This past December, the feature article in our e-newsletter, Wealth of Ideas, detailed several ways that the America Invents Act has basically backfired on the American patent system. (See "America Invents Act Turns Out to Be a Law of Unintended Consequences".)
Most of us who survived college with our dignity intact are pretty content to put it behind us. But if you're not already happy to have joined the ranks of the grown-ups, this story of an alcohol-fueled trademark dispute might do the trick:
Well, at least business is booming somewhere: The plaintiff-friendly federal courts in the Eastern District of Texas saw a dramatic jump in the number of patent lawsuits filed, from 607 in 2011 to 1,263 in 2012 - a 108 percent increase in just a year.
An artist in Holland just found out that he can't trademark the name of Allah.
Over three years ago, we first told the story of Jammie Thomas-Rasset, who was found guilty of copyright infringement over 24 songs she had downloaded and shared via the Kazaa file-sharing service.
What is it with kooky shoes and lawsuits? Last June, we reported on a lawsuit between Gucci and Guess over some overpriced bowling shoes. Now we are pleased to inform you that Vibram and Fila have settled their litigation over "barefoot shoes" - AKA those funky neoprene and mesh shoes with the individual toe casings.
Over a year ago, we reported on the patent lawsuits brought by Innovatio IP Ventures LLC against a host of companies that offer free WiFi to their customers. The defendants in that litigation include over 220 individual hotels in Illinois. Interestingly, however, Innovatio didn't file lawsuits against Motorola Solutions and Cisco Systems - the companies that manufacture the WiFi equipment used in the alleged infringement.
We're all for copyright owners' rights, but this one might be stretching a bit: The owners of the copyrights to the late William Faulkner's literary works sued Sony Pictures Classics and a group of movie exhibitors because of two sentences uttered by actor Owen Wilson in Woody Allen's 2011 movie Midnight in Paris.
Sometimes it's nice to take a break from writing about the more serious side of intellectual property - the litigation, the legislation, the precedent-setting cases - and just reflect on how absolutely crazy it looks to people who don't work with patents, trademarks and copyrights.
Sometimes a business owner (or his attorney) has to get creative to show why he deserves to be awarded a certain trademark. In this case, the owner of Campo's Deli in Philadelphia needs to show why the mark it uses for its signature sandwich - "Philadelphia's Cheesesteak" - is different from some very similar existing marks: Philadelphia's Cheesesteak Co., Philadelphia Cheesesteak Co., and The Original Philadelphia Cheesesteak Co.
We hate to seem repetitious, but we hereby present yet another blog post about Apple. What other company provides such a wealth of blog topics from its lawsuits in all areas of intellectual property?
While Apple celebrates its success in its lawsuit against Samsung and attempts to secure a permanent injunction on as many of its competitors' products as possible, the steady stream of lawsuits filed against Apple continues unabated. And in an ironic twist for the computer company known for its iconic designs, some of Apple's legal woes have to do with design patents and trademarks.
It may be spotty and four decades old, but the iconic banana image Andy Warhol designed for the Velvet Underground's debut album in 1967 is at the center of a very modern copyright and trademark battle.
Although the Velvet Underground disbanded in 1972, their music lives on among hipsters, college kids and anyone who appreciates Andy Warhol's art. The Velvet Underground were part of the same scene as Warhol, perhaps inextricably so because he was also the band's manager and producer, and that's where the legal complications begin in our current case.
On the heels of Apple's win over Samsung, some in the tech industry have pointed out that Apple has been known to copy electronics designs that its designers found aesthetically pleasing. Not only have they mentioned it, they've also created a photo essay of the similarities between Apple products and Braun radios and speakers from the 1950s and 1960s.
On Friday, August 24, the jury in the Apple v. Samsung case found that Samsung had infringed six of Apple's patents for mobile devices and awarded Apple $1 billion in damages - making the case one of the most expensive patent lawsuits ever.
From time to time, we like to check in on the Lodsys lawsuit - which, if you'll recall, was one of the most high-profile patent infringement suits filed in 2011. So what's new with Lodsys and the dozens of app developers and big tech companies it sued?
If your patent is in reexamination, be forewarned: It's up to you to prove that any relevant prior art isn't enabling or anticipatory of your patent claims.
Antor Media Corp. owns a patent (the ’961 patent) relating “to a method and apparatus for transmitting information recorded on digital disks from a central server to subscribers via a high data rate telecommunications network.” Antor sued several companies for patent infringement, resulting in a number of ex parte reexamination requests that were merged into a single reexamination.
Last week we reported on the courtroom verdict equivalent of a backhanded compliment (see "Adding Insult to Victory"), when Judge Colin Birss ruled in London court that Samsung's Galaxy tablet PCs do not infringe Apple's iPad design - because they are just not as understated and "cool" as the iPad.
Samsung won a patent infringement lawsuit this week in a UK court. However, the verdict was (basically) noninfringement due to a lack of coolness. Ouch!
Apple had sued Samsung in the UK, claiming that the Galaxy tablet PCs infringed the iPad's design. Judge Colin Birss ruled against Apple, because he found that Samsung's tablets "do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool."
The judge who threw out Apple's patent lawsuit against Motorola Mobility (and, by extension, against Google) has spoken - and he's not a fan of what he calls the "proliferation of patents" in some industries. (Although he finds the lawsuits...amusing?)
Gucci won a trademark infringement lawsuit against Guess? Inc., but the payout was much smaller than Gucci anticipated. Gucci America, Inc v. Guess?, Inc.
The basis of the suit: Gucci accused Guess of infringing five of its trademarks as embodied in some of the ugliest shoes ever to walk the earth. (You can view them here...if you dare.)