Also on the blog this week:
Kyle Bass vows to keep returning to the PTAB
Show us the evidence!
Your IP Stars research questions
Fitbit hits back at
Fitbit has sued rival fitness tracker maker Jawbone for
patent infringement, following Jawbone filing three suits
against it in the summer,
reports The Recorder.
Gibson Dunner & Crutcher filed a suit for Fitbit in the
Northern District of California alleging infringement of three
patents for wireless devices. The company has also filed a
similar suit in the District of Delaware.
Jawbone filed a trade secrets lawsuit against Fitbit in May,
and followed up
with a patent infringement lawsuit in June and a complaint
filed with the ITC in July seeking a ban on Fitbit imports.
These lawsuits could be the start of a trend in the wearable
technology industry. Some view it as the next hot area for
an analysis published in June, Envision IP said: "With the
dust settling on the various patent lawsuits filed in recent
years between many technology companies in the mobile space,
the wearable technology industry could be the next frontline
for patent disputes. Focused wearable device companies such as
Fitbit and Jawbone have already shown their emphasis on
obtaining patent protection, both organically and via
acquisitions. Larger technology companies are also innovating
in the space, with Apple, Google, Sony, Samsung, and Qualcomm
all having patents related to wearable technology."
at the US Copyright Office
The US Copyright Office’s online registration
system was down for a week.
The outage occurred after the registration system failed to
come back online after scheduled maintenance. Applications had
to be submitted through the mail. The
Washington Post reported the outage cost the Office
$650,000 and caused problems for about 12,000 customers.
The US Chamber of Commerce’s Global
Intellectual Property Center
said the outage is telling. The Office is operated by the
Library of Congress,
"The General Accounting Office has been sounding the alarm
about the inadequacies of the Library’s IT system,
in particular," noted GIPC executive director Frank Cullen.
The GAO recently issued a report concluding the Library
"does not have an IT strategic plan…is not effectively
managing its investments…its implementation of key
security and privacy management controls was uneven…it
has not fully developed agreements with the other service units
specifying expected levels of performance… The Library
does not have the leadership needed to address these IT
Cullen added: "But the issue is broader than a present lack
He said the Library builds its systems for its own mission.
Some lawmakers want to move the Copyright Office out from under
the Library and allow it to modernise. Representatives Tom
Marino and Judy Chu have co-authored a discussion draft of
legislation designed to achieve that goal.
"American businesses and consumers deserve a Copyright
Office that is suited to the modern era and the future," said
Cullen. "Last week’s outage is yet more evidence
that the Copyright Office needs authority over its own systems
to make that happen. And we hope Congress gives this the
attention it deserves."
passes $1 billion mark
Music rights management agency BMI has exceeded $1 billion
in annual review for the first time,
according to the New York Times. Revenue for the year
ending June 30 2015 was up almost 4% on the same period 12
BMI distributed $877 million to its members, slightly less
than the $883 million rival Ascap paid its members in the same
BMI received about $100 million from digital sources in the
year, up 65%. The biggest chunk of its income came from cable
and satellite sources, making up 34% of its US collections.
Broadcast radio and television made up 33% and "general
licensing" made up 19%. International sources accounted for
$292 million of BMI’s revenues, which was down 5%
on the previous 12 months.
In May, a federal judge ruled that Pandora’s
royalty rate for using BMI’s music should increase
to 2.5% from 1.75%.
Recording more patent
TV box company TiVo has sued Samsung for patent
reports Ars Technica.
filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas alleging
infringement of four of its patents. Three of the patents are
related to a "multimedia time warping system" while the fourth
is titled "trick play" and has been used in previous
This is TiVo’s first patent lawsuit since 2012.
The company has received $1.6 billion in royalty payments from
patent-related lawsuits, according to the complaint, with
awards and payments from EchoStar, AT&T, Verizon, Motorola
TiVo sees its latest case as an indicator of how long it
will be able to keep patent royalties coming in. "Today's
action should help address one of the questions regarding the
value, breadth, and applicability of TiVo's IP portfolio post
the 2018 expiration of the '389 patent," Ars Technica quoted
TiVo CEO Tom Rogers saying on an earnings call.
Toyota’s patent up in the air
Toyota has applied for a patent that could lead to a flying
according to Bloomberg.
The patent was published in the USPTO’s
database on September 3. It was applied for in March 2014, and
features a "stackable wing for an aerocar".
The application says that the wing can change its shape. One
configuration has the wing stacked on top of the car roof in
"roadable mode" and one has a more aerodynamic shape for
In our news and analysis this week:
Unitary Patent and UPC: five takeaways from
the Patent Reform Forum
Former USPTO patent commissioner Focarino
China criminal enforcement: Be careful what
you wish for
Three policy themes to be targeted in UK IPO
Interview: Philippa Hall, chief economist, UK
US business method patent applications fall
52.4% after Alice