Friday, December 30, 2005

Why You Should Never Tick Off Law Students with Too Much Time on their Hands. The Register reports in "Claim back £300 per spam." From the article:
Unfortunately for the company, Roberts, 37, is a recognised internet expert and was studying for a law degree, which he has just been awarded. After lengthy correspondence, the company offered £100 in damages but claimed not to be able to disclose the name of the company it had bought his email address from for legal reasons. Pushing further, Media Logistics disclosed the name of a long-dead company. . . . .

Roberts is also preparing a series of legal templates based on his case which he will make available for free on his campaigning website found at He told us it will be a "DIY spam self-defence kit". The hope is that without any specialised legal knowledge, even everyday Internet users will be able to sue companies that send them unsolicited email.
More on Google Talk Patent Suit. Reuters reports that "Patent firm sues Google for voice services." From the article: "RTI holds two patents in the telecommunications field and generally takes a one-time fee of up to $5 million to cover companies who provide the services or the equipment to support them. It filed the suit against Google in October."
Here's Hoping the Housing Bubble Doesn't Burst. While I'm recovering from sticker shock, I'd be interested in learning of any good floor guys (or gals) in the District...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Who Knew there was an Entire Blog Devoted to Google? The Google Blog reports that "Google Talk faces patent lawsuit." From the post: "As reported by Gary Price in Search Engine, the lawsuit was filed by Rates Technology in October. It alleges infringement on two of its patents for minimizing the cost of long-distance calls using the Internet." (It's like a fun house mirror - a blog citing a blog citing a blog.)
I'll Leave it to Marty to Google the Plaintiff Magazine. The AP reports that "Stallone Magazine Allowed to Stay on Sale." From the article: "Sylvester Stallone can keep his magazine, Sly, on newsstands despite the complaints of an Internet magazine with the same name that a judge suggested was more of a shoe 'fetish' publication."

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Something to Think About When Drafting Licenses. Reuters reports that "Songs don't remain the same for TV shows on DVD." From the article: "More often, though, skyrocketing music-clearance fees are becoming major stumbling blocks for DVD reissues, often delaying or even completely derailing releases. Take 'WKRP in Cincinnati,' for example: The 1970s sitcom used so much classic rock that it would cost 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment a mint to clear the tracks. Fox has suggested that it still is considering releasing 'WKRP,' but others are not optimistic that the comedy and similar shows of its kind will ever make it into the market."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Not Sure They're Going to Win This One. The AP reports that "Hershey sues to block book's candy-wrapper-style jacket." From the article: "Hershey spokeswoman Stephanie Moritz said Monday the company worries that consumers might think it 'authorized, sponsored or approved' the book. It wants to prevent Simon & Schuster from distributing the dust jacket." Judge for yourself:
Another DMCA Prosecution. Reuters reports that "Men face criminal charge for Xbox tampering." From the article: "The complaint alleges that Jones and Bryant sold Xbox systems that Cai modified with chips and hard drives that allowed users to copy rented or borrowed games onto the console for future play."

Monday, December 19, 2005

And They Grow Up to Be Photographers. In a headline any trademark attorney could have predicted, the AP reports that "Researchers Find Barbie Is Often Mutilated." From the article: "'The girls we spoke to see Barbie torture as a legitimate play activity, and see the torture as a "cool" activity,' said Agnes Nairn, one of the University of Bath researchers. 'The types of mutilation are varied and creative, and range from removing the hair to decapitation, burning, breaking and even microwaving.'" Aside from "microwaving," there's no mention of menacing household appliances...
A Hairy Problem. Sorry. Couldn't resist. The AP reports that "Hemingway Heirs File Lawsuit Over Bar Name." From the article: "The owner of Hemingway's Downtown says he named the 6-month-old business after the English bulldog he had as a boy."
They're Starting Young. The AP reports that "Fourth-Graders Accused of Counterfeiting." From the article: "A cafeteria worker thought it was odd that a fourth-grader would pay for his lunch with a $20 bill."
Interesting. Last week's articles were rather pessimistic about Judge Spencer's call for more briefing, while the tone this week is somewhat more optimistic. Reuters reports that "RIM shares up after patent office, court decisions." From the article: "But in what could be another positive development, the Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that the patent office plans to fast-track the re-examination and has assigned a dedicated team."

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Anyone Taking Bets on the Size of the Settlement? The AP reports that "Judge Orders Briefs in Blackberry Case." From the article: "Spencer said he would schedule a hearing next month."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Microsoft Back in Court. The AP reports that "Microsoft Sued Over Patent Infringements." From the article:
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages and a permanent injunction to stop the infringement, was filed late Wednesday - the same day Visto announced that NTP Inc. had acquired an equity stake in the startup and signed a patent licensing deal.

Visto's allegations against Microsoft and its Windows Mobile 5.0 are similar to NTP's against Research In Motion Ltd., which now faces the possible shutdown of its popular BlackBerry messaging service in the United States.

Reuters has more on the case here. Finally, after noting that Visto is a competitor of RIM, the AP reports on other possible effects of the case in "RIM Pressured to Settle BlackBerry Case." From the article: "James H. Wallace Jr., an attorney for NTP, says he plans to argue in federal court in Virginia that these deals show there are available options for customers in the event of an injunction against RIM."

In other Microsoft news, Reuters reports that "Microsoft files 10 lawsuits over software pirating." The AP also reports on Microsoft's suits in "Microsoft Files Breach-Of-Contract Suits." From the article: "Microsoft Corp. said Thursday it had filed its first-ever breach-of-contract lawsuits against several members of a software subscription service."

Saturday, December 10, 2005

IP Debate in the EU. The New York Times reports in "Odd Coalition Opposes Criminalizing Patent Violations." From the article: "For once, declared adversaries are on the same side of an argument in the technology industry: Both sides are urging European lawmakers to drop legislation that would impose prison time on patent violators and that they say would stifle innovation across Europe."
Not Quite. Reuters reports that "Lesbian bikers get 'Dykes on Bikes' trademark." From the article: "The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had denied applications by the San Francisco Women's Motorcycle Contingent to trademark 'Dykes on Bikes,' arguing the phrase would be perceived as disparaging to lesbians." (Actually, as you can see here, the application has been approved for publication, but has not registered yet.)
A New Hope. The AP reports in "BlackBerry Settlement Talks Continue." From the article: "BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. has resumed settlement talks with NTP Inc. through a mediator, bolstering hopes for a truce in a patent battle that has threatened the popular BlackBerry e-mail service."
Is Anyone Surprised, Considering it was the Seventh Circuit? The AP reports in "Court Rules Against Mom in Download Suit." From the article: "The court rejected her defense that she was innocently sampling music to find songs she might buy later and compared her downloading and distributing the songs to shoplifting."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sounds Like the Lawyers are Driving This One... Reuters reports that "Google ad fraud plaintiff seeks to cut role in case." From the article: "The company said in a statement it wanted to withdraw as the lead plaintiff named in a lawsuit seeking class-action status it had filed against Google in June in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California."

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I'll Have to Give this a Closer Look. Fairly exhaustive coverage of false advertising developments by a Georgetown law professor over at "43(B)log." Via Marty.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Is Anyone Surprised? Reuters reports that "BlackBerry maker moves forward in patent dispute." From the article: "The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a 'non-final action' rejecting all the claims supporting one of five key patents in the BlackBerry dispute, according to a document posted on the patent office's Web site."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Maybe I can Use My Trip to Jamaica to Ween Myself... More bad news for my Crackberry. Reuters reports in "Judge deals RIM blow in BlackBerry case." From the article: "U.S. District Judge James Spencer rejected RIM's request to delay the case and refused to enforce a disputed, $450 million settlement with patent holder NTP Inc."
Sounds Like Patent Lawyers May be Happy With the Decision. reports on oral arguments in Illinois Tool Works v. Independent Ink in "Justices Hear Key Antitrust Case on 'Tying' Patented Products." From the article: "A judge in the Central District of California ruled that Independent Ink had to prove that Trident had excessive market power, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed. The federal circuit, which handles patent appeals, said it was bound by Supreme Court precedent that created a presumption that Trident's patent gave it market power, without any need for Independent Ink to prove it. But the federal circuit described the precedents as 'wobbly and moth-eaten,' virtually inviting the Supreme Court to reverse them."

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sure to be CLE Fodder in the Fall. Reuters reports that "Supreme court will hear eBay appeal." From the article: "At issue for the justices is whether an appeals court erred in finding that a permanent injunction barring use of a technology must generally be issued once infringement of a valid patent has been determined."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Moving Out of the Archives. Reuters reports that "Library of Congress plans world digital library." From the article: "By contrast, the World Digital Library will focus on creating records of global cultures. The Library of Congress will contribute its own body of works to a blended collection with other countries. More than half of the printed volumes in the Library of Congress are in languages other than English."

Friday, November 18, 2005

Never too Early to Start Thinking About INTA. Marty points out that the brochure for the INTA 128th Annual Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, Canada is up. Already looking forward to my room in the SoHo Metropolitan (heated marble floors in the bathroom - what more can a girl ask for?).
When Trademarks and Blogging Collide. Looks like there's a bit of a dustup over Open Source Media, or OSM, or Whoever-they-are's new name. From Open Source's blog: "The question is whether their use of the phrase 'open source' could create confusion in our current and not insignificant web and radio audience. Or our partners. Or our sponsors. Or our future sponsors. Their product sounds strikingly similar to ours, and many of the bloggers listed on their site have appeared on our show; it seems like confusion would be hard to avoid. We wish them well with their portal, but we maintain our request - already articulated in an overnighted letter - that they stop referring to themselves in any way as 'Open Source.'"
I Wonder How Widely Released it Was. E!Online reports that "Songwriter Ices Madonna in Court." From the article: "Composer Salvatore Acquaviva sued the Material Girl in May, claiming the singer had engaged in some unauthorized borrowing from his 1993 song 'Ma Vie Fout L'camp (My Life's Getting Nowhere)' to augment her 1998 hit 'Frozen,' off her album Ray of Light."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Guess They're Not Worried About an Injunction. How Appealing reports in "All your Berry are belong to us" that RIM is suing third party users of "Berry" trademarks.
Microsoft May Get Some Help. reports that "PubPat Claims 'Prior Art' on JPEG Patent." From the article: "Ravicher's re-examination requests compare each of the elements of the '672 Patent with those of the Tescher Patent, showing the relationships to prove that the tech covered by the latter should have been obvious, given the former. Such a process typically takes 40 to 80 hours of work by an expert, often with the help of other experts."
Definite Case of Foot-in-Mouth Disease. Reuters reports that "Harvard president faces new criticism." From the article: "'We think it is highly improper if, as reported, the president of Harvard has been expressing to members of the faculty his 'deep dissatisfaction' with the dean of arts and sciences,' it added."

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I Wonder If They're Really That Broad... reports that "Amazon Gets Patents on Consumer Reviews." From the article: "The online retailer of books and just about everything else was awarded three new patents, covering its purchase circles, search and consumer reviews. While's patent police would go after Web publishers, not consumers, the review patent could put the kibosh on the social networking components of many search services."
Interesting New Keyword Case. The Technology & Marketing Law Blog covers a new suit filed by Office Depot against Staples in "Keyword Lawsuit Between Office Depot and Staples." From the post: "Staples bought the keyword 'viking' at Google and made various announcements at its website about the brand retirement and the ability of Viking's customers to migrate to Quill. Office Depot characterizes these announcements as misrepresentations that were designed to confuse Viking's customers into thinking that Quill had acquired Viking. Staples characterizes these announcements as lawful comparative advertising/fair use statements, and Staples said it purchased the Viking keyword because it sells some Viking-branded products. On that front, I did a search today and found 1 product, a 'Viking 16MB Flash 5.0V Disk.'" Via Marty.
Using Copyright to Wage Political Battles... has an essay entitled "Evolutionists Are Wrong!" From the article: "Last week, the National Academy of Sciences, or NAS, joined with the National Science Teachers Association, or NSTA, to tell the Kansas State Board of Education that it would not grant the state copyright permission to incorporate its science education standards manuals into the state's public school science curriculum because Kansas plans to teach students that 'intelligent design' is a viable alternative theory to evolution. Kansas is scrambling to rewrite its proposal to win over the NAS and NSTA."
Sounds Like a New Defense Strategy. Just make a lot of anonymous postings about a plaintiff, and then claim that they're a public figure. reports in "Are You a 'Public Figure'?" From the article: "Among other things, Cole said plaintiff Eliza Thomas had become a public figure because there had been 'substantial public debate' regarding her and her husband on the internet."
What About the Rest of Us? The AP reports that "U.S. Enters BlackBerry Patent Fight." From the article: "If the judge issues an injunction, iit is imperative that some mechanism be incorporated that permits continuity of the federal government's use of BlackBerry devices,' the filing said."

Friday, November 11, 2005

This Time We Really, Really, Really Mean it. Reuters reports that "Justice Dept. proposes tougher copyright laws." From the article: "The bill, outlined by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at an anti-piracy summit, would widen intellectual-property protections to cover those who try but fail to make illicit copies of music, movies, software or other copyrighted material."
Interesting Look at Fair Use in Film. Reuters reports that "Documentary makers rally for fair use." From the article: "In their initial study, Aufderheide and Jaszi found that for many filmmakers, licensing rights has become not just an expensive proposition but also an inhibiting one. Citing dozens of examples, they contend, for instance, that the budget of Jonathan Caouette's homemade 2004 documentary 'Tarnation' ballooned from $218 to $400,000, 'using most of the eventual budget to clear rights.'"

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Registration is Only $30. And it provides so many more protections... E!Online reports that "Judge Spears Britney Song Flap." From the article: "In court papers, the 34-year-old musician claimed that weeks after composing his version of 'Sometimes,' he executed a 'poor man's copyright'--that is, he sealed the song in an envelope and mailed it to himself in order to obtain a postmark."
This Raises the Question: Why is Sony's software hidden? Reuters reports that "Hackers use Sony anti-copy software to hide in PCs." From the article: "When recipients click on an attachment, they install malware, which may tear down the firewall and gives hackers access to a PC. The malware hides by using Sony software that is also hidden -- the software would have been installed on a computer when consumers played Sony's copy-protected music CDs."
Interesting Twist on a Patent Pool. Reuters reports that "Linux backers form patent-sharing firm." From the article: "Patents owned by OIN will be available without payment of royalties to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against others who have signed a license with OIN, when using certain Linux-related software."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Cell Phone Squabble. Reuters reports that "Qualcomm sues Nokia over patents." From the article: "Qualcomm said on Monday it wanted Nokia, the world's No. 1 mobile phone maker, to stop selling or producing products in the United States designed for GSM mobile phone networks and that it was demanding financial damages from the Finnish mobile firm."

Friday, November 04, 2005

At Least They Avoided a "Smile" Pun in the Headline. The AP reports that "No day at the beach: Love sues Wilson." From the article: "Love filed the lawsuit in federal court Thursday accusing Wilson of promoting his 2004 album, 'Smile,' in a manner that 'shamelessly misappropriated Mike Love's songs, likeness and the Beach Boys trademark, as well as the 'Smile' album itself.'"

Thursday, November 03, 2005

That's Just... Wow. The Washington Post reports in "Weighing Webcasters' Rights to Content." From the article: "If television broadcasters and webcasters have their way in international treaty talks, they would gain new, 50-year rights to virtually any video they beam out, even if no one owns the rights to the content."
It's Heeeere. Reuters reports that "Google, libraries post first batch of books online." From the article: "Sidestepping lawsuits by the U.S. publishing industry that seek to derail a related effort by Google to scan copyrighted books, the company and its library partners said they will put up their first large collection of public domain works."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Fairly Run-of-the-Mill UDRP Decision. Reuters reports in "Lance Armstrong wins cybersquatting case." From the article: "The Lance Armstrong Foundation, a Texas-based charity set up by the American cycling champion to raise funds for cancer research, on Tuesday won the right to evict cybersquatters from websites selling LIVESTRONG bracelets."

Monday, October 31, 2005

Freeeedom! Gotta love the last day of the fiscal year.
Sony Doesn't Play Well with Others. The Big Picture has an article about Sony DRM entitled "DRM Crippled CD: A bizarre tale in 4 parts." From the article: "As a music consumer, I find this ridiculous. Why I cannot use a legally purchased CD -- because Sony is miffed at Apple for creating the 2000's version of their Walkman -- is beyond absurd. I am very, very annoyed at this." Exam question: Would this constitute copyright misuse?
This is Just too Funny. See for yourself. Via The Trademark Blog. (Which raises the question: Marty - what's up with the generic name for your blog?)
Um, Fascinating? How Appealing has this post about a recent Fed. Circuit decision. I think this says it all: "Callicrate is the owner of several patents on methods and apparatuses for castrating large animals."
Microsoft Loses One. Reuters reports that "Court won't review Microsoft patent case." From the article: "Microsoft sought review of an appeals court ruling that allows the privately held firm Eolas Technologies Inc. and the University of California to seek royalties based on the foreign manufacture and sale of an infringing software-related product." The AP has more.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Who Knew? The BBC reports in "Strawberry smell trademark denied." From the article: "The court took a different view, and smell experts found that instead of just one aroma, strawberries can in fact have up to five different, distinct scents."
Must Be a Slow News Day. TTAB filings aren't ususually fertile fodder for news copy. The AP reports in "Hershey Co. Challenges Milkdudz Name." From the article: "The double meaning may be clever, but The Hershey Co., maker of Milk Duds candy, is trying to stop a California company from using a sound-alike name for a line of clothing designed to make breast-feeding easier."

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Who Greenlighted This One? The Boston Globe reports in "Name game ends up in court as two Foley law firms do battle." From the article: "Foley Hoag, the prestigious law firm whose Boston roots date to 1943, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in federal court yesterday against Foley & Lardner, a Milwaukee firm that opened a Boston office in January. The suit contends that Foley & Lardner's rebranding of itself as, simply, 'Foley' (branding and rebranding being trendy things for law firms to do these days) has caused confusion in the marketplace."
Not My Harry, too. E!Online reports in "'Harry,' Pulp & Radiohead's Wyrd World." From the article:
According to the lawyer for the Wyrd Sisters, the band was tipped off that Goblet used the moniker back in June, when Warners offered the trio $5,000 for name rights. The band, which has been together for 15 years, refused. Warners reportedly upped the offer to $50,000. No dice.
The group then launched their lawsuit, seeking $40 million in damages from Warner Bros., as well as Cocker, Greenwood and Selway. The real Wyrds are also asking that the film be blocked from release on Nov. 18.
Helpful For Those Of Us Researching the 19th Century Social Purity Movement. Not so helpful if you're interested in anything a bit more modern. The AP reports that "Microsoft to Start Online Book Searches." From the article: "The Redmond-based software giant said Tuesday that it will sidestep hot-button copyright issues for now by initially focusing mainly on books, academic materials and other publications that are in the public domain." Reuters has an additional report in "Microsoft joins Yahoo on digital library alliance."
Guess He's Not Trying to Make Friends. Reuters reports in "Justice won't stay RIM patent ruling." From the article: "Chief Justice John Roberts rejected a motion by Research In Motion Ltd to stay a lower court's patent infringement ruling while it considers whether to hear an appeal by RIM."

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

More Trouble on the Horizon for Apple? The New York Times reports in "Is Imitation Flattery, Theft or Just Coincidence?" From the article: "As such, Mr. Schwartz said, 'we're going to take all the steps we need to protect our rights.'" Via The Trademark Blog (complete with new look).
Someone Finally Sides with Google. reports that "Writers Side With Google in Scrap." From the article: "Marco said she wanted to include excerpts of her book in the search tool, but her publisher, Simon & Schuster, refused to allow it. Adam Rothberg, a spokesman for Simon & Schuster, said many of its authors do participate in Google Print's opt-in program for publishers, and didn't know why Marco's book wasn't included."

Monday, October 24, 2005

Who Says Patent Law is Boring? reports in "Rubber match" (subscription or day pass required). From the article: "But the story doesn't end there. Four years later, PTI renewed its legal quest, this time filing suit in Illinois against Church & Dwight, the consumer products conglomerate that sells Trojan condoms, which had by then concluded a deal with Reddy to sell a third condom, the Twisted Pleasure -- a condom that has two spirals winding around the main chamber. PTI also filed suit against Intellx in Michigan in March 2005, and in August 2005 the company lodged a complaint against all the parties involved before the International Trade Commission, a federal agency with jurisdiction over anything imported into the United States. (Excluding the ITC complaint, the other cases have all been stayed, pending the outcome of a new case in New Jersey, with the same Joseph Greenaway presiding.)"

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Law School Exam Question: What is a Web Site's Liability for the Ads it Carries? Just came across an ad for this product on a political blog that I won't name here. Of course, the information on the legality of Absinthe contained on this web site is incorrect, as Customs prohibits the importation of Absinthe. So what duty does the unnamed political blog have for the content of the web site being advertised on the blog's site? (I note that the ad is not supplied by Google or another service that automatically serves up ads based on the keywords located on that site. Instead, its through the BlogAds service, which claims to allow you to decide which ads appear on your web site.) Does the statement on the ad submission form that "All ads are subject to publisher's approval. If the ad is rejected, your money will be refunded via Paypal." affect the analysis?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Save the Crackberry! Surely the PTO's initial determinations should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to issue an injunction that would effectively shut down the Blackberry service for all non-governmental workers.... Reuters reports that "RIM ruling risks US Blackberry shutdown." From the article: "He also noted that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently finished reexamining eight NTP patents and issued initial rulings rejecting 100 percent of the claims."

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Now That's a Bit of an Overstatement... E!Online reports in "War of Words over Cruise Site." From the article: "'You can't use somebody's trademark, regardless of what you're saying, if you haven't been given permission,' Kobrin said."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I'd Love to See Google's Litigation Budget. Requters reports that "Publishers throw book at Google, again." From the article: "Five major publishers filed suit against Google Inc. in Manhattan's federal court on Wednesday seeking to block plans to scan copyrighted works without permission." From across the pond, the AP reports in "Google Drops 'Gmail' Name in Britain" that "Google Inc. dropped the 'Gmail' tag from the logo and new account addresses of its free e-mail service in Britain on Wednesday, bowing to the demands of a small British company that claims the U.S. giant has infringed its trademark."
And the Guy's Name is Cashier... Reuters reports that "U.S. court orders music site to change its tune." From the article: "MP3DownloadCity led consumers to believe that they would not be sued if they paid $24.95 for the tutorial with claims like 'Rest assured that File-Sharing is 100 percent legal,' the FTC charged."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

So Should I Have a Contest... for people to count the number of times I violate the rules from "Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes" on my front page?
Start Placing Your Bets... as to how long it will take the Dr. Seuss estate to pull down this mashup of Horton Hears a Who and The Tell-Tale Heart. Via BoingBoing.
I Guess They Won't Be Filing Suit in the Ninth Circuit. What with the Barbie cases and all. Donna reports in "Danger, Wil Wheaton." From the article: "'Your Web site depicts a plush Barney toy in a violent manner or position,' Matthew Carlin wrote Tuesday on behalf of Lyons Partnership, which owns the Barney trademark. 'We are writing to request that you remove this violent content toward Barney on your Web site.' [...]"

Friday, October 14, 2005

One Wonders Whether He Has Actual Use... The New York Times reports in "He Doesn't Make Coffee, but He Controls 'Starbucks' in Russia." From the article: "Starbucks registered its trademark in Russia in 1997, but did not open any coffee shops here. In 2002 Mr. Zuykov filed to cancel the chain's trademark because it had not been used in commerce, and registered it in the name of a Moscow company he represents as a lawyer."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Wal-Mart 2.0. Copyfight reports that "Anthropologie Sues Wal-Mart for Stealing Boho Chic." From the article: "In its complaint, Anthropologie claims that Wal-Mart 'has embarked upon a conscious strategy of copying the designs of others as part of its effort to build its 'cheap chic' line.'"

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Watch Out for Their Privacy Policy. There's a new blog on the block, from right down the street. Daniel J. Solove of George Washington University School of Law has started a new privacy law group blog called Concurring Opinions.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Sounds Like We Need a Telecom-Like System. Reuters reports that "Dispute leads to Internet woes for thousands." From the article: "Like other large, wholesale Internet service providers, Cogent and Level 3 handed off traffic from one network to each other free of charge, until Level 3 said that it was handling too much Cogent traffic."
Sounds Like a Good Outcome. The AP reports that "Court Rules in Favor of Anonymous Blogger." From the article: "In a 34-page opinion, the justices said a Superior Court judge should have required Smyrna town councilman Patrick Cahill to make a stronger case that he and his wife, Julia, had been defamed before ordering Comcast Cable Communications to disclose the identities of four anonymous posters to a blog site operated by Independent Newspapers Inc., publisher of the Delaware State News."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Who Files Patent Lawsuits in Kansas City? (No offense meant to those of you from Kansas City...) Reuters reports that "Sprint Nextel sues Vonage over VOIP patents." From the article: "Sprint Nextel, the third-largest U.S. wireless company, claimed Vonage and Voiceglo Holdings Inc., a unit of Inc. had infringed seven patents relating to voice over data packet technology developed by Sprint."
I'm Surprised Charlie Nesson Didn't Come Up With it First. The AP reports that "Online Lawsuits Fuel Debate in France." From the article: "Opponents of the government's plans have also seized on as evidence that a class action law would encourage the kind of 'excesses' that the United States is now trying to curb: ambulance-chasing lawyers, ruinous damages awards and spurious lawsuits used to blackmail companies into settlements."
Disturbing If True. reports in "RIAA Takes Shotgun to Traders." From the article:
Andersen wrote to Rep. David Wu (D-Oregon) and offered to surrender her PC to the RIAA for inspection -- to no avail.
"(The RIAA) says 'We don't care enough about you that we are even going to check,'' said Lory R. Lybeck, Andersen's attorney from Lybeck Murphy of Mercer Island, Washington. "And if ... they have made a mistake, they are not going to apologize or investigate -- they are going to sue you again."

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Because That's Certainly The Best Use of Our Law Enforcement Resources... Reuters reports that "Senators turning up heat on P2P pirates: "That failed to mollify Specter or Feinstein, who appeared to want her department to be much more active. 'Why not go after both levels?' Specter asked. 'Why not get tough? That's what Sen. Feinstein wants to do, and I think it's a good idea.'"

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Looks Like the PTO Rejected the W3C's Attempt to Challenge the Java/Active-X Patent. reports that "Eolas Patent Survives Re-Exam." From the article: "On Tuesday, the USPTO issued a 'Notice of Intent to Issue a Reexam Certificate' to Eolas Technology, the tiny University of California spin-off that received U.S. Patent No. 5,838,906 in 1998."

Monday, September 26, 2005

So if a Use Increases the Market for a Related Service..., but hurts the market for the copyrighted work (i.e., increases the ease with which people can use public transportation, but obviates the need for hard copy maps, which are given away for free), how does the fair use analysis come out? reports that "IPod Maps Draw Legal Threats." From the article: "More than 9,000 people downloaded the map, which was viewable on either an iPod or an iPod nano, before Bright received a Sept. 14 letter from Lester Freundlich, a senior associate counsel at New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority, saying that Bright had infringed the MTA's copyright and that he needed a license to post the map and to authorize others to download it."

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Sounds Like the Cayman Islands May be Getting New Residents. Reuters reports that "P2P music sites closing doors in legal fallout." From the article: "Popular file-sharing site ceased operating and the New York office of another,, appeared to be closed, in the continuing legal fallout among underworld peer-to-peer music services, industry sources and users said on Wednesday."
More Ways to Dine Well and Help the Victims of Katrina. The Peacock Cafe is holding a benefit tonight for the Red Cross and Salvation Army. In exchange for a $75 donation (100% of which goes to either the Red Cross or Salvation Army), you get a three course meal (drinks are your responsibility).

Restaurants around the country are participating in Restaurants for Relief on Tuesday, September 27, 2005. Check the web page for participating restaurants.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The New Yugos. Reuters reports in "Bricklin will not use "Chery" name in US." From the article: "Visionary Vehicles founder Malcolm Bricklin said on Tuesday that he will not market cars from Chinese automaker Chery Automobile Co. in the United States under the Chery name because of objections from General Motors Corp. GM has threatened legal action if Bricklin uses the brand name 'Chery' to bring in Chinese-made cars and trucks to the U.S. market. The world's largest automaker says that 'Chery' sounds too similar to its 'Chevy' brand, short for Chevrolet."
Interesting Development. Reuters reports that "Baidu ordered to halt music downloading service." From the article: "The Baidu cases are believed to be different, since the search engine is providing links to sites that offer illegal downloads."
Anyone Starting a Pool to Guess How Quickly These Limitations are Circumvented? The AP reports that "Google's digital library tests law." From the article: "To prevent the wholesale file-sharing that is plaguing the entertainment industry, Google has set some limits in its library project: Users won't be able to easily print materials or read more than small portions of copyright works online."

Monday, September 19, 2005

It Really Is Napster 2.0. The AP reports that "File-Sharing Services Trying to Go Legit." From the article: "Grokster, which faces a copyright-infringement suit brought by Hollywood movie studios and recording companies, has been in talks to be acquired by Mashboxx, a company preparing to launch a licensed file-swapping service, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed people with knowledge of the talks."
The Only Guarantees In Life: Death, Taxes and Pirated Microsoft Products. reports that "Microsoft Sues 8 Resellers Over Fakes." From the article: "The world's biggest software maker has filed suits in Arizona, California, Illinois, Minnesota and New York against the privately held companies who allegedly sold counterfeit copies of several different software products, such as Office 2000 Professional and Windows XP, Mary Jo Schrade, senior attorney at Microsoft, told"
They Get It. They Really Get It. Wired reports that "E-Tailers Get Apple Nastygrams." From the article: "'Although on the surface it looks like Apple is being overly heavy-handed with this approach, protection of its brand is important,' he said. 'Authorized Apple resellers, for example, have very clear guidelines to follow regarding the use of trademarks. It appears that this has not been the case for the rapidly growing number of web-based accessory e-tailers, particularly the gray market.'"

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Slate Asks the Important Questions. Slate discusses the recently filed lawsuit regarding the Freedom Tower in "When Architects Plagiarize - It's not always bad." From the article: "Whatever the merits of the claim, the suit raises a broader issue, one that is particularly relevant in an age in which 'starchitect' buildings have become the norm: How important should artistic authorship be in the world of architecture?"

Friday, September 16, 2005

So Are These Links Manually Compiled, or the Result of Search Queries? Reuters reports that "Record labels sue Baidu for copyright infringement." From the article: "The four largest record companies have sued Inc. for copyright infringement, alleging the Chinese Internet search engine has been illegally providing links to free digital music downloads, according to a trade group the represents the music industry."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Anyone Know About Publicity Rights in the EU? The AP reports that "Tom Waits sues over alleged soundalike." From the article: "Andreas Schumacher, Waits' German lawyer, said the singer was approached numerous times about doing the ads last year, but declined, citing a policy of not doing commercials. He said the firm then hired a soundalike and the ads aired earlier this year in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Surprised That It Took This Long. In good news for technology companies everywhere, reports that "Lemelson Patents Ruled Unenforceable." From the article: "The Federal Circuit ruled Friday that Lemelson's 18- to 39-year delay in prosecuting patent claims relating to machine vision and bar-code technologies was unreasonable."

Sunday, September 11, 2005

What a Surprise - Barbershop Opened Three Years Ago Next Week. E!Online reports that "Writer Wants Cut of 'Barbershop'." From the article: "Per his lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, James Davis, a 31-year-old aspiring filmmaker, says he came up with the idea for The Shop while he was working in a Atlanta barbershop. The suit claims Davis had circulated the script to several actors and production companies."

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Interesting Resolution. Reuters reports that "GEICO, Google settle lawsuit." From the article: "'Terms of the settlement, although not disclosed, would suggest some sort of payment was made, but that a trial has been avoided,' Martin Pyykkonen, an analyst with brokerage Hoefer & Arnett. 'This mitigates the risk of further trademark lawsuits,' he said."

Monday, September 05, 2005

Ways to Help. ABA's Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief page.

Red Cross donation page.

Liberal Blogs for Hurricane Relief.

Best Buy is matching in-store donations.

Federated Department Stores, including the Hechts chain, are also matching donations.

The Kimpton Hotels Group will credit members' Kimpton InTouch account with a bonus credit equivalent to a one-night visit for any donation to the American Red Cross of $50 or more.

McDonalds will be matching donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, which will be directed toward relief efforts.

GM is matching employee contributions to the Red Cross, as are GE, Kimberly Clark and Ford.

DCist has information on local fundraisers in the DC-area, and the Washington Post has more.

The Richmond Times Dispatch has a listing of fundraisers in the Richmond, Virginia area.

Dine for America goes live on Thursday, September 8, 2005.

Share Our Strength is hosting a Hurricane Relief Benefit Taste Event in DC on October 17, 2005.

The Museum of the American Cocktail is sponsoring a nationwide "Save New Orleans Cocktail Hour" on Monday, September 12, 2005 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Habitat for Humanity is accepting donations and volunteers to help rebuild the Gulf Coast.
Let Me Guess What the Defense Will Be... ... fair use? Reuters reports that "ABC News sued over use of bin Laden footage." From the article: "In a suit filed August 31 in U.S. District Court in Denver and made public this week, Essam Mohamed Aly Deraz seeks $10 million in damages and to bar ABC from further use of the still photos and video pictures that he took 'at great risk to his personal safety.'"
It's Roberts. Reuters reports that "Bush picks Roberts to succeed Rehnquist."
Piling it On. The AP reports in"Aussie Court: Kazaa File-Swapping Illegal." From the article: "In a ruling hailed as a resounding victory by the recording industry, a court Monday said that popular file-swapping network Kazaa breaches copyright in Australia and gave its owners two months to stamp out further piracy by its millions of users."

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Rehnquist is Dead. CNN has more.
New DMCA Ruling from the Eighth Circuit. The AP reports that "Court KOs Online Game Bypass Program." From the article: "Thursday's ruling by a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals here upholds a lower court's finding that the trio violated the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act as well as software license agreements by helping people bypass Blizzard's system for playing multiplayer games like Diablo and StarCraft online."

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Barbera Motors in Hot Water Again. Sounds like he's making enemies that he may not want to make... First 50 Cent, and now Snoop Dog have sued the Philadelphia-area car dealership. E!Online reports that "Snoop Sues Over 'Izzle' Flap." From the article: "According to Broadus' complaint, available online at the Smoking Gun, Barbera ran an ad in the Philadelphia Daily News on Aug. 22 that stated 'Is Bar-Bizzle the Sh-izzle? Boy I Gu-izzle' in an apparent attempt to lure street-savvy kids to his lot."

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Corollary to 'Keep the Negatives': Keep the Masters. Reuters reports that "Kanye West sues Chicago DJ over unreleased songs." From the article: "West is suing for violation of his publicity, privacy and trademark rights among other claims. He asks the court to void the fraudulent recording agreement and award $100,000 in general damages and at least $200,000 in punitive damages."
This is News? Reuters reports that "Recording industry sues more U.S. file-swappers." 754 this time.
Another Bite at Apple. The AP reports that "Apple Comes Under New Patent Challenge." From the article: "Raising another legal threat to the iPod music player, Creative Technology Ltd. said it has been awarded a U.S. patent for a song-navigation technology it claims is used on Apple Computer Inc.'s market-leading devices." Reuters has this report.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Do Lil' Flip's Fans Even Remember Pac Man? Reuters reports that "Namco settles Pac-Man music suit against Sony." From the article: "Namco America Inc. and Sony BMG Music Entertainment said on Monday they settled a lawsuit in which Namco charged that a Sony BMG artist used sounds from its popular Pac-Man arcade game in violation of intellectual property laws."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Heavy Metal to Sell Chicken??? Reuters reports in "For Burger King and Slipknot, a game of chicken." From the article: "Burger King and CP+B actually beat Slipknot to the punch. On August 12, they filed a federal District Court action in the companies' home court of Florida against the band. It asks the court to declare that their use of a mock heavy metal band wearing chicken masks in a TV commercial does not violate any rights -- including publicity and trademark -- of Slipknot or its individual band members."
Is Anyone Surprised? Reuters reports that "Piracy crackdown spurs shift in online file-sharing." From the article: "Traffic in the popular file-sharing network BitTorrent has fallen in the wake of a crackdown on piracy, but file sharers have merely shifted to another network, eDonkey, new data released on Monday showed."

Saturday, August 27, 2005

More on Perfect 10's Suit Against Google. reports in "A Perfect Storm of Infringement." From the article: "Zada argues that Google should be held liable for helping searchers find sites that display stolen Perfect 10 images because, in many cases, those sites also show Google AdSense contextual ads. 'Google not only copies and displays Perfect 10 images itself,' the request for the injunction reads, 'but also links them to Infringing Sites with which Google has partnered and from which Google receives revenue through its AdSense advertising program.'"

Friday, August 26, 2005

I'm Surprised It Took So Long. Reuters reports that "Library sues over controversial Patriot Act." From the article: "Critical details of the lawsuit were blacked out on the ACLU's Web site in compliance with the gag order. The library is thought to be based in Connecticut since the lawsuit was filed there with the participation of the Connecticut branch of the ACLU."

Monday, August 22, 2005

1977? Interesting that it Was 10 Years After Gilligan's Island Went Off the Air... Reuters reports that "ABC, Touchstone sued over 'Lost'." From the article: "Spinner claims that he was hired by Sid and Marty Krofft Prods. in 1977 to write, produce and develop a script for a TV program to be produced by ABC that was titled 'Lost.' It was about a group of airplane crash survivors who struggle to survive in a jungle where they encounter strange creatures and dangerous characters."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I Wonder If They Would Have Sued Veruca Salt? E! Online reports in "Archie v. the Veronicas." From the article: "In any case, Archie Comics is convinced that a band traipsing the globe under the name of the Veronicas will 'damag[e] the Veronica character's image to her legion of fans.'"

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

D'oh! The AP reports that "Apple, Microsoft Duel Over iPod Patent." From the article: "Given the intense rivalry between Apple Computer Inc. and Microsoft Corp., this recent revelation had a comedic tinge: Apple took too long to file a patent on part of its blockbuster iPod music players, so Microsoft beat Apple to it."
My Hometown. BoingBoing reports in "iBook stampede." From the article: "A near riot broke out when a crowd of 5,500 to 11,000 people rushed through a gate to buy used iBooks being sold by the school district for $50. Only 1,000 iBook were being sold, and people were in a rush to get to the sales counter first."
Dell on the Hot Seat. Reuters reports that "DVD software maker Intervideo sues Dell on patents." From the article: "InterVideo alleges Dell violated its U.S. Patent No. 6,765,788 that covers the integration of certain PC and electronic device functions. The company's software allows a DVD disk to automatically start playing a movie when a user inserts a disk into a computer running an InterVideo program."

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I Guess I Shouldn't Call This Blawg the IP Olympics... The AP reports that "USOC Forces 'Ferret Olympics' Name Change." From the article: "In July, a Minnesota rock band changed its name from the Olympic Hopefuls to the Hopefuls but was allowed to keep its signature track suits. The ImprovOlympic, a comedy club in Chicago, also opted to change its name, to I.O., rather than fight a threatened trademark infringement lawsuit."
Music Industry Has a New Villain Du Jour. The AP reports that "Music Industry Worried About CD Burning." From the article: "Music copied onto blank recordable CDs is becoming a bigger threat to the bottom line of record stores and music labels than online file-sharing, the head of the recording industry's trade group said Friday."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sounds To Me Like The Concern Should Be The Number of Boxes He Used. Wired reports that "Furniture Causes FedEx Fits." From the article: "But that feel-good message seems to be lost on FedEx. The company claims that Avila is infringing on its trademark and its copyright. The day after Avila launched the site in June, FedEx asked him to take it down, claiming he had violated the DMCA." Looking at the photos, however, it looks like he took quite a few FedEx boxes to make this furniture. I know that Maryland has a rule against taking excessive quantities of "free" items. (It was passed in the wake of a problem with a certain student group attempting to stealing all of the copies of my college's newspaper over what the student group considered to be an offensive cartoon. Thus, there may be certain elements of the crime that are not met here. However, I don't think it's unreasonable for FedEx to decline to fund everybody's home decorating activities.)
Surely They're Not Trying to Prevent Use of the "Concept." Writers with no IP background covering IP stories is one of my pet peeves... E!Online reports that "Simon Sued Over Big 'Idea'." From the article: "But if Walker and Golden have their way, those episodes will never hit the airwaves. Among other damages, their lawsuit seeks immediate injunctive relief, preventing ABC from using the series' name or concept."
Do You Think Soverain's Attorneys Were Working on Contingency? Reuters reports that " settles patent lawsuit for $40 million." From the article: " Inc. on Thursday said it will pay $40 million in the third quarter to settle a patent infringement lawsuit with Soverain Software LLC."

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Who Knew Pesticide Labels Were So Involved? reports in "Federal Judge Calls Foul in Race to Courthouse." From the article: "Insecticide labels are often hefty documents -- sometimes coming in the form of a 10-page booklet -- and are strictly controlled by federal law. Every label must be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency before a product hits the shelves. FMC claims it spent more than 13 years and nearly $400,000 in the process of developing the label for bifenthrin products."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Sounds Like the Keystone Kops are Running Our Schools. The AP reports that "Students Charged With Computer Trespass." From the article: "At least one student viewed pornography. Some students also turned off the remote monitoring function and turned the tables on their elders - using it to view administrators' own computer screens."
Two Words: Password Protection. CNN reports in"Stealing your neighbor's Internet? Experts urge caution." From the article: "According to Geraty, using your neighbor's wireless is specifically prohibited in the California penal code. 'It's not yours and you're taking it,' he says."

Friday, August 05, 2005

I Didn't Know that the Notion of a "Divine Feminine" Was So Original. Reuters reports that "N.Y. court rules Brown didn't copy 'Da Vinci Code'." From the article: "He alleged that Brown copied the basic premise of 'Daughter of God,' including notions of a 'divine feminine' and the transition from a female to a male-dominated church under Roman Emperor Constantine."
I Can See It Now... ...Sony engineers behind bars. Wired reports that "Europe Follows Grokster's Lead." From the article: "A directive being pushed by the European Commission would, among other things, criminalize 'attempting, aiding or abetting and inciting' acts of copyright infringement. The EU parliament will take up the proposal later this year."

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Maybe They Can Just Wait... ... until 2028, when the works fall into the public domain. E!Online reports that "Legal Duel Over 'Zorro'." From the article: "In the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Sobrini claims it alone owns the exclusive rights to the 1919 Johnston McCulley serial, The Curse of Capistrano, from which the classic Zorro character is drawn. Sony, the suit claims, controls the rights to later stories."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

More Developments in Blackberry Case. Reuters reports that "U.S. court scales back patent ruling against RIM." From the article: "The appeals court overturned the lower court's finding that RIM had infringed NTP Inc.'s 'method' patents, but reaffirmed the infringement of patents of the e-mail 'system.'"

Monday, August 01, 2005

How'd They Go This Long? Reuters reports that "Music labels file online piracy lawsuits in UK." From the article: "Record companies in Britain are filing their first ever lawsuits against five people accused of illicitly sharing music online, after settling out of court with dozens of others."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Got to Wonder What that Opinion Letter Said. The AP reports that "Microsoft Vista May Face Trademark Trouble." From the article: "Yet the CEO of Vista Inc., a business software and services company in Redmond, is already complaining that people have contacted his sales department with inquiries about Windows Vista."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I Wonder If This Ruling Will Have Implications for Criminal Lawyers? reports that "'Sports Illustrated' Ruling Pressures Media Attorneys." From the article: "Written by 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Edward E. Carnes, the ruling would compel attorneys defending SI's parent company, Time Inc., to tell the court if writer Don Yaeger's sources lie under oath to shield either their identities or the degree to which they contributed to Yaeger's story."

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

First They Threaten My Crackberry, Then My Wayback Machine? No! William Patry has a post about a recent complaint filed against entitled "The Way Back Machine and Robots.txt." The complaint sounds to me like the result of sour grapes: "Back to the Healthcare Advocates case. The complaint in the earlier suit against Health Advocate, Inc. was filed in June 26, 2003. Healthcare Advocates [Plaintiff in the current case] had been operating a website, since 1998. In July 8, 2003, the robots.txt instructions were inserted. The next day, it is alleged, defendant's law firm tried to access archived Healthcare Advocates website material. In the court's July 8, 2004 opinion, an allegation is recited that between July 8, 2003 and July 15, 2003, 849 attempts were made to access the archived information, of which about 112 attempts were successful. Presumably, all of the material was pre-July 8, 2003 information." More on the case here.
Kozmo's Back! Well, kinda. Having been lucky enough to be living in Boston during Kozmo's heyday, though, I'm happy to see Wired reporting that "Diapers Revive Dead Dot-Com." From the article: "Most dads would simply suck it up and take perpetual trips to the grocery store. Instead, Siragusa decided to start a new web-based delivery service that would bring the baby goods -- and the occasional DVD, pint of ice cream or tube of toothpaste -- to him within an hour."

Monday, July 11, 2005

Are Other Schools Having Special Casting Calls for "The Apprentice"? Or is it just Hopkins?
What Do These Companies Know About You? reports that "EPIC Fighting Online Phone Record Sales." From the article: "According to the complaint, BestPeopleSearch offers detailed phone call records and the addresses on file for holders of post office boxes and private mailboxes. EPIC said the availability of this personal information is regulated, and the "private eye" service shouldn't be able to obtain it or sell it to others. For example, the Drivers Privacy Protection Act guards the personal information in motor vehicle records."

Friday, July 08, 2005

I Wonder Whose Job it is to Continuously Hit "Reload" on the NAA Opinion Page to Find These Things? (And yes, I know someone who does that with the Fed. Circuit page...) The AP reports that "Google Wins 'Typosquatting' Dispute." From the article: "In a decision made earlier this week, arbitrator Paul A. Dorf, endorsed Google's contention that the misspelled addresses were part of a sinister plot to infect computers with programs — known as 'malware' — that can lead to recurring system crashes, wipe out valuable data or provide a window into highly sensitive information."

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Unfortunately, Most of Mine Would be Ignoring Me. Wired reports in "See If You're a Good Friend." From the article: "The Social Fabric features a display of avatars on a mobile device's screen, representing individuals in a group of friends or acquaintances. The avatars use body language to show how recently you've contacted each person: Regularly contacted friends appear alert and look directly at you. Less frequent contacts might slouch and turn to the side, and infrequent contacts could have their backs turned."
This is Just Cool. Why didn't I hear about this before? Wired reports in "GPS Monopoly: Collect Over $200." From the article: "Players start out buying properties and placing apartments and hotels on them, much like the classic game. The twist: Rent payments are determined by the traffic patterns of 18 real cabs, tracked by satellite. Players collect or pay rent depending on where the cabs go, with the high tally winning at the end of each day."
Better Be Careful not to Log on to Your Neighbor's WiFi. Or that neighborly spat could turn ugly. The AP reports that "Man charged with stealing Wi-Fi signal." From the article: "The practice is so new that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement doesn't even keep statistics, according to the St. Petersburg Times, which reported Smith's arrest this week."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

That Sound You're Hearing... ... is probably European patent firms lamenting the loss of a potential revenue source. The AP reports that "Europe Parliament Nixes Software Patent Law." From the article: "But lawmakers said the measure would stifle enterprise and did not promote innovation, and that human knowledge can't be patented. The move kills the legislation since the EU head office, which had drafted it, does not plan to set forth a new version."
Betamax 2.0. Reuters reports that "TV technology at edge of legal frontier." From the article: "New to the shelves of Best Buy and CompUSA this month is Slingbox, a brick-sized device that enables viewers to route the live television signal coming into their homes to a portable device anywhere on the globe via broadband connection. Slingbox costs $250 and has no subsequent subscription fee; several stores sold out on the first day."

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Sounds Like it Really May Be Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater. Reuters reports that "EU executive says would not resubmit patent bill." From the article: "'Should you decide to reject the common position, the Commission will not submit a new proposal,' Almunia told the EU assembly on the eve of a bitterly contested vote on draft legislation pitting big software companies, who want better protection, against campaigners for free, open-source software."

Monday, July 04, 2005

I Guess You'd Call That the Silver Lining. Reuters reports that "Rock museum settles suit with Jewish rock Web site." From the article: "The Cleveland museum's own lawsuit 'listed all the Jews who were in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,' said Goldberg. 'And thanks to their lawsuit, we discovered people we didn't even know who were Jewish, like the Flamingos, for instance. Who knew?'"
Throwing the Baby Out With the Bath Water? Reuters reports that "Tech firms want Europe patent software law pulled." From the article: "European high-tech leaders said on Monday they would prefer the European Parliament to scrap a controversial software patent law rather than confuse it with dozens of amendments when it votes later this week."
Legal Maneuvering Starts in AMD/Intel Case. Reuters reports that "AMD says motion granted in Intel suit." From the article: "The motion sought a judicial order permitting it to move forward to preserve relevant evidence possessed by specified third parties. Its lawyers will now engage in discussions with about 30 third parties, the statement said."

Friday, July 01, 2005

How About Letting Everyone Sign Up? I wonder if there are any penalties for signing yourself up as a child.... The AP reports that "Parents Can Sign Up Kids to Not Get E-Mail." From the article: "Starting Friday, parents can sign up for what Michigan officials say is the nation's first registry aimed at keeping spammers from sending children inappropriate e-mail. The new law bans sending messages to children related to such things as pornography, illegal or prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, firearms or fireworks. Parents and schools will be able to register children's e-mail addresses."
Swedes Fight Back. The AP reports that "Swedes Undeterred by Online Piracy Ban." From the article: "Antipiratbyran and similar organizations in other countries have been tracking file-sharers online and sent out warning letters to people who make illegal material available from their computers. .... More than 4,000 people reported Antipiratbyran to the Swedish Data Inspection Board, claiming the agency misused personal information by collecting IP addresses and online aliases. The inspection board agreed, and the lobbying group has stopped sending out warning letters to file-sharers."
How's the Weather Up There in Canada? Reuters reports that "Supreme Court Justice O'Connor to retire." From the article: "Her resignation will allow Bush to make his first appointment to the nine-member high court. It also could trigger a fierce confirmation fight in the Senate between Republicans and Democrats, and could threaten a shaky truce over judicial nominations."

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Sounds Like an Inherent Problem in the Advertising Model, to Me. Reuters reports that "Google sued over 'click fraud' in Web ads." From the article: "Google has said it credits advertisers who have fallen prey to click fraud, but Click Defense charges that the company has not done enough to warn advertisers about the risks it presents or to protect them against it."
File Sharing Back in the Cross-Hairs. The AP reports that Feds Crack Down on Global Internet Piracy." From the article: "FBI agents and investigators in the other nations conducted 90 searches starting Wednesday, arresting four people and shutting down at least eight major online distribution servers for pirated works, a Justice official said. Authorities also seized hundreds of computers in raids in the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom." Reuters has this report, while weighs in with this.

Finally, Reuters speculates on the expected fall-out from the Grokster ruling in "BitTorrent may be next target for copyright cops." From the article: "Cohen recently created a search engine on the BitTorrent home page, which could be seen as encouraging piracy. And in a manifesto on his Web site from several years ago, he stated that one of his goals was to 'commit digital piracy.'"

Two Front War... Reuters reports that "AMD Japan files suit against Intel Japan." From the article: "The latest action in Japan follows a March ruling by Japan's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) that Intel had violated antitrust laws by offering rebates to five PC makers that agreed either not to buy or to limit their purchases of chips made by AMD or other rivals."

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

More in the Linux Saga. The AP reports that "Judge Won't Throw Out SCO Slander Lawsuit." From the article: "Lindon-based SCO says Novell hurt its business and reputation by publicly and emphatically denying it sold copyrights when it allowed SCO to take over the business of servicing Unix technology, an operating system used by large corporations."
News From Around the World. The AP reports that "India to tighten cyberspace laws." From the article: "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told a special meeting of software company representatives Tuesday that stringent punishment would follow any breach of secrecy, illegal transfers of commercial information and other cyber crimes."
Processor Wars Heat Up. The Washington Post reports that "Firm Alleges Intel Tied Clients to Exclusive Deals." From the article: "AMD's suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, charges that Intel pushed manufacturers into exclusive or near-exclusive deals by making price cuts and rebates available to manufacturers only if they agreed to limit purchases from AMD."
Too Bad This Didn't Come Out Sooner. I would have been interested to hear the various IPL panelists' thoughts. Marty reports on the recent Second Circuit decision in the case in "2d Cir in WhenU: Sale and Placement Of Pop Up Ads Is Not Trademark Use."
They Kept the Napster Name... ... why not Grokster? Reuters reports that "Sony BMG eyes Grokster version despite court ruling." From the article: "'I'm hopeful we will move forward with a legitimate version of Grokster,' Andy Lack, chief executive of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, said in an interview. 'It won't be called Grokster, and it certainly won't be what Grokster is today,' he added."
Did Anyone Expect Them Not to Like the Ruling? Reuters reports that "Film, music companies hail Grokster ruling." From the article: "But entertainment executives said the strength of the Supreme Court decision in the case against Grokster could prompt file sharing networks to begin using filtering software that would ensure songs and videos downloaded across their networks are not illegal copies."

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Dairy Industry in the Cross-Hairs. The AP reports that "Group to sue dairy over weight-loss claim." From the article: "The physicians committee, which advocates a vegan diet, asks a district court in Virginia to issue an injunction banning the ads. The filing claims that most scientific evidence shows people will either gain pounds or remain the same weight when increasing dairy consumption."
Even More on Grokster. has an article entitled "Supreme Court's unsound decision from NYU professor Siva Vaidhyanathan. From the article: "If anyone infringes, it's Google: The company caches millions of Web pages without permission (again, giving copyright holders the option of protesting). And soon it will offer millions of copyrighted books in electronic form without payment or permission. How would Google fare in a post-Grokster world? The publishing industry no doubt wonders. And it just might sue to find out."

Monday, June 27, 2005

Grokster Round-up. The AP reports on today's decision in "Court: File-sharing services can be liable for music theft." Reuters has this report. The AP has industry reaction in "Grokster Decision Worries Tech Industry."
Grokster Overturned. The Supremes have handed down their opinion in MGM Studios v. Grokster, and have sided with the movie studios.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

More on the Spyware Wars. The AP reports in "Little Agreement on Spyware Guidelines." From the article: "Symantec Corp. sought to pre-empt a lawsuit by filing one itself, asking a federal court to declare that it had the right to call Inc.'s toolbar adware. Hotbot did not respond to requests for comment."

Friday, June 24, 2005

How Long Until UDRP Decisions No Longer Make News? Reuters reports that "Saint-Exupery estate wins 'cybersquatting' case." From the article: "The literary estate of French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery on Friday won a cybersquatting case to evict a Virgin Islands operator whose Web Site sells memorabilia linked to the creator of 'The Little Prince.'"
Guess I Won't Be Using Sprint. Hot on the heels of this morning's IPL panel on spyware comes the AP's report "Major Advertisers Caught in Spyware Net." From the article: "Melinda Tiemeyer, spokeswoman for Sprint PCS, said Internet users have clicked on ads delivered by adware, meaning they find them useful. Sprint is OK with using adware because users, she said, accept it in exchange for phone service offers and discounts." (How about a class action against the people who actually click on these ads, making themprofitable?)

Friday, June 17, 2005

So Do You Think They Have Special Training Classes for This? The AP reports in "Copyright-Worried Photo Labs Spurn Jobs." From the article:
Copyright law requires photo labs to be on the lookout for portraits and other professional work that should not be duplicated without a photographer's permission. In the old days, questions about an image's provenance could be settled with a negative. If you had it, you probably had the right to reproduce it.

Now, when images are submitted on CDs or memory cards or over the Web, photofinishers often have to guess whether a picture was truly taken by the customer — or whether it was scanned into a computer or pilfered off the Internet.
Guess I'll Get to Keep My Crackberry. Reuters reports in "RIM NTP workaround for use in all BlackBerries -CEO." From the article: "RIM said it had developed a technology to work around the NTP patents, which it could use as an alternative, but it gave few details."
Eyes on the EU. Reuters reports in "Showdown looms over patenting bill." From the article: "Member states and the European Parliament are looking at a bill on patenting inventions that use software. The legislature's legal affairs committee is due to debate the bill on Monday and vote on Tuesday."
It's Over. reports in "Long-Running Patent Fight Winds Down With Decision in 'Festo' Case." From the article: "One of the longest and most controversial patent battles may have come to an end with a federal court's ruling that SMC Corp. did not infringe Festo Corp.'s rodless cylinder."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

What, Does Apple Have a "Sue Me" Sign on its Back. Bag and Baggage reports: "On Monday, a lawsuit was filed in Vermont alleging that Apple's iPod infringes this U.S. patent (no. 5,864,868) for '[a] computer system and method for controlling a media playing device.' The patent holder is David Contois of"

Monday, June 13, 2005

What's Good for the Generics... The AP reports in "Drug Patents Don't Bar Rival Research - Yahoo! News." : "It means that big drug companies will have more flexibility to start experimenting with potential therapies so long as they cannot feasibly be marketed until after a competitor's patent expires. Lower courts will have to sort out just how much leeway the companies will have."
Circuit Split? I guess it's possible to distinguish this case from the Sixth Circuit's recent decision in the NWA case, as the 9th Circuit was concerned with the underlying copyrighted work, while the Sixth Circuit's decision involved the copyright to the audio recording, nevertheless, it appears that the circuits are taking vastly different approaches to musical sampling cases. The AP reports in "Court Won't Review Beastie Boys Lawsuit." From the article: "The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to dismiss Newton's lawsuit alleging copyright infringement. The appeals court reasoned that the short segment in 'Pass the Mic' was not distinctive enough to be considered Newton's work."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Sounds Like the Huck Finn Case Earlier. Copyfight points us to yet another case of rights holders pulling the plug on a musical for unusual casting here. From the write-up: "a stage production of Grease was halted by the rights organization because the female cast was going to play female students in an all-girls school putting on a performance of Grease."
Interesting UK Ruling. reports that "Court Tosses Patent Case Against Corbis, Getty." From the article: "Regarding the point of sale issue, the judge cited a previous case which determined that the material object must be offered for sale at a particular location, and, specifically, did not include the hard drive of a computer. Because users of Getty's service download digital files onto their hard drives, it didn't infringe, he found."

Monday, June 06, 2005

Blame it on the Lawyers... Wired reports that "Music Muffled in Star Wars Game." From the article: "As musicians, the characters play pretend, virtual instruments like the slitherhorn, ommni box or the nalargon, but are limited to a handful of canned tunes. Lawyers at Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts envision a legal nightmare if musicians were to re-create music copyrighted in the physical world."

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I Question How Many Will Limit Themselves to the New TLD. The AP reports that "Internet Group OKs 'Xxx' Web Addresses." From the article: "ICM contends the 'xxx' Web addresses, which it plans to sell for $60 a year, will protect children from online smut if adult sites voluntarily adopt the suffix so filtering software used by families can more effectively block access to those sites. The $60 price is roughly ten times higher than prices other companies charge for dot-com names."

Friday, May 27, 2005

This Is Why You Don't Allow Exes to Keep the Negatives. The AP reports that "Woman sues Yahoo over nude photos." From the article: "Cecilia Barnes, 48, in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Multnomah County, claims an ex-boyfriend began posting unauthorized personal profiles of her containing the photos in December. The profiles included her e-mail address and work phone number."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Doesn't Seem in Line with the Other Web Site Criticism Decisions. The AP reports that "Court Hears Falwell Web Domain Arguments." From the article: "A federal judge ruled last August the domain name was nearly identical to Falwell's Web site and could confuse Web surfers — despite a disclaimer noting it is not affiliated with Falwell."

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Anyone Know What the Belgian Statute of Limitations is? E!Online reports that "Madonna Accused of Song-Napping." From the article: "Belgian composer Salvatore Acquaviva is suing the Material Mommy, accusing her of ripping off parts of his song for her 1998 worldwide hit 'Frozen' off the multiplatinum-selling album Ray of Light."

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I Guess it Was Only a Matter of Time. The AP reports that "Publishers Protest Google Library Project." From the article: "The Association of American University Presses said in a letter to Google that the online search engine's library project 'appears to involve systematic infringement of copyright on a massive scale.'"

Sunday, May 22, 2005

That Just Sounds Far Too Limiting. I can think of a number of "reimaginings" of Shakespeare that would not have passed muster. The AP reports that "Racial Switch Halts 'Huck Finn' Production." From the article: "'But when you're dealing with a theatrical work and race or ethnicity is a key factor, many authors or playwrights feel strongly that ethnicity has to be reflected in the actors who portray the characters,' he said."

Friday, May 20, 2005

Back from INTA. And in trademark news, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that "Nelly in trademark dispute over clothing line name." From the article: "Two Florida men, who put out two singles in the 1990s under the name Vokal, claim that Nelly began using the name Vokal after one of their songs became a modest hit. Last year, they filed suit against Nelly in Florida seeking damages for trademark infringement."

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

So How Many Free iPods Were Involved... The AP reports that "Eminem's Label Agrees to Settlement Over Ad." From the article: "In February 2004, Ferndale-based Eight Mile Style filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Detroit against MTV, Apple, MTV's parent Viacom Inc. and advertising agency TBWA/Chiat/Day. The recording company claimed Apple used one of the rapper's hit songs in an advertisement without permission."
The ITC Seems to be Seeing More Action. Reuters reports that "Lilly files U.S. complaint over fake Cialis imports." From the article: "The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Tuesday it was investigating complaints against several Internet-based companies offering imported impotence and other drugs via mail order."

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Can You List Pigeons as Inventors? Reuters reports that "Google trying to patent news ranking by quality." From the article: "The technology Google is attempting to patent may help the company choose the most reliable information sources, although some Web commentators have said it will create a bias toward mainstream news sources."

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

So What Exactly Do You Have to Do to Earn this Badge? BoingBoing reports on the latest Boy Scout merit badge in "Boy Scout badge in Intellectual Property." From the write-up: "'The Intellectual Property Badge Award Program will provide thousands of young people -- future leaders -- with a better understanding of the value of intellectual property and of the importance of protecting it,' Mike Ellis, senior vice president of the MPA, said in a press release."
Is 'West' More Distinctive in the EU that in the US? The AP reports that "EU to Weigh in on Westlife Trademark Case." From the article: "The German company has challenged an attempt by the Irish crooners to register the name of their group as a trademark, claiming it's too similar to its previously registered trademarks using the word 'west.'"
This Could Get Ugly. Reuters reports that "US Steps Up Pressure on China Over Copyrights." From the article: "The U.S. moves could show that China's protection of intellectual property 'fails to meet the standards of effective criminal enforcement,' and they represent an initial step in engaging China in the WTO process, said Eric Smith, president of the International Intellectual Property Alliance."

Monday, May 02, 2005

Those Counterclaims Can be a ... reports that "HP, EMC End Patent Dispute." From the article: "On Sept. 30, 2002, HP sued EMC saying the storage specialist had infringed seven HP patents. EMC countersued later that day with infringement claims of its own."

Sunday, May 01, 2005

More on Apple's Woes. has more on Tiger Direct's lawsuit in "Lawsuit Could Cage Apple's Tiger." From the article: "Online retailer Tiger Direct filed papers Thursday asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Florida to grant Apple a restraining order and an injunction."
The Real News is that the Movie is Actually Based on History... E!Online reports that "'Kingdom' Comes to Copyright Spat." From the article: "James Reston Jr., a noted author and expert on the Crusades, is accusing the filmmakers of stealing parts of his 2001 tome, Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade, for the big-budget would-be blockbuster due out next week."

Friday, April 29, 2005

Another Joins the Party. Check out the new The Patry Copyright Blog.
Talk About Job Security. Just become Apple's outside litigation counsel. Macworld reports that Tiger Direct, a PC manufacturer, is suing Apple over the recently-released TIGER OS in "Macworld: News: More details emerge on TigerDirect lawsuit." Via Marty.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Like They Couldn't Get the Books Elsewhere... Just don't even know what to say. Reuters reports that "Congress Pressed to Renew Library-Search Powers." From the article: "Congress must keep U.S. libraries from becoming terrorist 'havens' by renewing legislation that allows authorities to seize library and bookstore records, Bush administration officials testified on Thursday."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Copyright in the News. The AP reports that "Wal-Mart Targets Parody Site." From the article: "Papasian launched the Web site April 16 for an art class at Carnegie Mellon University called 'Parasitic Media.' The class teaches students about the political uses of satire in the media. He acknowledged using Wal-Mart's graphics on his Web site but said he believed he could use the images as part of a parody." In other news, Reuters reports that "Bush Signs Camcorder-Piracy Bill Into Law," while the AP reports that "Students Accused of Piracy Won't Be ID'd."

Friday, April 22, 2005

Movies Get a Pass. Reuters reports that "Warner Bros. Wins Lawsuit Over 'Perfect Storm'." From the article:
Tyne's family sued shortly after the motion picture's release, claiming the company altered facts to make the movie more marketable. The family sought monetary damages under a Florida law against portraying someone in false light to promote a product or commercial enterprise.
"We find that defining the term 'commercial purpose' to apply to motion pictures or similar works raises a fundamental constitutional concern," Justice Charles Well wrote for the court.