Week’s news headlines – aug. 29th 2014

Where Bankruptcy Law and Intellectual Property Law Intersect

The intersection of bankruptcy law and intellectual property law is not a very nice neighborhood. Anyone dealing with intellectual property license agreements must think about how these agreements are affected if one party to the agreement becomes insolvent. Below are strategies to help parties draft license agreements that will pass through this intersection relatively safely.

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Líder na China, Xiaomi tem patentes e pós-venda como desafios para crescer

A Xiaomi é um fenômeno de vendas de smartphone na China. No segundo trimestre, ela virou líder no maior mercado de telefonia do mundo. Com a estratégia de vender gadgets acessíveis, a empresa tem desafios a serem superados para consolidar sua marca, como melhorar o pós-venda e investir em patentes. As informações são de um relatório da empresa de consultoria Gartner.

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The ALS Association wants to trademark ‘ice bucket challenge.’ An attorney says that’s ‘shameful.’

The ALS Association has raked in more than $94 million in donations from the ice bucket challenge in just under a month. Now, the organization is asking for something else: Trademarks to the phrases “ice bucket challenge” and “ALS ice bucket challenge.”

One trademark attorney calls the effort “shameful.”

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Cures 501 Patent Blues With Trademarks

The history of blue jeans starts with a patent. In 1873, a patent entitled “Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings” was issued to a tailor named Jacob Davis and his cloth supplier Levi Strauss. The patent claimed:

[A] pair of pantaloons having the pocket-openings secured at each edge by means of rivets . . . whereby the seams at the points named are prevented from ripping

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Delhi Court restrains use of deceptive trademark of Nature’s Essence
A Delhi court has restrained the use of deceptively similar trademark, visually or phonetically, of cosmetic products major ‘Nature’s Essence’ and its sub-brand ‘Coloressence’.
The court restrained the defendants from using registered trademarks of M/s Nature’s Essence Pvt Ltd.

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Troll Sues eBay For Daring To Ask Patent Office For Patent Re-Exam

Over at Popehat, there’s a fascinating story about the depths to which patent trolls will go to “protect” their business models. The story involves Landmark Technologies, a troll we wrote about earlier this year for its rather aggressive take on patent trolling. Landmark holds patent 6,289,319: ‘Automatic Business and Financial Transaction Processing System.

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Major Changes Enacted for Canadian Trademark Law

The biggest changes to Canadian trademark law in 60 years are coming soon – most should be in force before the end of 2014.

The changes will affect everyone whose business involves branding in Canada. While all of the provisions are intended to streamline the registration process for legitimate users, many observers fear that at least one of the changes will create easy opportunities for squatters to sit on rights that should legitimately belong to others, until the squatters are forced away .

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Black and white trademarks

The scope of protection given to black, white or grey trademarks will change as a result of a recent communication issued by the European Trade Mark and Design Network.

The network, established by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market, aims at standard­ising practices and reducing differences in the treatment of trademarks and designs across the EU.

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Do Tim Hortons And Burger King Trademark Policies Show A Clash Of Cultures?

I don’t know about all this tax inversion business, but will the pairing of Tim Hortons and Burger King create a branding diversion for one or the other of them?

Tim Hortons seems to prefer mostly simple names, while Burger King owns a lot of its own coined trademarks.  Will Tim’s convert to a more King-like approach, or will BK revert to some more simple product names?

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Unfair competition: Vietnam’s conflicting decrees

On July 21, 2014, the Vietnam Government issued Decree 71/2014/ND-CP (Decree 71), which sets out the prescribed remedies for competition violations. Among these include sanctions in cases of antitrust, unfair dealings, and unfair competition. While these measures are a step in the right direction, they potentially conflict with last year’s Decree 99/2013/ND-CP on administrative sanctions in industrial property (Decree 99), complicating the enforcement of Decree 99.

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Raises $350,000 To Help Businesses Protect Intellectual Property

Traklight, a cloud-based software platform that tracks and protects intellectual property, announced today that it has raised $350,000 in angel funding from private investors including Astia Angels. The company says it will use the funding to expand its sales and marketing efforts nationally.

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China Trademarks: Like a Box of Chocolates

Those of us who deal with China trademarks on a regular basis are used to a certain level of weirdness. To be fair, most decisions from the Chinese Trademark Office (CTMO) are logical, apply the appropriate laws and regulations, and occur within the general expected timeframe. But a nontrivial number are simply bizarre, and come with neither warning nor explanation. A trademark might be rejected for a ludicrous supposed conflict, like having the word “the” in common with a previously registered trademark.

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World Drug Regulatory Authorities Meet In Brazil; Biosimilars In Focus

Drug regulatory authorities are meeting this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to discuss global regulatory issues such as vaccine regulation, falsified products, and pharmacovigilance. A “pre-conference” focused on biosimilars, with civil society warning on barriers to access to those products.

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Insurance firm alleges unfair competition

Seven former Huntington Insurance Inc. employees who left the company to set out on their own are being sued for what the Huntington says are illegal and improper business dealings and unfair competition.

Huntington claims the employees, all of whom worked together at the company’s Findlay office, conspired together to join a new company and attempt to lure away Huntington customers by using confidential and proprietary information.

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Apple Denied Fees After Samsung Trade-Dress Win

The fame and beauty of Apple’s iPhone are not enough to warrant $16 million in attorneys’ fees in the trade-dress case against Samsung, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
Apple asserted four trade dresses against Samsung – one registered and three not – when it launched the global smartphone patent war in 2011.

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Anti-piracy lawyer wants domain registrars to silence critics

A lawyer who described piracy settlement demands as “extortion” changed his mind in 2011 and began suing BitTorrent users. In an attempt to erase the past he’s just sent DMCA notices to the domain registrars of two anti-troll websites. Sadly for him, they remain online and history remains intact.

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Ralph Lauren scores Polo victory over Italian company

US fashion house Ralph Lauren has defeated an Italian company it accused of copying one of its most famous brands.

According to Ralph Lauren, Fratelli Martinelli Textile Srl had used its signature Polo player logo to sell a line of home accessories.

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Toronto Blue Jays oppose university trademark

Major League Baseball side the Toronto Blue Jays have opposed a trademark application by a US university, claiming its new logo will cause people to believe the two are related.

In a notice of opposition filed at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the Blue Jays claimed a logo used by Creighton University for its sports teams would cause people to believe it was “approved, endorsed or sponsored” by the club.

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Half of U.S. trademark registrations are at least partially illegitimate

A recent survey revealed that about half of all federal trademark registrations are at least partially illegitimate, blocking businesses from being able to obtain trademark registrations they want and discouraging businesses from selecting new trademarks they prefer.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which conducted a survey of 500 trademark registrations, found half contained false claims as to what goods or services were being sold using those trademarks.

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OPEN LETTER: Trademark ban on cigarette packaging defies constitution

I am addressing this letter to you to express serious legal concerns about the approach that you are adopting to this matter. I submit that you ought to be aware and take cognisance of them.

You obviously feel that the smoking of cigarettes is detrimental to the health of the public. It is within your powers and duties as the health minister to address these matters if they are a cause of public concern.

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Angry Birds maker Rovio loses trademark dispute against Angry Bite snack-maker

SINGAPORE: The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has ruled that a Malaysian snack maker will be allowed to continue using its “Angry Bite” branding, as there is “no similarity” to the Angry Birds trademark.

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