Other Barks & Bites for Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Business dogAs we slip into the start of the second month of 2017, the world of intellectual property continues to percolate, brewing up a vast array of headlines from the patent, copyright and trademark sectors. This week, a patent battle between two American tech giants expands its scope to China, patents covering a well-known multiple sclerosis treatment were invalidated in U.S. district court and Trumpcare emerges as a possible trademarked moniker for the next incarnation of the country’s healthcare system, Disney files a patent application on evaluating human emotions while on amusement park rides, Ajit Pai holds his first open FCC meeting as Chairman and not surprisingly says he wants to reduce regulations, plus a whole lot more.

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  • Disney Files Patent Application for Analyzing Human Emotions on Rides – On Thursday, January 26th, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a patent application which would cover a technology providing interactive amusement park ride experiences. The patent application, assigned to the Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), discloses a sensor that senses passenger data for determining a passenger’s emotional state and adjusting a ride vehicle’s track based on the emotional state. The emotional state data could also inform the scenery displayed on a ride or address motion sickness issues while a ride is in progress. (Link to U.S. Patent Application No. 20170021282, titled Sensing and Managing Vehicle Behavior Based on Occupant Awareness.) (Image: managing vehicle.jpg)
  • Lex Machina Releases Two New Legal Data Analytics Apps – On Thursday, January 26th, legal data analytics firm Lex Machina released two new software applications giving the company’s subscribers additional tools for deriving meaningful conclusions on legal strategies involving IP cases. Damages Explorer gives users the opportunity to search and compare damages on all types of cases decided in U.S. district courts going back to 2009, including damages for patent, copyright and trademark cases. Parties Comparator lets users compare the litigation strategies and outcomes of different legal parties, including litigation volumes, timing to judgement and findings won and lost. (Link to Lex Machina press release on the release of the new apps)
  • South Carolina Health Insurance Provider Files Application for Trumpcare Trademark – On January 19th, South Carolina-based insurance provider Hibbits Insurance, Inc. filed a trademark application with the USPTO which has created some media headlines recently. The company is seeking to protect the standard character mark “Trumpcare” for commercial use in offering insurance lead collection and matching services as well as health insurance underwriting. The filing is interesting given the nature of President Trump’s stance on repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but Hibbits could have issues obtaining this mark given provisions of the Lanham Act which prohibit any entity from obtaining a trademark referring to a living person without getting that person’s written consent. (U.S. Trademark Serial No. 87307598 can be found via the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System)
  • TrademarkVision Developing Reverse Image Search for Design Patents – Reverse image search provider TrademarkVision is hoping to unveil an image search function that will help design patent professionals search prior art more effectively. The company, which has secured multi-million dollar contracts from intellectual property offices in Australia and the European Union, already offers a prior art search for trademark professionals which queries a database of 19.8 million indexed images. TrademarkVision is also developing an enterprise application known as LogoSeer which will be able to spot logos in larger images, aiding legal teams who are responsible for licensing and anti-counterfeiting activities on behalf of trademark owners; according to the firm, LogoSeer will be available by the end of 2017, likely by the fall of this year.
  • N.D. Ga. Judge Dismisses Copyright Case Involving Right to Publish State Regulations – On Thursday, January 26th, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (N.D. Ga.) dismissed a case involving competitors in the legal research services market. A judge ruled that Fastcase, Inc., which has a contract from Georgia’s state government to publish state administrative rules and regulations, cannot claim federal copyright protections covering the publication of those regulations. Fastcase tried to argue that its contract with Georgia gave it the legal right to prohibit Lawriter LLC from offering fee-based subscription access to electronic files including the Georgia state regulations. Although Fastcase brought forward federal claims for copyright, the judge ruled that the material in question wasn’t registered for copyright. (Link to N.D. Ga.’s court order dismissing Fastcase’s lawsuit)

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One comment so far.

  • [Avatar for Lynne Heal]
    Lynne Heal
    February 5, 2017 09:13 pm

    NO MS drugs have ever cured MS and never ever will. MS has been exploited in many places just to make money. Billions upon billions has been made by drugs companies and even MS charitys have had billions given in donations. Someone needs to thoroughly investigate all this before more die on these meds as others have unaware of whats inside the drugs given to take. PLEASE HELP .