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."