Bites (noun): more meaty news to sink your teeth into.
Barks (noun): peripheral noise worth your attention.
Editor’s note: This article was updated August 3 to correct the total value of the CPA Global-Clarivate merger.
This week in Other Barks & Bites: the USPTO proposes rule changes to the agency’s professional conduct rules to align with model rules from the ABA; the Federal Circuit issues rulings affirming an obviousness determination by the PTAB over an APA challenge and vacating a Southern Texas ruling that dismissed a case for failure to join a necessary party; a Chinese court hands out prison sentences of up to six years to defendants in a case involving infringement of Dyson trademarks; the House Antitrust Subcommittee grills Google, Apple and other tech giants on antitrust issues, including copying of competitor content and IP; Clarivate and CPA Global announce a merger to create a new innovation/IP lifecycle management solution; Qualcomm stock peaks after announcing a patent licensing deal with Huawei; and the CNIPA says that China will reduce trademark application processing times to less than four months by the end of 2020.
CNIPA to Reduce Trademark Application Processing to Less Than Four Months – On Thursday, July 30, Chinese state-run media reported that Cui Shudong, the head trademark official at China’s National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), announced that the agency was planning to reduce trademark application processing times from 4.5 months to less than four months by the end of 2020.
USPTO Proposes Rule Change Aligning Professional Conduct Rules With ABA – On Thursday, July 30, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register which would align the USPTO’s Rules of Professional Conduct more closely with the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, marking the first substantive update to the USPTO’s rules for lawyers practicing in agency proceedings since those rules were established in 2013.
Clarivate and CPA Global Merge to Create Innovation/IP Lifecycle Solutions – On Wednesday, July 29, innovation lifecycle firm Clarivate and IP management solution provider CPA Global issued a joint press release indicating that the two entities would be merging in an all-stock transaction, which values the combined CPA Global-Clarivate proposition in excess of $15 billion, to develop an end-to-end solution for innovation and IP management from basic research through IP protection.
Tim Cook Says Apple Doesn’t Steal IP at House Antitrust Subcommittee’s Big Tech Antitrust Hearing – On Wednesday, July 29, the House Antitrust Subcommittee held a hearing with the CEOs of Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon to discuss antitrust and competition issues. Among the topics discussed according to a hearing transcript were Google’s copying of online content diverting traffic away from competitor websites, as well as Apple CEO Tim Cook’s declaration that “We would never steal somebody’s IP.”
CAFC Says PTAB Complied With APA, Reyna Dissents on Obviousness Under KSR – On Wednesday, July 29, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision in FanDuel, Inc. v. Interactive Games LLC in which the appellate court affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decision finding a challenged patent claim not unpatentable over FanDuel’s argument that the PTAB violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) by basing its finding on obviousness issues not raised by the patent owner. Circuit Judge Jimmie Reyna authored a dissent in which he criticized the PTAB’s obviousness determination as too rigid under the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in KSR International v. Teleflex.
Chinese Court Issues Prison Sentences in Dyson Trademark Counterfeiting Case – On Tuesday, July 28, China’s People’s Court of Shanghai Pudong issued a series of prison sentences ranging from 18 months to six years to a series of 35 defendants involved in a trademark counterfeiting case over the sale of hair dryer products in China infringing upon Dyson’s registered trademark.
CAFC Says Real Interest, Not Proprietary Interest, Satisfies Standing for Trademark Cancellation – On Monday, July 27, the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision in Australian Therapeutic Supplies Pty. Ltd. v. Naked TM, LLC in which the appellate court reversed a ruling by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) determining that Australian Therapeutic lacked standing to pursue a trademark cancellation proceeding. The Federal Circuit held that a party is entitled to petition for a cancellation proceeding under 15 U.S.C. § 1064 if that party can establish a real interest in the proceeding and a reasonable belief of damage regardless of whether lacks a proprietary interest in an asserted unregistered mark. Circuit Judge Evan Wallach authored a dissent in which he argued that, while he agreed that a proprietary interest wasn’t required, Australian Therapeutic didn’t meet its burden of proving a real interest and reasonable belief in damages.
CAFC Says Southern Texas Abused Discretion in Dismissing Patent Case Under Required Joinder Rules – On Friday, July 24, the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision in Gensetix, Inc. v. University of Texas in which the appellate court vacated a ruling from the Southern District of Texas which dismissed a patent infringement suit after finding the suit couldn’t proceed without the addition of the University of Texas as a necessary party. Circuit Judge Pauline Newman concurred with the judgment but dissented on the grounds that Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity did not bar the University of Texas’ joinder to the suit as an involuntary plaintiff. Circuit Judge Richard Taranto wrote a dissenting opinion arguing that the district court was generally obligated to dismiss the suit after finding that joinder was barred under the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in Republic of Philippines v. Pimentel.
Sonos Settles Patent Suit Against Lenbrook With Licensing Agreement – On Thursday, July 30, wireless speaker companies Sonos and Lenbrook Industries announced that they had settled Sonos’ patent suit against Lenbrook’s Bluetooth high-resolution multizone audio systems. The settlement agreement includes Lenbrook’s payment of royalties to license Sonos’ patents for sales of BluOS-enabled devices.
InterDigital Files Pair of Patent Suits in India Against Xiaomi – On Thursday, July 30, mobile R&D firm InterDigital filed a pair of lawsuits in India’s court system alleging claims of patent infringement against Chinese electronics company Xiaomi over its sale of 3G and 4G cellular products and its use of video codec technology covered by InterDigital’s patents.
Facebook Hit With Western Texas Patent Suit Over Use of Apache Zookeeper – On Wednesday, July 29, patent owner BCS Software, LLC filed a lawsuit in the Western District of Texas alleging claims of patent infringement against Facebook over the social media giant’s use of Apache Zookeeper to synchronize group services, including different forms of communication like email and SMS, across distributed applications.
TikTok Faces Western Texas Patent Suit Over Video Editing Technology – On Wednesday, July 29, patent owner Triller, Inc. filed a lawsuit in the Western District of Texas alleging patent infringement claims against video sharing platform TikTok over the use of video editing technology in its software application which enables multiple video files to be synchronized with a single audio file.
Judge Stein Says Russian Government Entity Can Pursue Stolichnaya Trademark Claims – On Wednesday, July 29, U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein of the Southern District of New York issued a ruling denying William Grant & Sons’ motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Judge Stein found that Federal Treasury Enterprise Sojuzplodoimport, a Russian government entity, can litigate its trademark claims over Stolichnaya and Stoli vodka trademarks in U.S. federal court after the court found that a Russian court voided a privatization of the marks as the Soviet Union collapsed.
Netflix Can’t Dismiss Patent Claims in Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings – On Tuesday, July 28, U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods of the Southern District of New York dismissed a motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by Netflix after finding that plaintiff Personalized Media Communications sufficiently alleged that its video streaming patents contain inventive concepts that were not well understood, routine or conventional at the time of the patents’ filings.
Eko’s Patent, Trade Secret Claims Against Quibi Survive Motion to Dismiss – On Tuesday, July 28, U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder of the Central District of California entered a ruling on a pair of motions to dismiss which allowed patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation claims from Eko to move forward against Quibi. Eko alleges that it invented the Turnstyle feature in Quibi’s video platform.
Facebook, Princeton Avoid Copyright Claims But Must Face Trade Secret Claims – On Friday, July 24, U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick of the Northern District of California entered a ruling dismissing copyright claims filed by UAB Planner 5D against Facebook and Princeton University over their use of 3D objects and scenes from Planner 5D’s home design website. Planner 5D’s trade secret claims based on the underlying data files for those objects were allowed to proceed, however.
This Week on Wall Street
Apple Announces 4-for-1 Stock Split With Third Quarter Earnings – On Thursday, July 30, consumer tech giant Apple reported third quarter earnings in which the company posted revenues of $59.69 billion, well above analyst expectations of $52.25 billion. Apple also announced that the company had approved a 4-for-1 stock split, the company’s fifth stock split in its history and its first since 2015.
Qualcomm Stock Up 13% After Third Quarter Earnings and Huawei License News – On Wednesday, July 29, shares of Qualcomm stock were up as much as 13 percent in after hours trading after the company posted a nearly $100 million beat on revenue for the third quarter. The company also announced that Huawei had entered into an agreement to license Qualcomm’s patent portfolio related to Huawei’s 5G handset products.
Quarterly Earnings – The following firms identified among the IPO’s Top 300 Patent Recipients for 2019 are announcing quarterly earnings next week (2019 rank in parentheses):
- Monday: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (t-237th); Cirrus Logic (266th); Dolby Laboratories Inc. (t-139th); Ingersoll Rand Inc. (t-277th); Rambus Inc. (t-221st)
- Tuesday: Bayer AG (57th); Daikin Industries Ltd. (t-251st); Emerson Electric Co. (130th); Evonik Industries AG (t-225th); Infineon Technologies AG (55th); Microchip Technology Inc. (t-263rd); Nippon Steel Corp. (t-179th); Ricoh Co., Ltd. (46th); Schaeffler AG (t-171st); Sony Corp. (11th); Subaru Corp. (t-289th); Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. (191st); Walt Disney Co. (189th); Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. (194th)
- Wednesday: Bayerische Motoren Werke (t-184th); Borgwarner Inc. (232nd); Continental AG (100th); Honda Motor Co. (42nd); Nielsen Holdings PLC (t-212nd); Olympus Corp. (66th); Sharp Corp. (54th); Toshiba Corp. (25th); Western Digital Corp. (64th)
- Thursday: Becton Dickinson & Co. (106th); Dropbox Inc. (t-292nd); GoPro Inc. (t-287th); Interdigital Inc. (t-142nd); Kobe Steel Ltd. (t-283rd); Merck KGaA (t-253rd); Motorola Solutions Inc. (t-206th); Nikon Corp. (173rd); Shimadzu Corp. (t-202nd); Siemens AG (21st); Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. (159th); Terumo Corp. (214th); Toyota Motor Corp. (10th)
- Friday: NTT Data (t-161st); Toray Industries Inc. (t-253rd)
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