January 31, 2012 - Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich was hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit by Frankie Sullivan, co-founder of the rock group Survivor, for unauthorized use of the group's song "Eye of the Tiger" on the campaign trail.
January 26, 2012 - As Kodak attempts to use its valuable patents as collateral in securing financing, Apple is attempting to block those efforts by claiming that at least one of those patents was wrongfully obtained and actually belongs to Apple (and is at the center of an unresolved patent ownership dispute).
Normally we stick to IP stories from the U.S. But we couldn't pass up this gem of a
trademark tale which, though it hails from the European Union, involves a well-known drug from a well-known American company.
Jill and Burt Kohler opened a cosmetology school in Scottsdale, Arizona...and a whole can of worms along with it.
The Kohlers were sued for trademark infringement by the Kohler Company. Kohler (the company) is probably best known for their faucets, toilets, bathtubs and other plumbing-related items, but holds over 30 trademarks that also include spa and salon services, as well as "guitars, pianos, candy, candles and horse breeding and stud services."
In a previous interview with TheStreet.com, Alexander Poltorak compared the Kodak patent auction to similar companies - among them, InterDigital. Now that InterDigital has cancelled the sale of its patent portfolio, Dr. Poltorak and other IP experts are speculating how successful (if at all) Kodak will be in selling its patents, litigating its various patent infringement lawsuits and surviving its cash crisis.
Kodak has officially declared bankruptcy, which removes a lot of the uncertainty potential buyers had about purchasing its patents. But it remains to be seen whether Kodak will be able to make enough money from sales of its intellectual property to stay afloat and prevail in its ongoing litigation.
January 19, 2012 - As part of its ongoing struggle to avoid going out of business, Kodak has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This move will allow Kodak to restructure its debt while it fights patent battles in several different lawsuits.
At the same time, Kodak has also secured a $950 million line of credit from Citigroup that it will use to "enhance liquidity and working capital."
January 16, 2012 - An administrative law judge at the International Trade Commission ruled that Motorola Mobility does not violate any of the three patents it was accused of infringing in the lawsuit Apple filed in October 2010.
The decision is only an initial ruling, however, which will be reviewed by a six-member ITC panel in March. That panel will deliver the ITC's final ruling.
January 13, 2012 - A company called Paqits LLC has sued Activision Blizzard Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas for patent infringement. Paqits alleges that certain social networking features on Activision's website infringe its patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,010,599.
The patent was issued in 2006, and Paqits is the assignee. The case is Paqits, LLC v. Activision Blizzard, Inc.
January 12, 2012 - On January 10, Kodak filed suit against Apple and HTC in U.S. District Court in New York, alleging infringement of four patents that cover aspects of sending photos directly from smartphones and other mobile devices. Kodak claims the technology is used in the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Kodak has already licensed some smartphone makers, including LG, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung, and plans to pursue legal action against Research in Motion for infringement of the same patents.
Just because two entities had unnervingly similar and equally grotesque ideas for marketing fashion to youngsters doesn't mean that copyright infringement is involved. That was the judge's finding in the case of Belair v. MGA Entertainment Inc. et al..
January 9, 2012 - Apple settled a patent infringement lawsuit with Elan Microelectronics, a Taiwanese company, for $5 million.
Elan sued Apple in 2009, claiming that its patents on touch-based technologies were infringed by the iPhone, iPod Touch and MacBook, and requested that the International Trade Commission (ITC) ban imports of the potentially infringing Apple products.
January 6, 2012 - St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants Inc. filed patent infringement lawsuits against Samsung Electronics USA Inc., Motorola Mobility Inc. and LG Electronics Ltd. St. Clair claims that the three companies' smartphones and tablet PCs infringe six patents, most of which relate to computer power management.
One of the first and biggest IP news stories of the new year is Kodak's last-ditch attempt to avoid bankruptcy through patent sales. But as GPC's Alexander Poltorak explains in a recent interview, the patents' many licensees may be more of a liability than an asset. ("Kodak's Patent Pivot May Not Avert Bankruptcy", TheStreet.com, January 4, 2012)
January 5, 2012 - Following its purchase of 2,000 IBM patents last year and its continuing efforts to buy Motorola Mobility for its IP, Google Inc. acquired another 200-plus IBM patents and patent applications in late December 2011.
General Patent Corporation Secures Settlement with U.S. Government in Patent Lawsuit in the Court of Claims
Federal Government Takes a License under Leighton Technologies' "Contactless Cards" Patents
Suffern, N.Y., January 5, 2012 − General Patent Corporation (GPC), a leading patent licensing and enforcement firm, announced today on behalf of its subsidiary, Leighton Technologies LLC (Leighton), that it reached a settlement with the U.S. government in a lawsuit in the Court of Claims over unlicensed use of Leighton's portfolio of six "Contactless Cards" and related patents.
January 4, 2012 - Hulu LLC, which delivers streaming video content on demand, has been sued by a company called Intertainer Inc. for infringement of a patent on online video streaming.
The patent, U.S. Patent Number 7,870,592, relates to a method of creating an interactive streaming video that allows users to view outside content such as advertisements before resuming the video at the point at which the user stopped watching. Hulu had argued that it doesn't make its viewers watch ads in an infringing manner.
January 4, 2012 - A health supplement company called Creative Compounds LLC settled its malpractice lawsuit with its former law firm, Adorno & Yoss LLP. The company filed suit against Adorno and one of its former partners, Thomas L. Peterson, for allowing several patent applications to lapse.
Writer Lisa Belkin used to pen a blog on parenting issues for the New York Times called "Motherlode." When she left the NYT to work for the Huffington Post, the "Motherlode" blog continued but with guest bloggers. Belkin, meanwhile, continued blogging in much the same vein for HuffPo but named her blog there "Parentlode."
January 3, 2012 - On December 13, a judge in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles granted summary judgment in a case involving a claim of false marking. What made this case newsworthy is that the plaintiff in the case (U.S. Rubber Recycling Inc.) actually is a competitor of the defendant (Ecore International Inc.).
January 3, 2012 - A Chinese-born scientist who worked as a researcher at Dow AgroSciences LLC from 2003 to 2008 has been sentenced to seven years in prison for stealing trade secrets and sharing them with scientists in China and Germany.
January 2, 2012 - Several Chinese handset manufacturers have recently formed an alliance to counter litigation brought by big international smartphone-manufacturing companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Nokia.