Fox loses appeal over Glee TV series
2015 in Canadian IP cases: trade
Carpmaels and Fieldfisher expand ahead of UPC
2015 in Canadian IP cases: patent
PTAB could affect VirnetX’s $626m award
in win over Apple
2015 in Canadian IP cases: copyright
Warner’s $14m Birthday
Warner/Chappell will pay $14 million to end the lawsuit
over the rights to the song Happy Birthday,
according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In a court filing this week, the company not only said it
would pay the sum to end the lawsuit but also proposed a
final judgment and order that would declare the song in the
This follows US district court judge George King ruling
last September that Warner did not hold any valid copyright
to the Happy Birthday lyrics. He did not rule the song was in
the public domain, however.
The Hollywood Reporter said the plaintiffs in the class
action case – led by documentary maker Jennifer and
represented by Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz
attorney Mark Rifkin – will seek $4.62 million of
the settlement fund, with the rest going to those who have
paid to licence the song and meet the definition of the
A hearing on the proposed settlement is scheduled for next
Keeping JC Penney out of check?
Burberry has sued JC Penney,
accusing the US retailor of infringing its signature "check"
pattern (right) by selling copies of its designs,
reports The Wall Street Journal.
The British luxury clothes brand filed a lawsuit in the
Southern District of New York that alleges a 'scarf coat" and
quilted jacket feature copies its plaid pattern, which has
been protected since Thomas Burberry registered a trade mark
for it in the 1920s.
The lawsuit says Levy Group made the items, an example of
which from the complaint is pictured below.
complaint was filed by Steptoe & Johnson. It says:
"Defendants’ infringement of the BURBERRY CHECK
Trademark is likely to cause, and has caused, consumers to
believe mistakenly that the defendants are either affiliated
with, sponsored by or somehow connected to Burberry, or that
the infringing products sold and promoted by defendants
either are genuine Burberry products, or, were endorsed or
authorised by Burberry."
MarketWatch reports that JC Penney has issued a statement
that it is "fully indemnified by the supplier, and therefore
any damages awarded in the case will be fully covered by the
supplier." It added that the suit will have "no
financial impact" on it.
Banks depositing more patent
Bloomberg Businessweek had
an interesting piece this week on how banks are educating
patent examiners about what they do through seminars. The
reason, said Bloomberg, was to counteract the granting of
patents to other industries covering age-old banking
The banking industry is increasingly seeking patents. The
1,192 patents awarded to banks over the past three years was
up 36% on the previous three year period.
The banks hope the USPTO will not grant patents to
applicants with similar ideas. Banks in recent years have
been involved in lawsuits over their methods of encoding and
transmitting data related to transactions.
"There was this frustration of 'Why is that patent out
there?’ " Sean Reilly, general counsel of
Askeladden, told Bloomberg.
Fox and Dish settle
Fox Broadcasting and Dish Network
have settled a dispute over Dish’s AutoHop
feature, which automatically skips over commercials for
The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. But as a
result Dish’s AutoHop commercial skipping
feature will not be available for Fox stations until seven
days after a programme airs.
The two parties settled all pending litigation between
them, including disputes over Dish’s Slingbox
technology and the AutoHop, PrimeTime Anytime and Transfers
features. Fox claimed the features violate its copyright and
Beijing and Marrakesh sent to Senate
President Obama this week sent
two treaties to the Senate for ratification:
the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performance and
the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works
for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise
In other Senate-related news, the Trade Facilitation and
Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 was passed this week. The
customs bill has a series of IP-related provisions, including
codification of the Intellectual Property Rights Center as a
formal institution within US Immigrations and Customs
Chris Dodd, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of
commented: "This bill promotes a vibrant creative economy
by providing creators with modernised tools to protect their
content and increase their global competitiveness. Passing a
customs and enforcement bill is an accomplishment that has
not been achieved in nearly twenty years."
Authors turn their hands to writing briefs
A group of prominent authors has filed a brief supporting
the US Authors Guild’s petition for the Supreme
Court to hear its dispute with Google over the digitalisation
of millions of in-copyright works, reports The Guardian.
Last October, the Second Circuit
rejected Authors Guild’s appeal. It ruled
that Google Books’ scanning and indexing of
books is a transformative use that renders a public benefit,
leading to a finding of fair use.
The authors throwing their weight behind the Supreme Court
appeal include JM Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, Malcolm Gladwell
and Peter Carey.
brief states: "Although Google described its Books
Library Project to the public as though it were a charitable
endeavour … it was a vehicle to make searchable
digital copies of over 20 million authors’ works
(four million in copyright) available for searching …
Paying for licences for those copies was not part of
Google’s business model … By creating a
search project that would draw people repeatedly to new
searches, as one consults a dictionary, Google created a
vehicle for creating new, advertising-bearing web pages that
would enrich its advertising revenue."
German inventor Artur Fischer died on January 27, aged 96,
reports The New York Times.
He made his first patented invention in 1947, a method for
triggering a flash when a camera’s shutter was
released. He went on to register more than 1,100 patents,
more than Thomas Edison, who had 1,093 patents.