Ford Motors is the defendant in two intellectual property lawsuits, according to Wall St. Cheat Sheet.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the highest proportion of intellectual property cases in its history this year in its nine-month term ending in June, according to Reuters. The justices will hear eight cases on intellectual property issues. Six of them are on patent law, two of which were argued on Feb. 26, and the remaining two are on copyright law.
Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. have joined 17 other companies and associations in drafting a letter to the European Union asking a new court to limit the ability of companies that license technology to win court injunctions against product sales when the validity of the patent being licensed is in dispute.
The U.S. may include India in the "Priority Foreign Country" list for intellectual property rights, according to the Press Trust of India. The U.S. industry and trade lobbies are pushing for India to be added to this list, which compiles those countries that have significant intellectual property protection issues. A Priority Foreign Country is the worst classification under the U.S. Trade Act, and denotes a nation with no adequate protection of intellectual property rights or equitable market access to U.S. companies. Inclusion on this list leads to trade sanctions.
The White House recently announced new measures to improve the patent process and improve intellectual property protection as, despite the Obama administration's urging, Congress has yet to act on these issues. Obama also asked Congress again to pass legislation meant to reduce abusive patent legislation, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Intellectual property issues that originate in China are as infamous as they are difficult to address. However, according to The Financial Post, it is becoming easier for businesses to seek legal remedies for intellectual property violations.
The International Game Developers Association, an advocacy organization based in New Jersey, recently criticized King.com Ltd, the developer of the popular game "Candy Crush Saga," for its application to register the term "Candy" as a trademark in the U.S.
IT research and advisory company Gartner recently released a report on 3D printing called "Predicts 2014: 3D Printing at the Inflection Point." In it, the company predicts the loss of at least $100 billion annually in intellectual property worldwide by 2018 as a direct result of 3D printing.
Harper Lee, author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," recently filed suit against a museum in Alabama that unfairly benefits from that work, according to Bloomberg. Monroe County Heritage Museum Inc. asked Judge William H. Steele of the federal court in Mobile, Ala., to dismiss Lee's claims against it, which the judge declined to do. Steele ruled the motion to dismiss lacked legal reasoning and relied instead on "bald conclusions" that did not demonstrate the claims should be thrown out.
The new Top Level Domains (TLDs) set to be introduced by ICANN may be vulnerable to serious intellectual property issues, according to research from the ICANN-approved Trademark Clearinghouse. Domain names related to established brands are already being sought out for purchase by third parties. According to the research conducted by Trademark Clearinghouse, "unknown entities" have already reserved domain names relating to 80 percent of the U.K.'s 50 most valuable brands under the domain name .WEB. These same buyers have attempted to pre-order 78 percent of the U.K.'s top 50 brands under the .ONLINE domain, 70 percent under .SHOP and 68 percent under .BLOG.
Nokia recently signed an agreement with HTC that will end all ongoing intellectual property disputes with the other company. The businesses also agreed to collaborate on future inventions. The companies revealed little about the deal, but Nokia confirmed HTC will pay it royalties.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative recently published its annual list of both online and physical markets around the world that are engaged in the most intellectual property infringement, such as counterfeiting and pirating. Rather than listing countries, the USTR lists particular markets based on industry reports.
South African President Jacob Zuma signed the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act (IPLAA) 2013 into law recently. The Act, the brainchild of the Department of Trade and Industry, updates several areas of the country's intellectual property regulations. It now protects historic cultural knowledge like folklore, performance art and designs. Though the idea of protecting indigenous knowledge through intellectual property measures has received support from many, including the World Intellectual Property Organization, critics of the IPLAA say it is too cumbersome to enforce and will cost too much money.
The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Economy recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Korean Intellectual Property Office to develop strategies to improve intellectual property protections in the country, according to Gulf Business. The agreement involves KIPO helping to examine patent applications in the UAE, of which some 2,200 are expected to be processed by the end of the year.
Fashion designers are urging Congress to extend intellectual property protection to fashion design, a move R Street calls unprecedented. In the current fashion market, discount retailers like Forever 21, H&M and Zara draw inspiration from designers to create budget-friendly versions of ready-to-wear looks from the runway. Many designers feel these versions are nearly indistinguishable from their own except for using cheaper materials and processes.
Google Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. have entered a long-term deal to license each other's intellectual property. The agreement, which covers a broad range of products and promises each company "significant value" from its intellectual property, was recently announced. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Imax corporation, which maintains some 150 theaters in China, is facing competition from cheaper rivals in the country who provide similar solutions, according to The New York Times. Indeed, the technology Imax's Chinese competitors use is so similar that the company alleged a former employee, Gary Tsui, also known as Xiaoyu Cui, took the company's trade secrets and other intellectual property in order to or provide engineering support to Chinese rivals. While Tsui denies that this is true, cases are ongoing in the U.S., Canada and China that involve Imax and Tsui. A court in Ontario issued an injunction that ordered Tsui to cease competition with Imax pending trial, and later ordered him detained for noncompliance, though he has remained both free and outside of Canada.
Twitter Inc., which made news for having only nine patents at the time of its initial public offering in November, agreed to purchase 900 patents from International Business Machines Corp. The purpose of this deal is to obtain access to new technology and to begin to build an intellectual property portfolio that will serve as a defense for Twitter against infringement suits. The agreement between Twitter and IBM was signed in December and announced Jan. 31. It also resolves a dispute between the two companies that began when IBM wrote to Twitter last year about possible infringement of three of its patents.