Batmobile Copyright Court Displays Sense of Humor

Submitted by patentadmin on Mon, 09/28/2015 - 20:36

It is rare that an Appellate Court ruling shows any sense of humor, but it did in the case of one Mark Towle of Maryland who was accused of copyright infringement after driving around in a homemade roadster configured to look like the Batmobile. The Ninth Circuit ruled that the Batmobile is indeed a copyrightable character owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

The court’s ruling began with “Holy copyright law, Batman!”

Will This Bad Boy Attorney Appear in Court?

Submitted by patentadmin on Thu, 08/20/2015 - 19:07

U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered ZTE Corporation’s General Counsel, Guo Xiaoming, to appear in New York for a deposition – no excuses. This involves a long-running patent infringement claim by Vringo against ZTE.

It seems that Mr. Xiaoming did not appear in court for fear of being arrested. Unpaid parking tickets? Unpaid child support? Unpaid bar association dues? Nothing nearly so mundane. Mr Xiaoming fears being arrested in connection with a federal criminal investigation into ZTE’s alleged sale of banned technology to Iran. Now that’s what we call a Bad Boy!

Be Careful What You Display in Your Trade Show Booth

Submitted by patentadmin on Sun, 07/19/2015 - 00:03

Conair – a leading manufacturer of hair driers, hair curlers and other hair-care products – has filed two patent infringement lawsuits after attending a trade show in Las Vegas. It appears that two competitors, INF Professional and Le Angelique, had hair curling products displayed in their booths that Conair claims infringe one or more of its patents.

Washington Redskins Lose First Round in Court

Submitted by patentadmin on Sun, 07/19/2015 - 00:02

A U.S. District Court judge has upheld the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's decision to cancel the Washington Redskins' trademark registrations, rejecting the argument that the federal government's ban on offensive trademarks is unconstitutional.

However, the Redskins will be able to continue to use its trademark while it works its way through the appellate process, which will likely take several years. We wonder if the team is working on a more politically correct name.

Money Charged for ***.sucks Really Suck

Submitted by patentadmin on Sun, 07/19/2015 - 00:02

NetNames, a European brand protection company, has filed a complaint with EU antitrust regulators that Vox Populi, the company behind the controversial new ***.sucks domain names, is charging predatory pricing in an effort to extort money from trademark owners.

Where do we begin? What business would want “.sucks” as the suffix to its website? Unless, of course, it sold lolipops? Or vacuum cleaners?

Clif Bar Files Trademark Infringment Claim against Kill Cliff

Submitted by patentadmin on Sat, 07/18/2015 - 23:58

Snack company Clif Bar has filed a trademark infringement suit against competitor Kill Cliff, claiming that Kill Cliff launched a line of protein bars that are likely to cause confusion among consumers. When we think about “Cliff,” Cliff Notes comes to mind, but that is another story for another day.

Clif Bar claims that Kill Cliff's protein bars are trading on Clif's reputation. You be the judge.

Turtles Try to Block $210 Million Copyright Infringement Settlement

Submitted by patentadmin on Sat, 07/18/2015 - 23:56

The Turtles (the 1960’s band) have asked the U.S. District court to block Sirius (the satellite radio broadcaster) from making a $210 million payment to ABKCO Music & Records, Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings and Warner Music Group to settle the ground-breaking copyright infringement lawsuit brought against them (and covered in our August 2014 Feature Article).

Cash Advance Company Seeks $45M Over Theft of Clients

Submitted by patentadmin on Mon, 06/22/2015 - 16:48

SBC Telecom Consulting filed a complaint in New York State Supreme Court that a former employee, Carlos L. Liriano, willfully attempted to "ruin and destroy" SBC’s cash advance business, and SBC is seeking at least $45 million in damages. The lawsuit claims that Liriano, a former call center manager at SBC Telecom, stole proprietary corporate information and used that data to steer accounts to a competitor of SBC.

Our question is: Did SBC Telecom pay Mr. Liriano so well that he actually has $45 million?

Attorney Drops Defamation Lawsuit Over “Stupid Patent”

Submitted by patentadmin on Mon, 06/22/2015 - 16:47

Each month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) bestows its “Stupid Patent of the Month” award on a newly issued patent the group deems unworthy. In April of this year, EFF gave the “Stupid Patent of the Month” award to U.S. Patent No. 9,013,334 “Notification systems and methods that permit change of quantity for delivery and/or pickup of goods and/or services.”

Google's Cash for Gold Offer

Submitted by patentadmin on Mon, 05/25/2015 - 21:46

Google has announced that if you send the company your patent, they may offer to buy it. It is pretty obvious what Google is doing. They are looking for patents that could be asserted against them, and hoping to buy them up for pennies on the dollar.

If you send your patent to Google, and it makes you an offer, decline the offer and immediately contact a technology licensing firm - like General Patent - to find out what the patent is really worth.

U.S. Federal Court Judge: Oops! My Bad.

Submitted by patentadmin on Sun, 05/24/2015 - 22:14

U.S. Federal District Court Judge Marsha Pechman has some egg on her face. She recently admitted that she dismissed an antivirus patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft in error. She dismissed the case, file by CAP Co., with prejudice after only some of the claims were resolved.

She meant to dismiss most of CAP’s claim of indirect and willful infringement, but instead dismissed the entire lawsuit. It is one thing for a judge’s ruling to be overturned by an appellate court, but another for a judge to overturn her own ruling.

Pork Roll Controversy Is Not a Lot of Bologna

Submitted by patentadmin on Sun, 05/24/2015 - 22:12

To the uninformed, it may appear that not much is going on in Trenton, New Jersey, other than the state legislature looking for ways to close the budget gap. Truth be told, Trenton is home to not one, not two, but three Pork Roll Festivals because one of Trenton’s claims to fame is that the Pork Roll was invented in 1856 by Trentonian John Taylor.

Whose Empire Is It?

Submitted by patentadmin on Mon, 04/27/2015 - 15:52

Twentieth Century Fox Television has filed a lawsuit asking that it be allowed to continue to use “Empire” as the title of one of its television dramas. This all started when a record label, Empire Distribution, sent letters to Fox demanding that it pay them $8 million for the use of the term “Empire.” Empire Distribution, an actual record label, claims that the company portrayed in the television drama is “functioning as a record label in the real world.”

Defendant Apologizes to the Jury

Submitted by patentadmin on Mon, 04/27/2015 - 15:50

Last month, a Wisconsin jury ruled that Blackhawk Network, a provider of prepaid gift cards, digital products and other telecom products, had infringed two claims of a patent held by InComm, a prepaid product and transaction services company. To Blackhawk’s credit, they took their medicine, and rather than blaming someone else, apologized to the jury for infringement of the InComm patent.

No Blurred Lines in This Decision

Submitted by patentadmin on Wed, 03/25/2015 - 18:12

In addition with having to decide what to do with Kanye West, the music industry has also been astir over the issue of if “Blurred Lines” infringes the copyright on Marvin Gayes’ 1977 “Got to Give It Up.” A U.S. District Court jury in Los Angeles decided that Robin Thicke and Pharrel Williams had committed trademark infringement and ordered them to pay the Gaye estate $7.3 million.

Guess Who Won This Lawsuit?

Submitted by patentadmin on Wed, 03/25/2015 - 18:09

Gucci has been accusing Guess of trademark infringement for several years, and a Paris judge just settled the argument. The court ruled that Guess is NOT infringing a Gucci trademark, Guess is NOT counterfeiting Gucci products, and there is NO unfair competition between the two luxury brands.