Week’s news headlines – nov. 28th 2014

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Differences on intellectual property rights between India and US widen
Differences between India and the US over intellectual property rights (IPR) issues have widened after a ministerial-level trade policy forum meeting on Tuesday, a government official said, asking to remain anonymous.
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WMATA’s Most Recognized Voice Has No IP Rights

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“WMATA”) is the third-busiest public transportation system in the country. According to WMATA, approximately  209 million people rode the DC metro in 2013. That means that nearly 209 million people have also heard Randi Miller’s voice repeating “Step back, doors opening. When boarding, please move to the center of the car.”

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Pilot programs to streamline intellectual property protection in China

The law enforcement of intellectual property rights in China has been a gray area to the enterprises and the right holders in the long run. There also has been long existing issues in the intellectual property trials, such as inconsistency of judicial opinions, prolonged decision on granting or not granting rights, and on declaratory judgment cases, as well as litigations circulated back-and-forth at different level of the courts, etc.

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Canadian patent applications in steady decline: study

atents are a key measure of a country’s ability to turn research into viable products, and Canada is slipping.

Per capita patent filings in Canada have been on a steady decline since 2000, according to a study of more than one million applications to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office by the C.D. Howe Institute.

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Whirlpool Seeks Legal Counsel In Patent Operations

Whirlpool Corporation is seeking qualified candidates for a Legal Counsel opening in their Patent Operations group within the Law Department. The Whirlpool Patent Operations team of eleven includes attorneys, patent agents, legal specialists and an administrative assistant. The group enjoys working together in a collegial environment.

This position will be responsible for providing legal counsel and services on matters involving patents, copyrights, trade secrets and other proprietary information. This position supports Whirlpool’s global product organization, including its advanced development and product engineering groups.

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Kerry cheesed off at Dunnes Stores over trademark row

Two of Ireland’s biggest private sector companies are shaping up for a court battle . . . over cheese, if you please.

Kerry Group, the €10 billion food giant, is taking aim at Dunnes Stores , Ireland’s biggest indigenous retailer, in a trademark row over Kerry’s Cheestrings brand.

Cheestrings, a linchpin of Kerry’s sprawling chilled foods division, is wildly popular in Ireland and the UK, where it is by far the market leader. It’s basically a skinny lump of cheese, heated and twisted into a small edible rope for kids.

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U.S. Judge grants in part Apple’s motion for royalties from Samsung

In an order filed late Tuesday, Nov 25, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh granted in part Apple’s motion requesting ongoing royalties from Samsung, though there is only a slight chance that Apple will find reason to collect, AppleInsider reports.

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The U.S. is participating in two trade agreement negotiations that, if successfully concluded, will meaningfully improve our nation’s economic future. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would create a trade agreement amongst Pacific Rim countries including the U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia, and Mexico. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and our allies in the European Union.

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Redskins have the right to sue Native Americans over trademarks, judge rules

The Washington Redskins can continue battling in court to try to hold onto their trademark protections, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

Judge Gerald B. Lee of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria rejected an attempt by a group of Native Americans to dismiss the team’s lawsuit against them.

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Facebook vs Facebusks: Protecting trademarks in a competitive industry

There is a tendency for new businesses to adopt trademarks which describe or allude to the goods or services which that business provides. This picture is complicated further when these descriptive elements are perhaps more colloquial in nature, having become associated with certain goods or services in the public eye as result of previous use. For example, the connotations of technology connected with ‘i’, and auction sites with ‘BAY’, have created challenging environments for businesses looking to launch competitive products.

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The Burger King Corporation opened its first store in 1954 in Miami, Florida and expanded its operations to 91 countries. It opened its first store in India on September 9, 2014 under the auspices of Burger King India Pvt. Ltd. Before that, they filed a petition in the Delhi High Court, seeking to prevent injunctions from those parties with whom they had trademark disputes. They also wanted all disputes to be decided in Delhi. Justice Mahmohan Singh ordered that the parties should maintain status quo with regard to the registration of legal proceedings.

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The past, present, and future of overlapping intellectual property rights

How does the law operate when intellectual property rights overlap? When a creative output, be it a photograph, a piece of music, or any artistic work, is protected by multiple intellectual property rights such as trademark and copyright, or a patent and data protection, it can be challenging to manoeuvre through the overlapping rights. Intellectual property law seeks to defend the rights of the artistic creator, and protects the expression of ideas, but when these rights overlap in both law and practice, how do they interact

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Do patent privateers signal need for intellectual property reform?

After Google sued BT over patent-infringement and details about BT’s patent strategy garnered public attention, an increasing number of commentators have started pointing to “patent privateers” as a major problem with the current system of intellectual property both in Europe and the US.

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More Patents Does Not Equal More Innovation

Via James Pethokoukis,  here’s a chart from a new CBO report on federal policies and innovation. Needless to say, you can’t read too much into it. It shows the growth since 1963 of total factor productivity (roughly speaking, the share of productivity growth due to technology improvements), and there are lots of possible reasons that TFP hasn’t changed much over the past five decades.

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Supernus sues Zydus for infringement of Trokendi XR patents

US drugmaker Supernus Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SUPN) has sued generic drug makers Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) and Indian parent Cadila Healthcare for infringement of three patents covering its antiepileptic drug Trokendi (topiramate) XR.

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Korean company sues McAfee for allegedly infringing anti-virus, firewall patents

A Korean company last week sued the world’s largest dedicated security technology company for allegedly infringing on its patents for anti-virus and firewall software.

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A pesar de su caída, Gipuzkoa lidera el registro de patentes de Euskadi

Gipuzkoa no solo está a la cabeza de la inversión en I+D del conjunto de los territorios vascos, sino también en lo que se refiere a la producción de patentes, consecuencia directa del importante peso que tiene la industria. La paradoja de la economía vasca y guipuzcoana es que sacando una buena nota en innovación, sin embargo, esa proyección se cae cuando se toma en consideración el registro de patentes que aglutina la investigación, el desarrollo y la innovación.

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Rubik’s Cube trademark puzzle solved by EU court

The European Union’s trademark office rejected the claim of a German toy manufacturer which argued the trademark of the Rubik’s Cube should be canceled. The court upheld the trademark of the 3D cubed puzzle.

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Lidl loses in Crocs mystery trademark dispute

Lidl has failed in its attempt to slap down a European trademark by shoe brand Crocs, as its argument that the design of the shoe is simply a variation of a shoe shape “known for centuries” was unable to sway regulators.

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Trade Secret Misappropriation: Tell Me Your Secret Before I Tell You Whether I Have It

While courts typically fashion the requirement in the context of deciding a discovery dispute (i.e. a plaintiff moving to compel to receive desired discovery from a defendant or a defendant moving for a protective order to avoid responding to a plaintiff’s broad discovery requests), some state legislatures have even codified the requirement. See, e.g., Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 2019.210 (“In any action alleging the misappropriation of a trade secret . . . , before commencing discovery relating to the trade secret, the party alleging the misappropriation shall identify the trade secret with reasonable particularity . . . .”).

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USTR asks India to examine its intellectual property regime closely

US Trade Representative Michael Froman has urged India to look at its intellectual property regime (IPR) more closely as the Trans Pacific Partnership that the US was negotiating with countries such as Mexico, Japan, Peru, Australia and Cananda stressed on adoption of high standards of intellectual property.

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Trademarks registration: India among top 3 nations
Indian companies have become active in registering trademarks globally after India joined Madrid Protocol last year. Since last July 2013 when the mechanism was made available to Indian companies, some 185 applications were filed for global registration, said Chaitanya Prasad, Controller General of Patent, Design, Trademarks and Registrar of GI.

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Politicising the poppy: Royal British Legion turns to trademark law

A British charity’s dispute with a far-right political party over the use of the red poppy image highlights both the difficulties facing cause-related not-for-profits when their message is politicised and how trademark law could come to the rescue.

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E-cigarette boom sparks race for new patents

Electronic cigarette makers are racing to design and buy variations of a technology that has lit a billion-dollar boom, created a new vocabulary, and prompted a backlash from health officials worried about the impact of the new smokeless devices.

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Google and Rockstar patent case agreement

Google and Rockstar have agreed to settle their patent case. Rockstar is a consortium that exists to license Nortel patents after that company went bankrupt. They had a tone of patents. Rockstar members include mostly Apple, but also Blackberry, Ericsson, Microsoft and Sony. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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‘Create fair competition in Europe’

In an interview with New Europe, Elisabetta Gardini, head of the ForzaItalia delegation in the European Parliament, spoke about European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Russia and climate change.

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Five Domain Name Battles of the Early Web

At the dawn of the World Wide Web early adopters were scooping up domain names like crazy,  which led to quite a few battles over everything from to

In May of 1994, Wired reported that just a third of Fortune 500 companies had registered the obvious versions of their names. The next few years were chaotic to say the least. There were some truly strange pairings. Like when the makers of Candyland went after a porn company. And that time some meat lover went trolling and really pissed off PETA.

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Cats and Bags? The importance of trade secrets protection — and a conference

Confidentiality is a bit of a delicate issue for felines, since a metaphor that we consistently encounter when dealing with the protection of trade secrets is that of “not letting the cat out of the bag”. The metaphor is an apt one, however. As anyone who has had a cat will know, in the unlikely event that you can get a cat into a bag, if it gets out you will find it almost impossible to get back in again. Much the same is true of confidential information. Once out in the open, it is effectively impossible to reinvest it with the property of confidentiality.

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