Tuesday, December 21, 2004

IP Around the World. Reuters reports that "Poland Delays Decision on EU Software Patent Rules." From the article: "Poland, a large EU member whose backing is crucial for the adoption of the proposed rules, did not withdraw support of the planned law but said it wanted ensure the rules would not open the door to the patenting of pure computer software." Also from Reuters, "China Toughens Stance on Intellectual Property."
Apple Piles On Against P2P. Reuters reports that "Apple Sues Three for Posting Mac OS X on Net." From the article: "Apple Computer Inc. has sued three men for illegally distributing test copies of the next version of its Mac OS X operating system on a file-sharing Web site, court records showed on Tuesday."
Another One Bites the Dust. The AP reports that "Popular File-Sharing Site Shuts Down." From the article: "A note posted on Suprnova.org, which facilitated sharing among users of the BitTorrent program, said the site was 'closing down for good.' The collection of links to downloadable files, including music, movies and books, was taken down."

Monday, December 20, 2004

I Hope It's Just Poor Reporting... ... and their claim doesn't really rest on the copying of "research." The New Zealand Herald reports that "NZ author suing over Da Vinci bestseller." From the article: "But Baigent and Leigh, whose own 1982 work Holy Blood, Holy Grail caused such religious outrage when it was published that it sparked death threats, say Brown has lifted large tracts of their research without permission." Via BoingBoing.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Is This Really Even News Anymore? The AP reports that "Computer Users Sued for Swapping Music." From the article: "Recording companies filed copyright infringement lawsuits against 754 computer users Thursday, the latest round of legal action in the industry's effort to squelch unauthorized swapping of music online." Reuters has this report.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Couldn't They Have Copied a Good Show? Reuters reports that "'Wife Swap' Producers Sue Fox TV Over 'Copycat'." From the article: "Producers of the ABC reality series 'Wife Swap' sued Fox television on Wednesday for copyright infringement, accusing the rival network of ripping off their show with the 'virtually identical' Fox show 'Trading Spouses.'" The AP has this report.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Crackberries Granted Temporary Reprieve. Law.com reports that BlackBerry Maker Loses Once Again." From the article: "But the case isn't over yet. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit offered Research in Motion a chance to reverse the findings of infringement [as to some of the claims]. The court said the district court had misconstrued one claim in the disputed patents. Since it was unclear whether the error prejudiced the jury and caused it to reach an infringement verdict, the appeals court said it was sending the case back to the district court to review that question."
Partial decision in Geico. According to one of my colleagues on the ABA/IPL Committee 254, today "the court dismissed a key element of GEICO's case, ruling that there was not enough evidence of trademark violation to bar Google from displaying rival insurers when computer users search the word 'Geico.'" More info from the same individual:
Geico claimed that Google's AdWords program, which displays the rival ads under a "Sponsored Links" heading next to a user's search results, causes confusion. "There is no evidence that that activity alone causes confusion," Brinkema said, in granting Google's motion for summary judgment on that issue.

But Brinkema said the case would continue to move forward on one remaining issue, whether ads that pop up and actually use Geico in their text violate trademark law. Google contends that its policies expressly forbid advertisers from using trademark names in the text of their ads.

The search engine says it does its best to prevent ads that violate the policy from sneaking in, and that the advertisers would liable for any trademark violation, not Google.

Brinkema said she would halt the trial at this point to put a decision in writing and she encouraged both parties to try and settle the remaining issues.
Reuters has this report.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

If You Use BitTorrent, Read Up. The AP reports that "Source: Hollywood to Sue Server Operators." From the article: "The U.S. film industry is preparing to sue computer server operators in the United States and Europe who help relay digitized movie files across online file-sharing networks, a source familiar with the movie studios' plans said Tuesday."
Get Your Grokster Fill. Slate takes on Grokster in "You Say Napster, I Say Grokster - What do you do when technology outpaces the law?." From the article: "Supreme Court justices, who are not exactly charter members of the download generation, could have an awkward time connecting with all of this and may have been tempted to throw their hands above their robes and just give up. The genius pace of modern techno-ingenuity is enough to make some judges balk at imposing any legal blockades, for fear the law will act as a drag on invention and creativity."
This is an Interesting Idea. The AP reports that "Google to Scan Books From 5 Big Libraries." From the article: "Material from the New York public library as well as libraries at four universities — Harvard, Stanford, Michigan and Oxford — will be indexed on Mountain View, Calif.-based Google under the ambitious initiative announced late Monday." Reuters has this report.
Tilting at Windmills. Another case that doesn't have a chance in court. Reuters reports that "Software Should Not Be Copyrighted -- Lawsuit." From the article: "Aharonian argues in his complaint that software copyright laws violate the right to due process enshrined in the U.S. Constitution because they do not provide clear boundaries for appropriate use. That means industry players and courts do not have a clear idea of the rules."

Monday, December 13, 2004

Coming Soon to an Internet Near You. The AP reports that "ICANN Gives Preliminary OK to 2 Domains." From the article: "Sponsored by leading mobile phone and technology companies, including Nokia Corp., Microsoft Corp. and T-Mobile, the '.mobi' domain would set apart Web sites and other services that are specially designed to work around the limitations of cell phones, including their smaller screen size and data capacity... The '.jobs' suffix, meanwhile, would go to members of the human resources community."
Keyword Sales in Court. The AP reports that "Judge Hears Geico, Google Trademark Case." From the article: "Attorneys for auto insurance giant Geico told U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema that Google should not be allowed to sell ads to rival insurance companies that are triggered whenever Geico's name is typed into the Google search box."
More Grokster. Law.com reports that "Supreme Court Takes On Emerging Issues in Copyright, International Law." From the article: "'The Grokster case presents the most important copyright issue to land before the Supreme Court in the Internet age,' said Gregory Garre of Washington, D.C.'s Hogan & Hartson, who heads the firm's Supreme Court and appellate practice and has represented IP clients before the justices. Garre has no involvement in this case." Reuters has more here.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Grokster Goes a Courtin'. The AP reports that "High Court to Hear File-Sharing Dispute." From the article: "Justices will review a lower ruling in favor of Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc., which came as a blow to recording companies and movie studios seeking to stop the illegal distribution of their works."

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Phishing Strikes the Far East. Reuters reports that "Two China Banks Uncover Fake Web Sites." From the article: "Two of China's leading banks have identified fake Web sites in recent days and reported them to the country's public security organs, bank officials said on Thursday."
Kazaa Case Draws to a Close. Reuters reports in "Kazaa Talked to Record Firms About Music Swaps." From the article: "Philip Morle, Sharman's director of technology, told the federal court in Sydney the Distributed Computing Industry Association had hosted and coordinated a number of discussions between Sharman Networks and various U.S. record companies about the issue of unauthorized file sharing."
Yet Another Reason to Steer Your Clients Away from Descriptive Trademarks. Law.com reports in "Both Sides Take Comfort From High Court's Ruling in Closely Watched Trademark Case." From the article: "The Court's unanimous ruling in KP Permanent Make-Up v. Lasting Impression said that the law tolerates 'a certain degree of confusion on the part of consumers,' a view favoring alleged trademark infringers. But it also gave trademark holders a partial victory when it said that evidence of likely consumer confusion is relevant and can be introduced by trademark holders in suing infringers." Marty has more here.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Just a Coincidence? Apple's IP counsel must be busy these days. Reuters reports that "Apple in Cybersquatting Fight Over ITunes Website." From the article: "Benjamin Cohen, who joined the Internet's millionaires club after founding the Web Site Sojewish when he was just 17, said on Wednesday he registered itunes.co.uk during the dotcom boom in November, 2000, and wouldn't give it up without a fight."
One to Watch. Law.com reports that "High-Stakes File-Sharing Case Seeks Supreme Court's Ears." From the article: "The intensely watched copyright infringement case Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster Ltd. and StreamCast Networks Inc., No. 04-480, is on the agenda for the Court's private conference Friday, along with dozens of other cases in which the Court may grant or deny review. "

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

You'd Think Companies Would Have Learned Better By Now. Law.com reports that "Biopharm Company Alleges Rival Used Trademark in Web Site Metatags." From the article: "In an attempt to lure Internet traffic away from competitors, a Coral Gables, Fla., biopharmaceutical company allegedly embedded trademarked names of five other biopharmaceutical companies in the coding of its Web site, a South Carolina company alleges in a suit filed in Miami."
Three's a Crowd? Mergers are in the air. Law.com reports that :DLA and Piper (and Gray) Make Merger Official. From the article: "London's DLA and the partners of Piper Rudnick voted to merge the firms Saturday, creating what on Jan. 1 will be the world's third-largest law firm measured by lawyers and fifth-largest measured by revenues."

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Time to Start Collecting for the Legal Fund. This is just asking for trouble: Unauthorized iPod U2 vs. Negativland Special Edition on eBay.
Careful What You Say. Law.com reports on the growing trend of suing on-line "gripe" sites under trademark law in "Trademark Lawsuits: The Price of Online Griping." From the article: "Scores of disgruntled customers who criticize businesses on Internet 'gripe sites' are finding themselves entangled in costly court battles with companies charging trademark infringement."