IPmetrics LLC monitors intangible asset news, accomplishments, major publications and other newsworthy developments. The following are archived relevant press releases and commentaries:
- Patently-O Blog: Comments on Lockwood v. Sheppard Mullin (Fed. Cir. 2010) an interesting case argued last week before the Federal Circuit. The focus of the appeal is whether a patentee has any cause of action for a third-party's baseless filing of a reexamination request. Read More.
- New York Times: Vintage Brand and Corporate Names to Be Auctioned.- By Stuart Elliott (November 8, 2010).- Brands USA Holdings, which has been accumulating the rights to nostalgic brand names like Handi-Wrap and Lucky Whip, plans to auction off 150 to 170 of names next month in New York. (Read More)
- Law360, New York (November 05, 2010) -- Patent damages jurisprudence is evolving at a rapid pace, both through U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit opinions such as Lucent v. Gateway and ResQNet.com v. Lansa, and federal district case law like Cornell v. Hewlett-Packard Co. and IP Innovation v. Red Hat. Courts have challenged patentees, attorneys and damages experts to more thoroughly support opinions as to the royalty rate through more sound economic proof, evidence of extent of use and precise...Read More.
Technically Legal notes: The third installment in the Jammie Thomas-Rasset case began yesterday (11/2/2010) in the district court of Minnesota. At the heart of this damages case are the “statutory damages” provisions in the Copyright Act, which lay out a spectrum of damages per instance of infringement. If the infringement is proved to be “willful,” as was the case in the Thomas-Rasset trial, the spectrum is $750 – $150,000 per instance of infringement. Since there were 24 songs at issue, that’s 24 instances of infringement. For Ms. Thomas-Rasset, this means the jury can award Capitol Records somewhere between $18,000 – $3.6 million. Read More.
- Law360, New York (October 28, 2010) -- Chrysler Group LLC has agreed to settle its complaint accusing Chinese manufacturers and several U.S.-based distributors of infringing a patent covering the automaker's Jeep Hurricane concept vehicle. Read More.
- October 25, 2010.- IPLaw360 The Ninth Circuit federal appeals court has refused to reconsider a ruling that dramatically increases the royalties UMG Recordings Inc. must pay for digital downloads of Eminem songs on a contract that predates online music sales. Read More.
- October 18, 2010. - IPLaw360: Mattel Inc. is asking for partial summary judgment in its bitter intellectual property feud with rival toy maker MGA Entertainment Inc. Read More.
- October 14, 2010. - Damages in Mirror Worlds vs. Apple Case Could Top 1.8 Billion according to the Patently Apple Blog, considering the potential treble damages on the $208.5 million award for each of the three patents the jury found Apple had "willfully infringed." Read More.
- October 14, 2010. - IPLaw360: In a two-page order Wednesday, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a July decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois refusing to grant an injunction blocking Nike from continuing to sell its "Pro Combat" line of college football uniforms. Read More.
- October 11, 2010. - Bloomberg reports that the ownership of the Stolichnaya trademark is in question following a ruling Oct. 8 by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The three-judge panel reversed a lower court ruling that found that the trademark was “incontestable.” Representing the Russian agency that brought the case, the Federal Treasury Enterprise Sojuzplodoimport, is Quinn Emanual Urquhart & Sullivan. Partner David W. Quinto said that the Stolichnaya trademarks had been “hijacked” following the breakup of the Soviet Union and it “took quite awhile to figure out who was entitled to what.” Read More
- October 4, 2010. - Ars Technica reports "Apple has been ordered to pay more than $200 million to Mirror Worlds, LLC after having lost a patent infringement case brought by the company. Apple was found to be in violation of Mirror Worlds' "document streaming" patents, which Apple allegedly used in its implementation of Cover Flow and Time Machine.
Mirror Worlds brought the lawsuit against Apple in 2008, accusing the company of infringing on four patents, three of which covered a "document stream operating system." The fourth patent extended the other three, describing an information management system based on the document streams.
The document streams outlined in the patents would contain many different types of documents with a similar theme, and would be organized in chronological order and displayed in a pile. Sound a lot like Cover Flow and Time Machine? That's because it is. Anyone who's familiar with the visual document layout of those two technologies knows that they use the same concept: visually displaying documents in a pile that you can scroll through." Read More.
- Los Angeles | Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:09pm EDT (Reuters) - News Corp's Fox, Walt Disney Co's ABC, CBS and several other broadcasters on Tuesday sued tiny upstart online subscription service Ivi for offering TV shows on the Internet without permission. The case is WPIX Inc v. Ivi Inc, 10-7415, Southern District of New York. Read More
- Law360, New York (September 24, 2010) -- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has confirmed the patentability of most claims of a patent for gift card technology asserted by Card Activation Technologies Inc. against numerous major retailers, according to the company. Card Activation said in a statement Thursday that the USPTO had issued a re-examination certificate for U.S. Patent Number 6,032,859, which the company has asserted in numerous suits. Read More
- September 23, 2010 - The US Supreme Court is weighing in on the first RIAA file sharing case to reach its docket, requesting that the music labels’ litigation arm respond to a case testing the so-called “innocent infringer” defense to copyright infringement. Read More at Ars Technica.
- September 20, 2010 - Alleged Confusion Over Mark Not Enough to Prevail in latest Google Keyword Case to go on trial (Jurin v. Google, Inc., 2010 WL 3521955, No. 09-3065 [E.D. Calif. Sept. 8, 2010] ). Read more on the blog post by Michael Atkins.
- September 8, 2010 - One of the first consequences of the Supreme Court having affirmed the the USPTO's denial to grant the now famous 'Bilski' business method patent is the dismissal of the suits brought before the Southern District of NY by Vraspon Trading Inc. against the NASDAQ OMX Group and NYSE Euronext, among others (See, e.g., the complaint vs. The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.). The suits alleged the infringement of a patent of a process for calculating an expiration-less option (US#6,263,321). Ultimately, the dismissal hinged on the SCOTUS decision, and it essentially confirms you cannot patent the idea of solving a well known equation for a different variable, even if it is complex and you use a computer to do it; it is simply not patentable subject matter.
- August 31, 2010 - Facebook Inc.'s application for a patent on "Ranking search results based on the frequency of clicks on the search results by members of a social network who are within a predetermined degree of separation" was issued today (US#7,788,260). The disclosure points to the common use of a search result's "click-through-rate" to rank in presenting results to the user, and claims to innovate by weighting the "clicks" by the degree of proximity to the user on the social network, including paid results (aka: Ads).
- August 27, 2010 - Billionaire Paul G. Allen’s research business, Interval Licensing, awoke from a decade-long slumber to seek compensation from 11 companies including Google Inc. and Apple Inc. for its “groundbreaking” contributions to the Internet economy.Read the Article on Bloomberg.
- August 25, 2010 - A British subsidiary of De Beers SA has accused Kohl's Corp. and several New York-based jewelers' "Love Knot Collection" of infringing the diamond giant's patents for jewelry designs, specifically the EVERLONTM Diamond Knot Collection (launched in the Fall of 2009). Read the Complaint...
- August 24, 2010 - IP Law 360 - The word “book” belongs to Facebook Inc., at least when it comes to websites, the social networking behemoth claims in a trademark infringement suit against startup Teachbook.com LLC. Read the Complaint.
- August 20, 2010 - Reuters - Madonna has been hit with a lawsuit over her new "Material Girl" fashion line for teenagers by a California clothing company that says it has been using the name since 1997. (Case is in Calif.'s Central District Case No. 6195 L.A. Triumph, Inc. v. Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone et al ) Read More...
- August 16, 2010 - Bloomberg reports Adidas AG and more than 25 other defendants were sued by a Texas patent-owner. Quark Images LLC of Longview, Texas, claims its two patents for a method of creating customized branded merchandise over a computer network are infringed. Most of the defendants offer custom created merchandise such as Mars Inc.’s M&M candies on which customers can have any message or photo printed, or Nike Inc. which offers custom- designed athletic shoes through its NikeID program. Serverside Group Ltd. of New York was sued for allegedly selling software that enables the creation of branded and customized credit cards. Read More...
- August 13, 2010 - IDG News Service - Oracle has filed a lawsuit against Google, charging that its Android phone software infringes Oracle patents and copyrights related to Java, Oracle said Thursday. "In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle's Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement," Oracle spokeswoman Karen Tillman said in a statement. The suit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco and seeks a jury trial. Read More...
- August 12, 2010 - Bloomberg's Victoria Slind-Flor reports that Viacom, the owner of MTV Networks and Paramount studios, is appealing the recent ruling that Google Inc.’s YouTube video- sharing website didn’t infringe Viacom copyrights. Viacom appealed the June decision to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, according to a filing yesterday in federal court in Manhattan. U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton ruled that YouTube hadn’t infringed Viacom’s copyrights because it’s protected by the safe-harbor provision of the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The law states a service provider isn’t liable if it removes infringing material when notified by the copyright owner. The case is Viacom International Inc. v. YouTube Inc., 1:07-02103-LLS, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. Read More...
- August 9, 2010 - DALLAS -(BUSINESS WIRE)-Classic Ink, Inc., owner of Classic Sports Logos brand apparel line and rapidly growingtrademark licensing firm, secured a major legal victory in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas against American Needle, Inc., and its Red Jacket apparel business on Aug. 6. The jury verdict heralds the end of the latest chapter in a long-running battle over American Needle’s continued infringement of Classic Ink’s trademarks. After a five-day trial, the seven-member jury returned a unanimous verdict finding American Needle and its Red Jacket apparel business infringed Classic Ink’s trademark rightsunder the U.S. Trademark laws, including “Tampa Bay Rowdies”® and “Chicago Sting”® marks. The Dallas jury also confirmed the validity of Classic Ink’s trademarks to its “retro” sport team marks and logos. An injunction will prevent American Needle from any further infringing sales, and American Needle has indicated that they would comply with any Court-ordered injunction by stopping future sales of the accused products. Read More...
- August 9, 2010 - BLOOMBERG.COM reports that News Corp.’s Times newspaper in the U.K. may have to pay as much as 150,000 British pounds ($240,000) to the copyright holders for the late Jimi Hendrix’s music. The underlying case relates to a promotional project through which the Times was to give away more than 1.5 million copies of a CD of 10 Hendrix songs with an edition of the Sunday Times. Hendrix, a Seattle native who died in 1970 at the age of 27, had performed a concert in London’s Royal Albert Hall in 1969 from which many of the cuts on the CD were taken. The Times failed to get proper copyright clearance for the project and was sued for infringement by two entities with various rights to the late performer’s work. Read the full report...
- August 6, 2010 - Internet registrar Moniker.com announced the upcoming auction of the PATENTS.COM domain name at DOMAINfest New York. Patents.com is a search engine and web 2.0 community site in operation since 2007. Moniker's President indicated that the two domains (Patents.com, Patent.net) and the operating website are being offered at an opening reserve of 7.4 million USD in the auction set for August 18th. The auction is being hosted by www.SnapNames.com. More Information here...
- August 5, 2010 - The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's decision to enjoin a Web advertising service from using the trade name Advertise.com as it fights trademark infringement claims brought by AOL Advertising Inc., ruling that the Internet giant's “Advertising.com” mark is generic. In 2009, AOL alleged that Advertise.com had infringed AOL’s trademark rights by using the designation ADVERTISE.COM and by using a stylized version of that designation that was confusingly similar to AOL’s (registered) stylized ADVERTISING.COM marks. Advertise.com appealed the district court’s decision to grant the preliminary injunction, arguing primarily that the standard text mark ADVERTISING.COM is generic. Read the Opinion...
- Packaging Digest (8/2/2010) - By David Bellm. Colgate-Palmolive Co., the maker of Colgate toothpaste, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against GlaxoSmithKline, alleging that certain aspects Glaxo’s Aquafresh toothpaste packaging infringe on Colgate trademarks. GlaxoSmithKline responded with a similar lawsuit against Colgate-Palmolive several hours later. Read more...
- Elisabeth Malis - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a ruling enjoining an internet business from using the term “eVisa” as a business and domain name on the basis that it was likely to dilute the plaintiff’s famous VISA trademark.Visa International Service Association v. JSL Corp., Case No. 08-15206 (9th Cir., June 28, 2010) (Judge Kozinski). Read more...
- St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE: STJ) filed a pair of lawsuits accusing two of its rivals of patent infringement and stealing trade secrets.
- The Little Canada, Minn.-based medical device maker filed a lawsuit against Volcano Corp. (NSDQ:VOLC) in the U.S. District Court for Delaware, accusing it of violating a quintet of patents St. Jude acquired in its 2008 buyout of Radi Medical Systems AB, a Swedish guide-wire maker. The patents cover STJ's PressureWire system, which uses a sensor to measure arterial blood pressure by calculating fractional flow reserve associated with stenosis in patients with coronary artery disease, according to court documents.
The lawsuit alleges that San Diego-based Volcano's PrimeWire system violates the patents. Read More...
- Bloomberg's Victoria Slind-Flor reports today (Jul 27, 2010) that Toho Co. Ltd., the Japanese film company that holds the copyright and trademarks for the “Godzilla” character, sued an Arizona toy company for infringement. VIP Products LLC of Phoenix is accused of making and selling a “Tuffzilla” toy Toho claims infringes on its Godzilla marks. VIP sued Toho July 20 in federal court in Phoenix, asking the court to declare that “Tuffzilla” squeaky dog toy doesn’t infringe any of Toho’s IP rights, and asked the court for a declaration to that effect. Read More...
- NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Jul 26, 2010 - Mindspeed Technologies, Inc. (MSPD), a leading supplier of semiconductor solutions for network infrastructure applications, today announced that it entered into an agreement for the sale of certain legacy patents for $10 million, of which $7.5 million should be reported in the company's fiscal fourth quarter of 2010 revenues and the remaining $2.5 million should be reported in the company's fiscal first quarter of 2011. The patent sale agreement does not include potential future Mindspeed revenues derived from licensing royalties. Specific terms of the sale are confidential. (See full Press Release).
- ATLANTA, Jul 26, 2010 - Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) today announced that it has acquired the remaining outstanding capital stock of Renaissance Lighting, Inc. ("Renaissance"), Pioneering innovator of solid-state light-emitting diode ("LED") architectural lighting. Renaissance, based in Herndon, Virginia, offers a full range of LED-based specification-grade downlighting luminaires and has developed an extensive intellectual property portfolio related to advanced LED optical solutions and technologies. Previously, Acuity Brands entered into a strategic partnership with Renaissance which included a minority ownership in the company and a license to the company's intellectual property estate. Acuity Brands also purchased today from another company an intellectual property portfolio that includes certain foundational patents that were exclusively licensed to Renaissance and other proprietary technology that will enhance the Company's capabilities in lighting sensors and related controls. (See full Press Release).
- NORWALK, Conn., Jul 22, 2010 - Xerox Corporation (XRX) announced today second-quarter 2010 results that include adjusted earnings per share of 24 cents and $678 million in operating cash flow. Adjusted EPS excludes 8 cents from restructuring charges and amortization of intangibles as well as acquisition-related and litigation costs, resulting in GAAP EPS of 16 cents. (See full Press Release).
- BOSTON, Mass., July 22, 2010 - The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has appealed a federal judge's reduction of a file-sharing copyright damages award from $675,000 to $67,500. (See full report).
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