Sunday, February 26, 2006

Temporary Reprieve? reports that "Injunction hearing wraps up in BlackBerry patent case." From the article: "But Judge Spencer said there was no escaping that RIM had been found to be infringing on NTP Inc.'s patents and he would issue a decision on an injunction 'as soon as reasonably possible,' according to Reuters." The Washington Post has more.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Lion Sleeps Tonight Case Settled. Reuters reports that "US firm pays SAfrican heirs of Lion song composer." From the article: "Lawyers acting for the family of Zulu migrant worker Solomon Linda, the song's original composer, said Abilene Music -- which administered its copyright in the United States -- had agreed to settle the dispute for an undisclosed sum."
This is One I didn't Expect. I know I'm out of the loop when it takes me a day to learn about the Perfect 10 decision. Marty has his take on the court's opinion in "Perfect 10 Obtains Injunction Against Google's Use of Thumbnail Images." From the post: "An essential fact here is that P10 now sells thumbnail images of its photos for the cellphone market. Thus, Google making such images available for download made its use 'consumptive' (in addition to transformative), with a negative effect on P10's market."
Dykes on Bikes Redux. reports that "Actor Tries to Trademark 'N' Word." From the article: "The actor Damon Wayans has been engaged in a 14-month fight to trademark the term 'Nigga' for a clothing line and retail store, a search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's online database reveals."
D-Day Approaching. Reuters reports that "Judge hears arguments on BlackBerry's fate." From the article: "U.S. District Judge James Spencer opened the hearing without giving any indication of whether he is inclined to impose the injunction against U.S. BlackBerry service that he stayed in 2003 pending RIM's appeals."

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cool New Blog. Counterfeit Chic. Via Marty.
Woohoo! Reuters reports that "RIM unveils plan to keep US BlackBerrys alive." From the article: "RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, said it has filed patent applications for its workaround and will soon begin shipping handsets with the software update in a dormant mode." The AP has more here.
Interesting Right of Publicity Case. reports that "Use of Woman's Image in HBO Reality Show Prompts Lawsuit." From the article: "A Manhattan woman's violation-of-privacy suit, which alleges that participants in the Home Box Office show 'Family Bonds' made crude comments about 'the effects looking at [her had] on their respective libidos,' highlights the challenges that reality TV shows face under New York state law."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I Have to Disagree. A bit off-topic for this blog, but I just had to respond to the article by Edward Jay Epstein at entitled "The End of Originality - Or, why Michael Bay's The Island failed at the box office." In it, Epstein argues: "What really failed here was not the directing, acting, or story (which were all acceptable for a summer movie) but the marketing campaign. Whatever other factors might have worked against audience creation - the midsummer release date, the clutter of competitive action films, the misleading title, etc. - The Island had to overcome the competitive disadvantage of not having the built-in awareness that comes from being a sequel, a remake, a video game, a TV series spinoff, or a comic-book adaptation. Of course, there are many original movies that overcome the awareness handicap - and, in rare cases, such as Universal's Cinderella Man, a box-office flop will be rereleased at a later date - but the lesson for studios from such fiascos is that original movies are a far more perilous enterprise than retreads of past successes."

As one of the few to actually see The Island in the theaters, I can tell you that The Island did not fail because it lacked "the built-in awareness that comes from being a sequel, a remake, a video game, a TV series spinoff, or a comic-book adaptation." It failed because people like me left the theater baffled by the story (complete with wholes large enough to drive a Mack® truck through), and thoroughly p*ssed off at having spent nearly $10 to watch two hours of obnoxious commercial placement. You can find my initial reaction on-line here (and it should say something that I wrote this post before re-reading my earlier comments back in August, and yet chose much of the same wording to describe my annoyance with the movie).
I Think He Feels Strongly About This. Columbia Law School Professor Tim Wu has an article up at entitled "Weapons of Business Destruction - How a tiny little 'patent troll' got BlackBerry in a headlock." From the article: "What would happen if a rogue actor managed to get hold of a powerful patent and threatened to detonate it and destroy e-mail as we know it? You'd have the BlackBerry NTP v. RIM case - the tech world's very own Dr. Strangelove. NTP, a one-man Virginia firm, armed with nothing but patents, currently threatens to bring down BlackBerry and with it the sanity of millions of e-mail addicts. A textbook 'patent troll,' he wants a billion dollars to stand down. What to do?"

Friday, February 03, 2006

Chalk One Up for the Public Patent Foundation. The AP reports that "Patent Office to Re-Examine Forgent Claim." From the article: "Technology company Forgent Networks Inc. was served notice Thursday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will re-examine the validity of its patent on a widely used compression method for storing digital photos and images."

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Give Me a Break. The AP reports that "Man Sues Apple Over Potential Hearing Loss." From the article: "Patterson does not know if the device has damaged his hearing, said his attorney, Steve W. Berman, of Seattle. But that's beside the point of the lawsuit, which takes issue with the potential the iPod has to cause irreparable hearing loss, Berman said."
What About the Rest of Us, Part 2. Reuters reports that "US has misgivings about BlackBerry shutdown plan." From the article: "The U.S. Justice Department urged a federal judge on Wednesday to refrain from any plans to shut the BlackBerry portable e-mail service over patent infringement until the government gets more assurances its users will be exempted."
More Good News for RIM. Reuters reports that "RIM says UK high court rules in its favor." From the article: "RIM said the English court decided that all claims in InPro's United Kingdom patent were invalid. InPro has the right to appeal the decision, RIM added."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I Was Wondering How Long Before this Ended Up in Court. The AP reports that "Group Sues AT&T Over Alleged Surveillance." From the article: "The class-action lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, seeks to stop the surveillance program that started shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks. It also seeks billions of dollars in damages."