Week’s news headlines – jul. 10th 2015

Joint Communique by President Barack Obama and President Dilma Rousseff

At the invitation of President Barack Obama, President Dilma Rousseff made an official working visit to the United States on June 29-30, 2015 to review the main topics of the bilateral, regional and multilateral agendas.

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First Infliximab Biosimilar Approved in Brazil For Crohn’s Disease

The National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) in Brazil has approved the commercialization of Remsima (infliximab), indicated for a series of conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, making it the first biosimilar monoclonal antibody approved in the country. Remsima will be commercialized by Hospira, which will work in partnership with Celltrion.

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Federal Judge Affirms Cancellation of Washington Redskins Trademark as Offensive

The Washington Redskins have lost another battle in their effort to retain the trademark to their name, this time before a federal judge.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled last year that the Redskins cannot keep the trademarks behind its football franchise because the name is “disparaging to Native Americans.” The team then took its case to a Virginia federal court, where District Judge Gerald Lee this week affirmed the Trademark Office’s ruling.

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Domain Names and Trademarks: What If The Domain Name You Want is Unavailable?

Domain names are not trademarks. Like telephone numbers, URL addresses are comprised of a unique string of characters that correspond to particular content on the world wide web.

Domain names may include trademarks and many trademark owners are eager to have a domain name that is comprised primarily of their trademark, for obvious reasons.  Consumers who are looking for a business may, at least initially, presume that the URL associated with that business  is comprised of the trademark plus the coveted .com top-level domain.

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Patent troll lawsuits head toward all-time high

Of high-tech patent suits, 90 percent are filed by “non-practicing entities.”

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Judge tosses patent troll’s $533M win against Apple, orders damages retrial

A federal judge has voided the $532.9 million award that a Texas jury ordered Apple to pay in a patent dispute earlier this year. Apple’s not off the hook, however, with District Judge Rodney Gilstrap ordering a new trial to determine damages after deciding that the jury may have been confused by instructions when calculating the original total. The plaintiff in the lawsuit is a Texas-based company called Smartflash, whose primary business is patent licensing. It’s a shell company that makes money by litigating patents.

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New trial on damages ordered in Apple, Smartflash patent dispute

A federal court in Texas has ordered a new trial on damages in a patent infringement dispute between Apple and Smartflash that could modify an earlier $533 million damages award to the patent-licensing company.

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Patent filings by women have risen fastest in academia

The number of women across the globe filing patents with the U.S. Patent and Trade Office over the past 40 years has risen fastest within academia compared to all other sectors of the innovation economy, according to a new study from Indiana University.
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Jeff Dunham sues puppetmaker for violating his intellectual property

Ventriloquist and comedian Jeff Dunham is suing a maker of puppet replicas for violating his intellectual property, a surprisingly versatile term that here means “the design and branding of ventriloquist dummies used to deliver 60-year-old jokes and lazy racial stereotypes.” The defendant in question, Anthony Horn, is accused of creating and selling versions of Dunham’s trademark character Walter, which the comedian originally built in 1987 after stumbling upon the idea of “a cranky old man who says mean things.”

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Labor urges intellectual property review before TPP deal

In a harder line on trade deals, Labor is calling on the Abbott government to have intellectual property rights reviewed urgently by the Productivity Commission before it signs the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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Amazon, Apple, Goldman Code, Enzo: Intellectual Property Inc. must face a trademark-infringement suit by watchmaker Multi Time Machine Inc., which claims the online retailer’s search results can lead to confusion for consumers.

A three-judge panel for the federal appeals court in Pasadena, California, reversed a lower-court ruling that threw out MTM’s lawsuit, according to a court filing Monday. One judge dissented.

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Do copyrights for books, music also apply to cars?

The U.S. Copyright Office will likely decide within months whether a law written partly to protect literature and music copyrights in the digital age also prevents car owners and mechanics from making vehicle repairs or diagnoses.

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“Zorro” Trademark Declared Invalid in Europe

In a blow to a company that has a deal with Sony Pictures, the European Union’s trademark office rules that the name of the masked avenger is non-distinctive.

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Free Speech or Scandal? The Slants Case and the Future of Disparaging Trademarks

Last week the Federal Circuit scheduled oral argument en banc in THE SLANTS trademark case for the morning of October 2, 2015, taking up the question of whether §2(a) of the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. § 1052(a)) can withstand First Amendment scrutiny.

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