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  • Friday, September 14, 2018 9:24 AM | Deleted user

    Anyone posting music videos or concert recordings on YouTube may be violating a copyright agreement. To what extent does the giant platform take responsibility for this? The Karlsruhe Federal Supreme Court (BGH) will reach a verdict on Thursday.

    For over 10 years, Hamburg music producer Frank Peterson has had an ongoing conflict with YouTube over several titles uploaded by his singer Sarah Brightman. Now he has lodged a lawsuit against the company.

    Most recently, Hamburg judges had ruled in 2015 that YouTube must prevent unauthorized distribution in the future, but is not itself liable as a perpetrator. They also ruled that not all uploaded content has to be monitored.

    In the meantime, however, there has been a ruling by the European Court of Justice, which states that Internet platforms themselves also infringe copyrights if they play a central role "in making the works available".

    Based on this, the BGH could declare that YouTube is more accountable for such copyright infringements.

    A case by case basis

    The case will be decided on the basis of the current legal situation. In the EU, copyright law is currently being re-crafted: a proposal adopted by the European Parliament on Wednesday stipulates that platforms will be generally liable for content posted by their users in the future.

    It states however that upload filters, which check all pictures, videos or music directly upon their upload, should not be mandatory. Yet experts assume that there is no way around this.

    Peterson wants YouTube to pay damages and reveal the responsible users to him. From his point of view, YouTube has to be held accountable for the infringed rights - after all, the platform makes money with the uploaded content, he argues.

    The lawsuit is also directed against the YouTube parent company Google, which bought the site in 2006.

    Detecting infringement

    YouTube already calls on its users to respect the copyrights, and unauthorized files will be blocked if someone reports the violation.

    Music companies and record companies can also protect their productions, working in cooperation with YouTube.

    If the in-house software "Content ID" finds elements from their production on its platform, the rights holder decides whether the video or sound should be deleted, or whether he or she wants to earn part of the advertising revenue.

    Source: https://www.thelocal.de/20180913/german-court-to-decide-if-youtube-or-its-users-responsible-for-uploading-copyrighted-content

  • Friday, September 14, 2018 9:18 AM | Deleted user

    Apple and Qualcomm are at odds and find themselves in court due to patent infringement. Qualcomm says that Apple has violated certain patents and deserves to pay. And yet, it’s interesting to see Qualcomm accuse Apple of patent infringement, yet refuse to argue this very thing in court.

    That is the case in Qualcomm’s pre-trial motion, according to tech site GSM Arena. Qualcomm had an opportunity to argue Apple’s patent infringement but chose not to. Then, after the judge pointed out Qualcomm’s tactical error, the chipmaker changed its mind — though Apple said it was too late at that point. The judge agreed.

    QUALCOMM’S COUNSEL KNOW THAT IN A DECLARATORY JUDGMENT ACTION BY A LICENSEE AGAINST A PATENTEE SEEKING AN ORDER OF NON-INFRINGEMENT, THE PATENTEE, QUALCOMM, BEARS THE BURDEN OF PERSUASION OF INFRINGEMENT. […] QUALCOMM MADE THE TACTICAL DECISION NOT TO ASSERT INFRINGEMENT AND THUS AVOID CERTAIN DISCOVERY OBLIGATIONS AS MENTIONED ABOVE. IN ITS EXPERT DESIGNATIONS, QUALCOMM CHOSE NOT TO DISCLOSE THAT CERTAIN EXPERTS EXPRESSLY WOULD OPINE ON INFRINGEMENT AND ASSERT THAT PLAINTIFFS ARE INFRINGING PATENTS-IN-SUIT. QUALCOMM WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF ITS TACTICAL DECISIONS,

    a source says.

    Qualcomm-Apple patent lawsuit

    For those who may not be familiar with the case, Qualcomm says that Apple is violating certain patents it owns and should pay the chipmaker royalties for patent infringement. In return, the world’s first trillion-dollar smartphone maker says that it isn’t guilty of any patent infringement because the patents Qualcomm has put forth are nothing new.

    Qualcomm’s problem: a change of heart against Apple

    When one is in the right and must go to court to fight for the truth, it pays to have a sound strategy that remains consistent through and through. This is something the chipmaker has not paid much attention to over the years. And it is a problem that any judge could catch on any day of the week.

    Qualcomm should have set out to do what any company would in its shoes: argue that Apple is guilty of patent infringement, state what the patents are, and show how Apple’s iPhones infringe on Qualcomm technology. That’s a simple strategy; not difficult. And yet, Qualcomm may have had to give away too much of its personal secrets in order to make the case. If that were so, judges could see the patents for what they are and evaluate them accordingly. And perhaps Qualcomm didn’t want that to happen. Maybe, just maybe, Apple is correct about these so-called patent infringements. And yet, one can’t do away with sound strategy, then utilize it again. Consistency mandates that you argue what you argue and you maintain your claim at all costs — no matter how much they may hurt you legally.

    Qualcomm’s refusal to argue Apple patent infringement is suspicious and makes the case somewhat pointless

    Qualcomm may have a case with its claim, but to not present it in court as part of its winning strategy does seem suspect and suspicious. Of course, the chipmaker can still argue that Apple’s iPhones violate essential patents. However, to fail to present its patents in transparent manner would make anyone (not only the judge) suspicious. When companies choose to sue other companies in court, then hide their “deck of patents,” it looks as if they want to merely throw rocks and hide their hands. It could be said that Qualcomm is merely suing Apple “for lawsuit’s sake” rather than to force the fruit company to adhere to a moral truth about respecting the work of others.

    There’s no telling where the Qualcomm-Apple battle will go, but know that patent infringement cases occur in courts across the world all the time. In some cases, those lawsuits are designed to attack a company financially, often a rival. Money and rivalry explains why the fruit company and Samsung will remain lawsuit foes. Perhaps the Qualcomm case is different, but there’s always a kernel of doubt in patent cases. Always.

    Source: https://www.mysmartprice.com/gear/apple-wins-motion-qualcomm-tactical-error/

  • Thursday, September 06, 2018 7:12 AM | Deleted user

    While copyright may sound like a stale and legalese-filled concept, copyright and intellectual property issues touch everything around us. The closest we get to hearing about it in the mainstream media is in the context of piracy -- now in decline thanks to paid services like Netflix or Spotify that make it easier to access content legally. But have you ever thought about how nearly every logo, piece of design (yes, including your tattoos), song, and movie has been or is currently under someone else's copyright?

    The idea of copyright itself is a few centuries old, when the question of who "owned" an idea and thus the right to profit from it emerged. Copyright was implemented as a way to make sure creators and innovators were properly rewarded for their work. It was also given reasonable limits however, because it was understood that innovators do not create in a vacuum. New creative works always feed from and react to culture -- and as such, after a certain amount of time (or "copyright terms") all copyrighted work goes into the public domain for the next generation to use and innovate upon.

    In Canada, our copyright rules are regulated by the Copyright Act of Canada, which hasn't been reviewed or updated since 2012. But now, the government is revisiting our rules, and what they should look like in our digital world -- making this a very big deal. Lobbyists are always eager to tilt the rules in their favour, and it will take an earnest en masse effort from civil society to ensure Canada's copyright landscape remains fair and healthy enough to foster the environment of innovation we need. If you wish to learn more and speak up, OpenMedia has made it easy to submit an informed brief to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) at LetsTalkCopyright.ca.

    Now, to answer the question in the headline: Who owns your tattoos? Well, the answer is a bit complicated. The copyright of the tattoo design is, in theory, property of the person who originally designed it -- be that the tattoo artist, another illustrator, or the client themselves. The body of the person upon which the tattoo is made is only considered a "tangible medium" (like a canvas). Needless to say, the intersection of IP ownership and human bodies is not the same as IP ownership and a canvas. For instance, in the United States, there have been lawsuits against video game companies from the tattoo design "copyright-holders" (note: not the tattoo artist nor the players) for including the tattoos an NBA player has on their NBA character in a video game. Does this seem excessive? Perhaps. But it is legal in the States.

    This is why speaking up here in Canada is so important, while we have the opportunity of this crucial consultation.

    Make sure you make your voice heard. And if you want to learn more about copyright, follow @OpenMediaOrg, as we will be publishing interesting facts about copyright in the days to come.

    About the Author

    Marianela Ramos Capelo is a Design Specialist in the communications team for OpenMedia, a non-profit organization that works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free.

    Source : http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/09/who-owns-your-tattoos-copyright-issues-are-all-around-us

  • Thursday, September 06, 2018 7:08 AM | Deleted user

    Furniture stores are often filled with designs that look similar to others. But is copying furniture legal, and should we feel bad about buying replicas?

    Recently, interior designers accused the supermarket Aldi of copying an Australian designer’s stool in the launch of a new range of “luxe” furniture. Some, including the Design Institute of Australia, noted the stool’s similarities to designer Mark Tuckey’s eggcup stool, which retails for more than $550. Aldi withdrew its stool (priced at $69) on the day of the sale, citing quarantine issues and said it was scheduled to return to stores in late August.

    In general, copying furniture designs that have not been registered in Australia is likely to be legal. This means that, in most circumstances when designers have not registered their work, businesses are able to sell, and Australian consumers are able to purchase, replica furniture without breaking the law.

    How designs are protected

    A designer of furniture, fashion or any other product will normally start out by creating a 2D drawing of their product. The drawing might be made by hand or using a computer or machine. This initial design is automatically protected under copyright law as an “artistic work”. For most types of artistic works, copyright lasts for the lifetime of the creator plus an additional 70 years.

    Copyright law prevents a person from copying someone else’s work if they do not have permission or a legal excuse. Making a 3D reproduction of a 2D artistic work counts as “copying” under law. So a person who makes, for example, a physical 3D chair using a designer’s 2D design of that chair may be infringing copyright of that 2D artistic work.

    However, there is an interesting feature of copyright law that applies only to designers. A designer will lose copyright protection in their 2D artistic work if it is “industrially applied”.

    “Industrial application” is generally understood to mean that 50 or more copies of the 3D product deriving from the design are made and offered for sale. Any mass commercial production will therefore take the product outside of the scope of copyright law.

    However, mass-designed products can be protected by Australia’s designs system. This system protects the visual appearance of a product. Unlike with copyright, designers must register their designs to be protected under law.

    For a design to be registered, it must meet certain minimum requirements. Importantly, it must be new and visually distinctive. The novelty of a design is critical to protection. These requirements ensure that ordinary and unremarkable designs are not constrained by intellectual property law, but are free for people to make and sell.

    How is this determined? An application for design registration is filed with and assessed by IP Australia, located in Canberra. It usually takes between three and 12 months to process an application, and costs around $300 to apply. Once registered, design protection lasts for five years, with the opportunity to renew registration for a further five years - so 10 years in total.

    The designs register is searchable online. Our search did not reveal any designs registered to Mark Tuckey.

    Incomplete protection is deliberate

    There are important policy reasons why designers are not given complete protection under intellectual property law. For one, it is often difficult to determine what is an original design when aesthetics meets functionality - there are a limited number of ways to design a seat that people will actually want to sit on! Designs protection is limited so that consumers can affordably access practical products.

    Designs law tries to balance a designer’s right to protect their product with the public’s right to access. Getting the balance right is tricky, and is likely to be under increasing pressure with the advent of 3D printing for the home.

    It is now possible to print replica furniture, and this practice may become more popular as 3D printing technology becomes simultaneously more sophisticated and more widely available. This is likely to raise ongoing questions about the scope of designs protection under copyright and designs law, and whether the law is appropriately tailored to protect designers.

    For Australian designers, the answer may not be stronger legal protection. First, we should ensure that the designs registration system is working effectively. Anecdotal reports suggest that the designs system is underused. We need to make sure that registration is affordable and accessible. Only then will we be in a position to know whether the protection offered by designs registration is enough.

    For consumers, the good news is that replica furniture is likely to continue to be available in retail stores. There is certainly nothing illegal about buying replica furniture. Those with the budget to do so, however, may want to consider supporting local Australian designers of furniture and home crafts.

    Source: https://theconversation.com/explainer-can-you-copyright-furniture-100336

  • Thursday, September 06, 2018 7:06 AM | Deleted user

    Watermarking has been held up by some industry members as an effective way to deter e-book piracy that doesn’t require more restrictive DRM technology. I recently discussed the state of watermarking with Bill Rosenblatt, founder of Giant Steps Media Technology Strategies.

    Do you have a sense of how many U.S. publishers are using watermarking in their e-books?

    The biggest use of watermarking so far is the U.S. market is in STM. An increasing number of STM publishers are using it. The pioneer has been O’Reilly Media, which has been watermarking its PDF e-books for years. That’s especially interesting given O’Reilly’s longtime and very public stance against DRM. Springer uses watermarking. MIT Press recently announced that it’s giving up DRM and moving to watermarking for e-books sold on its own site. STM publishers dislike DRM because it interferes with the spread of scholarship, so they are turning to watermarking as a scheme that gives them some protection without hindering sharing. In all of these cases we’re talking about PDFs [rather than ePub formats].

    Otherwise, watermarking is more prevalent in other countries, such as in parts of Europe—the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and elsewhere. U.S. trade publishers tend not to use it; the big exception is J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore, which uses it on Harry Potter e-books in ePub format.

    Generally I find that there’s very scattered awareness of watermarking among publishers. There are several independent suppliers of watermarking technology out there, and some publishers do it themselves. But watermarking is not a thing the way DRM has been a thing, and in fact some people confuse watermarking with DRM because it’s been referred to as “social DRM.” I consider the two technologies to be distinct.

    Are U.S. publishers using e-book watermarking in addition to traditional DRM, or instead of it?

    Watermarking and DRM can be used together, but the major U.S. e-book retailers aren’t supporting it. So in practice, it’s generally either one or the other, or neither.

    The key to effective watermarking is to embed data in each downloaded e-book file that identifies the individual purchaser. It could be human-readable, such as a name or email address—as O’Reilly and Springer do—or it could be an obfuscated ID that only the retailer understands, as Pottermore does. That requires that the retailer do this embedding on the fly, just before it sends the file out to the user, which in turn requires integration with the retailer’s user database.

    E-book retailers do the equivalent for e-books with DRM: they typically encrypt each file using a key that’s different for each user just before sending it out. It’s certainly possible to embed a watermark and then encrypt an e-book. The reason why major retailers don’t do this has to do with incentives. Retailers have incentive to use DRM because it helps them protect their “walled gardens,” but they don’t have similar incentive to implement watermarking.

    Some white-label retail service providers, like Aerio and Firebrand, offer watermarking as an option, as do a couple of small independent distribution platforms. I do know of a few instances of watermarking combined with DRM, but they aren’t for e-books; they are used for things like sensitive corporate documents and high-priced training materials. But I wouldn’t expect to see Amazon or Apple or B&N support watermarking anytime soon. Maybe they’d consider it if the big trade publishers decided to drop DRM.

    Do we know how prevalent e-book piracy is, and whether watermarking has any impact?

    Research on the impact of piracy mitigation techniques such as watermarking is virtually nonexistent. The only decent study I know of is the one that Prof. Imke Reimers of Northeastern University published last year using data from Rosetta Books and Digimarc. That was a peer-reviewed study published in a prestigious academic journal, the Journal of Law and Economics. She presented her paper at [Rosenblatt’s] copyright and technology conference this past January. The study showed a 14% increase in e-book sales with certain antipiracy measures in place. But it didn’t cover watermarking; it covered searching for unauthorized copies of e-books on the Internet based on metadata, such as filenames and book titles.

    I believe that a few publishers have done their own studies of antipiracy techniques and are keeping the results confidential. I think it would serve the industry if there were more publicly available, independent, peer-reviewed studies of this type, and I’ve tried to pitch industry bodies on doing them, to no avail so far. But I’m confident that watermarking does work to reduce piracy, for the simple reason that savvy publishers like O’Reilly continue to use it. From my experience with O’Reilly, including as an author, I can say for sure that O’Reilly wouldn’t use a technique like that unless it believed that it works

    Source: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/copyright/article/74298-does-watermarking-actually-cut-down-on-e-book-piracy.html

  • Thursday, September 06, 2018 6:59 AM | Deleted user

    It was a legal case with plenty of back and forth. But Marvel’s attempts to trademark the phrase “Monsters Unleashed” for comic books has been abandoned.

    The comic, published by Marvel for a year in 2016 and 2017 and based on a previous 1970s comic book (in name only), saw Marvel register its name as a trademark.

    However, Monster Energy Drinks objected to the trademark, stating that it would conflict with their own trademarks Monster Energy and Unleash The Beast.

    Marvel offered a compromise, amending their application to be more specific to their comic books but Monster Energy Drinks rejected such compromise and made a counterclaim.

    But last month, it seems, Marvel decided that it wasn’t worth the candle. They weren’t publishing the comic book anymore, and the benefit of further litigation was less obvious.

    So a deal was done, Marvel terminated their application with the approval of Monster Energy Drinks, and any counterclaim went away with that.

    Source: https://www.bleedingcool.com/2018/09/04/marvel-comics-abandons-monsters-unleashed-trademark/

  • Monday, September 03, 2018 1:35 AM | Deleted user

    Blockchain is a technological innovation underlying cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Given the importance of cryptocurrencies not only for buying and selling goods and services, but also as funding and investment vehicles, the underlying blockchain technology is obviously of interest in the fintech space.

    The major investment banks have criticized cryptocurrency and blockchain. For example, in their 2018 form 10-k filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan all noted the risks that blockchain and cryptocurrency posed to their bottom lines. Goldman Sachs presents the risk purely as a technological one, created by third parties and outside of their direct control:

    Although the prevalence and scope of applications of distributed ledger technology and similar technologies is growing, the technology is also nascent and may be vulnerable to cyber attacks or have other inherent weaknesses. We may be, or may become, exposed to risks related to distributed ledger technology through our facilitation of clients' activities involving financial products linked to distributed ledger technology, such as blockchain or cryptocurrencies, our investments in companies that seek to develop platforms based on distributed ledger technology, and the use of distributed ledger technology by third-party vendors, clients, counterparties, clearing houses and other financial intermediaries.

    BOA’s filing echoes the concern over technological vulnerabilities. But BOA took it a step further and also identified cryptocurrency as a competitive risk. Specifically, BOA expressed caution about how client preferences could lead them to migrate to cryptocurrencies that BOA currently does not support, explaining that “clients may choose to conduct business with other market participants who engage in business or offer products in areas we deem speculative or risky, such as cryptocurrencies.”

    Interestingly, even though BOA publicly criticizes cryptocurrencies, they are also the most prolific patent filer in the cryptocurrency space. They have not commented on their strategy. But it is possible BOA may be developing products to respond to those client preferences and reduce the competitive risk they identified to the SEC. They may be filing patents with the hope of eventually excluding others from competing after a commercial launch. They may be using the patent filings to prevent others from developing blocking patents of their own, which could hamper a successful commercial launch of their own. They could be targeting blockchain use cases in the financial industry, outside the narrow cryptocurrency application. Or they simply could be testing the waters because they see little risk in filing patents and great upside in positioning themselves as a technological leader in this burgeoning space.

    A crucial issue in obtaining patent rights in blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the United States is, of course, subject-matter eligibility. In 2014, the landmark Supreme Court case Alice v. CLS Bank International, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014), announced a two-step framework for determining eligibility of software patents under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The Patent Office and the courts have been struggling to define the contours of that framework ever since. In light of the Alice decision, applications in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space may receive close scrutiny if the claims attempt to cover the abstract idea of accomplishing a particular goal. To reduce the risk of a rejection under § 101, filers may consider looking for opportunities to direct their claims to unconventional, technology-specific improvements over the prior art. See Berkheimer v. HP Inc., 881 F.3d 1360, 1370 (Fed. Cir. 2018); Bascom Glob. Internet Servs., Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, 827 F.3d 1341, 1351 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (Claims recited “a technology-based solution … to filter content on the Internet that overcomes existing problems with other Internet filtering systems.”).

    It is safe to assume that, given the disruptive potential of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in fintech, market participants are interested in ensuring their interests, and their clients’ interests, are protected. To this end, including a claim limitation that recites a purported improvement that is technology-specific and not provably conventional may improve the chances that the claim will successfully navigate the Alice framework and provide valuable rights in this burgeoning space.

    Source: https://www.knobbe.com/news/2018/08/banks-hate-cryptocurrency-are-filing-patents-anyway

  • Friday, August 31, 2018 4:53 AM | Deleted user

    Tesla has filed for a new patent that describes a technology to automate turn signals.

    Surprisingly, it sounds like the technology is actually not for self-driving cars, but for drivers who forget/don’t use turn signals.

    It has happened to most of us at one point or another.

    A car swerves in your lane without signaling or a car slows down to take an exit without activating their turn signal.

    At best, it’s annoying and at worst, it’s dangerous.

    Tesla appears to have a solution. By leveraging its Autopilot technology, the automaker thinks it can detect when a driver should activate its turn signal and do it for them if they forget it.

    The company describes the system in the patent application:

    “An embodiment includes a method of automated turn signaling, the method comprising: determining, via the processor, that a vehicle will cross a lane line or turn based on a measured steering angle value that is within a value range stored in a memory, wherein the car includes the processor, the memory, and the turn signal source; and activating, via the processor, the turn signal source based on the determination that a vehicle will cross a lane line or turn.”

    Source: https://electrek.co/2018/08/30/tesla-patents-technology-automate-turn-signals/

  • Friday, August 31, 2018 4:51 AM | Deleted user

    JEDDAH: The Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP) participated in the Second Intellectual Property Conference of the Countries along the Belt and the Road 2018, which was launched in the Chinese capital Beijing under the patronage of the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping.

    The 9th CPAC will take place from Aug. 30th to 31tst and this year’s CPAC will bring together thought leaders from around the world to discuss the latest trends and topics in the intellectual property industry, and unparalleled networking opportunities. The CPAC provides the sheer opportunity for you to learn and exchange ideas with other IP elites beyond the border.

    This conference discussed ways to continue working on and protecting intellectual property rights in the countries located on the belt and road initiative, in order to become achieve peace, prosperity, openness and innovation. It also aims at linking different civilizations and promoting innovation and knowledge in the Silk Road.

    Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Swailem, SAIP Executive Chairman, said the intellectual property system plays a crucial role in promoting joint development between the countries.

    Saudi Arabia stresses on providing strict intellectual property protection, guaranteeing the protection of intellectual property rights for companies and individuals under the system, building an environment conducive to business and innovation and creating an investment environment with high quality protection in the Kingdom.

    He expressed his gratitude and appreciation to Chinese President Xi and to the organizers of the conference, in addition to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), expressing his desire that all participating parties would work to enhance communication and cooperation for mutual benefit, push for more effective protection and use of intellectual property rights and joint development of innovation, with all countries’ interests in mind.

    This World Conference carries worldwide recognition, due to the participation of a range of countries active in the field of intellectual property rights, along with high-level global interest.

    Source: http://www.arabnews.com/node/1364471/saudi-arabia

  • Monday, August 27, 2018 5:19 AM | Deleted user

    Firm wants to brand household products to appeal to younger consumers

    Procter & Gamble, the household products company, has applied to trademark acronyms common in textspeak including “LOL” and “WTF”.

    If successful, the terms could be used to market products such as soap, detergents and air fresheners in order to attract younger consumers.

    P&G registered the trademark applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office in April. The newly branded products would be sold alongside well known items such as Febreze, Fairy and Mr Clean.

    Alongside LOL (laughing out loud) and WTF (what the fuck), other acronyms P&G has applied to trademark are NBD (no big deal) and FML (fuck my life).

    The company’s applications have not yet been approved. According to Ad Age, the trademark office has requested clarification regarding the applications and P&G has until January to respond.

    P&G board member Nelson Peltz brands but products “they have an emotional attachment to”. According to the statistics portal Statista, millennials in the US are expected to increase their annual spending to $1.4tn (£1.09tn) by 2020.

    P&G are not the first company to try to trademark well known terms. In the US, the New England Patriots tried to trademark “19-0”, a reference to an unbeaten season, just two weeks before they lost the Super Bowl to the New York Giants.

    Walmart tried to trademark the yellow smiley face, which has been around since the 1970s. It got into legal battles with a rival claim from Franklin Loufrani, the president of The Smiley Company in Brussels, and lost in an attempt to sue the artist Charles Smith for parodying the symbol.

    More successful were Facebook, who trademarked the word “face” in reference to telecommunication services. Paris Hilton owns the words “that’s hot” and successfully sued Hallmark greetings cards for using it, while celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe trademarked “bananas”.

    Disney applied to trademark the name Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), but a petition that attracted more than 21,000 signatures in less than 24 hours forced the company to withdraw the application.

    In Britain, Chanel’s attempt to trademark the name Jersey was denied by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office. “It was important that we challenged this,” said Jersey senator Alan Maclean at the time. “This was about ownership of the name Jersey. It is not about stopping Chanel using the name.”

    Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/aug/24/procter-gamble-bids-to-trademark-lol-wtf-and-other-acronyms

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