Week’s news headlines – Feb. 3rd 2017

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Paul McCartney fights Sony/ATV over copyright termination notices to reclaim Beatles copyrights
One of the more interesting copyright stories which have played out over the past few decades took an interesting turn when British singer-songwriter Paul McCartney filed a complaint for declaratory judgement of no breach of contract in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (S.D.N.Y.). The complaint, filed against New York City-based Sony/ATV Music Publishing, was filed by McCartney to ensure a smooth process of reclaiming ownership over a good portion of the music catalog created as a member of The Beatles.

Disney, DreamWorks named as defendants in copyright infringement suit involving “The Light Between Oceans”
On Thursday, January 26th, Burbank, CA-based entertainment giant Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and movie production firm DreamWorks of Universal City, CA, were named as defendants in a copyright infringement suit involving the 2016 romantic drama The Light Between Oceans. The suit, which also targets the screenplay author and NYC-based book publisher Simon & Schuster, Inc., charges that both the 2016 movie and the 2012 novel upon which it is based were both plagiarized from a 2004 screenplay written by the plaintiff, Joseph Nobile. The case has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (S.D.N.Y.).



Patent Strategy: Advanced Patent Claim Drafting for Inventors
In an earlier article on patent claim drafting I discussed what you must do before you ever think about writing patent claims. See A prelude to patent claim drafting. Then in a follow-up article I discussed in a very basic way what must go into your patent claim. See The anatomy of a patent claim. Today we pick up our series with discussion of some advanced patent claim drafting strategies for inventors and others new to the art of claim drafting.

Teva to appeal against invalidation of Copaxone patents
Teva will appeal against a decision which saw the invalidation of four patents covering its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone (glatiramer acetate injection).

Oxford University and Novo Nordisk invest $143m in diabetes partnership
The University of Oxford and Denmark-based Novo Nordisk have entered into a DKr1 billion ($143 million) research collaboration focusing on type 2 diabetes.

Mylan enjoined from bringing Lialda generic to market
Mylan’s plans to bring a generic version of Shire’s bowel disease drug Lialda (mesalamine) to market were shut down when a district court judge held that the action would infringe Shire’s patent.

Depletion period ends following UK copyright repeal
A transition period implemented following the repeal of section 52 of the UK’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) 1988 ended last week.  

IP Bridge expands patent fund activities beyond Japan to tap Southeast Asia’s innovation promise
Back in October last year, Japanese sovereign patent fund (SPF) operator IP Bridge signed a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). Under the terms of the deal, IP Bridge and MDEC – a Malaysian government agency tasked with promoting development of the country’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry – will cooperate on IP creation, commercialisation and monetisation. The hook-up will also help Malaysian high-tech businesses “to leverage… Japan’s vast research and development field for creating innovations in technology as well as entering the Japanese market”.

Disney Files Patent Application for Analyzing Human Emotions on Rides
If virtual reality is taking theme parks by storm in 2017, you’ve got to wonder… what’s next? My money is actually on facial recognition and how it can impact the theme park experience. Recently Disney filed a patent on a technology that will read your facial expression while you’re on a ride and adjust your surroundings accordingly.

Patent Office still not commenting on Michelle Lee or whether agency now has an Acting Director
President Donald J. Trump was sworn into Office on Friday, January 20, 2017, at approximately 12pm ET. It is now 12 days later and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has still not announced whether Michelle Lee has been held over by President Trump and, therefore, remains Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.

I possess the energy, experience and ability to make patents great again, says Rader in pitch for USPTO top job
Randall Rader, the outspoken former chief judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, has confirmed that he remains a candidate for the position of Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office in the new Trump administration, and that he has “the energy, experience, and ability to “make patents great again” as part of the campaign to “make America great again.””

Michelle Lee’s views on patent quality out of touch with reality facing patent applicants
An opinion piece written by Michelle K. Lee, who may or may not still be Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, was published by Law360 in December. The op-ed, entitled Patent Quality is Here to Stay, reached a wider audience on January 13th when it was reprinted by The Huffington Post in its entirety. In the piece, Lee tries her best to assure readers that positive developments have been made at the USPTO in recent years, but at multiple points she seems blind to major issues that have plagued U.S. patent system stakeholders during her tenure.



Fashion brands count the cost as holiday spike sees trademark bidding surge
Third-party advertisers bidding on trademark terms in online search results spiked by 21% across the fourth quarter of 2016, with leading brands estimated to have lost 46 million clicks across the three month period. For key brands in the clothing and apparel sector this has been translated into approximately $300,000 in lost revenue.

Italian government launches multi-million euro allowance to support ‘historical trademarks’
The Italian Patent and Trademark Office (UIBM), in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) and Directorate General for Combating Counterfeiting (DGLC), has launched a tender for granting funds to support the “revival and economic exploitation” of Italian brands deemed to “represent a piece of history”.

Nike secures permanent injunction against importers
Back in July 2015, Nike filed a trademark infringement (pdf) and counterfeiting lawsuit at the US District Court for the Central District of California.

Revised Guidelines enter into force
Today, February 1, the first part of EUIPO’s revised Guidelines for Examination of European Union Trade Marks and Registered Community Designs for 2017 enters into force.

Apple no longer top of the tree; Google named world’s most valuable brand
The latest version of the Brand Finance Global 500, which identifies and ranks the world’s most valuable brands, has seen Google take the number one spot, with Apple dropping to second place after a five year stint at the top. Despite a substantial jump in its brand value, remains in third place.

Herbert Smith conference: Discussing the ‘landmark’ Cartier decision
Law firm Herbert Smith Freehills discussed domain name takedowns and online counterfeiting at an IP conference last week.


Intellectual Property

Facebook ordered to pay $500 million in lawsuit against Oculus VR
A Dallas jury has ordered Facebook to pay $500 million in damages for a lawsuit that claims its Oculus VR subsidiary was based on stolen tech.


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