Other Barks & Bites for Friday, April 19: European Court Rejects Pablo Escobar Trademark; Federal Agencies Launch Anti-Competitive Healthcare Practices Portal; and Reddit Cracks Down on Copyright Infringement

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Barks (noun): peripheral noise worth your attention.

Happy Friday from the IPWatchdogs: Luna, Loki and Coco

This week in Other Barks & Bites: HP sues a Chinese competitor for infringing on cloud computing patents; three federal agencies launch portal to report anti-competitive practices in the healthcare sector; and a European court rejects Pablo Escobar’s family to register the drug lord’s name as a trademark.


Federal Agencies Launch Portal for Public Reporting of Anti-competitive Practices in Healthcare

On Thursday, April 18, the Justice Department, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched an online portal for the public to report anti-competitive healthcare practices. The reports will go to the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and the FTC. The move is part of the Biden Administration’s wider efforts to lower healthcare and prescription drug costs, which includes pharmaceutical companies facing legal action “if they delay entry of generic competitors with improper patent listings.” FTC Chair Lina M. Khan said, “this joint initiative between FTC, DOJ and HHS will provide a crucial channel for the agencies to hear from the public, bolstering our work to check illegal business practices that harm consumers and workers alike.”

European Court Rejects Pablo Escobar Trademark

On Wednesday, April 17, the European Union General Court blocked Pablo Escobar’s family’s trademark of the infamous drug trafficker’s name. The decision upheld the EU Intellectual Property Office’s (EUIPO) ruling that rejected the trademark application. In a press release, the court said that it relied on the perception of the Spanish public to judge the morality of the trademark.

Reddit Cracks Down on Copyright Infringement After Going Public

On Tuesday, April 16, social media site Reddit published its latest Transparency Report for the second half of 2023. The report includes data that shows user bans for repeat copyright infringement increased by 258%. The data comes off the back of Reddit going public last month as the forum social media site struggles to find profit-making ventures. In this time period, the company said it received 67,493 copyright takedown notices requesting the removal of 779,628 pieces of content, and Reddit removed 541,440 pieces of content in response to the notices.

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Sues Chinese Competitor for Patent Infringement

On Monday, April 15, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise filed a lawsuit in a California district court against Chinese cloud-computing company Inspur Group accusing the firm of patent infringement. The lawsuit details five HPE patents that Inspur Group allegedly infringed upon related to server technology. HPE claims that Inspur produces and sells a variety of products in the United States that infringe on its patents. Last year, the Biden Administration placed Inspur on a trade blacklist among other Chinese companies.


Texas Jury Rules Samsung Owes Competitor $142 Million for Patent Infringement

On Wednesday, April 17, a Texas district court jury submitted a verdict that said Samsung owes G+ Communications $142 million for infringing on its competitor’s 5G patents. The jury found Samsung responsible for infringing on two G+ patents granting two lump sums to compensate for the infringement.

Appeals Court Affirms PTAB Ruling That Rejects Timberland Boot Design Trademark

On Monday, April 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a ruling that affirmed a Patent and Trademark Appeal Board (PTAB) decision that rejected boot maker Timberland’s trademark application for boot design features. According to the circuit court, the PTAB was correct to rule that Timberland failed to prove that its boot design carries a distinctive meaning. Read further for full IPWatchdog coverage.

USPTO Names 2024 National Patent Application Drafting Competition Winner

On Monday, April 15, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law as the winner of the National Patent Application Drafting Competition (NPADC). The competition involved participants practicing their patent application drafting, amending, and prosecution skills. The UC Berkeley School of Law received second place and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law was named third place.

Amazon Allegedly Attempted to Steal Trade Secrets from Trader Joe’s

On Saturday, April 13, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon has allegedly attempted to steal trade secrets from supermarket chain Trader Joe’s. An anonymous manager claimed that Amazon attempted to pressure them to reveal trade secrets about Trader Joe’s, their former employer. Amazon has been attempting to develop its own brand of supermarket items to be sold online and in stores.

This Week on Wall Street

Meta Releases New AI Assistant

On Thursday, April 18, Meta released a new AI assistant called Meta AI on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. The technology is powered by Llama 3, Meta’s large language model, and the tech company built it hoping to rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT. In its announcements, Meta has touted the AI assistant’s ability to generate images and text with integration in multiple apps.

ASML Misses Q1 Sales Expectations with 22% Drop

On Wednesday, April 17, chipmaker ASML released its Q1 earnings report that beat profit expectations but with significantly fewer sales than expected with a 22% drop. ASML stock dropped nearly 5% after the earnings report was released. While its profits beat expectations, profit still dropped nearly 40%, but weak demand for consumer products that use chips and semiconductors has shaken the chip market.

Quarterly Earnings – The following firms identified among the IPO’s Top 300 Patent Recipients for 2023 are announcing quarterly earnings next week (2023 rank in parentheses):

  • Monday: Verizon (75), SAP SE (83)
  • Tuesday: Alphabet (8), RTX (13), Texas Instruments (34), Visa (118), Danaher Corporation (175)
  • Wednesday: IBM (3), Meta Platforms (41), Boeing (47), AT&T (71), Boston Scientific (96), Thermo Fisher Scientific (169), ServiceNow (261)
  • Thursday: Intel (12), Microsoft (17), Amazon (18), Honeywell International (44), T-Mobile (58), Comcast (78), Caterpillar (92), Sanofi (215)
  • Friday: Exxon Mobil (192)



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Join the Discussion

One comment so far. Add my comment.

  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    April 19, 2024 07:38 pm

    “an online portal for the public to report anti-competitive healthcare practices.”

    Because the general public has a firm legal grasp of what anti-competitive practices are.

    Sure they do. Sure they do.

    Like the DOJ, HHS, and FTC staffers have nothing better to do than to waste their valuable time wading through 1,000’s of nothing-to-see-here “complaints.”

    Sure they don’t. Sure they don’t.

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