Panasonic, Taylor Swift, Motorola, Intellectual Ventures, AT&T – the week in IP
Panasonic opening up its internet of things patents, Taylor Swift buying two domain names, Motorola being found to infringe an Intellectual Ventures patent, and the Federal Circuit having little sympathy with AT&T missing a deadline to appeal a $40 million loss were in the IP headlines this week
panasonic20logo.jpg Panasonic opens up
Panasonic this week pledged to provide royalty-free access to software, patents and “experience from its product ecosystem” to speed the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) software and services. It also announced plans to increase its intellectual property contributions to the AllSeen Alliance, a cross-industry non-profit open source consortium.
Panasonic intends to make available for royalty-free use device-to-cloud software technology used in home monitoring systems, solar energy and in retail applications.
"In a market full of incompatible, proprietary offerings, this initiative brings a powerful tool to developers and equipment makers to help them create what the market wants in the IoT: interoperable and flexible services and applications leveraging data from connected devices and most importantly value to the customer," said Todd Rytting, Panasonic’s chief technology officer for North America.
“We are excited to contribute some of our technology and expertise to the effort already underway at the AllSeen Alliance. We hope our IoT initiative will inspire other global companies to contribute intellectual property and ideas to making networks work together through this alliance.”
Swift action on gTLDs
Pop star Taylor Swift has made a lot of IP headlines already this year, especially as a result of her applications for trade marks. This week she was back in the news again when it emerged she has bought the web domain names TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult.
The .porn and .adult domains are scheduled to become available on June 1, but Icann is allowing some big brands and celebrities to buy them early.
Motorola’s mixed result against IV
A US jury in Delaware this week found that Motorola infringed Intellectual Ventures’ patent on multimedia text media but did not infringe a second patent relating to wireless bandwidth. The jury said the second patent was invalid.
Intellectual Ventures originally sued Motorola in 2011, alleging its mobile devices infringed its patents. The two companies had a case end in a mistrial in February last year.
“We are encouraged by today’s verdict,” said Melissa Finocchio, chief litigation counsel at Intellectual Ventures. “As we look ahead to the next trial, we remain committed to defending inventor rights and protecting the interests of our investors and customers.”
atandt20logo.jpg A costly oversight
AT&T has missed the chance to appeal a $40 million loss in a patent infringement case because its lawyers missed the deadline, the Federal Circuit has ruled. In the case, Two-Way Media had accused AT&T of infringing technology for tracking streaming video services.
AT&T was represented by a team of lawyers from Sidley Austin. The telecommunications company had been given a notice of appeal of 30 days by a San Antonio judge in 2013. After the deadline passed, AT&T tried to extend the appeal period.
On appeal to the Federal Circuit, Carter Phillips argued AT&T was improperly notified of the orders, and the missed deadline was “excusable neglect”. The Federal Circuit said Judge Garcia did not abuse his discretion and even if he had given no notice it would not justify an extension.
toilet20paper20tweet.jpg Has IP resolved the toilet roll debate?
A patent filing from 1891 may have solved a debate that has been going on as long as toilet paper has existed: does it go on the toilet roll over or under?
NPR reports that a photo posted to Twitter of an 1891 patent for perforated toilet tissue and issued to Seth Wheeler of Albany, New York shows the tissue draped over the toilet roll.
NPR’s Scott Simon commented: “Over-the-roll purists, including Good Housekeeping, say over is preferred because it allows the user to see the number of tissues to be torn and is more appealing in appearance. I imagine that the rolls in Buckingham Palace are overs.”
However, advocators for under argue that it is easier to tear off sheets and harder for pets to unroll the paper if it is placed on the roll under.
Also on the blog this week:
In our news and analysis this week: