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This week in IP news: the CASE Act, which would create a small claims system for copyright claims, is reintroduced in both houses of Congress; Qualcomm earns a massive $4.5 billion payment from its settlement with Apple; the U.S. Supreme Court seeks input from the Solicitor General on Oracle v. Google; and China amends its trademark law, increases copyright actions, and earns more than one-third of all 5G SEPs.
Supreme Court Asks Trump Administration to Weigh In On Oracle v. Google – On Monday, April 29, the U.S. Supreme Court requested a brief from the U.S. Solicitor General to find out whether the Trump Administration believes that the nation’s highest court should grant a petition for writ of certiorari filed by Google in its Android operating system copyright case against Oracle.
China Amends Trademark Law – On Tuesday, April 23, China’s Tenth Session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress voted on amendments to the country’s Trademark Law that would increase penalties on trademark infringement and crack down on malicious trademark applications that aren’t for use purpose. The changes will be made effective this November.
CASE Act Reintroduced Into Both Houses of Congress – On Wednesday, May 1, Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Doug Collins (R-GA) reintroduced the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act into the House of Representatives; a Senate version was reintroduced the following day by Senators John Kennedy (R-LA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). The bills seek to create a system for pursuing small copyright claims under $30,000 as an alternative to U.S. district courts.
Chinese Companies Lead World With 34% of 5G Patent Applications – On Friday, May 3, Nikkei Asian Review reported that Chinese companies have filed 34% of the worldwide patent applications for 5G standard-essential patents (SEPs), a 40% increase from its share of 4G SEPs and the largest percentage of 5G SEPs of any nation in the world.
Singapore to Offer World’s Fastest Prosecution Time for AI Patents – On Friday, April 26, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore announced that it is creating a fast-track program for artificial intelligence patent applications that will allow them to be processed in as little as six months, the fastest processing time for AI patent applications in the world.
Qualcomm Settlement with Apple Includes $4.5 Billion Payment – On Wednesday, May 1, semiconductor giant Qualcomm Inc. released its earnings report for 2019’s second quarter which revealed that the settlement agreement between Qualcomm and Apple includes a payment from Apple ranging from $4.5 billion to $4.7 billion. The payment doesn’t take into account future royalties for the use of Qualcomm chips in Apple iPhones.
China Increases Copyright Enforcement Activities Related to Movies – On Sunday, April 28, Chinese state media reported that cooperation between Chinese copyright and public security authorities has led to the removal of 30,000 online links to pirated movies, among other actions.
Report Says One-Quarter of Brand Domains Have Been the Target of Cyber Crimes – A MarkMonitor report published this week found that 23% of brand domains have been the target of cyber attackas and 62% of brands reported that cybercrime impacted their business in the last year. The research surveyed 700 marketing, IT and legal decision makers from the U.K., U.S., France, Germany and Italy
Patent Troll Bill Gains Steam in Massachusetts State Legislature – On Monday, April 29, The Boston Globe reported that a Massachusetts state bill being sold by State Sen. Eric Lesser as a measure designed to crack down on “patent trolls” gained support from at least one member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives as well as various state industry and trade groups.
Toyota to Grant Royalty-Free Licenses on 24,000 Patents – A blog post this week examined Toyota’s April announcement that it will grant royalty-free licenses on nearly 24,000 patents related to its hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) market “to promote widespread adoption of electrified vehicles in an effort to help governments, automakers and society at large accomplish goals related to climate change.”
Off-White Files Trademark Suit Over Use of Quotation Marks as Brand Identifier – On Monday, April 29, fashion label Off-White filed a lawsuit in the Central District of California against jewelry maker Rastaclat over that firm’s use of quotation marks in its bracelet packaging.
Beat Saber Gameplay on The Tonight Show Leads to YouTube Video Takedowns – On Monday, April 29, GameRevolution reported that YouTube has been issuing takedown notices to users who post videos of gameplay from the virtual reality game Beat Saber after a segment of the game was played on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Funrise Files Patent Lawsuit Against Target Over Bubble Toy – On Monday, April 29, toymaker Funrise Inc. filed a patent suit in the Central District of California alleging that retail chain Target’s Amazing Bubbles Light Up Volcano Bubble Machine infringes upon a patent covering a method and device for generating bubbles.
Peloton Counterclaim Accuses NMPA of Anticompetitive Practices – On Tuesday, April 30, streaming exercise company Peloton filed a counterclaim in a copyright infringement suit in the Southern District of New York alleging that the National Music Publishers Association’s lawsuit came after the NMPA demanded “supracompetitive” licensing prices for music that Peloton didn’t want to license.
NFL Trademark for Duluth Eskimos Not for Vikings Throwback Uniforms – On Tuesday, April 30, The Sporting News reported that the National Football League issued a statement on its recent trademark application for “Duluth Eskimos,” a long-defunct football team. The trademark application, which led many to believe that the Minnesota Vikings may be using throwback jerseys this year, is only for promotional purposes and not for actual in-game jerseys.
SDNY Nixes Clint Eastwood Trust’s Claims of Patent Ownership for Research Funding – On Wednesday, May 1, U.S. District Judge John Koeltl dismissed patent ownership claims made by the 1988 Clinton Eastwood Trust on the basis that the trust’s status as “shareholders twice removed” didn’t give them enough of a financial interest to be sufficient for standing.
Delaware Antitrust Lawsuit Targets Baseless Litigation Over Casino ATM Patents – On Tuesday, April 30, payment tech firm NRT Technology Corp. filed an antitrust suit in Delaware Chancery Court accusing slot machine maker Everi Holdings of obtaining patents for non-patentworthy inventions and then engaging in “objectively baseless” lawsuits to corner the market for casino ATMs.
Clearwater Analytics Ordered to Pay $44M in Trade Secret Case – On Monday, April 29, financial services company SS&C Technologies Holdings Inc. announced that it had been awarded $44 million by a jury verdict in Illinois state court after fintech company Clearwater Analytics was found to have “willfully and maliciously” stolen trade secrets.
This Week on Wall Street
3M Acquires Advanced Wound Care Tech Firm Acelity for $6.7 Billion – On Thursday, May 2, the consumer and industrial conglomerate 3M announced its plans to acquire wound care company Acelity in a deal valued at $6.7 billion to bolster 3M’s medical solutions business. The deal is expected to close during the second half of 2019.
Google Tells House Panel That It Spends Hundreds of Millions on Reviewing Terrorist Videos – On Thursday, May 2, a letter from Google to the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security was disclosed which revealed that Google spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year to manually review more than 1 million videos suspected of containing terrorist content.
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: HTC Corp. (t-172nd); KLA-Tencor Corp. (t-179th); Wistron Corp. (184th)
- Tuesday: Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (196th); Casio Computer Co., Ltd. (t-161st); Evonik Industries AG (t-247th); Infineon Technologies AG (58th); Sprint Corp. (98th); Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (t-271st)
- Wednesday: Fujifilm Corp. (55th); Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (44th); Schaeffler AG (133rd); Siemens AG (20th); Toyota Motor Corp. (14th); Walt Disney Co. (150th); Xperi Corp. (t-165th)
- Thursday: Daikin Industries Ltd. (221st); Innolux Corp. (246th); Mitsubishi Corp. (34th); Nikon Corp. (158th); Nippon Steel Corp. (218th); Panasonic Corp. (t-235th); Procter & Gamble Co. (85th); Ricoh Co., Ltd. (35th); Sharp Corp. (57th)
- Friday: Olympus Corp. (64th); Shimadzu Corp. (t-227th)
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