current issues of concern to each agency in the areas of social media, mobile, and internet-based advertising. They will share enforcement priorities, challenges, and emerging issues. The following agencies will be represented:

b. California DOJ
c. FTC


  • Linda K. Badger has been an attorney with the FTC for over 25 years. While at the Commission, Linda has worked on matters involving both antitrust and consumer protection. Currently, she works in the Western Region, located in San Francisco, and specializes in the area of deceptive advertising. Linda was responsible for the FTC's recent settlements with Sony Computer Entertainment America and its advertising agency, Deutsch LA, for deceptive advertising of the PlayStation Vita, a handheld gaming console. Linda received her J.D. from U.C. Hastings, an M.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in Economics from U.C. Berkeley.
  • Andra Dallas joined the Children's Advertising Review Unit as a staff attorney in September, 2008. She is responsible for evaluating child-directed advertising online, on television, in print and other types of media, collaborating with advertisers to ensure compliance with CARU's Guidelines, and writing case decisions.
  • Joanne McNabb is Director of Privacy Education and Policy, California Attorney General.


  • Francine Ward, is a business & IP attorney with a focus on copyrights, trademarks, publishing & entertainment law issues, as well as social media legal issues. A 1989 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Francine is admitted to practice in New York, California, and the District of Columbia. She is the vice chair of the IP Section's Copyright Interest Group.

Webinar: Care & Feeding of CEOs and Senior Execs by In-House Counsel

Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

Presented by the Intellectual Property Law Section, In-House Counsel

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

Interacting and communicating with senior executives and CEOs are important skills for in-house counsel. This program will feature a discussion of best practices and tips for things such as making recommendations, communicating legal issues and risks, and effective ways to keep them informed on projects and litigation.

Speaker: David C. Milne Chief Administrative and Compliance Officer, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Symmetry Surgical, a surgical instrument company. Previously, he served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for The Steak 'n Shake Company, and practiced employment law for private firms. Dave received his undergraduate degree from Wabash College (IN), and both a master's English Literature and JD from Indiana University, Bloomington.


  • Derrick Brent
  • Georgann Grunebach

Webinar: Advertising Law in the Digital Age - Part 3

Thursday, May 14, 2015, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

Presented by the Intellectual Property Law Section, Patent Interest Group

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

The discussion will focus on promotional and advertising issues in social media (other than sweepstakes/contests) such as coupons, rebates, gift cards, "free" offers, endorsements, negative-options, disclosures, IP and right of publicity in social media content, etc.


  • Ed Chansky focuses his practice in the areas of intellectual property (particularly development, selection, protection and licensing of trademarks worldwide) and advertising, sales promotion, and trade-regulation law, including charitable promotions, cause-related marketing, sweepstakes, contests, gift cards, eCommerce, substantiation of advertising claims, social gaming, social media, and all aspects of unfair or deceptive trade practices in a wide variety of industries.
  • Patrick Downes is a partner at Loeb and Loeb in San Francisco and focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, including consumer class actions brought by the FTC.


  • Francine Ward, is a business & IP attorney with a focus on copyrights, trademarks, publishing & entertainment law issues, as well as social media legal issues. A 1989 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Francine is admitted to practice in New York, California, and the District of Columbia. She is the vice chair of the IP Section's Copyright Interest Group.

Webinar: Current State of Dual Actor Infringement and Inducement of Infringement Patent Law: What you Need to Know to Plead and Litigate this Cause of Action

Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 12 noon - 1 p.m.

Presented by the Intellectual Property Law Section, Patent Interest Group

This program offers 1 hour participatory MCLE credit. You must register in advance in order to participate.

This program will discuss recent developments in dual actor infringement and inducement of infringement patent law. The Commil v. Cisco case pending before the Supreme Court will be discussed which addresses the question of whether a defendant's belief that a patent is invalid is a defense to induced infringement. The recent Federal Circuit case Promega v. Life Tech case will also be discussed which addressed the meaning of "induce" and "substantial portion of the components" as well as techniques for pleading and litigating this cause of action.

Speaker: Sarah Brooks is a shareholder in Stradling Yocca's Intellectual Property group. She received her bachelor of science degree in biology from Tufts University and worked as a laboratory research technician at the Children's Hospital Boston before attending law school at Tulane University. Ms. Brooks started her legal career at the intellectual property boutique of Fitzpatrick Cella Harper & Scinto in New York. She is an experienced trial attorney and recently served as lead trial counsel in a patent infringement action on behalf of the patentee and secured a jury verdict of willful infringement against the competitor for its patent infringement and copyright infringement.

Moderator: Sanjesh is IP Counsel at Abbott Medical Optics, where she manages all aspects of patent, trademark, and copyright matters for the company's Refractive and Laser Cataract Surgical Equipment portfolios. Since 2013, she has served as Vice Chair of the Patent Interest Group for the State Bar of California's IP Section.

Other News

Is Foie Gras protected as free speech? Animal Legal Defense Fund v. LT Napa Partners LLC, 2015 WL 1004423, No. A139625 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 5, 2015)

By Sam Gunning

A California appeals court has ruled that the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) can sue a Napa restaurant for serving foie gras. The production of foie gras has been illegal since 2012 in California, but the ALDF were concerned with the enforcement of the law. From 2012-13 the ALDF hired an investigator on three occasions to determine whether foie gras was being served in the restaurant, La Toque. Determining that it unlawfully sold foie gras, the ALDF pursued an Unfair Competition Law (UCL) claim.

The chef of La Toque was personally opposed to the foie gras ban. During his visits, the investigator was informed that if he ordered the expensive tasting menu they offered, he would receive foie gras. It was described on two occasions as a "gift" from the chef. Defendants argued that as a result UCL should not apply. Furthermore, the chef from La Toque purports that his actions are protected under the First Amendment. "In the exercise of my constitutionally protected right of petition and free speech, my restaurant, La Toque, is protesting the law, not breaking it, by giving away foie gras to customers I choose to give it to. … [W]hat I do give away to customers is my way of dumping tea in the harbor, so to speak." Despite this, the investigator was not told that the serving of the foie gras was a protest against the ban, and was not given any information regarding the chef's personal opposition to the foie gras ban.

First, the court found that ALDF had a genuine interest in enforcing the statute. Its efforts to enforce the statute inadvertently and unfairly directed its resources away from other pursuits. Although the serving of foie gras may be protected under the First Amendment, the court did not find so with the circumstances at hand. The court was unconvinced that there was no "sale" here. Although the customers were informed that they were receiving the foie gras as a gift, the court held that such "gifts" that accompany the purchase of another good, to be a sale, despite no additional charge. To hold otherwise, would negate the legislative intent. Indeed, "the receipt of foie gras was part of the tasting menu offered to him prior to his decision to order it. Thus, the foie gras was part of the property he was offered for the price he agreed to pay."

The victory for ALDF may be short-lived. In January a federal judge overturned the 2012 ban on foie gras, allowing for sales to go ahead in California. Judge Stephen Wilson of the U.S. District Court for California's Central District ruled that the California law is pre-empted by the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act, and does not allow for states to impose more stringent regulations. The act requires the federal government to inspect all domesticated birds when killed and processed into products for human consumption.

The district court ruling is a disappointment for ALDF. It will still be able to pursue its UCL claim against La Toque for past injuries, however, ADLF will not be able to claim any further injury now it is again legal for California restaurants to serve (and explicitly charge for) foie gras unless the federal ruling is overturned. Kamala Harris, the California Attorney General, has appealed Judge Wilson's ruling.

News from the USPTO

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in conjunction with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), will host a public meeting to explore whether and how the Federal Government can facilitate the further development of a robust online licensing environment for copyrighted works, focusing specifically on the development and use of standard identifiers for all types of works of authorship, interoperability among databases and systems used to identify owners of rights and terms of use, and a possible portal for linking to such databases and to licensing platforms.

The public meeting will be held on April 1, 2015, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time at 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. For more information see

Copyright Office Releases Comprehensive Music Licensing Study

On February 5, the U.S. Copyright Office released a 245-page landmark study proposing significant changes to the music licensing framework that are intended to "bring both clarity and relief to songwriters, artists, publishers, record labels, and digital delivery services." The report was issued in response to the widespread feeling among the entire music industry–from artists and publishers to labels and online music services–that the existing system is broken, although there is not agreement on how to fix it. It follows a series of roundtables and public comment period held by the Copyright Office last year.

According to the study, there is broad consensus that music creators should be fairly compensated, that the licensing process is too inefficient, that there is insufficient access to data about works and that royalty information should be more transparent. Among the Copyright Office's recommendations are proposals to extend the public performance right to terrestrial radio stations, bring pre-1972 sound recordings within the federal copyright law and reevaluate the role of performing rights organizations (and the consent decrees under which ASCAP and BMI operate). The report also proposes changing the compulsory licensing scheme (including allowing bundled licensing), establishing a uniform market-based rate setting standard, allowing owners of musical works to opt-out of compulsory licensing for interactive streaming and downloads, giving SoundExchange an expanded role, creating a public database of rights ownership data and providing greater transparency for song writers and recording artists in direct licensing deals. The study has no regulatory force, but serves as a recommendation to Congress on potential legislative changes. The full report is available at

B&B Hardware Increases the Significance of TTAB Proceedings

By Melis Atalay

Last week's Supreme Court decision in B&B Hardware should be of great interest to trademark practitioners. B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc.,No. 13-352, 2015 WL 1291915 (Mar. 24, 2015). The main issue presented was whether Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB") determination of likelihood of confusion should preclude subsequent federal court findings on that same issue. In addressing this issue, the Court evaluated whether the two proceedings' likelihood of confusion standards were effectively the same.

B&B Hardware argued in favor of preemption. It argued there is no meaningful distinction between likelihood of confusion standards of the TTAB and federal courts. Moreover, it contended that since both parties participate in TTAB proceeding and are given the right to appeal to a federal district court de novo, there is ample opportunity for due process.

Hargis argued key distinctions between the courts' respective analyses render the standards fundamentally different, making preemption inapplicable. The TTAB considers the marks and their respective products or services only as they appear in an application or registration, whereas federal courts compare the broader issue of the two marks' use in commerce. Accordingly, federal courts consider factual questions concerning use that are often irrelevant in TTAB proceedings, such as actual marketing and distribution channels, the similarities of consumers, and how the marks appear in the marketplace. Further, Hargis argued, there are stark procedural differences between the two courts, with more expansive discovery and live testimony in federal court that is not present during TTAB proceedings.

Ultimately, the Court concluded that the TTAB and federal courts apply effectively the same likelihood of confusion standard, and therefore preclusion may apply. The majority noted that the doctrine of preclusion is not affected when there are slight variances between standards. So long as the other elements of issue preclusion are met, the Court found that TTAB determinations may preclude federal court review of likelihood of confusion.

Justice Ginsburg's concurrence narrowed the majority's application of issue preclusion, noting that "for a great many registration decisions issue preclusion obviously will not apply" because "contested registrations are often decided upon 'a comparison of the marks in the abstract and apart from their marketplace usage.'"

Justice Thomas' dissent employed separation of powers arguments to suggest that TTAB preclusion may be unconstitutional. The dissent argues that whereas trademark registration is a quasi-private right that is appropriately decided by administrative courts, the right to adopt and exclusively use a trademark is a private property right that must be reserved for Article III courts. Because only Article III courts should render decisions affecting core private rights, he concluded preclusion is inappropriate.

B&B Hardware has definitely increased the importance of TTAB proceedings. Facing the possibility of issue preclusion on some or all likelihood of confusion factors, practitioners may wish to create a more complete evidentiary record in opposition or cancellations actions. Given the increased costs of doing so, and to avoid a potentially preclusive finding that does not take into account all marketplace realities, counsel may find that going directly to district court may be more prudent. While it will take some time to see how lower courts apply B&B Hardware, when counseling clients on whether to institute a TTAB action, trademark practitioners should inform them of the potential for issue preclusion so that clients can make an informed decision about the proper forum for their trademark dispute.

The New Trade Secret Treatise Is Available for Order

The new Trade Secret Treatise is available for order!  The IP Section proudly announces publication of the Third Edition of its practice guide “Trade Secret Litigation and Protection in California.”  This twenty-seven chapter treatise provides a comprehensive review and analysis of California trade secret law.  Written by California practitioners, this treatise explains the fundamentals and intricacies of California trade secret law.  The treatise is a resource for anyone working with trade secrets in litigation or providing counsel on trade secret issues.  The Third Edition includes two new chapters on digital forensics and the pursuit of trade secret claims at the International Trade Commission, as well as a model non-disclosure agreement and protective order.  The new edition also provides updates of the recent case developments in the trade secret law since the 2nd Edition.

Members $115/Non-Members $155. Order here: If you have any trouble with that link, go HERE and click on Intellectual Property.

One Hour MCLE Is Available in the Latest Issue of New Matter

Self-Study CLE Tests One hour of MCLE is available in the current issue of New Matter, the State Bar IP Section's quarterly magazine.

For the Summer issue, you can earn credit for the article The Next Battle Over FRAND: The Definition of FRAND Terms and Multi-Level Licensing by Karl D. Belgum One hour of MCLE credit can be obtained by answering a set of True/False questions.

Log on to the webiste for details. Watch for other MCLE credit available in future issues of New Matter.


 New Matter invites you to write and submit original articles on current issues relating to intellectual property, such as reasoned opinion, practice tips, or  scholarly analysis.

New Matter is looking for articles between 1500-6000 words.  Please contact the Acquisitions Editor, Amanda Nye for more details.

For more information, please contact our editorial staff at

Interested in Advertising in New Matter?

If you're interested in advertising in New Matter, please note our ad rates.

Eligible Advertisers:

Law Firms,
Court Reporting Services,
IP Search Services,
IP Insurance Services,
eDiscovery Service Companies,
Legal Research Companies,
Legal Staffing Companies
And any other legal service company.

Ad Size/ Issues 1 Issue 2 Issues 3 Issues 4 Issues
¼ Page $1,200 $2,300 $3,300 $4,000
½ Page $1,600 $3,000 $4,200 $5,000
Full Page $2,400 $4,500 $6,300 $7,500

Did You Miss One of Our Webinars or Self-Study Tests?Online CLE

Listen to Intellectual Property Law Section programs over the internet for participatory MCLE credit. Choose from more than a hundred hours of IP-related programs, and hundreds of other official State Bar of California MCLE programs.

For more information, see and select Intellectual Property Law Section.

Featured CLE Program from Our Catalog!

Did you miss this program? It's available in our online catalog for CLE credit!

Characters: Intellectual Property and Other Protection Issues

New media and other cutting edge developments have presented significant consequences for characters. This program will address the legal protections afforded to characters, copyrights, trademarks and rights of publicity. Learn how the legal analysis is affected by the historical or fictional nature of characters, and understand the legal issues presented by the creation, exploitation and enforcement of rights in characters.

1 hour participatory MCLE credit in Legal Ethics; $35
More Information

Listen to Intellectual Property Law Section programs over the internet for participatory MCLE credit. Choose from more than a hundred hours of IP-related programs, and hundreds of other official State Bar of California MCLE programs.

Regulating the Disruption Economy: Tech Startups as Regulatory Reformers

Friday, March 20, 2015, UC Hastings College of the Law

The UC Hastings Science & Technology Law and Business Law Journals will be co-hosting a symposium entitled, "Regulating the Disruption Economy: Tech Startups as Regulatory Reformers" on Friday, March 20th along with the Institute for Innovation Law. The symposium will focus on the interaction between startup companies and regulators. Examples include the evolving regulatory status of virtual currencies and sharing economy companies.The event will be offering continuing legal education (MCLE) credit for attorneys and will feature.

Did You Know You Can Beef Up Your Member Record on the State Bar's Website?

Were you aware of the feature on the State Bar's website that allows you to add a photo and otherwise expand your State Bar profile?

Using a secure link within My State Bar Profile, attorneys may add information to their public record to include area(s) of practice, any additional language(s) spoken, their law firm's website address and a photo.

To get started, log in to My State Bar Profile, and click on the “Expanded Profile” link.

Save Money with CEB

CEB Discount Program for Section MembersContinuing Education of the Bar, California (CEB) is extending some special discount offers to our section. As a member of the Intellectual Property Law Section, you're eligible for:

  • 10% off selected CEB print or online books
  • A rebate on your section dues that can be applied to the cost of a CEB Gold CLE Passport or a CLE program ticket

A complete list of the products eligible for a discount is available on a CEB web page accessible through our Members Only Area. Information about the section dues rebate program can be found on the CEB Web site.

Contact Us

Intellectual Property Law Section
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
415-538-2368 fax