IBM sues Priceline
filed a lawsuit against Priceline, alleging infringement of
four patents, the oldest of which goes back to 1999.
IBM filed the lawsuit in the District Court of Delaware
against The Priceline Group and subsidiaries that own and
operate Priceline.com, Opentable.com and Kayak.com for
infringement of IBM intellectual property.
its complaint, written by John Desmarais, IBM seeks damages
for past infringement and for a reasonable royalty going
forward. The company says Priceline in the running of its
travel and dining websites infringes its patents relating to
tracking conversation with a user, speeding internet
transmissions, showing internet advertising, and improving on a
according to Reuters.
"We have filed this lawsuit against Priceline for a very
simple reason – IBM's patents are being knowingly and
unfairly exploited," said William LaFontaine,
IBM’s general manager of intellectual property.
"Our preference is to engage in good faith negotiations and
agree to a fair patent licence, but when another company
willfully uses our intellectual property, without permission
through a licence, we have no option but to protect and
vigorously defend it through every means available."
Bull’s "corporate wedgie"
Energy drink maker Red Bull is opposing a trade mark
application from a brewery in North Virginia called Old Ox
Brewery. The brewery is named after a Virginia road dating back
to the 18th century.
As reported by
Entrepreneur, The Austrian company initially sent a letter
to Old Ox 10 months ago before the brewery had brewed a single
beer objecting to its name and use of colours. Old Ox responded
by changing its logo and promising never to make energy
On January 28, Red Bull stepped up its opposition by filing
an opposition at the USPTO.
"An 'ox’ and a 'bull’ both fall
within the same class of 'bovine’ animals and are
virtually indistinguishable to most consumers," says the filing. "In addition, an ox is a castrated
Chris Burns, president of Old Ox, responded with
a letter posted on the company’s website that
said Red Bull was being "extremely uncool", "holding us
hostage", "bullying" and "giving us one hell of a corporate
"The only similarity between our two products is that they
are both liquids," wrote Burns. "You make non-alcoholic (but
very extreme) energy drinks. We make delicious (but laid-back)
beer. Our consumers are looking for two distinctly different
experiences from our respective products."
Troll, "piece of s***", or legitimate patent holder?
The IP Close Up blog
this week analysed an interesting patent infringement
dispute involving Life360 and Advanced Ground Information
Life360 claims it is being unfairly targeted by what it sees
as a patent troll. Its CEO Chris Hulls said AGIS’s
lawsuit is meritless. In a letter from Life360 to AGIS, Hulls
wrote: "Dear Piece of S***, We are in the process of retaining
counsel and investigating this matter… I will pray that
karma is real and that you are its worthy recipient."
Bruce Berman writing on the IP Close Up blog countered that
the Life360 lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of
Florida, rather than a more-patent friendly district, and is
the only patent lawsuit currently filed by AGIS. The blog added
that AGIS is represented by Kenyon & Kenyon, "a highly
respected law firm known for defending large operating
companies" that "represents precious few if any
The blog post concluded: "Whatever the outcome, going public
with a 'damn-the-troll’ defense, as Life360 has,
is looking old and worn, even if it can still sometimes work.
Allegations like those are outside the merits of the case, and
from the preliminary research, will be difficult to
Fox in fair use blow
A New York federal court this week denied Fox summary
judgment on a fair use defence in a copyright dispute over its
use of a 9/11 photo.
reported on the 43(B)log, North Jersey Media Group had sued
Fox for infringing its copyright on the photo. On the Facebook
page for Fox’s Justice with Judge Jeanine
programme, an image was posted juxtaposing the photo featuring
firefighters raising the American flag with the iconic photo of
Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima in World War II.
"Though the PA in charge of the programme and the associated
Facebook page sought legal advice on fair use a few times a
month for the programme, she’d never consulted the
legal department for the Facebook page," explained the
439(B)log. "She 'Googled’ 9/11 to find an
appropriate commemorative image in 2013, and immediately
recognized the juxtaposition. She chose to use the combined
image because of the parallel between the first responders and
the Marines. The combined image uses a lower-resolution,
cropped version of plaintiff’s photo. She added
the hashtag #neverforget, and testified that she did so in
order to convey Fox News’ participation in the
global conversation taking place on social media that day.
IHundreds of people commented on the image post."
The court examined the four factors of fair use, and said
Fox failed on two of them.
Fox argued that its use was transformative commentary on the
parallels between 9/11 and Iwo Jima. However, the court found
the alterations to the imge were "barely discernable".
Judge Edgardo Ramos also ruled against Fox on the factor of
the effect of the use upon the potential market for the photo.
New Jersey Media Group has made more than $1 million licensing
the photo, mostly in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The judge said
Fox’s action "poses a very real danger that other
such media organisations will forego paying licensing fees for
the Work and instead opt to use the Combined Image at no
debate rages on
This week IP folks on the internet continued to debate the
fallout of the Left Shark dancer from Katy Perry’s
Super Bowl half time show.
here last week, Perry’s lawyers had threatened
legal action after a design for a 3D printed Left Shark by
artist Fernando Sosa were put for sale online.
This week it transpired that Perry was attempting to file
for a trade mark for Left Shark, as
reported by Techdirt. This was quickly abandoned, but
interestingly Perry’s lawyers in
the application used the image that Sosa had used for his
3D printed shark.
Also on the blog this week:
Join us for the fifth annual International
Latest IP updates from around the
The petitioners, patent owners and law firms
topping the PTAB rankings
Guest blog: Why Europe must reform its trade
Has China’s "skin in the game
In our news and analysis this week:
Managing IP – North America awards
Is Taiwan’s improving IP
environment a sign of mainland China’s
Interview: Captain Wei-Hsu Chen of Taiwan IP
Police, Taipei company
CJEU gives guidance to patent/SPC owners and
Australia High Court to tackle Myriad
AIPLA warns over Unitary Patent fees
OHIM seeks input on 2020 vision
Managing IP - Global Awards Shortlists
Qualcomm and Chinese regulators settle
antimonopoly law charges
J A Kemp makes litigation-boosting
Data – 100 IPR petitions filed in
The South African draft IP Policy: Patents and
Health in South Africa
Two of India’s biggest IP firms
Awapatent establishes Greater China
Microsoft and Samsung settle US contract
Damages wins for Sprint and Intellectual
Ventures in Delaware