This week on MIP: Nokia-Oppo truce, Aldi's alcohol double
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This week on MIP: Nokia-Oppo truce, Aldi's alcohol double

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We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP

Nokia and Oppo end SEP battle with 5G licence

Nokia and Oppo have ended a three-year-long standard-essential patents dispute spanning Asia and Europe by signing a 5G cross-licensing deal, the companies announced on Wednesday, January 24.

The agreement, the terms of which have not been disclosed, resolves all litigation between the parties in China, India, the UK, and Germany.

Click here to read the full story.

Ireland to hold UPC referendum in June, govt confirms

Ireland will hold a referendum on whether to join the Unified Patent Court system in June, its government confirmed on Tuesday, January 23.

The vote will be held on the same day as local and European elections, although an exact date has not yet been confirmed.

Click here to read the full story.

Other articles published by Managing IP this week include:

Weekly take: OpenAI must be denied free rein over copyright-protected works

How Hong Kong firm capitalised on China’s foreign lawyer exodus

Behind the case: $42m patent win brings late Christmas cheer to Robins Kaplan

Ex-judge hopes to strengthen Fish & Richardson’s biotech PTAB practice

Elsewhere in IP

Cider house rules

Supermarket Aldi fended off a trademark infringement brought by cider brewer Thatchers at the UK's Intellectual Property Enterprise Court on Wednesday, January 24.

Thatchers had accused Aldi of selling so-called “copycat” cider that used similar branding to its own drink.

But Judge Melissa Clark found that there was no likelihood of confusion among consumers, even though Aldi’s product, called Taurus, would “call to mind” the Thatchers trademark.

Martin Thatcher, managing director of Thatchers, said: “It's clear to us that Aldi was intent on creating a product that rides on the premium position of Thatchers.

"We are very disappointed that the judge didn't agree with us, but it won't stop us from continuing to innovate and producing premium ciders.”

Gin round two

It was a busy week for Aldi. The German retailer was also in court against Marks & Spencer, this time for the second round in a design dispute surrounding bottles of gin.

The case was heard on Tuesday, January 23 by a three-judge panel at the England and Wales Court of Appeal. In January last year, the High Court found that the bottle for Aldi’s Infusionist gin infringed M&S’s registered designs for its ‘Light Up’ gin range. Aldi had appealed against that decision.

AI copyright

The Artificial Inventor Project has asked the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to allow copyright protection for a work generated by artificial intelligence (AI).

The group, which has also filed separate cases to try and get the AI tool DABUS named as an inventor on a patent application, wants the court to overturn a lower court ruling which found that human authorship is necessary for copyright protection.

“Allowing protection for AI-generated works would support the goals of copyright law,” said Ryan Abbott, a lawyer at the Artificial Inventor Project.

Cellect latest

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied a petition for the entire court to rehear In re Cellect on Friday, January 19.

In August 2023, a panel of three Federal Circuit judges upheld the USPTO’s decision to invalidate four Cellect-owned patents for obviousness-type double patenting (ODP).

ODP is the judicial doctrine that prevents an entity from improperly extending its exclusivity rights by obtaining a second patent covering an obvious variation of an earlier patent.

Cellect had argued that four patents it owned shouldn’t have been cancelled for ODP because they would have expired on the same day as an older patent if the company hadn’t received a patent term adjustment.

Ace result for Yannick Noah

Former French tennis star Yannick Noah has kept a EU trademark (EUTM) for his surname after the EU General Court dismissed a challenge from US-based Noah Clothing on Wednesday, January 24.

The EUTM covers polo shirts and sweaters. The EUIPO had already cancelled the mark’s coverage over some goods and services for non-use.

Désirée Fields, intellectual property lawyer at Pinsent Masons, said: “Athletes need to think carefully about the scope of trademark rights they will need now and in the future to ensure there is appropriately targeted specification of goods and services in the application.”

That's it for today, see you again next week.

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