The National Association of Manufacturers recently released a study by Bill Kerr, associate professor at Harvard Business School, and Chad Moutray, chief economist for the NAM. The study found unfair competition facilitated by stolen software has cost U.S. manufacturing nearly $240 billion and 42,220 jobs between 2002 and 2012.
U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain ruled earlier this month that Costco Wholesale Corporation can proceed with its defense that seeks to prove the "Tiffany setting" is now a generic term, according to Rapaport. Tiffany & Co. sued Costco last year, claiming the wholesale store infringed its trademark "Tiffany setting" and in so doing diluted Tiffany's brand, counterfeited its jewelry and used unfair advertising schemes to sell diamond rings.
Technology transfer arrangements to bring scientific discoveries out of research institutions and onto the market are important for many organizations, from colleges to hospitals. The Healthcare Innovation Alliance network, which is a group of eight healthcare systems, universities and organizations, aims to help its members commercialize the results of their research more quickly, according to Xconomy. The Cleveland Clinic allows other members of the group to use its commercialization staff and resources in exchange for a royalty from any technology licensed with its help.
Academic publisher Elsevier, a subsidiary of Reed Elsevier that publishes journals in the medical, technical and scientific fields, has begun to send takedown notices to universities that display the works of their own faculty online. According to the Washington Post, Elsevier is within its legal rights to do so, as it owns the copyright to these works. That is not in dispute, but longstanding industry practice has generally been to overlook academics distributing their own work. Elsevier is now changing that practice and adopting a harsher stance on its copyright ownership.
Cochlear Ltd., an Australian manufacturer of hearing implants, lost an infringement trial over patents related to Cochlear implant technology recently in Los Angeles, according to Bloomberg. The jury awarded $131.2 million in damages to the Alfred E. Mann Foundation for Scientific Research, a nonprofit medical research foundation.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Jan. 22 in favor of medical device manufacturer Medtronic Inc in the company's suit with privately owned Mirowski Family Ventures LLC, according to Reuters. Mirowski had alleged the larger company infringed its intellectual property in making certain pacemakers. Medtronic licensed the patents in question from Mirowski, but in 2007 Mirowski alleged Medtronic was developing new products that would also require royalty payments. Medtronic asked a judge to rule its pacemakers do not infringe on Mirowski's patented technology, which is licensed to Boston Scientific and Guidant Corp.
Two screenwriters, Stephanie Counts and Shari Gold, have accused Fox's television show "New Girl" of stealing elements of their television pilot script, according to Inside Counsel. Counts and Gold have filed a lawsuit against "New Girl" creator Elizabeth Meriwether and director Jake Kasdan alleging Fox's comedy is based on their own script for a television series called Square One.
The Chinese Ministry of Public Security released figures on Jan. 21 about its efforts to stem intellectual property infringement, according to The Global Times. As many as 59,222 suspects of intellectual property violations were seized by the Chinese police last year. These suspects were involved in 55,180 cases whose estimated value totals 173 billion yuan, or approximately $28 billion.
William and Kate, England's Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have separately established companies to protect their intellectual property rights, according to Metro. Prince William founded a firm named APL Anglesey, and Kate started CE Strathearn. Prince Harry, William's younger brother, also established a company to protect his own intellectual property, called Tsessebe.
Marvell Technology Group Ltd received a jury verdict of $1.17 billion in a case in which it was found that the company infringed the intellectual property of Carnegie Mellon University. Marvell subsequently countered, asking a federal judge to cut the award by about $620 million on the basis that the university delayed its lawsuit to an unreasonable degree.
IBM filed more U.S. patents than any other company in 2013, marking the 21st straight year the company has taken this honor, according to Bloomberg. The company's 6,809 patents in 2013 also created an annual record. More than 31 percent of these came from overseas, as IBM has inventors in 41 countries. The company is moving away from hardware into analytics and Web-based computing. It is also about to create a separate division for its cognitive technology named Watson, which will be able to analyze data and answer user queries about it, according to Bloomberg.
A company that manages intellectual property for twenty-five companies, including Apple, Amazon and Sony, has settled a lawsuit filed by Boston University alleging infringement of a professor's patent for producing blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), according to university news source BU Today. The dollar amounts in the settlement were not disclosed. The settlement itself was negotiated with RPX, a firm that manages intellectual property for corporate entities through acquiring companies' patent rights. RPX will pay BU the undisclosed sum, and all members of RPX will be able to use the technology. Firms in litigation with BU that are not members of RPX will continue to be the subject of lawsuits.
Arizona State University received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to create the Pracademic Centre of Excellence in Technology Transfer. The PACE/T2, as it will be known, will be a collaboration between ASU's own tech transfer unit Arizona Enterprises, the university's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, Security and Defense Systems Initiative and the ASU W.P. Carey School of Business.
On Jan. 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington ruled Google did not infringe a patent owned by Google's Motorola Mobility unit related to mobile-phone technology, according to Bloomberg. The ruling, which is available online, underscores a victory already won by Apple at the U.S. International Trade Commission, according to Bloomberg.
North Carolina State University's Office of Technology Transfer, which has commercialized more than 400 products to date, has decided to open an office suite at HQ Raleigh, which is a shared office space provider for entrepreneurs. NCSU's goal with this move is to create meaningful links between its students and staff and the local startup community. Members of HQ Raleigh will be able to access NCSU's advice on intellectual property technology transfers, as well as counsel on research and innovation generally.
A recent white paper from the United States Postal Service inspector general reports the organization has no formal intellectual property management strategy. External consultants ipCapital Group reviewed the current intellectual property procedures at the USPS and found it has no process in place for patenting its inventions, and many of the organization's inventors simply do not know which new ideas they should patent.
The government sequester and shutdown did not adversely impact the progress of awarding patents in the U.S. Nor did the necessary work that went into implementing procedures of the America Invents Act like the first-to-invent designation and the post-issuance reviews. Rather than being slowed by any of these factors, the U.S. Patent Office awarded more patents than ever in 2013, according to Patently-O. The preliminary figure for 2013 is 277,861 patents issued in total, an increase of 10 percent year-over-year.
Google Inc. recently requested a federal court to declare it had not infringed two patents held by the University of California and its licensee Eolas Technologies. The patents in question were both issued in December 2011, and Eolas sent a demand letter to Google last month claiming that the company was infringing these patents, according to Bloomberg.