Week’s news headlines – aug. 22nd 2014

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The 5 intellectual property stories you need to know right now

Things move pretty fast in in the world of high technology, and the seesaw patent battles among the largest players are no exception. The last several weeks have produced a number of developments involving some of the big fish in the space, including Microsoft, Samsung and Apple. And, while their patent wars have produced a lot of noise, there have been other big stories in the world of intellectual property, including the launch of a potentially game-changing IP network and a clash of heroic proportions over a geeky trademark. For the scoop on these stories, click through the slideshow and click the embedded links for more information.

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A Conversation About Software and Patents: On the Record with Bob Zeidman

Bob Zeidman is know to our readers as an occasional guest contributor. He is also the president and founder of Zeidman Consulting, a contract research and development firm in Silicon Valley that provides engineering consulting to law firm. He is also the president and founder of Software Analysis and Forensic Engineering Corporation, the leading provider of software intellectual property analysis tools. In short, Zeidman is a software expert in every sense of the word “expert”, he holds numerous patents and he is prolific author. He has written four engineering texts—The Software IP Detective’s Handbook, Verilog Designer’s Library, Introduction to Verilog, Designing with FPGAs and CPLDs, and Just Enough Electronics to Impress Your Friends and Colleagues—in addition to numerous articles and papers. He has also written three award-winning screenplays and three award-winning novels including his latest, Good Intentions, a political satire about a future dystopia.

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3 trademark controversies brewing in the sports world

There’s no doubt that sports are a big business in the United States. College and professional sports generate money through ticket sales, television contracts and merchandise. But, in order to monetize merchandise, sports teams need to protect their trademarks, so they can sell hats, t-shirts and more with their unique logos and color schemes. And with big bucks comes big controversy, and three recent stories in the world of sports illustrate these trademark battles.

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Monkey-Wikipedia selfie: US Copyright Office advises animals cannot own pictures

The US Copyright Office’s (USCO) has released fresh guidance in the aftermath of the monkey-selfie ownership debate, stating that an animal, ghost or divine being cannot hold copyright over a picture.

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Patent troll king Intellectual Ventures suffers large layoffs

Intellectual Ventures is not dead, but it may be dying. This will come as good news for the tech companies and start-ups that have been taxed directly or indirectly by IV, which has done more than any other company to popularize the ugly business of patent trolling.

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Where’s the real value in Tesla’s patent pledge?

With the much-anticipated arrival next month of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla’s Model S to Australian shores, it’s a good time to revisit Tesla’s pledge to freely share patents.

Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, wrote a statement on the company’s blog entitled All Our Patent Are Belong To You back in June.
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BLU vs. blu

Zippo wins infringement case over lighter, e-cigarette trademarks

Zippo Manufacturing Co. (ZMC), maker of the Zippo lighter, has announced that it has been granted a preliminary injunction in Germany against Cygnet UK Trading Ltd., a Lorillard subsidiary, preventing Cygnet from using the “blu” brand name for electronic cigarettes sold in that country.

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Louis Vuitton challenger protests against deadline extension request

Shoe designer Antonio Brown has sent an emotive letter to US District Court for the Southern District of New York judge Paul Engelmayer, urging him to deny Louis Vuitton’s request for a 30-day extension of the response deadline in his trademark infringement case against the luxury brand.

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Hard Rock Café targets Soft Rock Café in trademark claim

Multinational restaurant chain Hard Rock Café has said it has not ruled out legal action following a string of threats against a UK-based café.

The Soft Rock Café in Merseyside, and its owner Robbie Forbes, have been contacted by representatives of the Hard Rock Café saying the name and logo are too similar to its own.

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Why Protecting Our Trade Secrets Is Essential To Saving the Economy
Unlike a patent or copyright, a trade secret is non-public intellectual property. It gains economic value because of its secrecy. Some of the most recognized trade secrets include Coca-Cola’s formula and KFC’s famous recipe, but trade secrets include many different types of confidential business information critical to the success of both large and small companies in the United States. The devastating reality is that theft of trade secrets costs the American economy billions of dollars per year.1 Although criminal laws exist to combat such theft, the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] said in a recent Congressional hearing that “[p]rotecting the nation’s economy from this threat is not something the FBI can accomplish on its own.”
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Trade Secrets on the Move Re: Trade Secret Misappropriation

We have written recently about the ongoing effort in Congress to create afederal civil remedy for trade secret misappropriation.  Last week, James Nurton, the Managing Editor of Managing IP, wrote a story with the heading: “Trade Secrets Get Sexy.”  Mr. Nurton discusses how efforts to harmonize, and elevate the importance of, trade secret laws are happening not only in the United States, but around the globe – from China to the European Union – and in the multilateral trade agreementsthat the United States is currently negotiating.

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New study shows exactly how patent trolls destroy innovation

Everyone agrees that there’s been an explosion of patent litigation in recent years, and that lawsuits from non-practicing entities (NPEs) — known to critics as patent trolls — are a major factor. But there’s a big debate about whether trolls are creating a drag on innovation — and if so, how big the problem is.

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Are Patents Leading To Drugs That Cure The Wrong Patients?

That’s not a headline you’ve read before, I’ll bet. New evidence suggests that drug companies invest too much in therapies targeting diseases at late stages, and not enough in prevention or early-state therapies.

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Govt set to revise patent norms for pharma

The government is set to revise the guidelines for evaluating applications seeking intellectual property rights (IPR) for pharmaceuticals.
This follows an increasing number of drug patent filings, along with litigation between innovator companies and generic drug producers.

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5 interesting intellectual property lawsuits worth noting

Trademarks, symbols, mascots, even fonts and colors and packaging materials — all these and more fall under category of law called intellectual property.

In essence, intellectual property law says that a company or a person is entitled to own an idea, just as they can own land or a car or a factory.

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Homer Simpson duffed with patent lawsuit

The owner of a Hologram company has filed a lawsuit against film company Twentieth Century Fox after it recreated a 3D version of Homer Simpson at a comic convention last month.

Alki David, owner of Hologram USA, has said the appearance of the popular cartoon character at the San Diego Comic-Con infringed his company’s patented technology for projecting 3D images on stage.

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Google y ZTE derrotan al troll de patentes Vringo

Google y ZTE han logrado importantes victorias judiciales frente a la firma israelí Vringo, un troll de patentes especializado en litigios contra empresas TIC.

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Software company hits back in Warner trademark row

A software company that has twice had trademark claims against movie studio Warner Bros dismissed has accused an appeals court of “failing to recognise how the modern world works”.

Fortres Grand (FG) claimed that the studio’s The Dark Knight Rises, part of the Batman series of films, could have driven potential customers away because it featured a fictional device with the same name as one of its products.

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Angelina Jolie copyright case returns

Actress and director Angelina Jolie could be heading back to court after a lawsuit in which one of her films was accused of copying an author’s work has resurfaced.

In court documents filed at the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Croatian author James Braddock (Josip Knezevic) has demanded a retrial after criticising an earlier ruling for making “a number of material errors”.

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It’s Time to Close the Piracy Window

It is high time for the studios to pull their collective ostrich heads out of the sand, and to close the piracy window (the time between the theatrical release and the home video release).  Yes, there will be lots of gnashing of teeth by the theaters, but we simply cannot let theater owners lash us to the mast and take us down with the ship.

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