Wednesday, January 26, 2005

So Now RIM has Congress and the Canadian Government on its Side. The AP reports that "Canada Steps in on Blackberry Patent Row." From the article: "In a brief filed by the Canadian Department of Justice on Jan. 13, Ottawa urged the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to grant a request by RIM to rehear the case before all 12 judges, saying it was concerned that the lower court decision could be 'applied in an inappropriately extraterritorial or discriminatory fashion.'"
Who Knew Trademark Filings Could Be So Interesting? Reuters reports on recent speculation in "Intel's Mystery Mark, VIIV, Sparks Intrigue." From the article: "Recent trademark filings from Intel Corp. are raising speculation that the world's largest chip maker may be preparing to create a new global brand. The question is, what does VIIV mean?"

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

That Must Have Been an Interesting Day in Chambers. reports that "5th Circuit Rules in Rappers' Battle Over Phrase 'Back That Ass Up'." From the article: "The appeals court disagreed with D.J. Jubilee's arguments and affirmed the jury's verdict. The jury, as instructed, likely believed that the hook in Juvenile's song was not the phrase 'back that ass up' but rather a sample from the Jackson 5's song, according to the opinion."

Friday, January 21, 2005

Welcome to the Real World. It's not every day that a motion has such a direct impact on your client's bottom line. Reuters reports that "SCO Wins Legal Round Against IBM Over Linux Code." From the article: "Shares in Lindon, Utah-based SCO were up 67 cents, or 19 percent, at $4.20 in early afternoon Nasdaq trade after a federal judge in Salt Lake City ordered International Business Machines Corp. to turn over programing code to SCO's lawyers."

Sunday, January 16, 2005

A Different Kind of 'Naked' Licensing. (Don't you love lawyer humor?) The AP reports that "Nev. Brothel's Name Disputed in Lawsuit." From the article: "Rival brothel owner David Burgess sued Gilman last year in U.S. District Court in Reno over use of the Mustang Ranch name. Burgess, who renamed his Old Bridge Ranch brothel just east of Reno the Mustang Ranch in 2003, claims he's the exclusive licensee of rights in the trademark."

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Are the Characters Well-Developed Enough to be Protected by Copyright? Or do you have a merger issue? The AP reports that "Dick and Jane Publisher Reportedly Sues." From the article: "Pearson Education, the publishing company that owns the copyright to the single-named stars of countless reading primers, is suing a division of Time Warner for co-opting the characters in a book called 'Yiddish With Dick and Jane,' according to The New York Times.... The parody book takes Dick and Jane into adulthood, where they're faced with problems like adultery, ailing parents and sexual orientation."

Friday, January 14, 2005

Another One Bites the Dust. And it's yet another one with which I interviewed in law school. Reuters reports that "Boston law firm Testa Hurwitz votes to dissolve."

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Add Patent Infringement to the List of P2P Sins? The Washington Post reports that "Patents Pressed Against File-Sharing Networks." From the article: "Attorneys for Altnet Inc. and its parent company, Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Brilliant Digital Entertainment Inc., sent letters to several U.S.-based file-swapping firms -- including Lime Wire LLC, BearShare operator Free Peers Inc. and Mashboxx -- claiming that the companies were using patented technology in their products. The letter doesn't explicitly threaten a lawsuit but does invite the firms to 'discuss licensing opportunities.'"

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I Knew There Was a Reason I Liked IBM. Reuters reports that "IBM to Give Away 500 Patents." From the article: "U.S. patent leader IBM said late on Monday it plans to donate 500 patents for free use by software developers, marking a major shift of intellectual property strategy for the world's top computer maker and a challenge to the high-tech industry."

Friday, January 07, 2005

Is Anyone Surprised? Reuters reports that "Software makers lobby for copyright changes." From the article: "The Business Software Alliance, a lobbying group whose members include Microsoft Corp. and Apple Computer Inc., said Internet service providers like America Online should be required to reveal the names of customers who may be distributing copyright software through 'peer to peer' networks like Kazaa."
If It Sounds too Good to be True... The AP reports in "Judge: Listerine not same as flossing." From the article: "U.S. District Judge Denny Chin said in a decision made public Friday that he will order Pfizer, the maker of Listerine, to stop the advertising campaign. The lawsuit was brought by a Johnson & Johnson company that makes dental floss."
New Kid on the Block. Ronald Coleman over at the Coleman Law Firm has a new IP blog, entitled Likelihood of Confusion. Via Marty.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Apple Just Can't Catch a Break. Reuters reports that "Lawsuit Claims Apple Violates Law with iTunes." From the article: "The suit was filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court in San Jose. One antitrust expert called it a long shot, but Californian Thomas Slattery is hoping for unspecified damages for being 'forced' to buy an iPod, one of the most successful electronics products in years." And just who "forced" him to use iTunes?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Wonderful World of Copyright. Salon's Andrew Leonard has a new column about copyright policies entitled "Eyes on your copyrighted prize." Interesting tidbit: "Just before Christmas, an article published on Wired News detailed the sad story of 'Eyes on the Prize,' an award-winning documentary series about the civil rights movement in the United States. It seems that it is currently illegal to broadcast or sell new copies of the series because rights to the archival footage included in the documentary have expired. (Typically documentary filmmakers operate on very tight budgets and can buy such rights only for short periods.)"
Eighth Circuit Affirms Limitation on RIAA Subpoena Power. The AP reports that "Court Rules on Music Downloader IDs." From the article: "A second U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday that the recording industry can't force Internet providers to identify music downloaders under a disputed copyright law." The headline and write-up of this article overstate things a bit. Subpoenas following institution of a John Doe suit are still available. Reuters has a more accurate discussion here.