Articles about intellectual property

iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

In the never-ending effort by Apple to think higher of itself, the computer giant has opposed a trademark featuring the silhouette of a pear. Pear Technology, which produces digital mapping software and services, applied for the pear logo in 2014 and was almost immediately challenged by Apple, which claimed it was confusingly …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Apr 2017

Come celebrate World Hypocrisy Day

Comment Thanks to the World Intellectual Property Organization, today is World Intellectual Property Day 2017. Perhaps this celebration needs a dark companion – World Hypocrisy Day. Here's why. In the 17 years World IP Day has been running, there's been a radical shift in corporate power. This has taken place most dramatically in the …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Apr 2017

FYI anyone who codes outside work: GitHub has a contract to stop bosses snatching it all

In contrast to the restrictions many companies place on their workers, GitHub believes it can loosen the reins through the release of its Balanced Employee Intellectual Property Agreement (BEIPA). Technology companies often require that employees, as a condition of their employment, sign away the intellectual property rights …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Mar 2017

Kodi-pocalypse Now? Actually, it's not quite here yet

With some in the media industries predicting an imminent "Kodipocalypse", a survey of more than 2,000 UK internet users suggests that simply being nice to those users who download illegal content – on Kodi or otherwise – isn't effective. The poll found that 22 per cent thought the threat of disconnection or court action would …
Pirate ship in Croatia with a hole blown through it. For editorial use only. Photo by shutteretsock/s-mart

Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches

UK government-hosted talks spanning two Parliaments have culminated in Google and Bing at last agreeing to tweak their search results in response to copyright-holders' concerns, thereby heading off threatened legislation on their conduct. The code means Google, Bing and other search engines will demote illegal sites from the …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2017

UN staff demand ouster of controversial WIPO boss Francis Gurry

United Nations staff are demonstrating in Geneva this afternoon to demand the ousting of Francis Gurry, the controversial boss of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The collective action of staff associations in calling for the removal of a UN agency head is certainly irregular, but Gurry's reign at WIPO has …

How Lexmark's patent fight to crush an ink reseller will affect us all

If printer maker Lexmark International prevails against ink cartridge reseller Impression Products, tech giants and other American companies will gain the ability to control products through patent claims after they have been sold. The Federal Circuit Court in Washington, DC, last year supported this idea by siding with …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Jan 2017
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Apple sues Nokia's pet patent trolls

Apple on Tuesday filed an antitrust lawsuit against Acacia Research Corporation and Conversant Intellectual Property Management, alleging that the two "patent assertion entities" have colluded with Nokia "to extract and extort exorbitant revenues unfairly and anticompetitively from Apple" and other companies. The lawsuit comes …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Dec 2016

HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

Pic It turns out King Joffrey isn't the biggest scumbag at HBO after all. A father says lawyers at the cable TV network demanded his 13-year-old daughter's artwork be taken off the internet after she drew a lovely picture titled "winter is coming" and posted the image to arts'n'craft website RedBubble. "My daughter, who happens …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Dec 2016

Heard of Brexit? The UK vows to join Europe’s Patent Titanic

Comment Astonishment has greeted the UK’s promise to join Europe’s Unified Patent Court despite Brexit. It’s a stunning victory for the nation's powerful legal lobby. The FT euphemistically notes that “the legal system” will be around “£200m a year” richer. Meaning: you know who will be £200m richer. The announcement was made by the …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Nov 2016
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Chinese chap in the clink for trying to swap US Navy FPGAs with fakes to beat export ban

A Chinese national starts a 15-month stretch behind bars for trying to swap reprogrammable chips destined for the US Navy with fakes, and smuggle the real gear out of the country. Xianfeng Zuo, 38, was sentenced on Friday in Connecticut after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods. Zuo, of Shenzhen, …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Nov 2016
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US trade watchdog to probe Cisco's gripes that Arista is still ripping off its router patents

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has promised to look into Cisco's claims that Arista is still shipping devices that infringe its networking patent. Back in 2014, Cisco accused its rival of ripping off its copyright and patented designs. In February this year, the ITC ruled in Switchzilla's favor [PDF] …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Oct 2016

Dynamic IP addresses are your personal property, CJEU rules

The CJEU has affirmed personal property rights over dynamically allocated IP addresses, a move which brings European data protection laws into play. The case was brought by German Pirate Party politician Patrice Breyer, who first brought an action restraining the German Federal Government from storing IP addresses, allocated …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Oct 2016
WTF road sign

Ludicrous Patent of the Week: Rectangles on a computer screen

Pic Chinese internet giant Tencent is the newly minted holder of a US design patent on the concept of placing rectangles on a display screen. US Patent D767,583 describes a "design concept" that, in the words of the applicant, consists of "the ornamental design for a display screen portion with graphical user interface." What …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Sep 2016

HP Ink COO: Sorry not sorry we bricked your otherwise totally fine printer cartridges

HP Inc is trying to spin its way out of the mess it created when it decided it would be a fantastic idea to brick unofficial and refilled printer cartridges. Jon Flaxman, COO of the printers'n'PCs chunk of the former Hewlett Packard, confirmed on Wednesday his company really did in fact issue a firmware update in March that …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Sep 2016
Music kid image via Shutterstock

Songsmiths sue US antitrust over Google-friendly rules ruling

Two independent women songwriters are suing the US antitrust department of the Department of Justice over its proposal to rip up songwriters' contracts to make them more Google-friendly. Crucially, in the remarks, the DoJ proposes that both ASCAP and BMI must accept 100 per cent licensing – so Spotify and other giant music …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Sep 2016

US Patent Office sued after it declared a power outage a 'national holiday'

A patent-holding company is suing the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) claiming an administrator's decision to extend filing deadlines has led to its patents being challenged in court. Elm 3DS Innovations says that the USPTO was acting outside its authority last year when, following a three-day blackout at its Washington …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Aug 2016
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Akamai, Limelight bury hatchet (not in each other) to end patent spat

Internet backbone facilitators Akamai Technologies and Limelight Networks have agreed to end their long-running patent battle, and instead forge a $54m licensing agreement. The deal will see Limelight pay the $54m to Akamai in a set of 12 installments beginning this month. In exchange, Akamai agreed to drop the $51m letter of …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Aug 2016

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