Also on the blog in the past week were:
Analysing the PTAB in the first half of 2016 – guest
Guest post: Designs, Brexit and the fashion industry
Join us for UPC, Unitary Patent and Brexit discussions in
Munich and Paris
Sponsored post: Lowering the (on sale) bar
We’ve also posted the following articles in the
past week (log in via subscription or free
Federal Circuit grants en banc review of PTAB amendment
AbbVie v Amgen: Is the "patent dance" fair for both
PTAB’s use of common sense reversed in Arendi v
Patent litigation and settlement trends in Japan
Dids Macdonald OBE of ACID on design rights, Brexit and Section
The Samsung v Apple briefs are in
Federal Circuit rules in Halo on remand from Supreme
Courts get tough on intermediaries in fight against
Remembering Ray Niro
IP icon Ray Niro died last week of
a heart attack while vacationing in Italy. He was 73.
ran a heartfelt remembrance for Niro, who was referred to
as the original patent troll in some quarters.
"Of course, referring to Ray as a patent troll is at
best half the story," wrote Gene Quinn on the IP Watchdog blog.
"No picture of Ray Niro could ever be complete without mention
of his extraordinary success. The reason he managed to get
under the skin of so many giant tech companies was because he
was very good at proving that large corporations infringed
valid patents owned by his clients, sometimes on fundamentally
important innovations. Indeed, in a long and distinguished
career that spanned over 40 years, Niro collected well over $1
billion for his inventor clients."
Wall Street Journal called Niro one of the
US’s "most feared and influential patent
litigators". He set up Niro
Law in 1976, and by 2006 was involved in more than 5% of
patent cases that went to verdict that year.
Marathon looks to Asia with Siemens deal
Marathon Patent Group has acquired 307 worldwide patents
from Siemens and certain of its affiliates.
The first portfolio of 221 patents
relate to W-CDMA and GSM cellular technology and cover
economies including China, France, Germany, the UK and the US.
Many of the patent families have been declared to be standard
essential patents with the European Telecommunications Standard
Institute and/or the Association of Radio Industries and
Businesses related to Long Term Evolution, Universal Mobile
Telecommunications System, and/or General Packet Radio
The second portfolio of 86 patents relates to
Internet-of-Things technology, mostly generally directed toward
self-healing control networks for building automation
Doug Croxall, Marathon's CEO Officer, stated:
"These transactions with Siemens not only materially increases
our asset count to now 631 US and foreign patents, with 79
patent applications, but importantly, it will expand Marathon's
patent licensing activity into Asia, while remaining active in
both the United States as well as countries in Europe. Many of
the newly acquired assets have been declared as SEPs and we
intend to assert our patent rights, wherever infringed."
Marathon this week
also announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary TLI
Communications GmbH has asserted its patent rights related to
the French and Italian Parts of European Patent 0 814 611 B1
("EP '611") in both France and Italy, respectively. It sued
Yahoo, Tumblr and Pinterest.
Sheeran sued again
Ed Sheeran has been sued for copyright infringement again,
reports The Telegraph. The suit was filed in the Southern
District of New York by the heirs of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote
the lyrics and created the musical composition to Marvin
Gaye’s Let’s Get It On. The suit
claims Sheeran’s song Thinking Out Loud copies
core elements of Gaye’s 1973 hit.
"The Defendants copied the 'heart' of 'Let's' and repeated
it continuously throughout 'Thinking,'" says the lawsuit. "The
melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic compositions of 'Thinking' are
substantially and/or strikingly similar to the drum composition
In June, Sheeran was sued by two musicians claiming his song
Photograph infringes the copyright of one of their
as this blog previously reported. In
a lawsuit filed in the Central District of
California, Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard
claim the chorus of Photograph shares 39 identical notes to
their track Amazing. The pair are represented by Richard Busch
of King & Ballow, the lawyer that won the Blurred Lines
case – another case involving a Gaye hit.
Reintroducing the Ghostface Killah lawsuit
In other music-related copyright news, the Second Circuit
recently revived claims against Sony and Ghostface Killah, in
Urbont v Sony Music Entertainment,
reports Akerman’s Marks, Works & Secrets
The court held that, although third
parties may raise a work for hire defence, this case had
factual issues that precluded summary judgment. But the Court
affirmed summary judgment on plaintiff’s state law
claims as preempted by the Copyright Act.
Jack Urbont had sued Sony, Razor Sharp Records, and Dennis
Coles (known better as Ghostface Killah).to enforce his
ownership rights in the "Iron Man" theme song, sampled on two
tracks on the Supreme Clientele album released in 2000.
"The District Court granted summary judgment, finding no
factual dispute that Urbont’s work was a work for
hire for Marvel, and that the state law claims were preempted
by the Copyright Act," explains Akerman. "The Second Circuit
disagreed in part."
Accelerating LOT’s membership drive
Honda and General Motors recently signed up for the License
on Transfer (LOT) Network, following other auto companies
including Hyundai, Ford and Uber in joining the network in the
reports that this is "another sign of the growing ties
between Detroit and Silicon Valley" that automakers and tech
companies are coming together to fight patent trolls.
The LOT Network was launched in 2014 as a Google initiative.
Members pledge that their patents will never be used by a
patent troll to sue another member of the network.
"The move by auto companies to join LOT comes amid an
ongoing debate over whether Congress needs to take new steps to
rein in patent trolls," noted Fortune’s Jeff John
Alexander Wang was handed a favorable ruling against 45
defendants in a trade mark counterfeiting and cybersquatting
case in the Southern District of New York,
reports The Fashion Law blog. Wang was given a default
judgment including $90 million in damages and ownership of 459
domain names that were either offering counterfeit goods for
sale or using the Alexander Wang brand name.
you itching to read a history of US beauty pageant naming
disputes? The Trademark & Copyright Law blog
has you covered.
FTC and DOJ
are seeking views on a proposed update of the antitrust
guidelines for licensing of intellectual property.
other DOJ news, following last week’s announcement
of no change to the antitrust consent decrees that govern ASCAP
and BMI, the two music performing rights organisations
are challenging the DOJ action.