Other Barks & Bites: New Register of Copyrights, Win for Qualcomm at ITC and Big Tech Up in Arms Over New EU Copyright Rules
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This week in Other Barks & Bites: Karyn Temple is appointed Register of Copyrights; the International Trade Commission recommends excluding certain iPhone models for infringing Qualcomm patent claims; the EU approves new copyright rules which will affect online media platforms; Senators Tillis and Coons move forward with stakeholder discussions on a legislative fix to Section 101 of patent law; Peloton responds to copyright infringement suit by dropping online cycling classes; Amazon adds nearly 1,000 jobs in Austin, TX; the District of Delaware tosses out willful infringement claims against Intel; and Oracle files opposition asking Supreme Court to deny a petition for writ filed by Google.
Karyn Temple Appointed as 13th Register of Copyrights – On Wednesday, March 27, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced that Acting Register of Copyrights Karyn Temple would be promoted to serve as the 13th Register of Copyrights at the U.S. Copyright Office. Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Doug Collins (R-GA), respectively the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued a joint statement supporting the appointment.
European Parliament Approves New Copyright Rules – On Tuesday, March 26, members of the European Parliament voted 348-to-274, with 36 abstentions, to approve new copyright rules which will heighten licensing requirements for online platforms prior to uploading music, video or news article snippets.
ITC Recommends Import Ban of iPhone Models in Qualcomm Case – On Tuesday, March 26, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued separate rulings in Qualcomm infringement cases against Apple. Although one case led to the invalidation of Qualcomm patent claims covering a battery saving feature, the other ruling included a finding of infringement by Apple and a recommend to ban imports of certain models of iPhones.
China’s Patent Office to Reduce Period of Patent Review By 15% – On Saturday, March 23, Gan Shaoning, Deputy Administrator of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) announced at a national economic forum that the CNIPA plans to reduce the patent review period by up to 15 percent, although there is some question over whether “patent review period” refers to the time from which a patent application is filed to the date that a patent is issued.
Supreme Court Petitioned to Resolve Circuit Split on Trademark Damages Awards – On Friday, March 22, Romag Fasteners filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to take up a case that asks whether the Lanham Act requires a court finding willful trademark infringement before authorizing an award of infringer’s profits for a violation of Section 43(a) of the Act.
Senators Tillis, Coons to Address Section 101 Legislation With Stakeholder Groups – On March 26, Bloomberg Law reported that email correspondence with aides working for Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE), respectively the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate IP Subcommittee, indicated that the two Senators would hold a closed-door meeting on April 17 with stakeholder groups to present a “skeletal outline of legislation” on Section 101 patent eligibility.
Supreme Court Denies Review of Copyright Case Over Nike ‘Jumpman’ Logo – On Monday, March 25, the U.S. Supreme Court denied writ on a petition for certiorari filed by photograph Jacobus Rentmeester, who was appealing a circuit court decision that Nike’s ‘Jumpman’ logo didn’t infringe upon Rentmeester’s copyright for an image he captured of basketball legend Michael Jordan.
Oracle Files Brief Opposing Supreme Court Review of Google Copyright Case – On Wednesday, March 27, Oracle filed a brief in opposition to a Supreme Court petition for writ filed by Google. In the brief, Oracle argued that Google’s copyright violation caused incalculable harm by shutting Oracle out of the smartphone market.
Stanford, CareDx File Infringement Case Over Organ Rejection Monitoring Patents – On Tuesday, March 26, Stanford University and CareDx, exclusive licensee to Stanford patents covering non-invasive methods of analyzing DNA from transplant patients to monitor for organ rejection, filed a patent suit in the District of Delaware against Natera, which has marketed a kidney transplant rejection test.
Peloton Decides to Drop Cycling Class Content Over Music Copyright Suit – On Monday, March 25, news reports indicate that Peloton CEO John Foley sent a letter to Peloton users addressing a copyright suit filed by the National Music Publishers Association and other music publishing organizations. CEO Foley said that Peloton would be removing from its network classes that feature musical works which the publishers claim were used without authorization.
Second Circuit Affirms Lower Court Ruling on Copyright, Lanham Act Attorney’s Fee Awards – On Monday, March 25, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided Manhattan Review, LLC, et al. v. Tracy Yun, et al., finding that the district court was correct in awarding attorney’s fees and costs to the defendant as the prevailing party under both the Copyright Act and the Lanham Act.
Comedy Entertainment Companies Square Off in Trademark Suit – On Tuesday, March 26, Rhode Island-based Funny 4 Funds, an entertainment company that provides comedy night fundraisers, filed a trademark infringement suit in the District of Connecticut alleging that that state’s Treehouse Comedy Productions has held at least 40 events which have used the Funny 4 Funds name and logo.
CA-Based Craft Brewery Loses Out on Preliminary Injunction Against MillerCoors – On Tuesday, March 26, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of the Southern District of California ruled that, while California-based Stone Brewing has shown evidence of a “moderately strong” claim for trademark infringement against MillerCoors’ use of the Stone mark on beer, it didn’t show that it would suffer enough harm to merit the entry of a preliminary injunction.
Delaware District Court Dismisses Willful Infringement Claims Against Intel – On Tuesday, March 26, U.S. District Judge Colm Connolly of the District of Delaware issued an order that dismissed allegations made by VLSI Technology that Intel willfully infringed upon four semiconductor patents asserted in the case.
Microsoft Increases Azure IP Advantage, Donates 500 Patents to LOT Network – On Thursday, March 28, TechCrunch reported that Microsoft had increased Internet of Things (IoT) developer access to its Azure IP Advantage patent portfolio. The company also announced that it had agreed to make 500 patent assets available to members of the License on Transfer (LOT) Network.
This Week on Wall Street
Commerce Department Issues Downward Revision for 2018 Fourth Quarter GDP Growth – On Thursday, March 28, the U.S. Department of Commerce released revised economic figures which showed that U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.2 percent during 2018’s fourth quarter, which was lower than the original estimate of 2.6 percent GDP growth during Q4 2018.
UK Security Assessment Finds Defects in Huawei’s Cybersecurity Measures – On Thursday, March 28, a report issued by the UK government found significant security issues with telecommunications equipment developed by Chinese tech firm Huawei, which is seeking to become a global leader in 5G network deployment.
Amazon Announces 800 New Jobs at Austin, TX Hub – On Thursday, March 28, Amazon announced that it would be creating 800 new positions at its location in Austin, TX, bringing its total number of employees in that city up to nearly 7,000 hires.