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The Latest from RIPL: The Summer Issue 4 from Vol. 18 has been Published!

Dear Readers,

The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law (“RIPL”) is pleased to announce the publication of our final issue of the journal’s eighteenth volume.  This issue features six articles authored by practitioners and professors in the field of intellectual property law, as well as two student-member comments. 

Our first featured article, entitled “Abstraction in Software Patents (And How to Fix It),” refutes the idea that software algorithms are “just math” and proposes ways to fix software patents.  Author Athul Acharya explores the abstract-ideas doctrine, the “science of abstraction,” and the functional nature of software code.  To fix the software patent quandary, Athul Acharya offers means for patentees to obtain software patents by claiming algorithms.  

Our second article, entitled “Overcoming Abstract Idea Exception of Patent Subject Matter Eligibility under 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance,” explores the judicial abstract idea exception of the current patent subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  Author Sangik Bae summarizes the 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance issued by USPTO and provide practical ways to overcome the abstract idea exception under the 2019 PEG.

The third article entitled “A Tale of Two Pioneers, Trademarking a Tattoo,” written by Jeanette Braun, is a short creative work based on the first tattoo to be federally registered as a trademark.  We hope you enjoy this artistic take. 

Our fourth article entitled, “The F Word – An Early Empirical Study of Trademark Registration of Scandalous and Immoral Marks in the Aftermath of the In re Brunetti Decision” develops an empirical benchmark on registrations of marks that would have failed registration as “scandalous” or “immoral” under Lanham Act Section 2(a).   With a unique methodology, Author VincençFeliu uses George Carlin’s “The Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” as a gauge to measure the number of registrations that might have been denied as “immoral” or “scandalous” under § 2(a).  The article then predicts how lifting the § 2(a) restrictions would affect the volume of registrations of marks previously made unregistrable.

Our fifth article entitled, “Scandal in The US and Australian Wine Industry! Trademarks and GIs As a Consumer Magnet?” authored by Sarah Hinchliffe, provides a comprehensive examination of the global wine market, consumer preferences, and identifies branding opportunities for New World wineries – particularly in the United States and Australia – to capitalize on without compromising innovation in branding nor breaching IP law.  Sarah Hinchliffe highlights that wineries in the New World have a plethora of branding opportunities, and cautions on what wineries should avoid.

In our sixth practitioner article entitled, “The Perspiration Principle,” author Doug Lichtman revisits the economic case in favor of a “perspiration principle” under which hard work would be a sufficient trigger for intellectual property protection.  Doug Lichtman discusses the rejection of the perspiration principle in both patent and copyright law while providing public policy justifications and implications into the discussion.  

The summer issue also features two student-authored comments.  In the first student comment, entitled “Insolvency and Trademarks: How The Bankruptcy Code’s Treatment of Trademarks Promotes Naked Licensing,” Michael Hopkins discusses how Congress failed to include trademarks when amending § 365 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Mr. Hopkins discusses how the Circuit Courts are divided on what remedies are available to trademark licensees following a licensor’s rejection of their agreement by reviewing the First Circuit’s inconsistent decision on Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC, with the Seventh Circuit’s holding in Sunbeam Products, Inc. v. Chicago American Manufacturing.  The article proposes ways to fix the naked licensing problem for licensees.  Mr. Hopkins is a rising 3L at the John Marshall Law School, and an incoming RIPL Lead Articles Editor for the 2019-2020 academic year.   

The second and final student comment, “When Enough Is Not Enough: Can Post Filing Experimental Data Bridge The Gap In Patent Disclosure Of Non-Enabling Specifications In The Unpredictable Arts?” discusses issues of 35 U.S.C. §112 and how the Federal Circuit has been inconsistent in determining the extent to which patent applicants need to disclose examples of their claimed inventions in patent specifications to fully enable their patent claims.  Author Fei Sha explores the confusion as to what arises to sufficient disclosure of examples and current practices as related to the chemical, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical arts.  Ms. Sha recommends a qualitative approach and post-filing experimental data as remedies to satisfy the enablement requirements.  Fei Sha is a rising 3L at the John Marshall Law School, and an incoming RIPL Lead Articles Editor for the 2019-2020 academic year.  

As the incoming Editor-in-Chief of the 2019-2020 RIPL Board, I would like to congratulate Luke Chamberlain and the entire 2018-2019 RIPL Board members for their outstanding work and success on Volume 18.  Also, with the final issue of Volume 18 comes the final issue of The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law Journal, as RIPL will officially become the UIC Review of Intellectual Property Law with the merging of The John Marshall Law School and The University of Illinois at Chicago.  It was a pleasure to work with each and every individual involved in the publication of this issue, and I emphatically look forward to the production of Volume 19.  


Alexander Karana 

Editor-in-Chief, Vol. 19