Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I Wonder What Associate Got to Write that Memo. The Washington Post reports that "A Game by Any Other Name Sells as Sweet." From the article: "Ambush marketing is legal, as long as an advertiser doesn't infringe on any trademarked words (such as 'Super Bowl' or 'Seattle Seahawks' or even 'Super Sunday') or copyrighted symbols ( such as the NFL's 'shield' logo). According to guidelines written by Leventhal, Senter & Lerman, a Washington law firm that represents broadcasters, it's permissible to use such phrases as 'the professional football championship game,' as well as the date of the game, the name of the cities of the competing teams ('Pittsburgh vs. Seattle') but not the team names ('Pittsburgh Steelers'). The firm also advises, 'You can make fun of the fact that you cannot say the phrase 'Super Bowl' (e.g., by bleeping it out).'"
Visto Getting Litigious. Reuters reports that "Visto hits rival Good Technology with patent suit." From the article: "The move follows privately owned Visto's lawsuit against Microsoft Corp in December. It had also accused the software giant of infringing its patents for wireless e-mail."

Monday, January 30, 2006

Let's Not Let Facts Standing in the Way of a Good Story. In fact, Cingular didn't apply for a patent on emoticons this week. They applied for the patent on March 28, 2005, but the application was published this week. And they're not really trying to patent emoticons, but instead a sort of keyboard for selecting emoticons. But it seems like Method 4 at least will run into a prior art problem, since I think I've seen a similar virtual keypad on various IM programs throughout the years. Anyway, you can read the Register's take in "Cingular applies to patent smileys :@." From the article: "Cingular, the United States' largest mobile phone network this week applied to patent emoticons, better known as smileys."
This is Cool. The AP reports that "Apple Offers College Lectures Via Podcasts." From the article:
Apple's service offers universities a customized version of the iTunes software, allowing schools to post podcasts, audio books or video content on their iTunes-affiliated Web sites. The iTunes-based material will be accessible on Windows-based or Macintosh computers and transferable to portable devices, including Apple's iPods.

The service lets institutions decide if they want to limit access to certain groups or open the material to the public.
Go Sprint. Reuters reports that "Sprint sues 2nd company over call record sales." From the article: "Sprint said All Star is believed to own Web sites including detectivesusa.com, miamiprotection.com and privatedectivesusa.com. which it says obtain phone records for its wireless customers through misrepresentation and deceit."
Some Good News for RIM. Reuters reports that "German patent court rules in RIM's favor." From the article: "RIM said the German patent court had decided that all claims in InPro's German-designated patent were invalid. Luxembourg-based InPro has the right to appeal the decision, RIM said in a statement."

Friday, January 27, 2006

I Can't Believe This Used to be My State Delegate. The AP reports that "Va. Lawmaker's Gun Discharges in Office." From the article: "Virginia's gun laws are among the nation's least restrictive. So revered are gun rights that the General Assembly allows permit holders to bring firearms into buildings on Capitol Square, including the Capitol itself. Several legislators carry firearms."

Monday, January 23, 2006

Sigh. CNNMoney.com reports that "High court rejects BlackBerry case." From the article: "But the Supreme Court's decision to not review the case doesn't bode well for RIM, according to Ken Weitzman, a partner at legal firm Chadbourne and Parke in New York. 'There will likely be an injunction. The question is what is the scope of the injunction,' Weitzman said."

Friday, January 20, 2006

How Long Before the Cease and Desist Letter? Reuters reports that "IPods pre-loaded with video tred legal gray zone." From the article: "Customers choose any content currently available on a DVD and which iPod they want. TVMyPod then puts the content on the player and ships the original DVDs along with the iPod restored to its original packaging."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

So Does This Fall Under 'Don't Do Evil'? The AP reports that "Feds seek Google records in porn probe." From the article: "Google has refused to comply with the subpoena, issued last year, for a broad range of material from its databases, including a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period, lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department said in papers filed Wednesday in federal court in San Jose."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Someone didn't do their Homework. Law.com reports that "Judge Blasts Bogus Proof, Rejects Claim Against Disney." From the article:
If only the PalmPilot had existed in 1995, writers Ronnie Niederman and Judith Shangold might still have a federal case that their idea was swiped by the Walt Disney Co.

But the product with that name did not hit the market until 1997 -- almost two years after the two plaintiffs claimed they had given Disney a treatment, or basic story line, for a children's animated theatrical feature that contained several references to the now-ubiquitous hand-held personal organizer.

Monday, January 16, 2006

IP Students Take Note. Could be an interesting exam question. My friend Sujal has an interesting post ("The cost of running the game") about a recent case brought against MLB by a fantasy football league purveyor. From the post: "Anyway, apparently a company out there is taking one of the leagues to court to argue against the fees as they're set up now. The company is taking MLB, which bought the exclusive rights to distribute player statistics from the MLBPA, to court to argue that the statistics, once the game is over, are historical fact and therefore shouldn't require a license. It's going to be an interesting case that will have some interesting repercussions regardless of who wins." My thoughts on this can be found via the link.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Guess We'll Have to Wait Longer for This One to be Settled. The AP reports that "Court Dismisses Yahoo Free Speech Suit." From the article: "The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a federal lawsuit brought by Yahoo in California challenging the fine levied five years ago for running an auction site in which French users could buy and sell the memorabilia banned in France." Reuters has additional reporting here.
I'm Interested to See the Appeal Decision on This One. Reuters reports that "Small coffee company can keep 'Charbucks' name." From the article: "Judge Laura Swain of New York federal court ruled last month that consumers were unlikely to be confused between Starbucks and the 'Charbucks' and 'Mister Charbucks' coffee blends sold by the family-owned Black Bear Micro Roastery of Center Tuftonboro, New Hampshire."
Looks Like Someone's Paying Attention to PTO Filings... Reuters reports that "Apple files 'Mobile Me' as US trademark." From the article: "Apple Computer Inc. has filed to trademark the phrase 'Mobile Me' for use in a wide range of businesses, furthering speculation it could introduce an iPod phone." Which raises the question: Is it legitimate to file for a range of goods and services than is wider than those for which you intend to use the mark in order to throw reporters off the scent? Or does the requirement that the applicant have a bona fide intent to use the mark in connection with all goods and services in the application prohibit such conduct? (Not that I know this is what Apple did.)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Don't Touch My iPod... InformationWeek reports that Apple has DJed Burst.com in "Apple Sues To Save Its iPod." From the article: "The patents at issue are #4,963,995, #5,995,705, and #5,164,839. They will expire between 2007 and 2009, which suggests the royalties sought by Burst were significant enough that Apple would rather gamble in court than pay for a few years of peace."

Friday, January 06, 2006

It Was Only A Matter of Time. New uses for RFID - Reuters reports that "Viagra packages to include anti-counterfeit tags." From the article: "Haskins said the tiny tags are small computer chips that have been affixed to the underside of labels on each bottle of Viagra, as well as on cases and pallets of the drug. The invisible tags relay an electronic code that verifies the product is bona fide and authorized Viagra."

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

So That's Where He Got Off To... The Reliable Source reports on "Wonkette's Sex Change." From the article: "Ana Marie Cox, the writer who made Washington politics irresistibly naughty, is giving up her job as a full-time, pajama-clad blogger to become a full-time, pajama-clad author. Cox, who just signed a contract for her second book, will hand off the political Web site to David Lat, the lawyer who secretly penned Underneath Their Robes, an irreverent blog about the judiciary world."