reform’s not in the House
The House of Representatives this week pulled the Innovation
Act from consideration for the summer session,
as reported on the Patently-O blog.
Opposition to patent reform has been increasing. This week a
press conference involving Representatives John Conyers, Thomas
Massie, Bill Foster and Scott Peters and Senators Chris Coons
and David Vitter attracted attention.
Coons, who introduced the pro-patent bill the STRONG Patents
Act in the Senate, was critical of the Innovation Act and the
Senate bill the PATENT Act.
"The fact of the matter is that these two bills would be
destructive to our innovation economy, and we're working hard
to ensure they won't be treated lightly in either the House or
said Coons in a press release. "A strong patent system is
one of the critical ways we distinguish ourselves from
competing economies around the world, and we cannot afford to
rush into passing a bill that would further weaken our
innovation economy, which is exactly what the Innovation Act
would do by making broad changes that fail to protect all
The earliest the Innovation Act will now be considered is
Bit less Blurred
The long-running Blurred Lines saga, in which the heirs of
Marvin Gaye were awarded damages for a Robin Thicke and
Pharrell Williams song infringing its copyright, took another
turn this week when the judge overseeing the lawsuit rejected a
request for a new trial, according to
The Hollywood Reporter.
The judge, however, reduced the jury’s $7.4
million award to $5.3 million. This reduction included cutting
the actual damages to about $3.2 million from $4 million, and
reducing the profits that Williams has to pay to about $358,000
from about $1.6 million.
Thicke and Williams are expected to take the lawsuit to an
An interesting effect of the Blurred Lines verdict was also
revealed this week when singer Miguel gave Billy Corgan of the
Smashing Pumpkins a writing credit for his new song "leaves"
because the guitar line was reminiscent of the 1996 song
"Kind of after we finished the song, it was like, 'You know
what, this is reminiscent of this song,' so we made sure that
they heard it and made sure that it was all good,"
Miguel told the Associated Press. He said that he was keen
to avoid a situation like in the Blurred Lines case.
Newegg's good news
Newegg this week received good news when Judge Rodney
Gilstrap ruled that it does not infringe a TQP Development
reports Ars Technica. Gilstrap vacated an award of $2.3
million that TQP was awarded in 2013 for Newegg infringing its
Erich Spangenberg owned TQP in 2013, when more than 100
companies were sued for infringing the patent. Ars Technica
said this resulted in about $45 million in settlements. TQP
filed 543 more lawsuits in April last year. Spangenberg told
the website that he sold the TQP portfolio last year and does
not know who owns it now.
However, Gilstrap did complain about Newegg’s
petition, which he said took a "shoot first and ask questions
Trade mark filing up 10%
New trade mark filings increased 10% in the first half of
according to trade mark lawyer Erik Pelton’s
There were 183,205 new applications filed in the half, up
from 165,934 in the first half of 2014.
quarter for RPX
The IP Close Up blog this week
had a good run down of public patent licensing
companies’ performance in the second
The index the blog tracks rose 2.1% overall in the quarter,
a better performance than the S&P 500 index’s
fall of 0.2%.
The best performers were RPX, which was up 17.4%, and
Rambus, which was up 15.2%.
Some quality feedback
The USPTO revealed this week it had received more than 1,100
comments and suggestions about its Enhanced Patent Quality
Initiative in response to its Federal Register notice.
"We have taken the ideas and suggestions you provided and
are making improvements in all aspects of patent quality," said
Valencia Martin Wallace, deputy commissioner for patent quality
at the USPTO,
in a blog post.
She added" "The USPTO is committed to providing the most
current and robust training for our patent examiners. In view
of the US Supreme Court’s recent decisions in
Alice Corp., Myriad, and Mayo, we are now offering our
examiners additional training on subject matter eligibility and
claim clarity issues related to 35 USC § 101 and §
112. We are also further enhancing our training for patent
examiners on search skills and the interviewing process."
The USPTO has consolidated the Office of Process
Improvement, Office of Patent Quality Assurance, Office of
Patent Training, and Office of Patents Ombudsman and
Stakeholder Outreach into its newly created Office of Quality
The USPTO will be embarking on a Patent Quality Roadshow
this summer to update stakeholders about its efforts. The
roadshow will visit Silicon Valley on August 24, Dallas on
August 26, and Alexandria on August 28.
Goebbels’s estate awarded royalties
Publisher Random House this week was ordered by a Munich
district court to pay royalties to the estate of Nazi minister
of propaganda Joseph Goebbels,
according to Newsweek. A biography written by Peter
Longerich and published in 2010 used parts of
The case raised an interesting issue of whether the estate,
which is thought to consist of the direct descendants of
Goebbels’ four siblings, should be allowed to
claim copyright infringement.
"We have more than a purely moral argument," Rainer Dresen,
Random House Germany’s lawyer, told Newsweek. "The
name of Goebbels appears on a list, written by the Allied
Control Council [the authority which governed Germany in the
immediate aftermath of the Second World War], of war criminals
whose estate was banned from financial transactions."
Also on the blog this week:
litigation back with a bang in May and
Learn about the
latest luxury goods law
In our news and analysis this week:
UK seeks comments
on design marking
New version of
Google Patents launched to improve patent
CJEU sets out FRAND
rules for licensors and licensees
owners’ fightback against hedge fund
administrative patent enforcement rules
PTAB cancelled 86%
of instituted claims in June
Norton Rose hires
Allen & Overy’s US IP
Haynes & Boone
adds two Kenyon & Kenyon ANDA
US Ninth Circuit
revives initial interest confusion in Amazon trade mark
confirmation brings Federal Circuit back up to full
Nathan Kelley named
acting PTAB Chief Judge