Bite (noun): more meaty news to sink your teeth into.
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This week in Other Barks & Bites: Senators and Congress members seem primed to find a legislative solution to the 101 mess; the Chinese and U.S. governments hash out intellectual property issues; a prominent New York City politician joins the effort to break the patent on Gilead’s Truvada; the USPTO proposes a rule to require that foreign trademark applicants are represented by U.S. domiciled attorneys; Qualcomm tells the ITC that Apple’s design around undermines the agency’s finding that an exclusion order shouldn’t be entered against infringing iPhones; the Fortnite copyright cases take a new turn; Babybel loses the trademark on its red wax cheese coating in the UK; Fisker & Paykel and ResMed settle their worldwide patent dispute; Facebook could face major FTC fines for payments from children playing video games on the platform; and reports indicate that Pinterest is pursuing an initial public offering.
Momentum Building on Capitol Hill for a Legislative Fix to Section 101 – Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA) and others are holding bipartisan stakeholder meetings in search of a possible legislative solution to the patent eligibility crisis facing biotechnology, medical diagnostics and software related innovations, including those dealing with artificial intelligence. Stakeholders are being told that if they wish to participate the time is now, and that last minute attempts to derail a bipartisan, stakeholder supported solution (which has frequently been the modus operandi with patent legislation) will not be looked upon favorably. IPWatchdog will keep readers informed as this issue develops.
Chinese, U.S. Governments Reportedly Nearing Trade Deal – On Wednesday, February 20, Reuters reported that trade officials from the U.S. and China have been drafting proposals to resolve trade war issues that would address forced tech transfer requirements and stronger licensing and enforcement laws in China.
EU Governments Endorse New Copyright Rules – On Wednesday, February 20, a majority of EU governmental diplomats serving on the European Council officially endorsed recently proposed changes to copyright rules that would place burdens on major tech firms like Google and Facebook to pay news publishers and filter out copyright-protected content from online platforms.
USPTO Publishes Federal Register Notice on Requirement for Foreign Trademark Applicants to have U.S. Counsel – the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on February 15 published a Federal Register Notice asking for comments on its proposed rule to amend the Rules of Practice in Trademark Cases and the rules regarding Representation of Others Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office to require foreign trademark applicants to be represented by a U.S. attorney. Comments are due by March 18.
Rome Court Finds Facebook Guilty of Breaching Copyright – On Wednesday, February 20, Italian mass media company Mediaset announced that it received a favorable ruling on its copyright claims against Facebook for the social media giant’s refusal to take down a page from an anonymous user who criticized people involved with the production of a cartoon show screened on the Italia Uno channel.
YouTube Announces Changes to Copyright Strike System – On Tuesday, February 19, YouTube announced changes to its copyright strike system under the online video platform’s Community Guidelines, including a one-time warning to any channel that posts content which is flagged for potential copyright issues as well as consistent penalties for further strikes.
Facebook Challenges Blackberry Patent at the PTAB – On Tuesday, February 19, Facebook and its Instagram and WhatsApp entities filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to challenge the validity of a BlackBerry patent covering a technique for silencing message threads.
New York City Council Speaker Joins Calls to Break Truvada Patent – On Thursday, February 21, NBC News reported that Corey Johnson, Speaker of the New York City Council, became one of the highest-ranking U.S. officials to endorse the #BreakThePatent campaign, which calls upon the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to exercise its march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act to enable generic versions of Gilead Sciences’ Truvada HIV preventative antiviral treatment.
Qualcomm Argues that Apple Redesign Undermines ITC Finding – On Friday, February 15, Qualcomm filed documents at the U.S. International Trade Commission, arguing that a recent software fix by Apple meant to prevent infringement of Qualcomm’s patents undermine a previous finding by the ITC which recommended against an exclusion order despite the determination that Apple iPhones infringed upon patents asserted by Qualcomm.
Lead Attorney in Fortnite Copyright Cases Reports Fraud on the Copyright Office – On Tuesday, February 19, Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht announced that fraud on the U.S. Copyright Office had been committed by parties pretending to be the firm’s Partner David Hecht, lead attorney for plaintiffs bringing copyright claims for dance moves which have been appropriated in the Fortnite video game.
Fox Rothschild Partner Faces Sanctions Over Porn Copyright Cases – On Wednesday, February 20, a partner at Fox Rothschild was scheduled to appear at a federal court in Sacramento, CA, facing possible sanctions for failing to meet court deadlines in at least 25 copyright cases where the partner represented adult film producer Strike 3 Holdings against individuals procuring unauthorized copies of adult films.
National Inventors Hall of Fame Announces “My Innovation Icon” Initiative – On Wednesday, February 20, the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) announced a new initiative for the NIHF’s Camp Invention program called “My Innovation Icon” which is designed to introduce children enrolled in the camp program to world-class innovators and choose role models from among those individuals.
OPPO Signs Multi-Year Global Patent License With Ericsson – On Thursday, February 21, Chinese mobile electronics firm OPPO announced that it had signed a global patent licensing and business collaboration agreement with Ericsson after signing similar agreements in recent months with Qualcomm and Nokia.
UKIPO Invalidates Trademark for Babybel’s Waxy Cheese Covering – On Wednesday, February 13, the UK Intellectual Property Office issued a ruling invalidating the trademark covering the red wax coating for Babybel cheese products after the trademark was challenged by the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s.
R.E.M. Gets Twitter to Take Down Video in Trump Tweet via Copyright Complaint – On Saturday, February 16, Twitter took down a video from the State of the Union address that was tweeted by President Donald Trump after R.E.M., the creators of the song “Everbody Hurts” which was used in the video, issued a copyright takedown notice.
Myrtle Beach Bar Sued for Copyright Infringing Song Performances – On Monday, February 11, the owners of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina-based Whiskey Beach Bar and Grill were sued by plaintiffs including Broadcast Music for continued performances of six copyright protected songs, including “Boogie Shoes,” “Holiday” and “Somebody Who Loves Me.”
Copyright Suit Against Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” Survives Motion to Dismiss – On Wednesday, February 13, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Lehrburger of the Southern District of New York recommended denying a motion to dismiss a case that had been filed by Jamaican dancehall artist Flourgon alleging claims of copyright infringement against Miley Cyrus and music producers over certain lyrics in “We Can’t Stop.”
Fisher & Paykel, ResMed Settle Worldwide Patent Spat – On Thursday, February 21, medical device makers Fisher & Paykel and ResMed announced that they had settled all ongoing patent infringement cases without either side making any payments or admitting liability.
This Week on Wall Street
Apple, Goldman Sachs Working on Digital Credit Card – On Thursday, February 21, CNN Business reported that Apple and Goldman Sachs have been working on a credit card that would provide financial planning services via the Apple Pay app.
FTC Complaint Alleges Facebook Tricked Kids Into Spending Money – On Thursday, February 21, child advocacy and consumer groups filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that Facebook encouraged child users to spend money while playing games in violation of federal law.
Pinterest Reportedly Pursuing IPO – On Thursday, February 21, The Wall Street Journal reported that online social media platform Pinterest has confidentially filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seeking an initial public offering (IPO) that would value the company at more than $12 billion.
Verizon to Launch 5G Networks in 30 U.S. Cities This Year – On Thursday, February 21, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg announced at an investor conference that the company would launch its 5G Ultra Wideband Network across more than 30 U.S. cities by the end of 2019.
Quarterly Earnings – The following firms identified among the IPO’s Top 300 Patent Recipients for 2017 are announcing quarterly earnings next week (2017 rank in parentheses):
- Monday: None
- Tuesday: BASF SE (92nd)
- Wednesday: Bayer AG (124th); HP Inc. (63rd)
- Thursday: ABB Ltd. (t-142nd); Acushnet Co. (t-252nd); Dell Technologies Inc. (18th); Nielsen Holdings PLC (t-230th)
- Friday: None
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