Articles about intellectual property

A man handcuffed to a briefcase

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
Slippery slope sign

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
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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

Euro IP study finds 25 Tor-and-Bitcoin-loving pirate business models

Knock us over with a feather: a study by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has found that those who infringe intellectual property for a living are quite fond of anonymity technologies that cover their tracks. The Office last week emitted a Deloitte-penned study titled Research on Online Business Models …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2016
UN building, photo via Shutterstock

WIPO chief trying to 'fix the composition of the Staff Council' – lawyer

WIPO's director general Francis Gurry is seeking to strengthen his hold on the UN’s global IP group by getting rid of its staff council. A lawyer for the council, Matthew Parish, has written to all United Nations ambassadors expressing concern over Gurry's attempts to alter the composition of the body, whose most recent …
John Oates, 6 Jul 2016

ICANN pushes back against brand lobby

ICANN has stiff-armed the content lobby, writing that it's not responsible for what people do with domains registered through the international registration hierarchy. While it agrees that registries that fail to include abuse warnings in their terms and conditions need to be brought to heel, ICANN's chair Dr Stephen Croker …

Time to re-file your patents and trademarks, Britain

Brexit Businesses will likely need to re-file their patents and trademarks in the UK following the Brexit vote, leading intellectual property lawyers have warned. The decision to leave the European Union puts a big question mark over "automatic EU-wide IP protection," says patent law specialist Iain Connor of Pinsent Masons, writing …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jun 2016
Kraftwerk concert 2012

Kraftwerk versus a cheesy copycat: How did the copycat win?

Analysis Have you noticed that with copyright, the people who complain loudest and longest about how unfair it all is often the least talented? Grumbly bass players. Science fiction "novelists". Otherwise-unemployable "academics". It's a union of the bitter and grudgeful, with a distinct talent deficit. It doesn't take much to …
Google car

Reavers! Google patent would affix pedestrians to car hoods

Google has been granted a patent on a system that would adhere victims of car strikes to the vehicle for their own safety. US Patent 9,340,178 describes a substance that would be hidden under a protective layer, only to be exposed on impact to adhere pedestrians or crash victims to the car rather than tumbling to the pavement …
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2016

UK govt admits it pulled 10-year file-sharing jail sentence out of its arse

Exclusive The UK government's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has admitted it simply made up an official justification for 10-year jail sentences for copyright-infringing file sharers. In response to a freedom of information request by The Register asking for details on the "unpublished research" that was cited in defense of the …
Handshake

Nvidia, Samsung pump brakes in car-crash GPU patent rip-off race

Samsung and Nvidia say they have agreed to a settlement that will end all patent litigation between the pair. Just hours before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) was set to rule on the duo's chip design infringement squabbles, the two companies have suddenly agreed to a deal that will dismiss their complaints before …
Shaun Nichols, 2 May 2016

It's World IP Day! Celebrate by making money from a dead teenager

It's World Intellectual Property day! So it's time again to think about the plight of IP lawyers, tens of thousands of whom are forced to undergo the daily indignity of people shaking their heads at them as they try to explain why everything in the world, including your own thoughts, are owned by someone else and you should pay …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Apr 2016
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Secret UN report finds WIPO chief 'broke procurement rules'

The secret UN report into the behaviour of WIPO boss Francis Gurry has found him guilty of “conduct... inconsistent with the standards expected of a staff member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.” The chair of WIPO's General Assembly Colombian ambassador Gabriel Duque is still refusing to release the full report …
John Oates, 25 Apr 2016

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