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Apple, Best Global Brands, Steve Jobs movie, USPTO Silicon Valley office, Marrakesh Treaty – the week in IP

A jury ordering Apple to pay $243m damages to WARF, the Best Global Brands report’s release, the opening of the USPTO’s Silicon Valley office, the role of fair use in the new Steve Jobs biopic, and the Republic of Korea ratifying the Marrakesh Treaty were in the IP headlines the past week

Apple logo 200Apple hit with $234m damages

A jury on Friday ordered Apple to pay $234 million in damages to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) – the patent licensing arm of the University of Wisconsin.

WARF was seeking $400 million after a jury last week found Apple infringed a patent for improving processor efficiency. The jury said the patent was valid and the technology was used in Apple’s A7, A8 and A8X processors in the iPhone 5S, 6 and 6 Plus and versions of the iPad. Judge William Conley had ruled that Apple could be liable for up to $862.4 million in damages.

WARF first sued Apple in January 2014. WARF also sued Apple again last month, alleging infringement by the company’s latest chips, the A9 and A9X, which are used in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, and the iPad Pro.

Reuters reports that Apple will appeal the verdict.



Best Global Brands revealed

Apple had better news when Interbrand put it top in its Best Global Brands report.

In its 16th annual issue, the report identified Apple and Google as the top two brands for the third year in a row. Apple increased its brand value by 43%, said Interbrand, which values it at $170 billion. Google increased its brand by 12%, and is valued at $120 billion.

Microsoft moved ahead of IBM into fourth place. Amazon entered the top 10 for the first time, with its brand value of $38 billion placing it 10th.

Five new brands entered the top 100 this year – Lego at 82nd, Paypal at 97th, Moet & Chandon at 99th and Lenovo at 100th.

Technology and automotive brands hold 28 of the top 100 positons, while technology brands make up 33.6% of the total value of the 100 brands.

Top 10

Apple (#1, +43%)

Google (#2, +12%)

Coca-Cola (#3, -4%)

Microsoft (#4, +11%)

IBM (#5, -10%)

Toyota (#6, +16%)

Samsung (#7, 0%)

GE (#8, -7%)

McDonald’s (#9, -6%)

Amazon (#10, +29%)

Top risers

Facebook (#23, +54%)

Apple (#1, +43%)

Amazon (#10, +29%)

Hermès (#41, +22%)

Nissan (#49, +19%)

New entrants

Lego (#82)

PayPal (#97)

MINI (#98)

Moët& Chandon (#99)

Lenovo (#100)



Fair use and Steve Jobs

Yet further Apple-related IP news came from The Wrap, which had an interesting story on how the iconic 1984 commercial introducing the Macintosh was used in the new Steve Jobs movie directed by Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender in the title role.

Jobs’ family denied use of the commercial to the film makers, despite the efforts of Ridley Scott – who directed the commercial, featuring an athlete hurling a hammer to smash a large screen projecting an intoning Big Brother-type face – to get permission for it.

The commercial plays a big role in the movie, which focuses on three Apple product launches. Boyle told the Wrap that he ended up using the commercial without permission.

“We got it under fair use,” he said. The director said that Universal’s legal department carefully weighed up whether the use of the commercial would qualify under fair use, and decided it would.

Boyle cheerfully added: “I’m sure it helps that they’ve had such a stellar year, so they’re not as nervous about stuff.”



USPTO logoUSPTO’s Silicon Valley office opens

USPTO director Michelle Lee officially opened the permanent location for the Silicon Valley office, West Coast region.

The new office in the Silicon Valley’s central business district will assist the USPTO in fostering and protecting innovation. The office will hire local talent for both examiners and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) judges within the intellectual property and technical fields.

Lee said: “The regional offices let us hear more directly from innovators, IP practitioners, business leaders, educators, companies, universities, and members of the startup community.”

The USPTO also recently announced the launch of a nationwide partnership with the Startup Community – the USPTO’s Startup Partnership. This partnership aims to provide for the development and cultivation of a set of programmes and resources tailored to the unique needs of the startup community.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that California holds one in 10 US patents and Silicon Valley submits more than 1,000 applications a month. michelle lee bobblehead                                                                                      

Win a Michelle Lee bobblehead!

Speaking of Lee, Santa Clara’s High Tech Law Institute is giving away two bobbleheads of the USPTO director to celebrate the opening of the Silicon Valley regional office. The giveaway closes on Friday.  



Korea ratifies Marrakesh Treaty

The Republic of Korea has ratified the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, WIPO has revealed.

This is the 11th notification WIPO has given on the treaty, following 10 other nations ratifying the treaty.



Also on the blog this week:

Africa and the Middle East IP news round-up, October 2015

In our news and analysis this week:

Google Books is transformative fair use, Second Circuit rules

PTAB's BRI standard may not be as controversial as critics suggest

TXED drives 33% drop in US patent litigation in third quarter

Patent Office views from Brazil, Europe and Japan

Pakistan and Vietnam join AIPPI family

Take your partners please for the Frandango!

Interview: Laurent Thibon, AIPPI Secretary General

Interview: John Bochnovic, AIPPI Executive Director

Battling the backlog: Luiz Otávio Pimentel, INPI

The perils of international collaboration

The (trade) secrets of success

Apple faces up to $860 million in damages after patent loss

Interview: Sarah Matheson, AIPPI Reporter General

Culture clash over copyright exceptions and limitations

AIPPI Opening Ceremony gets the party started

Getting to work on next year’s AIPPI questions

Congressional trade mark caucus kicks off with first briefing

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