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Other Barks & Bites for July 26: FBI Conducting Chinese IP Theft Probes, ANDA Legislation Introduced and UK Discusses Post-Brexit IP Exhaustion

Bites (noun): more meaty news to sink your teeth into.

Barks (noun): peripheral noise worth your attention.

This week in Other Barks & Bites: a series of bills introduced into Congress aim to improve prospects for minority inventors, eliminate compulsory copyright licenses in broadcast TV and reduce patent challenges against generic drugmakers; the Federal Circuit decides that there is no functionality in the aesthetic appeal of a design patent; FBI Director Wray testifies on about 1,000 IP theft probes pointing back to Chinese entities; France is the first EU country to adopt the Copyright Directive; Alphabet and Amazon beat revenue expectations; UKIPO discusses potential IP rights exhaustion in the event of a no-deal Brexit; and IP law associations ask the Supreme Court to rule against USPTO in Peter v. Nantkwest.



IDEA Act Introduced Into Congress to Help Women, Minority Inventors– On Thursday, July 25, the Inventor Diversity for Economic Advancement (IDEA) Actwas introduced into both houses of Congress by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). The bill would direct the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to collect demographic information from patent applicants on a voluntary basis and to issue reports on the collected data.

Modern Television Act Introduced to Repeal Compulsory Copyright Licenses– On Thursday, July 25, the Modern Television Act was introduced into the House of Representativesby Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA). The bill would end the compulsory copyright licensing scheme for retransmitted broadcasts and reduce blackouts caused when multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) and broadcasters fail to extend broadcast agreements. 

UKIPO Releases Guidance on IP Rights After Brexit– On Wednesday, July 24, the UK Intellectual Property Office issued guidanceinforming UK businesses and other stakeholders about what would happen regarding the exhaustion of intellectual property rights if the UK were to leave the European Union without an exit deal in place between the UK and the EU.

Federal Circuit Decides That Design Patent’s Aesthetic Appeal Isn’t Functional– On Tuesday, July 23, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision in Automotive Body Parts Association v. Ford Global Technologiesin which the appellate court upheld the validity of hood and headlamp design patents owned by Ford over arguments that those designs were functional because they matched the aesthetics of Ford’s F-150 truck. 

FBI Conducting More Than 1,000 Probes Into China IP Theft– On Tuesday, July 23, Christopher Wray, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), told the Senate Judiciary Committee during an FBI oversight hearing that the agency is currently conducting more than 1,000 investigations into allegations of attempted theft of U.S. IPwith nearly all of the investigations involving Chinese entities.

China’s Sichuan Province Launches Center for IP Protection– On Tuesday, July 23, Chinese state news media reportedthat the country’s Sichuan Province had established a center for IP protection in the province’s capital of Chengdu, one of the first provincial centers for handing patent applications approved by China’s National Intellectual Property Administration.

IP Law Associations File AmiciBriefs in Peter v. Nantkwest– On Monday, July 22, a series of IP and law groups including Intellectual Property Owners Association, Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago, International Trademark Association, American Intellectual Property Law Association and the American Bar Association filed amicus briefs in Laura Peter v. Nantkwest. The groups all side with the respondent Nantkwest and are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to deny the USPTO’s attempt to impose its own lawyer’s fees against parties seeking review of USPTO decisions in U.S. district court.

Congressmen McKinley, Welch Introduce ANDA Legislation– On Wednesday, July 17, Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced H.R. 3812, a bill that would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act to limit patent challengesthat can be brought by branded pharmaceutical makers during the abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) process.




Federal Circuit Denies Appeal of Invalidated Hologic Patent Claims– On Wednesday, July 24, the Federal Circuit declined to take up an appeal of a patent casein which claims owned by medical technology company Hologic and covering a system for detecting perforations in a body cavity were invalidated after being asserted against an endometrial ablation system marketed by Minerva Surgical.

Tiffany Asks Second Circuit to Uphold $19M Trademark Award Against Costco– On Wednesday, July 24, luxury jewellery firm Tiffany & Co. filed a brief with the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit asking the appellate court to affirm a district court rulingawarding $19.4 million in damages for counterfeiting and trademark infringement against Costco for retailing a line of Tiffany rings.

USITC to Investigate Patent Infringing Fish-Handling Pliers From China– On Wednesday, July 24, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announcedthat it had voted to institute a Section 337 patent infringement investigation of fish-handling pliers and packaging imported by a series of five Chinese entities based on allegations filed by Jackson, MS-based United Plastic Molders

Judge Connolly Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Neurostimulator System– On Wednesday, July 24, U.S. District Judge Colm Connolly of the District of Delaware granted a preliminary injunction against a neurostimulator systemmarketed by Stimwave which restricts the use of the Stimwave system for treating chronic pain to frequencies below three kilohertz (kHz).

Parus Files Patent Infringement Suits Against Google, Apple, Samsung and LG– On Wednesday, July 24, Parus Holdings announced that it had filed a series of patent infringement suits in the Western District of Texasagainst a group of major tech firms including Google, Apple, Samsung and LG Electronics over patent claims covering voice-user interface technologies for retrieving information.

France Becomes First Country to Adopt EU Copyright Directive– On Tuesday, July 23, the French Parliament formally adopted the Copyright Directivepassed this April by the European Union, making France the first country in the EU to officially make the copyright reforms part of national law

Canadian Kids’ Entertainment Firm Files IP Suit Against Tulsa Marijuana Dispensary– On Friday, July 19, Nelvana Enterprises, a Canadian company owning a Treehouse brand for children’s entertainment, filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of Oklahoma alleging claims of copyright and trademark infringementagainst Tulsa-based marijuana firm Treehouse Dispensary.

Gigi Hadid Escapes Copyright Suit Over Instagram Photo– On Thursday, July 18, U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen of the Eastern District of New York dismissed a copyright infringement casebrought by photo agency Xclusive-Lee against model Gigi Hadid after determining that Xclusive-Lee didn’t register the copyright to a photo shared by Hadid on Instagram prior to bringing suit.



This Week on Wall Street

Alphabet Shares Up 9 Percent After Revenue Beat– On Thursday, July 25, Internet tech giant Alphabet posted second quarter revenues of $38.94 billionabove analyst estimates of $38.15 billion in quarterly revenue, sending shares of Alphabet stock up by 9 percent in same-day trading.

Amazon Posts First Profit Loss After Four Straight Quarters of Growth– On Thursday, July 25, e-commerce titan Amazon.com issued its second quarter earningsand while the company beat expectations on revenue, its net income of $2.6 billion was the lowest since 2018’s second quarter due in large part to costs related to implementing next-day delivery for Prime customers.

Quarterly Earnings– The following firms identified among the IPO’s Top 300 Patent Recipients for 2018are announcing quarterly earnings next week (2018 rank in parentheses):

  • Monday:Fanuc Corp. (95th); Hitachi, Ltd. (90th); HTC Corp. (t-233rd); NXP Semiconductor N.V. (88th); Rambus, Inc. (t-278th); Sanofi S.A. (t-186th); Shimano Inc. (t-209th)
  • Tuesday:Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (t-214th); Apple, Inc. (11th); Bayer AG (50th); Corning Inc. (77th); Eaton Corporation PLC (169th); Ecolab Inc. (191st); Konica Minolta, Inc. (t-67th); LG Electronics Inc. (7th); Mastercard Inc. (t-238th); Merck & Co, Inc. (t-178th); Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (29th); NGK Insulators Ltd. (t-268th); Nintendo Co., Ltd. (t-292nd); Procter & Gamble Co. (82nd); Samsung SDI Co., Ltd. (106th); Seiko Epson Corp. (24th); Sony Corp. (18th); Sprint Corp. (91st)
  • Wednesday: Airbus SE (t-241st); Aisin Seiki K.K. (t-227th); Cirrus Logic, Inc. (t-299th); Denso Corp. (39th); General Electric Co. (4th); LAM Research Corp. (133rd); Mediatek Inc. (85th); Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (47th); NEC Corp. (49th); Nielsen (t-202nd); OSRAM Licht AG (t-278th); Panasonic Corporation (224th); Qualcomm, Inc. (10th); Ricoh Co., Ltd. (32nd); Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (2nd); Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. (t-186th); Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. (160th); TDK Corp. (t-167th); Toyoda Gosei K.K. (t-297th); Western Digital Technologies, Inc. (116th)
  • Thursday:Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (t-165th); Casio Computer Co. Ltd. (t-147th); Delta Electronics Inc. (t-233rd); Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (119th); DuPont De Nemours (86th); Evonik Industries AG (t-205th); Fortinet, Inc. (t-258th); Globus Medical Inc. (177th); Infineon Technologies AG (62nd); InterDigital Wireless Inc. (122nd); Mazda Motor Corp. (t-212th); Motorola Solutions, Inc. (t-297th); Qorvo Inc. (t-209th); Sharp Corp. (58th); Siemens AG (21st)
  • Friday: ExxonMobil Corp. (100th); Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (43rd); Kyocera Corp. (84th); Seagate Technology PLC (92nd); Toyota Motor Corp. (13th); Weatherford International PLC (t-282nd)


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