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).
Mexico’s intellectual property office has
ruled in favour of a small
domestic firm over its rights to the "iFone" name.
The office said Apple’s advertisements for the
iPhone have encroached on the trade mark because they were
The iFone name was registered by a firm of the same
name in 2003 to cover telephone services for businesses and
call centres. The iPhone name was registered by Apple in
Mexico's Institute for
Intellectual Property said several mobile phone carriers
must pay a fine of about $104,000 and stop using iPhone as a
promotional name for their calling plans.
Apple is not specifically
covered by the ruling because it only provides handsets and not
calling services. Apple had previously argued that
iFone’s trade mark had lapsed.
Lego wants independence from
Toy maker Lego has
asked the UK government to
remove images of Lego figures in a press release
that explained to Scottish voters how they could spend money
they would save by voting against independence from the
The list of "
12 things that £1,400 UK Dividend could buy" was
originally illustrated with Lego figures. But Lego said it had
not granted permission for the images to be used.
"We have requested that the images are removed due to our
neutral political stance. We are a children's toy company and
therefore all of our communication is targeted towards
children. People all over the world use Lego to depict stories
and scenarios – some of it not to our knowledge. We
maintain our position as being a politically neutral company,"
said the firm.
expiry causing controversy
German legal scholars are
debating whether Adolf
Hitler’s book Mein Kampf should be studied or
suppressed when the copyright on it expires at the
end of 2015 – 70 years after Hitler’s
No legal versions of the book have been published in Germany
since 1945. The free state of Bavaria owns the publication
rights on the book.
Munich’s Institute of Contemporary Studies had
been allowed permission to publish a scholarly edition of the
book. Work on which began in 2010 but government funding for it
stopped in 2013.
Trolls restrict venture
capital, claims study
Venture capital investment in the US "would have
likely been $21.772 billion higher over the course of five
years but for litigation brought by frequent litigators",
a new study by Catherine
Tucker, a professor of marketing at
MIT’s Sloan School of Business.
The study, called "The Effect of Patent Litigation and
Patent Assertion Entities on Entrepreneurial Activity", looked
at the relation between levels of patent litigation and venture
capital investment. It found that VC investment initially
increased with the number of litigated patents but reaches a
"tipping point" where further increases in the number of
patents litigated are associated with decreased VC
"This appears strongest for technology patents, and
negligible for products such as pharmaceuticals," said the
Tucker said frequent patent litigators serve as a proxy for
patent assertion entity litigation. A frequent patent litigator
is defined as an entity that has filed 20 or more patent
RPX’s bid for Freedom
Patent risk management firm RPX is in talks to buy
litigation data provider PatentFreedom,
Reuters. PatentFreedom tracks the behaviour of
Reuters said Daniel McCurdy would join RPX as part of the
deal. McCurdy is also CEO of Allied Security Trust, a
competitor of RPX. AST is a non-profit firm backed by Google,
Oracle and other technology companies.
IP published the following stories this week, available to
subscribers and trialists:
Rader to leave
Governments must do
more to tackle counterfeits – Unilever
Italy sets out EU
to break sound barrier in Canada
What US IP
owners need to know about the UPC
rules POM Wonderful can sue Coca-Cola for false
Qualcomm sign patent licence agreement
the EU way on plain packaging
for alternative patent licensing compared
Legal Media Group Australasia Women in Business Law Awards 2014
– Shortlist announced
adds trade mark partner in California
achievement award – Tian Lipu, former commissioner of
Who are the
most influential people in IP this year?