Coinye West virtual currency upsets
Hip hop is always a rich source of intellectual property
disputes. This week provided a perfect storm of a music
megastar, a hot new(ish) technology trend and legal threats.
Kanye West’s lawyers filed cease-and-desist papers against the
programmers behind Coinye West, a virtual currency similar to
argued that Coinye’s image of West on a gold
medallion is trademark infringement.
"Given Mr. West’s wide-ranging entrepreneurial
accomplishments, consumers are likely to mistakenly believe
that Mr West is the source of your services," The Wall Street
Journal quoted Brad Rose, partner at Pryor Cashman, as writing.
There was no word on whether West was saying they were
The developers responded by renaming the currency Coinye,
rather than Coinye West — and insisted that an updated
version of their logo (right) is unrelated to West and now
references a "half-man-half-fish hybrid who is wearing
Apple and Samsung CEOs agree to patent
CEOs of technology giants Apple and Samsung will meet a mediator by February 19 to
discuss the latest case in its long-running smartphone patent
feud. This follows legal representatives from the two companies
meeting this week to discuss settlement opportunities as
ordered by a federal judge.
The two firms are scheduled to go to trial in March over
smartphone models including the Galaxy 4 and Note 2, and a
counterclaim regarding Apple’s iPhone 5.
In 2012, Samsung lost a battle with Apple over older smartphone
models and was ordered to pay a sum that eventually worked out
at just over $900 million. The two CEOs met in mediation last
year, which failed to find any
USPTO deems R-word derogatory
The USPTO has rejected a request from a company that wanted
to sell pork rinds under the name "Redskins Hog Rinds". The
office considered the term "derogatory slang".
The decision could have wider implications. A debate is growing
in the US around whether NFL team the Washington Redskins
should change its name to something less offensive. US
President Barack Obama has even weighed into the issue,
suggesting the team should "think about changing" the name
because it offends "a sizable group of people". Native
Americans have long protested about the team’s use
of the name.
The USPTO is deliberating whether to revoke the trademark
protection for the team, with a decision expected soon.
German judge dismisses
Nokia lawsuit against HTC
A patent infringement lawsuit between Nokia and HTC was
dismissed by a regional German court this week. Judge Matthias
Zigann concluded in Nokia v HTC that the
patent-in-suit does not cover all over-the-air updates but a
particular way of enabling mobile phone users to accept calls
while downloading an update.
Before the dismissal Nokia had dispensed with holiday cheer to
issue the barb that "HTC's first New
Year's resolution for 2014 should be to stop this free riding
and compete fairly in the market." According to the FOSS Patents blog, the company is
considering appealing the verdict.
The latest decision is just one part of multiple cases that
Nokia has against HTC. It has already scored three patent
enforcement wins in Germany.
Gambia minister calls for
stronger copyright laws
Gambia’s minister of tourism and culture has
called for copyright to be strengthened to prevent
infringements. Fatou Mass jobe-Njie is worried creative works
such as music can be too easily exploited on the internet in
The Economic Community Of West African States.
"Sadly, in many of our countries in the sub-region, creators
still cannot benefit from the sweat of their creations," she told The Gambia Tourism and Hospitality
Institute. "It is only through initiatives such as the
Observatory that the creative community in our ECOWAS
sub-region can start to live in a dignity befitting creators,
and to allow our governments to also get returns from the
investments in cultural infrastructure."