a mouse trade mark fight
Disney has not taken kindly to electronic musician Deadmau5
using a mouse-ears
logo, which the entertainment giant says infringes
its Mickey Mouse trade mark.
Deadmau5 has been wearing a mouse head costume for 10 years,
and has a trade mark for it in 30 countries. Disney wants to
block Deadmau5 from registering the trade mark in the US
because it says the mau4head logo is too similar to its famous
three circle Mickey Mouse ears logo, which dates back to
Deadmau5, a Canadian whose real name is Joel Zimmerman, is
up for the fight. In one tweet, he warned "lawyer up mickey". In another tweet he said:
thinks you might confuse an established electronic musician /
performer with a cartoon mouse. That's how stupid they think
In a further twist, Deadmau5 has accused Disney of infringing his
copyright when it uploaded a cartoon video featuring
Mickey Mouse called "Ghosts 'n’ Stuff –
Re-Micks". Ghost 'n’ Stuff is one of
Copyright issues laid
This week’s leak of nude photos of celebrities
including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton has raised copyright
issues over their efforts to get the photos taken down.
CBC reports that
copyright complaints prompted the removal of images from
sharing site Imgur.com and led to links on the social
networking site Reddit being made inoperable.
TMZ reported that Lawrence
could struggle to get the photos of her removed from
the internet because she may not actually own the copyright.
TMZ said one porn
website was refusing to take down the photos because it argues
that Lawrance did not take the photos so someone else would
hold the copyright.
This is not the first time Lawrence has been involved in a
picture that led to copyright disputes, although this one is
much more distressing for her. Lawrence was one of the
celebrities in the famous Oscar selfie (left) earlier this
led to much discussion about whether Ellen DeGeneres or
Bradley Cooper owned the copyright on the image.
Out of the picture
Photo-sharing firm Twitpic
is shutting down
because of a trade mark dispute with Twitter. The firm said
Twitter demanded it drop an application for a trade mark or it
would be denied access to data that allowed it to develop for
the Twitter platform.
"A few weeks ago Twitter
contacted our legal demanding that we abandon our trade mark
application or risk losing access to their API,"
Twitpic’s founder Noah Everett said in a blog
post. "This came as a shock to us since Twitpic has been around
since early 2008, and our trademark application has been in the
USPTO since 2009."
Twitpic was launched in 2008 and developed its third party
service to allow people to post pictures on
Twitter’s platform. Twitter has since developed
its own service to share photos.
"We're sad to see Twitpic is shutting down," the BBC quoted Twitter saying
in a statement. "We encourage developers to build on top of the
Twitter service, as Twitpic has done for years, and we made it
clear that they could operate using the Twitpic
course, we also have to protect our brand, and that includes
trade marks tied to the brand."
Getty claims "massive
In yet more online photo shenanigans,
Getty Images has sued
Microsoft over a new product that allows websites to
embed digital photos. Getty claimed in a lawsuit filed in a New
York federal court this week this is a "massive infringement"
of copyrighted images.
The Bing Image
Widget was released on August 22 and allows publishers to
create a panel on their websites to display images supplied by
the Bing search engine.
Getty claims this allows access to images without regard to
whether they are copyrighted or not.
Reuters quotes a Microsoft spokeswoman as responding: "As a copyright owner ourselves we
think the laws in this area are important. We'll take a close
look at Getty's concerns."
EFF targets "idiotic"
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has asked the
Federal Circuit for permission to file
an amicus brief in
the appeal of the long-running Ultramercial case. The
Federal Circuit will consider for a third time what EFF calls
Ultramercial’s "idiotic patent" for showing an
online advertisement before a 'media product".
case is the first big test for the Supreme Court’s
Alice v CLS Bank
said EFF’s Daniel
Nazer in a blog post.
"If the patent stands, the Federal Circuit will be
insisting on business as usual. If it falls, many other
abstract software and Internet patents should soon fall with
A 2010 trial court held the patent invalid on the grounds
that it claimed an abstract idea. The Federal Circuit reversed
this, saying the patent was not abstract because it "clearly
require[s] specific application to the inerrant and
cyber-market environment". The Supreme Court reacted by sending
the case back to the Federal Circuit for reconsideration. Then
Chief Judge Randall Rader upheld the patent. The defendants
returned to the Supreme Court, which issued a GVR order to send
the case back down to the Federal Circuit to reconsider the
case in light of the Alice ruling.
Podcast dispute to air in
a detailed story on a lawsuit
between Personal Audio and CBS that is heading to
trial in Marshall, Texas.
Personal Audio has been enforcing one of its patents against
podcasters. The most high-profile target was podcaster Adam
Carolla, who fought back against Personal Audio accusing the
firm of "extortion". Personal Audio and Carolla
settled their dispute last
Personal Audio is involved in lawsuits against three big
television networks. In the first case to go to trial, Personal
Audio and CBS will be selecting a jury next week.
on the blog this week:
How much of a
job creator is IP?
early resolution of IP disputes
in our news and analysis:
construction joint venture
adds two partners in New York
"likes" ruled not a form of IP
break 1,900 barrier in August
What makes a
parody? The CJEU explains
hopes for recently approved patent troll study
How the EPO
aims to improve legal certainty
launches trade mark practice in China
IP/IT firm opens