In case you are not familiar with this acronym, IoT stand for the “Internet of Things.” IoT is the connection of multiple and various “things” (everyday devices, equipment and other objects) via the Internet to keep people informed about what is going on. A key element in the Internet of Things is that the monitoring and reporting back on these “things” over the “Internet” is done automatically and passively while we go about our dreary lives.
OTT is the acronym for “Over the Top.” There has been significant increase in sales of, and applications for, OTT products and services. So, naturally, there has also been significant activity in patents covering different aspects of Over-the-Top technology. OTT is past the stage of being an emerging technology. It is here, and it is affecting our lives each and every day, so OTT patents are hot!
Back in 2010, Aleksandr Yufa filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Rees Scientific claiming infringement of his portfolio of particle-measuring patents. He lost in U.S. District Court, and just lost his appeal. Worse yet, the Federal Circuit appointed a receiver to take title to Mr. Yufa’s patents to sell them to pay $166,365 in attorney’s fees charged to Mr. Yufa by the court for filing a “baseless” patent lawsuit.
It’s always the drummer who gets the girl. In this case, the issue is with the guitarist. It seems that the founder of a band known as “Boston,” one Tom Scholz, sued a former guitarist for the band, one Barry Goudreau, for trademark infringement. Goudreau left Boston and formed a new group called “Ernie and the Automatics.”
The plaintiff in this case gets no sympathy from the writer of this blog because I drink my coffee as the good Lord intended: Black. No milk, no cream, no Half & Half, no sugar, no sweetener, no nothin’. Straight from the coffee pot. I even drink iced coffee that way. Yeah!
World Chess Events, and its subsidiary, World Chess U.S., own the commercial rights to this year’s World Chess Championship. In a bold move (Sorry. It was too easy.), World Chess has filed a lawsuit against two chess websites, claiming that they “pirated” chess plays that are the intellectual property of World Chess Events and World Chess U.S. World Chess & Company is seeking $4.5 million in damages and asking the U.S. District Court hearing the case to block both websites from publishing chess plays from an upcoming championship match.
We are reminded of the line in Carol King’s Sweet Seasons: “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes the blues just get a hold of you.” Selee, a manufacturer of foam-based filtration equipment, sued McDanel Advanced Ceramics Technology, a manufacturer of ceramic tubes and components, for infringement of its “Engineered Ceramics” trademark. We can only assume that the plaintiff or its lawyers just made a bad impression on the jury, because the jury found that McDanel had indeed infringed Selee’s trademark, but it awarded Selee $1. Ouch!
Taking on a trademark involves more than just filing a form with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and hoping to receive back a favorable response. Most companies buy a website domain to match their hoped-for trademark, and they mark up all of their products and services with the hoped-for trademark to start building the brand.
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche made the controversial statement back in 1882 that "God is dead." Pure Flix Entertainment took a totally different approach with its 2014 independent film, “God’s Not Dead.” Based on the success of the film: Nietzsche 0, God 1.
A Michael Brown of Okland, California, is in hot water. While we admire his entrepreneurship, we cannot understand what he does not understand about trademarks. Mr. Brown set up two businesses, “New York Jedi” and “Lightsaber Academy,” to provide training for use of the fictional weapons made part of the culture by the Star Wars movies.
Lucasfilm, the company founded by George Lucas, the creator and owner of the Star Wars franchise (and now a unit of Disney), is suing Mr. Brown for trademark infringement.
Many things can be copyrighted - from novels, poems and plays, to songs, music and performance. But fonts can – and very often are - copyrighted. By “font” we mean the design of a typeface.
And just to prove that, Font Brothers (yes, that is the name of the company) is suing Hasbro, the toy giant, for copyright infringement over its use of its Generation B font for Hasbro’s My Little Pony products. In the Complaint, the plaintiff claims that Hasbro failed to secure a license to use Generation B so it is using a “pirated font.”
A U.S. District Court judge tossed out a trademark lawsuit against international fashion house Louis Vuitton claiming that it copied the design of LVL XII, a small, luxury sneaker designer and manufacturer. It all came down to a strip of metal that both companies attach to the front of the sole of their sneakers that are called “toe places.”
The case never even went to a jury. The judge ruled that there was no infringement and dismissed the case. Here are the two sneakers.
Eel River Brewing, a craft beer brewer, claims that is has exclusive rights to “California Blonde.” As far as beer goes, that is. Not anything else related to blondes from California or elsewhere. It appears that a competing craft beer brewer, Duck Foot, is calling its suds "California Blonde.” So Eel River filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Duck Foot.
What was the movie in which the two girls return to their high school reunion and claim they are the inventors of the Post-it® Note? It seems that one Alan Amron filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against 3M, claiming that he is the true inventor of the Post-it note. The case was dismissed because Mr. Amron filed a similar lawsuit that was settled 20 years ago. And, he is not the inventor.
Pinnacle Foods Group – which owns Birdseye frozen foods, Vlasic pickles and a few other brands – has dropped a lawsuit accusing food giant Kraft Heinz of purloining the “Satisfy Your Craving” slogan that Pinnacle uses for its Hungry-Man® frozen meals. Kraft Heinz was using the near identical “Satisfy Your Cravings” slogan to help launch its Devour (good name!) brand of frozen meals.
Back in 1856, Thomas Burberry established the Burberry brand when he began selling women’s luxury clothing and accessories. Today, Burberry Group Inc. is a multi-million dollar, multi-national corporation with over 10,000 employees and a strong, luxury brand that includes eyeglasses and cosmetics. Burberry promotes a checked pattern that is popular in carpeting and is referred to as "Burberry". The company has an equestrian logo that is prominently marked with a “®” to show it is a registered trademark.
The property located at 333 North Dearborn began its life as the House of Blue Hotels. No, we are not kidding. It later was renamed the Hotel Sax. No, we are not kidding. In 2014 it became the Hotel Chicago. That is until Joe Perillo, a Chicago car dealer and entrepreneur, opened a hotel at 1622 West Jackson that he also calls the Hotel Chicago. Not surprisingly, he is now facing a trademark infringement lawsuit by the owners of the original Hotel Chicago.
Earlier this year, the song “Happy Birthday to You” lost its copyright protection. Attorney Mark Rifkin represented a class action lawsuit against Warner/Chappell Music (formed in 1929 with a merger of Chappell Brothers and Warner Brothers, the movie studio) claiming that the song was not entitled to the Copyright that Warner/Chappell had on the song.
Warner/Chappell lost, and lost big – to the tune of $14 million. It appears that Mark Rifkin, Esq., however, did pretty well. The court just awarded him $4.6 million for his services.
We guess everyone – or at least everyone who reads this blog – knows what “search engine optimization” is. If not, OK. It is a service that adds codes and links and other elements to a website to make it attractive to search engines. When you go to Google, and search for “patent enforcement,” it is not a coincidence that General Patent Corporation pops up at the top of the page.
In 2014, Christ Tavantzis and ChrisTrikes Custom Motorcycles, filed a complaint against a number of individuals and entities alleging infringed of his patent for a wheelchair-accessible motorcycle. After the complaint was filed, the U.S. District Court hearing the case received notice of Mr. Tavantzis' death. When no party moved to substitute the proper party to continue Mr. Tavantzis' claims, the court dismissed Mr. Tavantzis from the lawsuit, leaving his business, ChrisTrikes Custom Motorcycles, as the only remaining plaintiff.