Bites (noun): more meaty news to sink your teeth into.
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This week in Other Barks & Bites: Senators Tillis and Coons ask federal agencies to step up enforcement against IP theft; Senator Stabenow and Congressman Cummings ask GAO to review government’s drug patent authority; USPTO Director Iancu says that Congress will have to fix patent eligibility problems; China releases a new national IP strategy after the U.S. halts IP theft proceedings at the WTO; Adidas loses European trademark for three-stripe logo; VidAngel ordered to pay more than $60 million over copyright infringement; music lyric site Genius accuses Google of ripping content for its own platform; and Apple asks the United States Trade Representative to rescind tariffs that would affect consumer tech goods.
Sens. Tillis, Coons Ask Federal Agencies to Combat Intellectual Property Theft – On Tuesday, June 18, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE), respectively the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Intellectual Property Subcommittee, sent letters to the Department of Justice, Customs and Border Protection and the Copyright Office asking those agencies to increase their enforcement efforts against IP theft and seeking information on the effects of IP theft as well as the agencies’ current enforcement efforts.
USPTO Director Iancu Says Congress Will Have to Address Patent Eligibility – On Wednesday, June 19, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu made remarks at the Hudson Institute in which he said that Congress will likely have to clarify patent eligibility law due to inaction on the issue by the federal courts.
China Releases Plan to Promote National Intellectual Property Strategy – On Wednesday, June 19, China released a promotional plan featuring five major goals and 106 individual measures aimed at improving the strength of IP rights within the nation through IP protection and international cooperation.
Sen. Rubio Introduces Legislation to Prevent Huawei From Seeking Patent Damages – On Monday, June 17, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a legislative amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would prevent foreign companies included on U.S. government watch lists, including Huawei, from seeking damages for patent infringement in U.S. courts.
Pharma Firms Sue Over Trump Administration’s Rule Including Prices in Drug Ads – On Friday, June 14, pharmaceutical companies Merck, Eli Lilly and Amgen, along with the Association of National Advertisers, sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and HHS Secretary Alex Azar over a Trump Administration rule requiring the inclusion of price information on a drug’s wholesale acquisition costs in advertisements for that drug. Analysis of this rule indicated that there would likely be Lanham Act and First Amendment issues involved with the rule’s enforcement.
Sen. Stabenow, Rep. Cummings Seek GAO Review of Truvada Patent Infringement Issues – On Tuesday, June 18, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Senate Health Subcommittee, and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office seeking a review of the HHS’ authority to prevent companies from infringing on government-owned patents including those related to the HIV-prevention drug Truvada.
EUIPO Annual Report Shows All-Time High for Trademark Registrations in 2018 – On Wednesday, June 19, World Trademark Review reported that the EU Intellectual Property Office had issued its annual report for 2018 which showed that the EUIPO received more than 150,000 trademark filings that year, a 4.13 percent increase over 2017’s filings and the largest number of filings received by the office in a single year.
U.S. Halts WTO Proceedings Over China’s Intellectual Property Theft – On Friday, June 14, the World Trade Organization (WTO) published a statement indicating that the United States asked to suspend proceedings at the WTO related to China’s alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property until the end of 2019.
Adidas Loses European Trademark for Three-Stripe Logo – On Wednesday, June 19, the General Court of the European Union issued a ruling upholding the annulment of a trademark covering the use of a three-stripe logo which had previously been registered by athletic apparel maker Adidas after the EU General Court determined that the mark wasn’t distinctive enough.
Barry Manilow Wins Summary Judgment in Copyright Dispute Over Concert Films – Singer Barry Manilow on June 20 won a Federal copyright action involving two of his properties: Barry Manilow: Music and Passion Live from Las Vegas and Barry Manilow: Songs from the Seventies. The suit was brought by production company Stiletto Television (STV), which claimed it owned the copyright to the two films, but a California judge granted summary judgment for Manilow.
Carrie Underwood in Copyright Suit Over Sunday Night Football Song – On Wednesday, June 19, a copyright infringement complaint filed by singer Heidi Merrill in the Southern District of New York alleges that Carrie Underwood and producers of the theme song for NBC’s Sunday Night Football ripped off a version previously created by Merrill.
Delaware Court Nixes Multimedia Search Patent Claims Asserted Against Amazon – On Wednesday, June 19, the District of Delaware issued a ruling that invalidated claims of two patents owned by TrackTime LLC and asserted against Amazon. The claims covered technologies for using a mobile device to perform a search for multimedia as directed to an abstract idea.
Linux Patent Consortium OIN Moves Past 3,000 Members – On Tuesday, June 18, the patent non-aggression community Open Invention Network announced that the organization’s membership now exceeds 3,000 member companies that have offered cross licenses to patents covering Linux and related open source software.
VidAngel Ordered to Pay $62M in Copyright Damages to Disney, Warner Bros., Fox – On Monday, June 17, a jury verdict entered in the Central District of California ordered video filtering service VidAngel to pay $62.4 million in copyright infringement damages to major film production firms Disney, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox for providing streaming movie content to consumers.
Blackbird Technologies Reaches Patent Settlement With HSBC – On Thursday, June 20, Blackbird Technologies announced that it had settled a District of Delaware infringement case filed back in March of this year against major global bank HSBC involving patents covering technologies for the secure authorization of online transactions.
Lyric Website Accuses Google of Stealing Content for Its Own Platform – On Sunday, June 16, The Wall Street Journal reported that song lyric site Genius had accused Google of copying lyrics from its website to display via Google’s search engine platform and hurting Genius’ website traffic.
Steph Curry’s “Holey Moley” Caught Up in Trademark Infringement Suit – On Thursday, June 13, Australian entertainment firm Funlab filed a trademark infringement suit in the Central District of California alleging that the golf competition show “Holey Moley,” produced in part by NBA superstar Stephen Curry, infringes on a trademark registered by Funlab for miniature golf competitions.
This Week on Wall Street
Oracle Stock Jumps 8% on Strong Earnings Report – On Thursday, June 20, shares of Oracle stock had increased by as much as 8 percent pre-market after reporting quarterly earnings of $11.1 billion, beating analysts’ expectations of $10.93 billion and supported by $6.8 billion in revenue from Oracle’s Cloud Services and License division.
Apple Among Companies Asking Trump Administration to Drop China Tariffs – On Thursday, June 20, consumer tech giant Apple sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging the Trump Administration to rescind proposed tariffs that would increase the cost of Apple products including AirPods and Apple TVs.
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: Micron Technology, Inc. (47th)
- Wednesday: Blackberry, Ltd. (81st)
- Thursday: Accenture plc (t-225th); Nike, Inc. (99th)
- Friday: None
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