Patent Law, Trademark Law – Updates on Christian Louboutin, inequitable conduct, and Chris Bosh

With 2011 coming to an end, this is a good time to check in on updates on some of our favorite blogposts of the past: Christian Louboutin’s quest to trademark the color of his shoe soles, pleading inequitable conduct in patent cases post-Therasense, and Chris Bosh’s efforts to stop his former girlfriend from appearing on Basketball Wives.

Christian Louboutin: Louboutin’s appeal of the denial of his request for an injunction to stop YSL from selling shoes with red soles is still pending.  Louboutin’s case is being aided by Tiffany, which filed a brief supporting Louboutin’s position that he can trademark a color.

Inequitable conduct in patent cases: The Therasense court ruled that proving intent to deceive now requires evidence that the applicant knew of material prior art and made a “deliberate decision” to deceive the PTO by withholding a reference to such prior art and that the materiality of the undisclosed prior art must be so important that “but-for” the deception, the PTO would not have allowed the patent claim(s) covered by the undisclosed prior art.  As noted in the Docket Report blog, two recent cases have held that in pleading an inequitable conduct claim, it is only necessary to show that an intent to deceive the PTO was plausible, not that it was the most likely inference.

Chris Bosh: Bosh’s lawsuit likely contributed to discouraging Basketball Wives from using his ex-girlfriend Allison Mathis, on the latest season of the show.  However, Bosh’s lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles, was thrown out because of the procedural problem of the California court not having jurisdiction over Mathis, a Florida resident.  Mathis has since sued Bosh in Florida for interfering with her chance to be on Basketball Wives.  It is not clear what the status of Mathis’ lawsuit is.


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