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Washington Redskins’ Federal Trademark Cancelled by USPTO 0

Washington Redskins’ Federal Trademark Cancelled by USPTO

Posted by on Jun 18, 2014 in Blog

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has cancelled the trademark registration for the Washington Redskins, stating that the name of the team is “disparaging to Native Americans.” This was the second time that the case was filed against the Washington Redskins on behalf of 5 Native Americans. This decision affects 6 trademarks, which contain the word “Redskin.” The decisions comes based on the law which does not allow trademarks to be registered if the trademark “may disparage” groups or individuals and “bring them into contempt or disrepute.” The decision by the USPTO does not necessarily mean that the Redskins will need to re-brand themselves with a new team name or logo, but it will certainly affect how it can control and produce merchandise. Since the NFL will no longer be protected by the same laws as if they had a registered trademark, it will certainly affect how they can bring suits against people who use their logos and names without proper authorization from the NFL. Attorneys for both sides have spoken, and the attorney representing the team stated that “this ruling will have no effect at all on the team’s ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo.” The attorney for the team is confident...

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Trademark Protection: The FIFA World Cup 0

Trademark Protection: The FIFA World Cup

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Blog

The FIFA World Cup is starting today and while many fans are eager to watch the first match between Brazil and Croatia, behind the scenes is an entanglement of intellectual property issues. The Federation Internationale of Football Association (FIFA) released a manual, entitled the “2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil – FIFA Public Guidelines for Use of FIFA’s Official Marks”, on how businesses and individuals should deal with any IP related issues. The manual is 27 pages long and includes a section dedicated to the official marks of FIFA, examples of how to use the marks, and other general information. In the manual, FIFFA states that any “unauthorized use of the Official Marks not only undermines the integrity of the FIFA World Cup and its marketing program, but also puts the interests of the worldwide football community at stake.” The manual lists the official marks, official emblem, official mascot, official slogan, official look element, the FIFA World Cup trophy, official poster, official fan fest logo, a list of protected terms and a variety of other words and marks that FIFA is aiming to protect. Of the protected terms, FIFA includes, World Cup, Brazil 2014, Soccer World Cup and more. By releasing this manual and instructions on use, FIFA is making...

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Facebook Releases Patent to Allow Children to Join 0

Facebook Releases Patent to Allow Children to Join

Posted by on Jun 3, 2014 in Patent

Recently, Facebook announced that they have created a patent which would allow children under the age of 13 to join Facebook, if their information can be matched to the Facebook accounts of their parents. As of now, Facebook limits children under 13 from registering an account. Legislation known as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) limits how a website operator has to protect children’s privacy and safety, thus restricting the activity of children under 13 on most websites. In complying with this legislation, most websites have disallowed children from using their website because of the amount of work involved. The patent, which complies with COPPA would allow a system for children under the age of 13 to join Facebook under their parent’s supervision. Facebook released a statement to The Guardian stating, “Like any responsible company, we have looked at ways to tackle this issue, but a patent application based on two year old research is not a predictor of future work in this area.” The patent application was filed in November of 2012 and was recently published by the USPTO last week which described a system in which parents can “authorize and supervise Facebook accounts for their children”. In order for the child to activate their...

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Sale of Fisker Automotive Shows the Value of Patents

Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Patent

Two Chinese companies have been locked in a bidding war to buy United States automaker Fisker Automotive Holdings, Inc.   The overall prospects of the company are bleak (it is in bankruptcy after all) but whoever purchases the company will own the eighteen patents it developed.  Outside of entry into US market, whoever buys Fisker will not have much else to work with. Fisker had received hundreds of millions in federal dollars to develop hybrid cars.  However, it has not produced a car since 2012.  It owns a factory formerly owned by General Motors but has let it fall into disrepair.  After the company failed to meet milestones established by the Energy Department the company stopped receiving payouts from the federal government.  Fisker then declared bankruptcy the bankruptcy judge set a February 12th date for an auction of Fisker’s assets. The company’s patent holdings are particularly valuable to anyone looking to enter the alternative-fuels market.  These patents include drivetrain technology for electric cars, cover grille designs, and a fender vent.  Fisker also has pending patents on aluminum subframing and solar technology in vehicles.  Whichever company obtains these patents will be able to avoid years of research and development and be able to implement these inventions in new car models.  Even...

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Patent Infringement Claims Brought Against Apple 0

Patent Infringement Claims Brought Against Apple

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Patent

On April 10, 2014 OpenTV and Nagravision, two subsidiaries of The Kudelski Group, filed suit against Apple in the Northern District of California.  The lawsuit alleges Apple is infringing upon five of OpenTV’s patents relating to video technology.  OpenTV focuses on software for advanced program guides, video-on-demand, personal video recording, interactive and addressable advertising and a variety of enhanced television applications.  Nagravision provides security and multiscreen user experience solutions for the monetization of digital media.  The lawsuit states Apple’s iOS mobile devices, Apple TV, App Store, iTunes, iAd’s, Safari and OS X-based personal computers infringe these patents. This is not the first time OpenTV has sued a company for patent infringement.  It also sued Netflix in 2012 and 2013.  In that suit, OpenTV alleged seven of its patents were infringed which covered aspects of over-the-top TV technology. Cisco Systems was also sued by OpenTV under similar circumstances.  Cisco decided to settle, but the settlement amount was not disclosed. OpenTV owns about 800 patents at this point.  The company obviously has not lost its zeal for defending its patent rights.  Anyone who operates in similar technologies certainly is on notice that OpenTV is watching.  However, OpenTV did offer to negotiate licenses with the companies it sued.  Apple, Netflix, and Cisco...

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