Week’s news headlines – jul. 18th 2014

Morningstar to pay $61 million to settle intellectual property lawsuit

Morningstar Inc. said it will pay $61 million to settle an intellectual property lawsuit filed by a Chicago-based developer of financial software, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Morningstar, a Chicago-based investment research firm, said the agreement calls for it to secure a license to the intellectual property and to pay $61 million to Business Logic.

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Rethinking patent enforcement: Tesla did what?

Tesla Motors  is causing us to rethink the value and use of patents.  On June 12, Elon Musk, the electric car company’s CEO, made a bold announcement on the firm’s blog: “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”

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Latest CAFC Ruling Suggests A Whole Lot Of Software Patents Are Likely Invalid

Some more good news on the patent front. Following the Supreme Court’s ruling last month in the Alice v. CLS Bank case, there has been some question about how the lower courts would now look at software patents. As we noted, the Supreme Court’s ruling would seem to technically invalidate nearly all software patents by basically saying that if a patent “does no more than require a generic computer to perform generic computer functions” then it’s no longer patentable. But that, of course, is basically all that software does. Still, the Supreme Court’s ruling also insisted that plenty of software was still patentable, but it didn’t give any actual examples.

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Canon and Google Fight to Limit Patent Claims

Companies tired of defending themselves against what they consider to be baseless patent lawsuits are hoping a plan hatched by Google (GOOG) and Canon (CAJ) will limit their exposure to future claims and millions in legal bills. The two companies, among the top recipients of U.S. patents last year, have created the License on Transfer Network, an alliance of patent-holding companies that have been or could be the target of patent-infringement lawsuits.

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Trademarks v. Domain Names v. Trademarks = Bulk Of Leading Court decisions

A company’s presence on the Internet starts with its domain name registration. The domain names registration system is usually administered by a non-governmental organization without any functional limitation. Domain names are registered on a first come first served basis without any verification regarding trademark rights that may exists for the domain name. Domain names themselves consist of two separate parts or levels: a top level domain and a second level domain. Top Level Domain names try to identify the type of entity that operates the individual network attached to the internet at that particular site.

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Battling China’s trademark ‘squatters’

They’re known as trademark “squatters” and they’ve long caused headaches for foreign companies entering the Chinese market.

Savvy to China’s complex trademark laws, these individuals target valuable foreign brands and register them as trademarks in China.

When international companies want to launch their products on the Chinese market, they’re often left with little choice but to cough up huge sums to buy back the trademark, rebrand their product or fight for the right to use the brand through lengthy legal battles.

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Colour me happy – registering colours as trade marks

BP has been trying since 2002 to get its shade of green (Pantone 348C to be precise) registered as a trade mark in Australia. The Trade Marks Office has just knocked it back again. Which begs the question – when can you register a colour as a trade mark?

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Utah State Aggies prepare to battle over ‘I believe’ slogan

The popular Utah State basketball chant “I believe that we will win,” might be moving from the Spectrum’s court to another during this offseason.

USU school officials are mulling what steps to take after learning last week San Diego State filed for usage of the “I believe” slogan with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in October 2011 for its clothing shop, Aztec Shops Ltd.

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You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me…and My Copyright?

Seems that someone’s always thinking of you, especially if you’re Smokey Robinson and you’re about to reclaim ownership of popular songs you wrote back in the day, like “I Second that Emotion,” “The Tears of a Clown,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” “My Girl” and “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me.”

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Experts: U.S. copyright law needs renewal

With the abundance of Sherlock Holmes TV shows and movie series in production today, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the popular detective exists in the public domain. But how long will it be before Mickey Mouse or Darth Vader can be used by artists and producers everywhere?
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Summer Refresher: ABCs Of Intellectual Property

Talk of the ABCs either brings up thoughts of school or the sales quip “Always Be Closing.” Of course, being that it is summer and very hot around the nation no one is thinking of school, but I think having a primer on intellectual property (IP) never hurts in any season!

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This ruling should worry every software patent owner

This week we got our first taste of the practical consequences of last month’s  landmark decision from the Supreme Court restricting patents on software. The Federal Circuit Appeals Court, which hears appeals in all patent cases, invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract. And the reasoning of the decision could lead to a lot of other software patents going down in flames, too.

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Global Enterprises Engaged in Patent Litigation with Different Goals and Purposes  

Global IT and electronics giants are demanding royalties on and filing lawsuits against Korean companies, using their patents and intellectual property rights as a sort of weapon

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Wayward Brewing Company, which produces about 30,000 litres of beer annually, was brought to court by SABMiller’s Indian subsidiary over claims the craft brewer was infringing on the trademarking of its brands Haywards 5000 and Haywards 2000.

Pete Philip, the brewery’s owner and founder, described the lawsuit as a “David and Goliath” situation and attributed the global brewer’s actions to fears over the threat posed by craft beer’s growing share of the Australian beer market – despite the industry holding just 2% of the market.

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Innovative NBA ideas getting consideration are a trademark of new regime

The lot of an imprisoned dictator isn’t a happy one. Ever since the United States deposed Manuel Noriega as the maximum leader of Panama a quarter of a century ago, he, like Rodney Dangerfield, “don’t get no respect.” So the other day, Noriega filed a lawsuit from his cell in Panama’s El Renacer prison.
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Trademark amendments will change FMCG market rules in Russia, says Canadean

The Federation Council in Russia is set to amend the Civil Code to grant equal rights to manufacturers who wish to use product images on their packaging.

This will not only create wider opportunities for new brands, but will cause a shift in market trends among Russian consumers, says research firm Canadean.

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Spotify discute o combate à pirataria no YouPix Festival

O diretor geral do Spotify para a América Latina, Gustavo Diament, participa no próximo sábado (19) de um debate sobre música, internet e o papel das plataformas digitais no combate à pirataria, dentro da programação do YouPix Festival, a partir das 14h, em São Paulo.

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Movie piracy: threat to the future of films intensifies

The movie industry excels in selling dreams. But since the dawn of the digital revolution, there is one narrative they’ve consistently and conspicuously failed to sell: that piracy is theft and consumers who indulge ought to feel guilty about it. Recent research by Ipsos suggests that almost 30% of the UK population is active in some form of piracy, either through streaming content online or buying counterfeit DVDs. Such theft costs the UK audiovisual industries about £500m a year.

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Intellectual property rights in fashion industry

Intellectual property is an important aspect of the fashion industry. Fashion designers continually generate creative ideas and innovations that are the backbone of the industry. Versace’s medusa motif, the Nike ‘swoosh’ logo, and Dr Martens boots are products resulting from intellectual effort, skill and creativity and have attracted goodwill through use.

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Why Protecting Intellectual Property Is Crucial to Business Success on 5 Counts

Because intellectual property is not a physical asset, it can easily be overlooked. Safeguarding a company’s intellectual property is crucial to developing and maintaining a successful business, however.

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Kofax Receives Five New Patents for Document Imaging, Classification and Process Automation

Kofax(R) Limited (NASDAQ: KFX)(LSE: KFX), a leading provider of smart process applications for the business critical First Mile(TM) of customer interactions, today reported it was issued a patent by the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and four new patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the first half of calendar year 2014. The Company now has 46 issued patents and 76 pending applications, with 68 of the total relating to mobile imaging technologies.

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Tesla Can Keep Its Patents

Tesla made news a few weeks ago by offering a “license” to their intellectual property. Specifically, Tesla indicated on their web site “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.” Some have applauded Tesla for sharing their technology. However, the market would benefit more if they maintained their patents and focused on innovation.

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Why bother with patents?

Some new clients over the years have asked me, a bit sheepishly, “What good are our patents?” A confession of sorts follows. “I know that patents are important to acquire. But aside from going after a clear infringer, all we seem to do is fill a file folder with our patents without further thought except when it’s time to pay a maintenance fee.” The confession complete, I answer the question with a question — how does your company generate revenue? A discussion ensues about the ways patents can protect or augment those drivers of revenue.

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Supreme Court’s Latest Patent Case and Software Patentability

Last month, I co-authored an  article about the legal, technical and academic communities’ over-a-decade long debate about the boundaries, legality and wisdom of software patents. Now, on June 19, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a decision in its review of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s en banc May 10, 2013, decision in CLS Bank v. Alice. Unfortunately, the clarity that many had hope for has not come to fruition!

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OVERNIGHT TECH: House panel to appraise art copyrights
THE LEDE: House lawmakers will debate the finer aspects of copyright law on Tuesday in a hearing with artists and lawyers.

The Judiciary subcommittee on Intellectual Property is planning to focus specifically on moral rights, termination rights, resale royalties and copyright term as part of its ongoing analysis of current law. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), the subcommittee’s top Democrat, pledged to use the session to advance his bill to grant royalties to visual artists when their work is resold by an auctioneer, collector or other third party.
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Crowdfunding And Intellectual Property: Tips From An Entrepreneurial Attorney

People, even entrepreneurs, tend to ignore what they are afraid of. Having your intellectual property (IP) stolen is scary; but that shouldn’t prevent you from identifying and protecting those valuable assets early on, especially if crowdfunding is part of your fundraising strategy. Crowdfunding can be challenging for those who haven’t protected their IP because once you reveal your company’s ideas to the public, it is often too late to protect yourself.

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UN Human Rights Council Takes Actions On Internet, Corporate Responsibility

At its recent session, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the internet. It also addressed a legally binding instrument on corporations’ responsibility to ensure human rights.

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Epson’s precision goal to capitalise on intellectual property

Steve Jobs must have been very admired in Asia. First China’s Xiaomi Technology Founder Lei Jun began emulating his style, now a stalwart of Asian electronics has taken a leaf out of the late Apple co-founder’s book.

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Technology company drives to protect intellectual property

nventergy Global announced earlier this week that is has indentified 135 companies currently using Intellectual Property (IP) covered by its patent portfolios

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Diomics Announces Issuance Of U.S. Patents For Novel Biologic Sample DNA Collection Materials For Use In Forensics And Diagnostics

Diomics, Inc., provider of X-Swab™, a novel bio-specimen collection material, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued two U.S. Patents held by Diomics covering novel biologic sample collection materials, devices made from them, and methods for their use in forensics and diagnostics.

The primary method of collecting forensic stain materials is by swabbing. Recovery of DNA from a number of commercially-available swabs is not an efficient process. The proprietary technology covered in these patents is applicable for developing an effective tool from material that allows for the efficient capture and release of low template DNA and for increasing yield during PCR.

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Study: Patent law is good for big pharma because it has no innovators

A new study adds some empirical firepower to the idea that poor patent laws are crushing innovation in the technology industry. Researchers from the London School of Economics studied citations from patents that were invalidated by U.S. judges and found that invalidation increased the number of subsequent innovations in technology, but not in pharmaceuticals.
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Always put your patents in place

The inventions of these great men helped to shape the world as we know it, and so it is fitting that, each year, the European Inventor Awards celebrate the modern-day innovations shaping our present and future.

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India: Protection Of Domain Name As A Trademark

The Internet Domain Names have now become much more than mere representing the websites of different companies on the Internet. Today, in this age of well-developed information technology and worldwide businesses through Internet, these domain names have attained the status of being business identifiers and promoters. Since the commercial activities on the Internet are to go on increasing day by day, the importance and usefulness of domain names too, are to be enhanced for the purposes of greater publicity, popularity, and profitability of businesses in all economic sectors.

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China: Cross-Class Protection Of Registered Trademark Via Judicial Well-Known Trademark Determination

Plaintiff, H.J. Heinz Company, is a globally famous food company providing food for infants and children. As early as in March 1998, H.J. Heinz registered the two trademarks in China with registration numbers 1277794 for “Heng Shi” and 1277791 for “Heinz” in class 5, baby food and medical nutritious food. The two trademarks were then exclusively licensed to H.J. Heinz’s Chinese subsidiaries that distributed products under the two trademarks throughout China by local distributors. Defendant, Dongguan Heng Shi, was founded in 2007 in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, and provided education services to children through branches in multiple cities in Guangdong.

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The Google doodle and other fluid trademarks

There was an interesting article in a publication called TBO (Trademarks and Brands Online) entitled Fluid Trademarks: Keeping Them Watertight. So what are fluid trademarks?

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Apple trademarks store layout, genius idea dries up

A headline hit the news wires that that Apple can have a trademark on the layout of its stores. Obviously, Apple has a trademark on the fruit-shaped logo that’s on its stores. Now, a court in Brussels says that the design of the store itself is a trademark, meaning it’s a sign: If you see a retail layout with a lot of white and glass, flat tables with electronics gear and a Genius bar, then that tells you it’s an Apple store –  not a lingerie store, a plumbing supply store, or a Samsung store.

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Treasury Wines in legal battle with trademark squatters over Penfolds brand in China

Treasury Wine Estates is embroiled in a trademark battle in China over one of Australia’s most well-known wine brands, Penfolds.

But the winemaker told SmartCompany this morning it is confident it is the lawful owner of Penfolds’ Chinese name, ‘Ben Fu’, and is “totally committed” to protecting the flagship Penfolds brand.

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Sanctions on Russia’s rocket industry an instance of unfair competition – deputy PM

Even though Russia’s rocket industry is forced to operate under Western sanctions, thought these punitive measures can eventually do the industry more good than harm, Russia’s deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin, Interfax-AVN reports on Saturday.
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Armenia’s antitrust commission fines Tsaritsino meat factory for unfair competition

Armenia’s State Commission for protection of Economic Competition has imposed a fine of 1% of the revenue on Tsaritsino meat processing factory for unfair competition, the press office of the commission reported.

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