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Greg Ahrens, Partner at Wood Herron & Evans LLP, will speak on the consequences of IP prosecution during litigation. The goal in preparing and prosecuting patent, trademark, and copyright applications is to gain issuance or registration of the application. However, techniques used or actions taken during preparation and prosecution of patent, trademark, and copyright applications may have unintended consequences that are revealed when the issued (or registered) intellectual property is litigated. For example, courts may find the issued property to be invalid or unenforceable or may limit the scope of protection based on the prosecution record. In particular, certain statements made (or even omissions) in the application and/or during prosecution, failure to comply with formal requirements, or fraudulent or inequitable dealings with the issuing office (e.g., the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Copyright Office) can be detrimental to the intellectual property holder’s litigation position. For example, with respect to patent law, the presentation will likely address claim construction, doctrine of equivalents, prosecution history estoppel, and/or inequitable conduct. In the trademark and copyright contexts, the presentation will address failure to satisfy certain formal requirements, as well as limitations on the scope of protection that may arise during prosecution.
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