General GWiR 27 February 2009 from IP Think Tank

Here is IP Think Tank’s weekly selection of top intellectual property news breaking in the blogosphere and internet.

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Highlights this week included:

Seattle’s Gary Locke may become new Commerce Secretary (Seattle Trademark Lawyer) (Inventive Step) (Intellectual Property Watch) (Peter Zura’s 271 Patent Blog) (Managing Intellectual Property) (Hal Wegner)

US Patent Reform Bill to be introduced on Monday… maybe (Patent Docs) (IAM) (Hal Wegner)

Global – General

Obama will disappoint anyone looking for lighter touch in US international IP policy (IAM)

Follow up on ACTA (Spicy IP)

More goodwill impairment (IP finance)

What if you could invest directly in shares of IP? (Techdirt)

How companies can cash in on innovations and patents (IP Frontline)

International Property Rights Index 2009 – New report identifies world’s most IP-friendly country, but trade marks are ignored (IAM)

What do clients want? Rocket science! (IP ADR Blog)

Global – Trade Marks / Brands

Business superbrands – Google scoops the latest poll (Class 46)

Global – Patents

Innovation policy: the balance between standards and patent regulation (Intellectual Property Watch)

IBM develops patent quality index tool (Competitive Info)

Nichia and Seoul to end global LED patent wars (Green Patent Blog)

Global – Copyright
The Commons video (Creative Commons)



Egypt and Nigeria suggested for USTR Special 301 Report (Afro-IP)


Criminal provisions for trade mark infringement in Argentina (IP tango)

Argentina joins Locarno Agreement, coming into force 9 May; brings number of contracting states to 50 (IP tango)


Full Federal Court protects ‘look and feel’ of T-shirt designs: Elwood Clothing Pty Ltd v Cotton On Clothing Pty Ltd (International Law Office)

Battle of the b(R)and – get a well drafted band agreement or a drum machine: Frimp Ltd v Jan Barry Whitwam (Australian Trade Marks Law Blog)

Trade mark enforcement review: weird criminal offences redux (LawFont)


Coca-Cola beats the crisis and announces a new set of investment in Brazil: a trade mark case to study (IP tango)


Montreal man convicted under anti-camcording law (Michael Geist)

Supreme Court refuses leave to appeal decision finding JAVACAFÉ descriptive in the French language: Shell Canada Limited v P T Sari Incofood Corporation (Canadian Trademark Blog)


Why intellectual property rights in China don’t come naturally (IP Dragon)

Chinese counterfeit products distort sub-Saharan market (IP Dragon)

Silk Market crackdown provokes storm of protest (Managing Intellectual Property)

Positive trends in patent stats? (China Hearsay)


Community trade mark office latest to feel downturn heat (IAM)

Progress report on push to have ECJ judicial output made available in English (IPKat)

European Qualification Examination (EQE) to be revised (BLOG@IP::JUR) (IPKat) (IPKat)

Detente at EPO? (BLOG@IP::JUR)

Changes to EPO fee structure, 1 April 2009 (BLOG@IP::JUR) (Patent Baristas)

Changes of patent culture (BLOG@IP::JUR)

MARQUES 3rd annual review of community design case law (Managing Intellectual Property)

PDO amendment – Chabichou du Poitou (Class 46)


French trade marks database opens publicly on 3 April 2009 (Class 46)

Union pour un Mouvement Populaire to compensate MGMT for use of song ‘Kids’ at party rallies without seeking permission (IPKat)


Munich District Court: Famous cameraman Jost Vacano seeks fair remuneration for input in ‘Das Boot’ (IPKat)

Federal Patent Court decides Bavarian sausage ‘Münchner Weißwurst’ does not qualify as protected geographical indication (IPKat)

How the ‘Second German Reform Act on Victims’ Rights’ may affect IP rights (IPKat)

Hong Kong

High Court overturns Trademark Office decision not to allow registration of NAKED brand for condoms (The IP Factor)


Report on NUJS event: ‘Injunctions v Damages in IP Cases by Justice Sikri’ (Spicy IP)

Guest post on patent examiners and labour markets (Spicy IP)


COSABELLA & COCABELLA clothing marks both allowed to proceed to examination (The IP Factor)

Fake Rolex watches ordered destroyed, but no damages awarded against importer: Rolex SA v Balloons and Entertainment Ltd (The IP Factor)


Hague District Court upholds Novartis/Ciba Vision European extended wear contact lens patent, blocks further sales of Acuvue Oasys in the Netherlands by Johnson & Johnson (PatLit)


MOU on IPR between Philippines and Taiwan (IP Dragon)


Polish Patent Office invalidates trade mark rights for 10, 50, 102, 302 (Class 46)

Berentzen Brennereien requests invalidation of PUSHKIN registered for Belvedere Co for alcoholic beverages (Class 46)

South Africa

GDP and IP filings (Afro-IP)

Court settlement in Feldman v Samro concerning payment of music royalties (Afro-IP)

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka seeks geographical indication protection for Ceylon tea (Intellectual Property Watch)


Thailand to join Madrid Protocol, but where is Israel? (The IP Factor)


Anti-counterfeits conference held in Kampala (Afro-IP)

United Kingdom

IP rights in the Court of Appeal, but not as we know them…: Office of Communications v Information Commissioner (IPKat)

IPO review of practice before Patent Tribunal (PatLit)

Employee inventor compensation: an expensive pastime?: Kelly and another v GE Healthcare Ltd (IP finance)

(Mis)appropriation of Wii and PlayStation brands to name medical disorders (IPKat)

Is regulation of trade mark attorneys necessary? (SOLO Independent IP Practitioners)

New Practice Note PAN 01/09 on trade mark registrations for ‘shopping centre services’ (Class 46) (IPKat)

United States
US General

Seattle’s Gary Locke may become new Commerce Secretary (Seattle Trademark Lawyer) (Inventive Step) (Intellectual Property Watch) (Peter Zura’s 271 Patent Blog) (Managing Intellectual Property) (Hal Wegner)

International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) calls for India, 12 other countries to be on IP watch list (ContentAgenda)

FTC hearings on ‘The Evolving IP Marketplace’ (Inventive Step)

US General – Lawsuits and strategic steps

Apple – Apple and Psystar jointly file motion to protect confidential information during discovery in ongoing IP dispute (Ars Technica)

US Patent Reform

Patent Reform Bill to be introduced on Monday… maybe (Patent Docs) (IAM) (Hal Wegner)

Solution to US’ patent problems are international, says former USPTO chief (IAM)

IP policy issues may see progress in a changed US landscape this year (Intellectual Property Watch)

ABA Section of IP Law submits views to Senate Judiciary Committee on inequitable conduct (Patent Baristas) (Law360) (Chicago Intellectual Property Law Blog)

New website for Coalition for Patent Fairness (BLOG@IP::JUR) (Patent Baristas)

House of Representatives tells USPTO to up efficiency, not spending (Law360)

Congress looks to review patent examiner goals (Patently-O)

What will become of the ‘Check 21’ patent reform provision? (Peter Zura’s 271 Patent Blog)

USPTO deferred examination roundtable video and commentary (Anticipate This!) (Inventive Step) (Patent Docs)

US Patents

Applying Supreme Court precedent: Carlsbad Technology v HIF Bio (Patently-O) (Hal Wegner)

USPTO not laying off employees (IP Watchdog)

USPTO maintenance fees (Patently-O)

Merchants warranty of non-infringement (Patently-O)

PLI patent bar review tour (IP Watchdog)

Provisional patent applications: waiting to file non-provisionals (Patently-O)

35 USC § 315(C) and its uncodified cousin – inter partes re-examination estoppels(s) at the ITC? (ITC 337 Law Blog)

Clean Energy Patent Index finds 2008 was record year (Green Patent Blog)

Reinstating patents after failure to pay maintenance fee (Patently-O)

Federal Circuit judges at five major conferences (Hal Wegner)

Who invented the automobile, Mr President? – Address to Joint Session of Congress 24 Feb (Securing Innovation) (Securing Innovation)

US Patents – Decisions

Supreme Court rejects Federal Trade Commission’s bid to revive battle with Rambus (Law360) (ContentAgenda) (Hal Wegner)

Supreme Court declines petition to review Singleton v Volkswagon regarding transfer of venue under 28 USC §1404(a) (Patent Prospector) (Hal Wegner)

CAFC: Affidavit evidence to rebut KSR obviousness: Pivonka v Axelrod (IP Frontline) (Patently-O)

CAFC affirms district court’s denial of defendant’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on obviousness: Kinetic Concepts, Inc v Blue Sky Medical Group, Inc (Promote the Progress)

CAFC reverses summary judgment of validity and infringement: Ball Aerosol and Specialty Container v Limited Brands (Promote the Progress)

CAFC affirms summary judgment of non-infringement by upholding district court’s construction of term ‘spokes’: Kuhl Wheels v General Motors (Promote the Progress)

CAFC denies Applied Medical Corp’s bid for a new trial following jury verdict of no infringement of trocar seal technology patent (Law360)

District Court E D Texas: ‘No risk for me’ ex parte re-examination sinks motion to stay: Affinity Labs of Texas, LLC v Dice Electronics, LLC (Peter Zura’s 271 Patent Blog) (

District Court E D Texas: Settlement not a basis for vacatur of inequitable conduct findings: Medtronic Vascular, Inc. v. Boston Scientific Corp; Avid Identification Systems, Inc. v. Philips Semiconductors Inc (

District Court E D Texas: ‘Good cause’ not shown for transfer to Michigan: MHL TEK, LLC v Nissan Motor Co et al (

District Court New Jersey: judgment entered and home pregnancy test patent suit filed by Church & Dwight against Abbott Lab’s terminated (Law360)

US Patents – Lawsuits and strategic steps

Bristol Myers-Squibb – BMS settles baby formula container patent suit against Abbott Lab’s (Law360)

DataTreasury Corp – Zions latest to settle in huge DataTreasury IP suit (Law360)

Digital Security Systems – DSS drops blu-ray patent suit against more than a dozen defendants including Samsung, Sharp, LG (Law360)

Geo Martin – Martin appeals finding of invalidity: Geo Martin v Alliance Machine (PATracer)

LG – LG files new 337 complaint against Eastman Kodak regarding certain electronic devices having image capture or display functionality (ITC 337 Law Blog)

Petron Industries – Petron files antitrust claims in oil well patent suit against Key Energy (Law360)

Saffran, Bruce – Court strikes Johnson & Johnson and Cordis invalidity contentions in patent dispute with Dr Bruce Saffran over drug-eluting stents (Law360) (

Staples – Staples wins summary judgment invalidating patent for office cart held by dbest products (Law360)

TDM America – Court of Federal Claims rules mostly in favour of Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies in Markman stage of suit brought by TDM alleging infringement of patents relating to processing and treatment of dredged materials (Law360)

Technology Development and Licensing – DirecTV Group, sole remaining defendant in electronic TV program guide patent dispute reaches settlement with TDL (Law360)

Transamerica Life Insurance – Transamerica seeks re-examination of Lincoln National’s benefit rider patent (Law360)

Visa – Calabrese Stemer sues Visa over text message charge alert patent (Law360)

Vizio – Vizio petitions FCC in dispute over Funai DTV patent (Law360)

US Copyright

‘Open access’ policies threatened by Copyright Bill (EFF)

Recording industry lobbying group pushes Congress to tax radio stations more (Techdirt)  

US Copyright – Lawsuits and strategic steps

Browne, Jackson – Sen. John McCain and Republican National Committee lose bid to dismiss musician’s suit accusing them of failing to get authorisation to use ‘Running on Empty’ in presidential campaign commercials (Law360) (Ars Technica)

Leibovitz, Annie – Leibovitz secures loan partly against copyrights and contract rights to ‘every photograph she has ever taken or will take in future as collateral’ (IPKat)

RealNetworks – Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros ask court to sanction RealNetworks for allegedly destroying evidence in DVD-copying program copyright lawsuit (Law360)

Steinbeck, John – Will the Supreme Court give Steinbeck’s heirs back the rights to some of his works? (Techdirt)

US Trade Marks – Decisions

District Court N D Indiana: Risk of silent licence: Boss Products, Inc v Port-a-Pit Bar-B-Que of Edgerton, Inc (Property, intangible)

TTAB precedential: Claim invoking unsatisfiable Santiago trademark convention dismissed: Franpovi SA v Rosalinda Wessin and Daniel Pena (TTABlog)

TTAB: Applicant gets benefit of the doubt: GREEN INDIGO not merely descriptive of clothing: In re Jones Investment Co, Inc (not precedential) (TTABlog)

TTAB reverses 2(d) refusal of QUAANTUM for trailer suspension systems over QUANTUM for tires: In re The Boler Company (not precedential) (TTABlog)

TTAB says DRUMLINE LIVE merely descriptive of musical performance: In re Halftime Live LLC (not precedential) (TTABlog)

Two TTAB fraud decisions now await CAFC review: Bose Corp v Hexawave, Inc and Grand Canyon West, LLC v Hualapai Tribe (TTABlog)

US Trade Marks – Lawsuits and strategic steps

Breathe California – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences asks USPTO to revoke HACKADEMY AWARDS trade mark on grounds it may cause confusion (IPKat) (The IP Factor)

Laughing Buddha Brewing Co – Laughing Buddha to resolve trade dispute with owner of Lucky Drink Company of Australia by changing name (Seattle Trademark Lawyer)

Varsity Brands – Varsity Brands sues rival cheerleader uniform manufacturer J&M Spirit Wear and Elite Uniforms Co for copyright and trade mark infringement (The Trademark Blog)


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