Mar 7, 2022

Jason Blair Joins IP Department in Austin and Washington, D.C.


SGR welcomes Jason Blair to the firm’s Intellectual Property (IP) Department in both its Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C. offices. Mr. Blair joins SGR from the Austin law firm of Munck Wilson Mandala. An experienced trademark attorney, Mr. Blair worked as a Trademark Examiner at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), handling more than 15,000 trademark applications from 2005 to 2018, before entering private practice. Moreover, while at the USPTO Jason served as the Special Marks Examiner for Sound and Motion Marks where he was instrumental in helping to develop and implement USPTO policies and procedures for this emerging… Read more

Jan 14, 2022

Models Obtain Default Judgment Against Club for Use of Their Photographs

Jessica Hinton, et al., Plaintiffs, vs. Completely Innocent LLC, Defendant United States District Court for the District of Arizona No. CV-21-01019-PHX-SPL Opinion issued January 7, 2022 Arizona Right of Publicity, Lanham Act false endorsement After the defendant Completely Innocent LLC dba Club Luxx failed to file an answer, the four professional model plaintiffs filed a motion in the District of Arizona on June 11, 2021 for default judgment for damages and permanent injunctive relief. The plaintiffs argued that Completely Innocent had used their images to promote the Club on the Club’s social media pages without permission and that such use… Read more

Nov 12, 2021

Metaverse: The Next Commercial Frontier

It appears that the next commercial frontier is the so-called “metaverse.” The term “metaverse” was first used in science fiction novels. It combines the word “universe” with the prefix “meta,” which comes from a Greek word meaning “beyond.”[1] In the technical sphere, the “metaverse” is some form of a virtual universe that is the style being defined. Several technology and gaming companies have entered the fray of defining what this metaverse will be. An American writer, Neal Stephenson, referred to his idea of the metaverse in his 1992 science-fiction novel Snow Crash. Stephenson envisioned an immersive virtual world where people… Read more

Sep 21, 2021

United States: Attorney Recognition Rule Changes

INTA Bulletin | September 15, 2021 | Vol. 76 Issue 36 Verifier: Scott D. Woldow – Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP | Trademark Office Practices Committee—USPTO Subcommittee Scot A. Duvall – Middleton Reutlinger | Trademark Office Practices Committee—USPTO Subcommittee To implement provisions of the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020, in May 2021, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing changes to the Trademark Rules of Practice (TMRP). The public comment period expired on July 19, 2021. Notable among the proposed changes are (in Section VI) a new procedure for attorney recognition… Read more

Jun 24, 2021

U.S. v. Arthrex Case Creates a New Path to Challenge IPR Decisions

As a result of yesterday’s Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Arthrex, any party dissatisfied with the result of an Inter Partes Review (IPR) can now seek review by the Director of the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). Previously, and as codified by the America Invents Act (AIA), IPR decisions were appealed directly to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, with no possible review at the PTO.  Yet to be determined will be the details of how this extra appeal step is to be implemented.   And will, for example, the Director really have time, resources and responsibility for reviewing… Read more

Jun 17, 2021

Dr. Judy de León Jarecki-Black Joins SGR IP Dept. to Lead Biotech/Chemistry Patent Team


Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (SGR) is pleased to announce that Dr. Judy de León Jarecki-Black has joined the firm’s Intellectual Property (IP) Department, to lead the firm’s significant and growing Biotech/Chemistry Patent Team. Dr. Jarecki-Black is a seasoned and accomplished patent and IP attorney, with more than twenty years of experience, including in both private and corporate practice. Prior to joining the firm, Dr. Jarecki-Black was the Global Head of IP for Merial Limited (now Boehringer-Ingelheim Animal Health), a leading global animal health biotech and pharmaceutical company, for 18 years. While at Merial, Dr. Jarecki-Black was responsible for developing and implementing… Read more

Dec 4, 2020

SGR Welcomes Dr. Sharon Ngwenya

SGR is pleased to announce that Dr. Sharon Ngwenya has joined our Firm as a Patent Science Advisor in the Intellectual Property Practice. Dr. Sharon Ngwenya is a Patent Science Advisor based in SGR’s Atlanta office. She has extensive experience in identifying, evaluating, and developing IP protection strategies, and marketing and licensing intellectual property assets. With a background in scientific research, Dr. Ngwenya also has experience drafting and pursuing patent applications in the US and worldwide, and drafting and negotiating commercial agreements of various kinds. Prior to joining the firm, Dr. Ngwenya worked for the University of Texas at Arlington, where… Read more

Nov 17, 2020

SGR’s Intellectual Property Practice Ranked in U.S. News – Best Lawyers as “Best Law Firm”

SGR is proud to announce that the Firm’s Intellectual Property Practice has again been named to the 2021 “Best Law Firms” list by U.S. News – Best Lawyers, ranked nationally and in Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Jacksonville. National Patent Law Biotechnology Law Trademark Law Litigation – Intellectual Property   Washington, D.C. Biotechnology Law   Atlanta Litigation – Intellectual Property Patent Law Litigation – Patent Trademark Law   Jacksonville Litigation – Intellectual Property For a full listing of SGR’s practice groups that have been ranked, click here

Jul 10, 2020

Singing About Brands: Expressing Emotions in Song

Music Branding

Music is a demanding form of expression. For an artist to communicate through lyrics in a song, the artist must conform his or her ideas within a time signature and in rhythm. When artists are limited in the number of syllables to express an idea or tell a story, they need to find shorthand ways to communicate. For many artists, they find the shorthand that they need to convey ideas, evoke emotions, and connect with their audiences in brands. For example, in 1966, Wilson Pickett told us he bought his paramour Sally a new 1965 Ford Mustang. Mr. Pickett’s audience… Read more

Apr 27, 2020

Supreme Court Holds that Annotations Written by Legislative Body are not Copyrightable

copyright shield on a blue background

On April 27, 2020, the Supreme Court held in a 5-4 split decision that explanatory legal materials created by a legislative body cannot be protected by copyright.   The background facts of this case are discussed in the January 29, 2020 article Can the State of Georgia Own a Copyright in its Official Code? by Elizabeth Borland. In Georgia v. Public.Resource,Org, Inc., Case No. 18-1150 (April 27, 2020), Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion for the Court and was joined by Justices Kagan, Sotomayor, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh to form an unusual majority.  The Court first determined that the case was controlled… Read more