Posts Tagged "USPTO"

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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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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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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USPTO Proposes Rule Change for Patent Ownership

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Patent

On Wednesday, March 26, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) held a public hearing at Hastings College of Law in San Francisco on its proposed change to disclosure of patent ownership.  The proposed rule would require that all attributable owners of a patent be disclosed.  Currently this disclosure is voluntary.  These additional owners could be title owners or anyone who can enforce patent rights in court. This disclosure would be made when a patent application is submitted.  Any subsequent ownership transfer or grant of an exclusive license would also have to be reported with 90 days.  Otherwise the patent would be abandoned.  A patent would also be abandoned if an exclusive licensee refuses to disclose its individual owners. This proposed rule change comes as the Executive branch is looking to crack down on patent trolls, companies which do not manufacture products but instead exist to enforce licenses.  This goal was been stressed by President Obama and by many intellectual property legal experts.  In fact, many parties at the hearing where support of the rule change. However, some patent attorneys fear mandating the publicity of an exclusive license will discourage the practice.  They are also reluctant to support a rule change that can result in patent abandonment. ...

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