Week’s news headlines – may. 30th 2014

Patent Reform Proposals Threaten Innovators (Jerry McCormick Commentary)

When Congress tries to “fix” something that affects my business, I immediately begin to worry about unintended consequences. That is certainly the case with patent reform.

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How Disney learned to stop worrying and love copyright infringement

The Monday before the Oscars, Scott Kramer, a digital content producer based in Los Angeles, called his close friend Joshua Elson, a high school choir teacher, with an idea. For months, both their families had been obsessed with the song “Let It Go” from Disney’s animated phenomenon “Frozen.” Kramer, mindful of the growing online clamor focused on everything “Frozen,” wanted to make a video parodying “Let It Go.” It would be self-consciously “meta” — a plea from a father who was being driven crazy by the song’s ubiquity, begging the world to let “Let It Go” go.

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Apple Seeks Retrial in Latest Patent Case against Samsung to Raise Compensation

iPhone maker Apple looks to increase the amount of damages from rival Samsung, requesting a retrial in the latest patent case between the companies.

Earlier, a Californian jury awarded Apple $119m (£71m) in damages from Samsung, lower than its demand of $2.2bn. In the lawsuit, Apple accused Samsung of infringing on two of its patents.

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Patents and competition law

The Commission adopted on 29 April 2014 two decisions regarding the application of EU competition law on standard essential patents regarding on the one hand Samsung Electronics and on the other hand Motorola Mobility.

The Commission has manifested a clear interest in the application of competition law on intellectual property rights. Companies owning patents are no longer free to manage their business at their discretion. For example, in the Margill case, the company concerned was condemned for an abuse of a dominant position following a refusal to license copyright and lists of television programmes.

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Public Interest Registry Oferece Novos Nomes de Domínio Internacionalizados ao Público em Geral

Public Interest Registry – a operadora sem fins lucrativos do domínio .org – anunciou hoje a disponibilidade geral de três novos Nomes de Domínio Internacionalizados (IDN, sigla em inglês) que são traduzidos para “organização” ou “instituição” em scripts de caracteres não latinos – um em devanagari, um em cirílico e um em chinês simplificado. Se antes estavam disponíveis somente a detentores qualificados de marcas registradas de domínio, agora todas as companhias, organizações e pessoas físicas interessadas podem registrar-se para os novos domínios.

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Evolving law of trade dress in a digital world

In an increasingly crowded market, businesses are investing heavily into unique customer experiences to boost brand identity and loyalty. As expected, there is a growing need to protect the design and other distinguishing elements incorporated into the products, packaging as well as off and online customer experiences. Collectively, these features are known as the trade-dress or the look and feel of the brand. The recent crack-down on 22 counterfeit Apple stores illustrates the importance of trade-dress protection.

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Day copyright owners stood up for intellectual property and won

ADETOLA BADEMOSI in this report writes on how the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), and the Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (IBAN)’s battle concerning payment of royalties for musical works and sound recordings carried on broadcast stations across the country was eventually resolved.

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Angola: Parliament Passes Law On Copyrights

Luanda — The approval of eight diplomas of political, economic and cultural nature, among other Bill on Copyrights and Related Matters, submitted by the government, marked on Thursday in Luanda the 7th Ordinary Plenary Session of the 2nd Legislative Session, of the 3rd Parliamentary Term of the National Assembly.

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In My Opinion: Copyrights help people be informed

Every day, city hall reporters at local newspapers distill hours of city council meetings into cogent stories that inform readers about how their elected officials are spending their tax dollars.

Sports reporters document the successes of the high school team.

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Prince and the Copyright Revolution (Part 3)

Copyright law must be brought up to speed with rapidly advancing technology if it is to remain effective. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has remained unchanged since it became law in 1998, and its protective mechanisms are now beginning to lag. The technological advancements made over the last decade and a half have been staggering; consider how poorly a computer would perform that had not been updated in over 15 years! If the DMCA is not upgraded, copyrights will become increasingly vulnerable to infringement.

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EU Council Agrees Approach For New Legal Framework On Trade Secrets

The European Council today agreed on an approach for establishing a new legal framework for protecting trade secrets.

According to a release, the new framework “aims at making it easier for national courts to deal with the misappropriation of confidential business information, remove the trade secret infringing products from the market and make it easier for victims to receive compensation for illegal actions.”

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Fracking gag rule part I: Trade secret?

I was in the middle of writing a column about the unique benefits and properties of fertilizer made from seaweed when I got distracted by the North Carolina General Assembly. A Republican-led senate committee has proposed to make it a felony for a citizen to disclose the names of the chemicals used by drilling companies in the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) process. The purported rationale is that drilling companies claim that the mixtures of chemicals they use are confidential trade secrets. As I will outline below, this claim borders on the absurd.

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Editorial: Trade Secrets

For years, the Chinese government has been stealing secrets from American companies. Last Monday, the United States finally put its foot down. The Justice Department announced that five Chinese military officials have been indicted on charges of espionage against American steel, solar and nuclear power companies — the first time the U.S. has brought such accusations against another country.

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Trade Secrets: party comes to a premature end

The Council of the Europe Union agreed on Monday a general approach for establishing a new framework for trade secrets protection, according to a Council statement.

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HNBA/Microsoft Intellectual Property Law Institute Offers Opportunities for Latino Law School Students

The Intellectual Property Law Institute is an example of how organizations co-sponsor an event to encourage more Latinos to enter the field of IP law

More needs to be done to increase the number of Latino lawyers in the United States. There is a relatively low percentage of attorneys in the United States who are of Latino origin. They now make up less than 4 percent of all U.S. lawyers.

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Vice President Joe Biden Defends Intellectual Property

Vice President Joe Biden is a passionate guy — even when it comes to the importance of protecting intellectual property.

At today’s Creativity Conference, organized by the Motion Picture Association of America in partnership with Microsoft and ABC, he wondered out loud about the difference between stealing physical objects as opposed to intellectual ones.

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Not all NPEs are patent trolls

By definition, most patent owners are Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs), including operating companies and universities because they assert patents not practiced in their products, if any.  Our company, Finjan Holdings, Inc., falls within this category, as do many notable inventors including Thomas Edison and Susan Taylor Converse.  But, most NPEs are not “patent trolls” since they, including Finjan, exercise ethical business practices when it comes to asserting their patent rights.
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Patents granted for CO2-based allergen removal technique

University of South Carolina researchers have received two patents for a new method to eliminate allergens and other asthma causes from carpets, mattresses and other furniture.

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The business case for inter partes review of patents by generic pharma

Several parts of the America Invents Act (the “AIA”) became law on Sept. 16, 2012, sparking some of the most meaningful changes to patent law seen in decades. One hot provision in the new law is the ability for one to challenge a patent’s validity in a new inter partes review (“IPR”) process. This legal tool could prove to be very valuable in solving some of the biggest business challenges facing generic pharma. This post addresses the business case for generic pharma using the IPR process.

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Russia to toughen anti-piracy laws strictly

The State Duma discussed proposals about amendments to the second “anti-piracy” bill initiated fro United Russia MP Sergei Zheleznyak. The first reading of the document was held in March.
“The work group headed by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov has developed supplements to the already adopted “anti-piracy” laws to protect film production. This is not about a new law – we suggest using the bill by Sergei Zheleznyak adopted in the first reading,” Minister for Culture, Vladimir Medinsky said.

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Judge orders new trial in online music piracy case

A US judge has ordered a new trial for a woman convicted of pirating music on the Internet and denounced the awarding of 222,000 US dollars in damages to record companies as “wholly disproportionate” and “oppressive.”

Jammie Thomas, a single mother from Minnesota, was convicted in October 2007 in the first such online piracy case in the United States for sharing 24 songs through the Kazaa peer-to-peer file-sharing network.

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Levin Introduces Senate Bill Aimed at Combating Cyber Espionage

U.S. Senator Carl Levin introduced legislation that would require the Director of National Intelligence to keep a watch list of countries that engage in cyberspace-related industrial espionage against U.S. companies and individuals.

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Monetising intellectual property

WITH 1,093 US patents in his name, Thomas Alva Edison is known as one of the most prolific inventors of his time.

Famous for saying, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”, Edison revolutionised various industries with his inventions, from the electric light to telecommunications.

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Hungarian Richter agrees on Esmya intellectual property rights with HRA Pharma

Hungarian drug producer Gedeon Richter on Thursday said it concluded a sale and purchase agreement with France’s Laboratoire HRA Pharma in connection with intellectual property rights of ulipristal acetate, the active ingredient in Esmya, a Richter drug for the treatment of uterine fibroids, in Latin America.

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Your Patent Has Been Infringed: Enforcement Of Oil And Gas Patents In Canada

Patent disputes are on the rise. 101 patent infringement actions were filed in in the Federal Court in 2013 as compared with 48 patent infringement cases in 2012. As we explained previously, part of that increase is due to an increase in oil and gas patent litigation. This raises the question; what do you do when you discover that your patent has been infringed?

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How will pending trademark ruling impact Redskins name?

The team name of the Washington NFL club is a badge of honor meant to exalt American Indians, according to the team. The name is a damnable racial slur that disparages American Indians, according to 50 U.S. Senators who wrote scathing letters to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week.

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“Lafite” trademark dispute spreads to China

Famous french wine brand “Lafite” is swamped by trademark disputes. While suffering from copycat, the owner of “Lafite”, Lafite Rothschild Vinery (hereinafter referred to as Chateau Lafite Rothschild) has been in the court in France for a few times due to the trademark dispute with a private company French Chateau Lafitte (hereinafter referred to as Chateau Lafitte). After French Supreme Court ruled allowing Chateau Lafitte retain its trademark “Lafitte” in 2008, it applied to register of “Lafitte” and other trademarks in China in 2011 and afterwards it encountered objections from Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Thereby the trademark dispute between the two spread to China.

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Universal Music Group Says the Digital Royalty Lawsuits Should Be Dismissed…

Legal battles regarding digital royalties payouts for older artists continue to rage on.

Legacy artists have contracts that pre-date digital download stores. The lawsuits revolve around the classification of a digital download, is a it a “sale” or a “license”? The downloads are currently classified as sales. Classifying them as a license instead could dramatically increase payouts for some artists.

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Google urged to act on film and music piracy by PM’s adviser

Google is under pressure from David Cameron’s adviser on intellectual property to take stronger action against online piracy to help Britain’s film and music industries.

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Anti-piracy system sent 1.3 million notices in first year
A system to curb online piracy sent 1.3 million notices to warn copyright infringers during its first ten months and is set to double its efforts over the next year.

The Copyright Alert System (CAS) — an initiative by the entertainment industry and Internet providers — sent out 1.3 million notices, many of which were to educate recipients that they were illegally sharing copyright content, according to new research from the Center for Copyright Information (CCI), which runs CAS.

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What’s the story with the Makerbot patent?

The 3D printing world is all a-seethe with the story that Makerbot supposedly filed a patent on a design from its Thingiverse community. As Cory Doctorow discovered, the reality is a little more complicated: if Makerbot has committed a sin, it is not the sin of which it stands accused.

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U.S. Patent Troll Bill Unsuccessful – What Is The Situation In Canada?

On Wednesday, May 21, 2014, a U.S. bill aimed at combatting patent trolling practices was pulled from consideration by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. As a result, it is unlikely that any legislation addressing patent trolling practices will be passed in the United States this year.

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As wars end, US military safeguards trademarks

Washington: US Marine G-string underwear. The Starfleet Marine Corps Academy. And the motto from a human resources company: “The Few. The Proud. The Well-Paid.”

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‘Genericide’: Brands destroyed by their own success

Turning a product into a household name is the stuff of corporate dreams. Isn’t it?

Not necessarily.

Think Hoover, Jacuzzi, Frisbee.

When was the last time you “vacuum-cleanered” the front room, took a dip in a “whirlpool bath”, or played in the park with your “flying disc”?

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Registering ‘pharmacist’ name as trademark sparks reaction from sector representatives

Turkish pharmaceuticals company Eczacıbaşı has registered the word “eczacı” – pharmacist in Turkish – as a trademark, triggering reactions from other sector representatives.
Well-established Turkish business group Eczacıbaşı registered 45 different versions of the word as a trademark with an application to the Turkish Patent Institute (TPE).

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