Articles about intellectual property

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MIMEsweeper maker loses UK High Court patent fight over 15-year-old bulletin board post

A commercial rival of email virus-scanning software firm Glasswall has lost its High Court attempt to use a bulletin board post from 2003 written by a former MessageLabs "imagineer" to have a patent declared invalid. The full judgement, which dismissed the application for the revocation of the patent, was handed down on Friday …
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EU court: No, expat Frenchman can't trademark France.com

An EU court has tried to forestall ongoing US legal proceedings by declaring that an expat Frenchman can’t trademark a logo containing the domain name France.com. The EU General Court, a division of the EU Court of Justice, ruled today that Jean-Noel Frydman’s company France.com Inc was not entitled to register the domain name …
Gareth Corfield, 26 Jun 2018

T-Mobile owner sends in legal heavies to lean on small Brit biz over use of 'trademarked' magenta

Updated T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom is making legal threats against a small British business – on the grounds that the German company has an exclusive trademark on a shade of the colour magenta. James Ridsdale, MD of Brighton-based business Datajar, said he was stunned after receiving a letter demanding he drop his own company's …
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Microsoft outlines some ground rules to prevent it from nicking your IP

Big-hearted Microsoft has tried to make reassuring noises to calm the nerves of others who might be thinking of getting between the Intellectual Property (IP) sheets with the Seattle software giant. Going into a tech tie-up can be a risky business for any IP owner. Fears that key IP and knowledge might be stolen and even used …
Richard Speed, 5 Apr 2018
Hipster dad explains facts of life to teen son. Photo by shutterstock

Intellectual Property Office drops, er, patently cool cartoon to teach kids about trademarks

How do you get seven-year-olds interested in intellectual property? Anyway, indeed, why would you want to? No matter, the UK's Intellectual Property Office has launched a cartoon answering the question no one has ever asked. By relaunching the cartoon Nancy and the Meerkats, the story of would-be pop star Nancy, a French …
Kat Hall, 18 Jan 2018

Comcast accused of siccing lawyers on net neutrality foe

An activist group says it was threatened by Comcast lawyers after it pointed out the cable giant's efforts to astroturf the FCC with fake comments on net neutrality. Fight for the Future, a self-described digital rights group opposed to the FCC's planned net neutrality overhaul, says the US cable giant's lawyers have been …
Shaun Nichols, 23 May 2017

US court decision will destroy the internet, roar Google, Facebook et al

Internet giants Google, Facebook and a wide range of organizations from Pinterest to Kickstarter to Wikimedia have responded furiously to a recent decision by the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that could have huge liability implications for online companies. "This has already created tremendous uncertainty in the online …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 May 2017
Google, photo by lightpoet via Shutterstock

US judges say you can Google Google, but you can't google Google

Google has won the rights to keep its name a proper trademark after a US court found its search engine is not quite ubiquitous enough to be considered a generic term. The three-judge panel in the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Mountain View advertising giant can keep the trademark it holds on "Google," …
Shaun Nichols, 16 May 2017
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All that free music on YouTube is good for you, Google tells music biz

Google wants you to believe that free music on YouTube doesn't deter people from paying for the same music somewhere else. Pull the other one, it's got bells on, the music industry has replied. Google commissioned RBB Economics to produce a report, which we've seen in full, examining the effect of cannibalisation on paid music …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 May 2017

Go, GoDaddy! Domain-slinger decapitates email patent troll in court

Updated Domain registrar and host GoDaddy has won its battle with a patent-holding company that had accused it of violating a handful of claims related to basic email functions. The US District Court of Appeals in Phoenix, Arizona, has decided this month to uphold an earlier verdict in GoDaddy's favor, vanquishing the infringement …
Shaun Nichols, 10 May 2017
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UK patent troll protections tweaked – lawyers exempted

Lawyers are exempt from tweaks to UK law aimed at combatting "patent trolls". The Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill received Royal Assent last week to little fanfare. UK law already protects people against vexatious litigants, and the 1977 Patents Act specifically incorporated a section providing "remedy for …

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
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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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