Week’s news headlines – sep. 12th 2014

Software patents are crumbling, thanks to the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s June ruling on the patentability of software — its first in 33 years — raised as many questions at it answered. One specific software patent went down in flames in the case of Alice v. CLS Bank, but the abstract reasoning of the decision didn’t provide much clarity on which other patents might be in danger.

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Patent insurance can protect small tech firms

Writing this column has allowed me to talk to people inside all sorts of tech companies in our area, from giants like Xerox Corp. and ITT Exelis, to small smartups, and even individual entrepreneurs going it alone.

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Trademark Highlights from the Intellectual Property Owners’ Association (IPO) 2014 IP Record

The Intellectual Property Owners’ Association (IPO) recently released its 2014 IP Record, an annual report detailing global intellectual property trends. Now in its seventh year, the report draws from a range of sources, including the USPTO Performance and Accountability Report FY 2013, and WIPO 2013 World Intellectual Property Indicators, to provide extensive information on various facets of intellectual property. The trademark registration and application statistics in the report are interesting to parse, particularly as they relate to innovation, business development, and overall market strength.

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Questions raised about intellectual property rights at Pitt

The administration says the agreements simply reflect existing campus intellectual property policies and that the signatures have become necessary to obtain federal research funding because of a 2011 Supreme Court case that Pitt says requires schools not only to have policies but also confirmation that employees will abide by them.

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Intellectual property still a major concern for Canadian companies in China

Bring your tech firm to China and private intellectual property firms can keep you safe, signaled the Chinese delegation at Tuesday’s Canada China Business Forum. The delegation, from Beijing’s business district Chaoyang, brought the head of a Chinese intellectual property security company to allay the fears of Canadian companies interested in doing business in China.

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TAS Energy entra com ação judicial de patente

A TAS Energy Inc., empresa global de tecnologia que oferece soluções de energia limpa modular para o setor de geração de energia, anunciou hoje que entrou com uma ação judicial de violação de patente contra a San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), relativa ao sistema de refrigeração do ar de entrada em turbinas no Palomar Energy Center da SDG&E, na Califórnia.

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Quirky Loses Access to GE Appliance Patents After Electrolux Sale

Losing out to Electrolux  in the bidding for General Electric ’s appliance business wasn’t the only headache this week for New York City-based invention crowdsourcer Quirky Inc.

Quirky had hoped to that inventors would be able to develop and market appliances using GE’s patents, including from the white goods business, a company official said. But now those patents are out of reach.

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McDonald’s trademarks the term ‘McBrunch’

According to, the Golden Arches filed the trademark application for McBrunch back in July.

It’s unclear what the company plans to do with the trademark.  A McDonald’s spokesperson confirmed the application but cautioned, “We routinely file intent to use trademark applications as a regular course of business. We can’t share details at this time as to how the trademarks may or may not be used.”

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Statement of use – trademarks in India

Use is a fundamental concept in trademark jurisprudence. Registration of a trademark is a voluntary act on the part of a trademark owner in the sense that, a trademark owner does not require his trademark to be registered to acquire ownership rights in a trademark. Registration only confirms the right of its owner under a national statute of a country. Primarily, ownership of a trademark is acquired by adoption and use in respect of or upon goods or in relation to services.

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Copyrights and Consideration: Do Your Clients Know?

“I paid for the images. They are mine, not the photographers. I can do what I damn well please with them, and that includes modifying or editing them however the hell I want. The photos are of ME, so therefore they belong to ME. And I can do anything I want with them.”

Sure, that can be interpreted as a misunderstanding – let’s call it naïveté – by a well-meaning but misguided client. Right?  Wrong. Dead wrong.

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Cartuchos irregulares ou piratas no Brasil são o dobro da média mundial, diz HP

A pirataria é um problema sério para o setor de impressão. Globalmente, esse mercado chega a perder anualmente US$ 3,5 bilhões (cerca de R$ 8 bilhões) com o comércio de produtos piratas. Aproximadamente 5,7% do mercado de tonners global é composto por produtos falsos e, na avaliação da HP, esse percentual deve aumentar em 2014.
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Have it both ways: Protect intellectual property and bolster public confidence
It has been nearly 40 years since Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the law that empowers the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate industrial chemicals used in American commerce.  Advancements in science and the way in which our industry assesses risk have improved since the 1970s, yet TSCA has largely remained in neutral.  It’s time to modernize this outdated policy.  In fact, the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) has been an active proponent of bipartisan legislation that would have overhauled TSCA in this Congress.
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Indian Patients Suffer from India’s Weak Pharmaceutical Patents

India’s recently elected Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will visit the U.S. later this month. One of the sticking points in the U.S.-India relationship is weakness in India’s laws governing intellectual property (IP). The Global Intellectual Property Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks 25 countries in its Global IP Index, and India comes in last place.

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The protection of shape trademarks: Ferrero obtains a partial victory before the Milan IP Court

An IP Judge of the Milan District Court partially granted an application for preliminary seizure and injunction filed by the well-known confectionery company Ferrero against one of its competitors, which claimed, among other things, an infringement of shape trademarks (Order of 08.11.2014, Docket No. 19325/2014, Judge S. Giani).

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India revamps intellectual property policy in face of western anger

India is hiring 1,000 officials for its patent offices and has vowed to clear the backlog of all pending applications over the next 18 months as it seeks to defend itself against western allegations that it tramples on companies’ intellectual property rights.

The new administration of Narendra Modi, prime minister, also plans to unveil a comprehensive new intellectual property rights policy that officials said would be released on the internet for public comment within the next four months.

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Dangerous trolls threaten to abuse patent system

As a novelist, I make my living by creating worlds and experiences for my readers. I have to say it hurts to see innovators like me under attack.

I am talking about patent trolls, and more specifically, government-sponsored patent trolls.
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Is The Predicted “Death Of Hundreds Of Thousands Of Patents” Coming True?

In May 2013, Judge Moore of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit predicted that the court’s decision in CLS Bank Int’l v. Alice Corporation Pty Ltd. would result in the “death of hundreds of thousands of patents, including all business method, financial system, and software patents as well as many computer implemented and telecommunications patents.”

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Federal Court says US company can patent breast cancer gene

Critics have slammed a Federal Court decision that allows a US biotechnology company to maintain a commercial monopoly over a key breast cancer gene.
The case was brought on by a Queensland cancer survivor who wanted to help thousands of Australian women fight the disease.

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Deadmau5 responds to Disney trademark suit, says company stole his music

Deadmau5 is going on offense in response to Disney’s trademark infringement suit. Last week, Disney moved to block a trademark request filed by the artist, whose real name is Joel Zimmerman, on grounds that the Deadmau5 logo is too similar to the company’s own Mickey Mouse logo. Now Zimmerman and his lawyers have filed a cease and desist letter against Disney, claiming that it used his 2009 hit “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” without the artist’s permission. On Twitter, Zimmerman linked to a short video remix on Disney’s site that shows Mickey Mouse running around a haunted castle to the tune of Deadmau5’s track.

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NVIDIA acusa Samsung e Qualcomm de violação de patentes

A NVIDIA anunciou, nesta sexta-feira, 5, que registrou denúncias de violação de patentes contra a Samsung e a Qualcomm sobre suas tecnologias programmable shading, unified shaders e multithreaded parallel processing, relacionadas à sua GPU (Unidades de Processamento Gráfico).

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Human DNA belongs to no one – it shouldn’t be patented

The Australian federal court ruled that isolated human genetic material can be patented. The US supreme court disagrees – and the Americans got it exactly right

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Conservatives Split On Copyright, Intellectual Property

Conservatives are split on copyright law. Do current policies protect private property or use big government to stifle innovation?

Phil Kerpen, a former vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity, defended broad copyright protections Friday as a vital incentive to creation, securing the natural rights of individuals to profit from labor.
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