Other Barks & Bites: IP News to Watch, January 25, 2019

“Bite” (noun): more meaty news to sink your teeth into.
“Bark” (noun): peripheral noise worth your attention.

Today marks the return of our Other Barks & Bites feature, which will profile a collection of news headlines from around the IP world and across practice areas every Friday. This week, the patent spat between Apple and Qualcomm heats up at the PTAB; China’s Beijing intellectual property court shows signs of heightened requirements in trademark appeals for foreign entities; and the European Union delays debate on copyright reforms that would affect major tech firms that aggregate news and videos online. 


Canada Amends Country’s Patent Act, Introduces File Wrapper Estoppel – In mid-December, the Canadian government passed into law a wide-ranging budget act which included various amendments to the country’s Patent Act. These provisions affect standard-essential patent (SEP) licensing and allow file wrapper history to be considered in patent litigation to rebut claim construction representations.

PTAB Institutes Validity Challenges on Qualcomm Patents Petitioned by Apple, Intel – On January 15, the PTAB instituted IPRs against two Qualcomm patents challenged by Apple and Intel, one of the latest salvos in the intellectual property battle that continues to be fought between Qualcomm and Apple around the world.

China’s Beijing IP Court Creates New Requirements for Appealing Trademark CasesAnalysis of recent decisions by the Beijing IP Court show that the court has created new formal requirements, such as the submission of company bylaws, for foreign entities seeking to appeal trademark cases in China.

Google Wins Obviousness Challenge at PTAB on Patent Asserted Against “I’m Feeling Lucky” ButtonThe Register reported that Google prevailed in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding at the PTAB on January 15, nixing patent claims covering the performance of worldwide web page retrieval using a minimally restrictive syntax.

McDonald’s Loses Supermac Trademark Battle in EU – The European Union recently revoked McDonald’s registration for the trademark BIG MAC, allowing Irish burger chain Supermac to expand its operations across the continent.

EU Delays Debate on Copyright Reform Measures – European Parliament members canceled a meeting scheduled for January 21, delaying online copyright reforms that would benefit news publishers and copyright owners.

TVEyes Drops Fox News After Supreme Court Nixes Appellate Review – Media monitoring service TVEyes entered into a settlement with Fox News to drop copyrighted content from that network after the U.S. Supreme Court denied TVEyes’ petition for writ of certiorari asking the Court to clarify the fair use doctrine.


NHL Survives Motion to Dismiss Trademark Case Against Stanley Cup Beer Stein Maker – On January 8, a Southern New York district judge dismissed a motion for summary judgment against the National Hockey League in a trademark case. The court determined that the NHL provided enough information on the non-functional use of the Stanley Cup trade dress for the case to proceed.

Human Resource Tech Firm Files Preemptive Trademark Strike Against Hulu – Humu, a Mountain View-based HR tech firm founded by former Google employees, has filed a declaratory judgment in Northern California district court seeking a ruling that its company name doesn’t violate trademarks held by streaming TV service Hulu.

Rihanna Files Trademark Suit Against Father’s Entertainment Company – On January 15, singer-songwriter Rihanna filed a trademark infringement suit against her father’s talent development company over trademarks covering Fenty, the family’s last name.

Georgia GOP Sued Over Use of Stacey Abrams Photo in Governor’s Campaign Ad – On January 8, Atlanta-based photographer Kevin Liles filed a copyright infringement case against the Georgia Republican Party over their use of a photograph depicting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in advertisements used by the campaign of Gov. Brian Kemp.

Ed Sheeran Asks SDNY Judge to Reconsider Trial in “Thinking Out Loud” Copyright Case – On January 17, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran filed a motion asking a Southern New York district judge to reconsider a motion for summary judgment to dismiss a copyright case filed over similarities between Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” and Marvin Gaye’s classic “Let’s Get It On.”

YouTube Dashcam Channel Facing Potential Shutdown Over Copyright ClaimsThe Daily Dot reports that Dash Cam Owners Australia, a YouTube channel with nearly 165,000 subscribers, has spoken out against recent copyright challenges affecting its ability to display user-submitted videos.

Eric Lesser Reintroduces Anti-Patent Troll Legislation into Massachusetts Legislature – On January 18, Massachusetts State Senator Eric Lesser, a former White House aide to then-President Barack Obama, introduced a bill into the State Senate that would increase requirements on non-practicing entities sending demand letters alleging patent infringement.

Allergan Files Patent Suit Against Prollenium in Delaware Over Wrinkle Treatments – On January 22, drugmaker Allergan sued rival firm Prollenium Medical Technologies, alleging patent infringement claims over wrinkle filling treatments that utilize lidocaine as an anesthetic.

Ice Castle Makers Square Off in Patent Infringement Case – Utah-based Ice Castles filed a patent infringement case in Idaho district court against LaBelle Lake Ice Palace alleging patent claims covering methods for constructing ice sculptures.

Wendy’s S’Awesome Sauce Trademark at Center of Legal Battle – Fast food chain Wendy’s is facing a trademark infringement suit filed in Central Illinois on January 22 by sauce manufacturer Jaymo’s Sauces over the use of “S’Awesome” brand chicken tender sauce.

This Week on Wall Street

Pending Patent Cliff Leads to Analyst Downgrades for Merck, Pfizer – Major investment firm UBS downgraded its stock rating for both Pfizer and Merck, citing the upcoming loss of patent protection for pharmaceutical products marketed by either drugmaker.

Quarterly Earnings – The following firms identified among the IPO’s Top 300 Patent Recipients for 2017 are announcing quarterly earnings next week (2017 rank in parentheses):

  • Monday: Caterpillar, Inc. (61st); Rambus Inc. (t-213th); Whirlpool Corp. (t-127th)
  • Tuesday: 3M Co. (t-66th); Apple Inc. (12th); Corning Inc. (76th); eBay Inc. (153rd); Juniper Networks Inc. (137th); KLA-Tencor Corp. (t-179th); Koninklijke Philips N.V. (t-39th); Lockheed Martin Corp. (t-201st); Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. (129th); Stryker Corp. (141st); United Microelectronics Corp. (104th); Xerox Corp. (71st)
  • Wednesday: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (t-269th); AT&T Corp. (30th); Boeing Co. (31st); Canon Inc. (4th); Facebook, Inc. (60th); LG Chemical Ltd. (61st); LG Display Co., Ltd. (65th); Mediatek, Inc. (95th); Microsoft Corp. (9th); NEC Corp. (46th); Novartis AG (136th); Omron Corp. (t-237th); Sharp Corp. (57th); TDK Corp. (177th);
  • Thursday: Casio Computer Co. Ltd. (t-161st); Eaton Corp. (138th); General Electric Co. (6th); Hitachi High-Technologies Corp. (186th); Hitachi Metals Ltd. (t-216th); Jtekt Corp. (t-244th); Komatsu Ltd. (178th); LG Electronics Inc. (8th); Nintendo Corp. (t-213th); Nokia Corp. (26th); Raytheon Co. (109th); Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (2nd); Seiko Epson Corp. (25th); Sprint Corp. (98th); Symantec Corp. (157th);
  • Friday: Chevron Corp. (t-230th); Denso Corp. (43rd); ExxonMobil Corp. (108th); Hitachi, Ltd. (84th); Honeywell International Inc. (37th); Konica Minolta, Inc. (83rd); Kyocera Corp. (80th); NTN Corp. (280th); Sony Corp. (13th)

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