Articles about intellectual property

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 District Court of Appeals found that the Mountain View advertising giant can keep the trademark it holds on "Google," …
Shaun Nichols, 16 May 2017
boot

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
shutterstock_186568010-troll

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

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
troll

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
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

Create a news alert about intellectual property, or find more stories about intellectual property.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017