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This week in other IP news, recently released data shows that worldwide revenues for music copyright exceeded $28 billion in 2017, up $2 billion over 2016; reports surface about the “reverse patent trolling” issue in China; Google retains Williams & Connolly for Supreme Court battle with Oracle despite Shanmugam exit; the Copyright Office holds roundtable discussions on detecting online copyright infringement; Twitter takes down a tweet from President Donald Trump after a copyright complaint; “KINKEDIN” trademark for computer dating site successfully opposed in the UK by LinkedIn; EU antitrust regulators are petitioned to look into Nokia patent licensing practices; and loss of patent exclusivity leads to major job cuts at Gilead Sciences.
Copyright Office Conducts Roundtable on Section 512 Online Infringement Study – On Monday, April 8, newly appointed Register of Copyrights Karyn Temple hosted a Section 512 Study Roundtable to look at issues surrounding provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act involving cooperative efforts between copyright owners and Internet service providers to detect online copyright infringement.
USPTO Cannabis Trademark Unit Creating Backlog Issues for Marijuana Trademark Applicants – On Monday, April 8, World Trademark Review published an article discussing the apparent existence of a unit of trademark examiners within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office which specialize in handling cannabis- and cannabidiol-related trademark filings, reporting that the group has created a one-year delay in receiving an initial examination on trademark applications in that area.
IAM Reports on Issue of Reverse Patent Trolling in China – On Tuesday, April 9, IAM published an article discussing reports of “reverse patent trolling” in China, a situation where patent owners, especially those in the pharmaceutical industry, are approached by entities assuming the identity of consulting firms, which send drafts of patent invalidation requests and then ask for consulting fees to remove the invalidation risk.
Federal Circuit Affirms TTAB Ruling Denying Registration to “TWEEDS” Mark – On Monday, April 8, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a Rule 36 judgment affirming a holding by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) to deny trademark registration on the Supplemental Register for the mark “TWEEDS” to be used on clothing because of the generic nature of the mark.
German Firm Petitions EU to Probe Nokia Patent Licensing Practices – On Tuesday, April 9, Reuters reported that German family-owned electronics firm Bury filed a complaint with European Union antitrust regulators to investigate patent licensing practices employed by Finnish telecommunications firm Nokia regarding standard-essential patents (SEPs) covering car communications technologies.
Global Music Copyright Revenues Increased to $28 Billion in 2017 – On Tuesday, April 9, Music Business Worldwide published an article citing a recent study which showed that global revenues for music copyright increased by $2 billion up to $28 billion during 2017, with revenues for record labels growing at 9%, the highest rate increase for any rights holders that year.
Google Sticks With Williams & Connolly at Supreme Court Despite Shanmugam Departure – On Wednesday, April 10, a reply brief filed at the U.S. Supreme Court by petitioner Google in its copyright case against Oracle showed that Google was still being represented by counsel from Williams & Connolly despite the January departure of Kannon Shanmugam, Google’s counsel of record on its petition for writ of certiorari, from that firm.
Apple Faces Eastern Texas Patent Suit Despite Plans to Leave District – On Wednesday, April 10, patent owner SEVEN Networks, LLC filed a lawsuit asserting 16 patents covering various mobile electronic device technologies used by Apple, which has plans to close its remaining stores in the Eastern District of Texas in the coming weeks to avoid patent suits in that venue.
UKIPO Denies Trademark Registration to KinkedIn Due to Consumer Confusion – On Thursday, April 4, the UK Intellectual Property Office issued a decision to deny trademark registration to “KINKEDIN” for use with computer dating services after an opposition was filed by the professional social networking site LinkedIn.
Boston Red Sox File Notice of Opposition Against WormSox Mark – On Monday, April 1, the Boston Red Sox filed a notice of opposition at the TTAB to oppose a trademark application for the standard character mark “WORMSOX” filed by a Somerville, MA resident for use in trademark class 25 goods such as bandannas, caps as headwear and golf shirts.
Trademark Infringement Suit Filed Over Use of “Red Gold” in Watch Advertising – On Friday, April 5, American watchmaker Solid 21 filed a suit alleging claims of trademark infringement, dilution and false description against Switzerland-based rival Breitling over its use of the term “red gold” in advertisements for gold watches.
Copyright Infringement Suit Filed Over TeeFlii’s 2014 Single “24 Hours” – On Tuesday, April 2, the composers and publisher of the 1993 Robin S. electronic dance track “Back It Up” filed a copyright infringement suit in the Southern District of New against hip-hop artist TeeFlii and others contributing to the 2014 release “24 Hours.”
Twitter Takes Down Trump Tweet That Used Music From The Dark Knight Rises – On Tuesday, April 9, Twitter took down a tweet that was posted by President Donald Trump which included a video with music from the 2012 Warner Bros. Picture’s film The Dark Knight Rises after Warner Bros. filed a copyright infringement notice with Twitter.
Patagonia Files Trademark Suit Against Anheuser-Busch Over Patagonia Cerveza – On Tuesday, April 9, outdoor apparel company Patagonia filed a suit in the Central District of California alleging claims of trademark infringement against beermaker Anheuser-Busch over its release of a Patagonia-branded beer.
Rebel8 Accuses Zara USA of Trademark Infringement Over Similar Apparel Designs – On Monday, April 8, streetwear clothing brand Rebel8 Inc. filed a trademark lawsuit in the Central District of California against Spanish fashion chain Zara USA over its use of a design including a sharp-edged eight with diamonds which Rebel8 alleges is confusingly similar to its own logo.
DRM Vectors Files Patent Suits in Delaware Against Google, Oracle, Microsoft – On Tuesday, April 9, patent owner DRM Vectors LLC filed a series of patent infringement suits in the District of Delaware against major tech firms including Google, Oracle and Microsoft over a patent covering a technology for distributing electronic documents while also protecting copyrights.
TransPerfect Files Suit Against Lionbridge For Trade Secrets Misappropriation – Translation provider TransPerfect filed a $100 million lawsuit against competitor H.I.G Middle Markets/Lionbridge on Thursday, April 11 alleging trade secret misappropriation, unjust enrichment and fraud and requesting a permanent injunction and damages.
This Week on Wall Street
Adverse PTAB Ruling Cuts Concerta Stock By 17% – On Monday, April 8, shares of Concerta Pharmaceuticals dropped by 17% to a two-year low after the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a ruling invalidating patent claims covering Concerta’s CTP-543 treatment for the hair loss condition alopecia areata.
Gilead Cuts 20% of Its Sales Employees After Loss of Patent Protection – On Wednesday, April 10, STAT News reported that Gilead Sciences was planning on 150 long-time sales employees, about 20% of its sales force, in large part because of flagging revenues created by the loss of patent protection for Ranexa and Letairis.
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: Bank of America Corp. (125th); International Business Machines Corp. (1st); Johnson & Johnson (33rd)
- Wednesday: Abbott Laboratories (267th); ASML Holdings N.V. (t-151st); Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (19th)
- Thursday: General Electric Co. (6th); Honeywell International Inc. (37th); Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc. (293rd); Schlumberger N.V. (56th); Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (10th)
- Friday: None