Product Liability Monitor

June 9, 2017
New Developments
Lung Cancer Without Asbestosis? The Effects of Smoking
By Mark Zellmer

In the medical and scientific literature, a finding of asbestosis is clear evidence that asbestos at least contributed to cause a person’s lung cancer. Many medical experts regard a finding of asbestosis as essential to any finding that asbestos

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), which amended the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to create a federal civil remedy for trade secret misappropriation. lockThe DTSA governs misappropriations occurring after the effective date of May 11, 2016.

Although trade secret theft has been a federal crime since 1996, civil claims for trade secret misappropriation were almost always governed by state law. A corporation unable to establish a basis for federal jurisdiction was thus limited to state court. Although every state but two has adopted a variation of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, these statutory variations and differing court interpretations created uncertainty in the application of trade secret law, an area of growing importance for companies increasingly dependent on electronic security.


Continue Reading Husch Blackwell Files One of First Lawsuits Brought Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA)

3D printer in actionIn Part 1, we addressed the pros and cons of molding your mark directly into your goods in the context of 3D printing. In Part 2 of this series, we evaluated potential benefits and pitfalls that businesses may encounter when applying a mark to products at a later stage in manufacturing (e.g., via sticker or ink-printing). Here, we will look at two counterfeiting scenarios: Case 1, in which your mark has been molded or 3D printed into your product, and Case 2, in which your mark is ink-printed on your product.

In both scenarios, you have no utility patents, design patents, trade dress, or copyrights with which to protect your product. Of course, this addresses a particularly limited situation. However, a great number of businesses find themselves in a similar position. Not all products can be patented. Not all products are proper subjects for trade dress or copyright protection.

In both cases, along comes a so-called “counterfeiter” who obtains a specimen of your product, scans it with a 3D scanner, and starts making copies. In Case 1, the 3D scanner acquires a scan of your mark on your product. The copies made by the counterfeiter in Case 1 therefore also include your mark, leading to clear-cut trademark infringement. However, in Case2, the mark is not detected by the 3D scanner, and is therefore not included on the copies.


Continue Reading 3D Printing & Trademark Counterfeiting Part 3: Break the Mold or Erase the Ink?