Week’s news headlines – dec. 12th 2014

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DI BLASI, PARENTE & ASSOCIADOS is pleased to announce that its founding partner PAULO PARENTE MARQUES MENDES is now a member of the INTA Trademark Mediators Network.



Artist wins legal battle against Chik-fil-A, trademarks ‘eat more kale’ slogan

The fast food company told the Vermont artist that his slogan could be confused with their ‘eat mor chickin.’

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‘Comfyballs’ Underwear Denied Trademark Because ‘Balls’

A Norwegian apparel company has little left to say besides “balls!” after its trademark application for men’s underwear was denied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The reason: vulgarity.

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Suven Life soars 7%, gets 5 product patents in 4 countries

Suven today received the two product patents from Israel, one product patent each from Japan, China and New Zealand corresponding to the new chemical entities (NCEs) for the treatment of disorders associated with neurodegenerative diseases.
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What patents and obscenity have in common

What do patents and obscenity have in common? While there may be a few that think patents themselves are four-letter words, the correct answer I was seeking was how the Supreme Court seems to view both of these issues. In attempting to define a subjective category like obscenity, Justice Potter Stewart famously explained in Jacobellis v. Ohio that sometimes the court decides it’s unwise to go with a strict standard and needs to rely instead on “I know it when I see it.” Lower courts were left with the unenviable task of applying this subjective judgment call as a legal standard.

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India assumes frontline position in battles over intellectual property rights
As their cities grow more polluted, more people in India grapple with respiratory difficulties. The Swiss multinational Novartis’ drug, Onbrez, delivered through an inhaler, could help many of the estimated 15m Indians suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, but patient advocacy groups says the Swiss company has imported only small quantities of the drug into India.

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You may not be entitled to use your own name

Working with several artisan food and alcohol producers as clients, we frequently notice that using one’s own name (first, last, or both) as a brand name in association with one’s goods is very common in these industries. Recently, a decision was handed down by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) that reminds us that, while using one’s own name in almost every context is a birthright, using it in connection with food and beverage items in the marketplace may land a company in hot water with trademark litigation issues. In sum, you may not be entitled to use your own name!

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‘Vulgar’ undies Comfyballs denied a U.S. trademark

The Norwegian manufacturers of Comfyballs underwear said the U.S. patent office told them the brand name is too “vulgar” to trademark.

Company founder Anders Selvig said officials filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this year with an aim toward bringing the products to the North American market, but the office’s reply said the name was too “vulgar” to trademark.

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Patent fiction

“WHAT has long been predicted has now become a reality: China is leading the world in innovation.” So declares a press release promoting a new report by Thomson Reuters, a research firm, called “China’s IQ (Innovation Quotient)”. The report highlights the astonishing increase in patents filed in the country. In 2010 Chinese firms filed roughly the same number of applications for “invention” patents (the most rigorous sort) as their counterparts in Japan and America. By 2013 the Chinese figure had nearly doubled even as the rates in the other two countries held steady (see chart).

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Tyco llega a un acuerdo en un caso de violación de patentes de etiquetas antihurto contra Ningbo y TaLa
Tyco Retail Solutions, proveedor líder mundial de soluciones para la mejora del rendimiento en tienda y seguridad que presta sus servicios en Europa a través de Tyco Integrated Fire & Security, anuncia la resolución mediante acuerdo de  del proceso derivado de la denuncia por violación de patentes, presentada en Alemania en contra de TaLa UG & Co. KG, Security Productos (TaLa), conjuntamente con Ningbo Signatronic Technologies, Ltd. (Ningbo).
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High Value Patents – Strength Meets Quality

A typical General Counsel will see a variety of patent demand letters, at least some of which are legitimate and some of which are the type of bogus demands that are so vilified in the media and on Capitol Hill. A problem for many in house attorneys, particularly those who are themselves not technology companies but are technology users, is shifting through to determine which patents pose a real risk and which letters need to be taken seriously because the patents strong, high quality and likely to be litigated.

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A clash of two copyrights

SHOULD Godot ever appear, he is unlikely to be a woman. Samuel Beckett was known for his near-pedantic stage directions and his aversion to female actors ever playing Estragon or Vladimir. “Women don’t have prostates,” he explained, justifying why the constantly urinating Vladimir can only be male. If a director tries to stage the play with a female cast, he (or she) is likely to get sued by the Beckett estate.

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Copyrights different than patents, trademarks

Before I was an attorney, I was a musician. I remember the thrill of receiving a copyright registration certificate, complete with the signature of then-Register of Copyrights Marybeth Peters. Many years later I met Peters, after I had become a music lawyer. It was a special moment for me. For a creator, receiving your first certificate of registration brings with it a strong connection to the Copyright Office. Today, the signature is by Register Maria A. Pallante, an excellent advocate for creators’ rights and one of the country’s foremost experts on copyright law.

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Will India, US Bridge Divide Over Intellectual Property Rights?

There is an uptick in India-United States relations. US President Barack Obama will be in India in January as the chief guest at the country’s Republic Day Parade. Obama, who hosted India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington in September, will become the first US president to attend such a celebration, a display of India’s military might and ethnic diversity, as well as the first to visit India twice while in office.

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Xiaomi infringe patentes da Ericsson e é obrigada a parar operações na Índia

A Alta Corte de Deli ordenou que a chinesa Xiaomi parasse todas as suas vendas, publicidade, fabricação ou importação dos seus dispositivos em solo indiano por ter infringido patentes padrão da Ericsson. A Ericsson conseguiu obter uma injunção contra a Xiaomi, que pede o fim das operações da empresa na Índia.

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CBO doesn’t know patents

The newly elected Republican majority appears intent on moving a broad patent reform bill in the first few weeks of the new Congress.  In that context, the Congressional Budget Office recently released a paper that, while outlining the importance of innovation for future economic growth, tries to justify the need for patent reform – perhaps in an attempt to curry favor with the incoming Senate majority.  However, like Cinderella’s stepsisters trying to squeeze into a glass shoe that doesn’t fit, the CBO director has a problem fitting the facts of his research into the probable congressional outcome – weaker patents.

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Federal Court Considers Whether Copyright Subsists In Five-Digit Codes And The Elements Of A Valid Certification Mark

A recent decision of the Federal Court1 determined whether copyright subsisted in five-digit codes and considered the elements of a valid certification mark.

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Nike says former designers stole trade secrets, seeks $10M

Nike Inc. says three high-level designers swiped commercial secrets before leaving the company for jobs at Adidas’s new New York design studio.

Nike seeks $10 million.

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The U.S. Should Strive to Protect Its Intellectual Property Abroad | Commentary

The Chinese government recently announced it will establish its first independent court in Beijing for adjudicating intellectual property (IP) rights disputes. Officials plan to create two more in other key commercial hotspots within the next couple years.

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Trade Secrets – A Viable Alternative to Patents

All three branches of the U.S. government have attacked the patent system in the past year. Congress is considering amending patent law to curtail litigation by nonpracticing entities, or “patent trolls,” as they’re pejoratively known, even though their impact on the patent system is open to debate. President Barack Obama compared patent trolls to extortionists. And the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against patent owners in five cases in the past term, overturning five of the six decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit involving questions of patent law. Accordingly, inventors should consider alternatives to patent law to protect their valuable intellectual property, including most importantly the use of trade secrets.

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Ten Common Intellectual Property Mistakes Startups Make

Succeeding in a disruptive tech business is a daily battle. A good, strong suit of protective armour can help you make it through unscathed. Your IP protection can be that armour – a sword against imitators and a shield against counter-attacks. Mistakes in your early-stage IP strategy could create headaches down the road and jeopardize your success. Here are 10 errors we commonly see startups make:

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We’re Back at the World Intellectual Property Organization to Fight For Users’ Rights at the UN

EFF is in Geneva this week at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), where the organization’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights is gathered to debate proposals for a treaty to give new legal rights to broadcasters, and for instruments that would standardize copyright limitations and exceptions for libraries, archives, educators and researchers.

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Financial benefit to obtaining patents

Last month, the UK and Germany reached an agreement on a joint proposal to put forward to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP). This is intended to further the negotiations on new rules for preferential Intellectual Property (IP) tax regimes.

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Madonna To Be Deposed In Copyrights Suit By Jewish-Iranian-American Cosmetics Company

Madonna has been ordered by a federal judge to sit for a deposition in a lawsuit over her Hard Candy Fitness venture, reported.

Hard Candy Fitness is a partnership between Madonna, her manager Guy Oseary and Mark Mastrov, the founder and CEO of 24 Hour Fitness. Founded in 2010, the venture now owns fitness centers in Berlin, Mexico City, Moscow, Rome, Santiago, St. Petersburg, Sydney and Toronto.

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Google Play Store bota o Pirate Bay para andar na prancha

Houve uma época em que o Google não só não se importava com a pirataria como ganhava algum em cima dela, tanto é que o Pirate Bay possuía uma barra de pesquisa dedicada. Porém esse tempo passou: o mais novo movimento de Mountain View que entra em harmonia com a indústria do copyright foi chutar uma série de apps da lojinha do Android, todos relacionados ao portal de busca de torrents.

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