Below is a selection of
intellectual property stories attracting attention on the
internet in the past week that
were not covered on www.managingip.com (see
the bottom of this blog post for the top stories published by
Managing IP this week).
shuts off IV
Reuters today revealed that Microsoft and Sony will invest in Intellectual
Ventures’ latest acquisition fund but Apple
and Intel will not take part, despite having previously
invested with the patent buyer.
Sources told Reuters that IV is
ramping up its patent acquisitions after a lull while it looked
for new acquisitions.
IV has acquired about 70,000
patents since it was formed in 2000. It has raised about $6
billion in that time and revealed last year it is seeking to
raise $3 billion more. Microsoft, Sony, Apple and Intel have
invested in previous IV funds.
China this week gave conditional
approval to Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition
of Nokia’s devices and services business. But the
country’s Ministry of Commerce is requiring the
two firms to make promises on fair patent use because of fears Microsoft will be too aggressive
about patent enforcement.
China is one of the last markets
to approve the deal, announced last September. It is the
largest market for smartphones and the largest producer of
them. Regulators are concerned Microsoft, which claims its
patents cover certain technologies found in Android, will try
to increase its market share by raising its licensing fees to
very high levels. More than 80% of Chinese smartphones run
As part of the approval of the
deal, Microsoft has agreed not to use its so-called
"fundamental patents" to seek to ban Android device makers nor
increase its patent licensing fees. Nokia has also agreed to
license its fundamental patent fairly to vendors.
.wine not fine
Four governments have become the
first to file requests for reconsideration with ICANN since the
process was established in 1999. France, Span, the UK and the
European Commission have formally appealed ICANN allowing the
.wine and .vin gTLD applications to proceed.
Three applications for .wine and
one application for .vin had been frozen since an ICANN meeting
in Beijing last year at which the Government Advisory Committee
asked for more time to consider them.
The opponents of the gTLDs are
demanding special protection to geographic indicators such as
Champagne. In contrast, the US sent a letter to the ICANN board in
January urging the delegation of .wine and .vin to proceed.
Google’s heart for Glass
Google’s attempt to get a trade mark for the
word "glass" got a lot of attention this week. The technology
company has a trade mark on the term "Google Glass" but its
attempts to get a trade mark on the single word have been less
In a letter to Google last September, a USPTO
examiner raised two objections: the mark would create a
likelihood of confusion about the source of
Google’s product; the word glass is merely
descriptive of a feature or material complement of the
Unperturbed, Google’s lawyers Anne Peck and
Katie Krajeck of Cooley on March 20 submitted a 1,928-page
letter contesting the examiner’s conclusions. Some
1,900 pages of which were excerpts of news articles about
Google Glass that the company hoped proved there was no likelihood of
confusion because of the link between the producer and
product. The letter also disputed the descriptive point because
the frame and display components of Google Glass are not even
made of glass but titanium and plastic.
Some companies may be opposed to Google’s
attempts to get a trade mark on the word glass. For example, Border Stylo has filed an opposition of
notice. It has developed a browser extension called "Write
on Glass". Google has filed a petition to cancel Border
Stylo’s trade mark.
USPTO’s record week
The USPTO set a new record in
March when it issued more than 6,000 utility patents in a
single week, according to the Patently O blog. However,
the issuance figure for the first three months of the year is
down on the same period in 2013.
Barroso drops in on OHIM
José Manuel Durão Barroso, president of the
European Commission, visited the Office for Harmonization in
the Internal Market (OHIM) in Alicante on April 10.
The visit was focused on the work of OHIM, the largest EU
agency. Barroso met staff from across OHIM’s
departments, including those who work in its multi-lingual
trade mark and design registration operations. He was also
briefed on OHIM’s research work and studies, as
well as its projects inside and outside the EU.
Barroso unveiled a commemorative plaque at the construction
site of OHIM´s new wing to mark the office’s
20th anniversary. Afterwards, he met Spain’s Prime
Minister Mariano Rajoy.
Managing IP published the following stories this week,
available to subscribers and trialists:
concerns grow over .sucks gTLD
goes back to private practice
new website blocking system
dispute delays Leahy bill markup for fourth
Americas Women in Business Law Awards 2014 – shortlist
How brand owners
can make best use of the ITC
New trade mark
partner for Venner Shipley
SIPO releases new
draft of service invention regulations
licensing regulations for music be
UK IP Bill ready
for Royal Assent
Why the Partnership
for American Innovation is needed –
From the blog:
Guest post: What
would Scottish independence mean for
In defence of the
USPTO’s Myriad guidelines
publication trends: Boom and BUSTT
From FRAND to the
IP crisis, Fordham hits the hot topics
Keeping up with