Bites (noun): more meaty news to sink your teeth into.
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This week in Other Barks & Bites: a trio of U.S. Senators introduce a bill for countries and municipal governments that want to register trademarks; Williams-Sonoma and Amazon go to court in trademark case over rights to resell merchandise; Apple wins a ruling that ends a seven-year long dispute over the iPad trademark; Prenda Law attorney at the center of a copyright settlement mill scheme could receive a prison term of 12.5 years; the Kardashians avoid an adverse ruling in a trademark case over the Khroma cosmetic line; the World Intellectual Property Organization unveils new AI-powered tools for trademark searches; and Poland’s ruling conservative party indicates freedom of speech concerns over the new EU copyright reforms.
WIPO Announces AI-Powered Trademark Tools to Improve Strategic Planning for Brands – On Monday, April 1, the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) announced that it had launched artificial intelligence tools for trademark image searches that identifies combinations of features within a mark for comparison with similar marks to help businesses determine the distinctiveness of a trademark in a potential target market.
Sens. Tillis, Klobuchar and Schumer Introduce FLAG Act for State, Municipal Trademarks – On Tuesday, April 2, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced the Fair Licensing Access for Government (FLAG) Act into the U.S. Senate. The bill would allow country, state and municipal governments to obtain federal trademark registration at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for identifying marks such as flags, seals and insignias.
Medtronic Files Petition for Rehearing En Banc to Overturn $24 Million Patent Verdict – On Wednesday, March 27, Medtronic filed a petition for rehearing en banc with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit after the appellate court issued a 2-1 decision affirming a $24 million patent verdict despite a dissent from Chief Judge Sharon Prost that the on-sale bar should have invalidated the patent asserted in the case.
Federal Circuit Orders New Review of IBM E-Commerce Patent at PTAB – On Monday, April 1, the Federal Circuit ordered the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to reconsider its decision to invalidate a patent owned by IBM covering a single sign-on system for use in a federated computing environment which had previously been asserted against Priceline.
Apple Wins Judgment in Suit Over iPad Trademark First Filed in 2012 – On Wednesday, March 27, U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady of the Eastern District of Virginia entered a memorandum opinion that affirmed a previous ruling of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) which dismissed claims by RXD Media that its use of the name “ipad.mobi” in a digital platform predated Apple’s use of the iPad name for its tablet computer.
Williams-Sonoma, Amazon Square Off in Trademark Trial Over Reselling Rights – On Tuesday, April 2, counsel representing Williams-Sonoma and Amazon argued before U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte of the Northern District of California over whether Amazon has the right to resell merchandise from Williams-Sonoma on an “Amazon official site” or whether the act causes consumer confusion.
Poland Leaders Indicate They May Not Implement EU Copyright Reforms – On Saturday, March 29, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, indicated that the country might not fully implement new copyright reforms approved by the EU Parliament after voicing freedom of speech concerns regarding the new rules.
Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB Holding On Obviousness of OxyContin Patent – On Thursday, April 4, the Federal Circuit issued a ruling which upheld a PTAB finding that nixed the sole claim of a patent held by Purdue Pharma LP that covered an abuse deterrent for OxyContin painkillers.
Texas Judge Doubles Jury Award for “Bunch O Balloons” Patents
A Texas federal judge upped a jury award to $24.5 million from $12.3 million and added $4.75 million in attorneys’ fees and expenses for inventor Josh Malone of Tinnus Enterprises, who won a case against Telebrands Corporation. The judge found that Telebrands infringed two patents on the Bunch O Balloons device and that “Telebrands’ intentional copying of the patented product and obstructionist tactics throughout the litigation rendered the case ‘exceptional,’” according to a press release.
French-Canadian Communications Company Argues Satirical Publication is Ruining its Trademark – On Monday, April 1, lawyers for Montreal-based Quebecor argued in court that the parody publication Journal de Mourreal is creating consumer confusion with Quebecor’s Journal de Montreal and eroding the credibility of the tabloid newspaper which has the largest circulation of any French-language publication in North America.
Jaguar Land Rover Loses on Infringement, Passing Off Claims in UK Trademark Case – On Monday, April 1, British news publication The Times reported that Jaguar Land Rover lost a trademark dispute the previous week against a group doing business under the name LR Motors which bought and sold second-hand Land Rover Defenders.
U.S. Government Recommends 12.5 Years Imprisonment for Lawyer Behind Copyright Suit Scheme – On Monday, March 25, the U.S. government submitted a memorandum which recommended 150 months’ imprisonment for Paul Hansmeier, one of the attorneys at the Prenda Law Firm who is accused of constructing a copyright settlement mill focused on adult erotic films and deceiving courts by concealing that he directed his brother to upload the video files to torrent sites to entrap John Doe defendants.
Kardashian Sisters Sidestep Judgement in Khroma Trademark Dispute – On Monday, April 1, a judicial panel from the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit dismissed a suit from UK-based Khroma Makeup EU LLC which involved trademark infringement claims against the Khroma cosmetic product line that had been marketed by Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian.
Texas A&M Organizations, Employees Avoid Copyright Claims in ‘12th Man’ Case – On Friday, March 29, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas dismissed copyright claims against Texas A&M University’s Athletic Department, 12th Man Foundation and all but one university employee in a copyright infringement case involving the publication of a story about E. King Gill, the original 12th Man who was called from the stands to suit up for Texas A&M during the 1922 Dixie Classic.
Align, ClearCorrect Settle 14-Year Long Patent Spat Over Teeth Straightening Treatments – On Thursday, March 28, Align Technology and ClearCorrect announced that they had settled their long-running patent dispute with a settlement agreement that includes a $35 million payment to Align as well as a five-year agreement with the Straumann Group, which owns ClearCorrect, which will result in the integration of Align scanning technology into the Straumann Group network.
Women’s March Organization Drops Trademark Pursuit After Backlash – On Wednesday, April 3, the national Women’s March Inc. organization announced that it was stepping away from its efforts at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark “women’s march” after a collection of other women’s organization filed a lawsuit last year to prevent the USPTO from granting the trademark.
Ailes Sex Abuse Accuser Files Trademark Suit Against Showtime Miniseries Producers – On Tuesday, April 2, Laura Willis Luhn, a former Fox News employee who had accused former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes of sexual abuse, filed trademark infringement claims in the District of Delaware against Showtime Networks and Blumhouse Productions for an alleged misrepresentation of Luhn in an upcoming miniseries based on a 2014 biography of Ailes.
This Week on Wall Street
Judge Nathan Tells Musk, SEC to Come to Resolution Over Twitter Violations – On Thursday, April 4, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan of the Southern District of New York gave the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Tesla CEO Elon Musk two weeks to work out a resolution over the SEC’s allegations that Musk’s “funding secured” tweet from last August violated SEC rules.
Amazon’s Project Kuiper Aims to Build Satellite Network for Global Internet Access – On Thursday, April 4, GeekWire reported that Amazon has been working on an effort code-named Project Kuiper that would involve launching a constellation of 3,236 satellites in low-Earth orbit to provide broadband Internet access across the globe.
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