Sony, Apple, ‘Linsanity,’ RGIII, WWE: Intellectual Property

PlayStation users may be subjected to a barrage of advertising if a patent application filed by Sony Corp.’s Sony Computer Entertainment America unit is any indication.

Application 20110274409, which was filed in July 2011, covers what Tokyo-based Sony calls an “advertisement scheme for interactive content.”

The technology covered by the patent would put the game on hold in a variety of ways until the advertisement is viewed, after which the user can resume the game, according to the application.

Apple Applies for Patent on User-Input Stylus Device

Apple Inc., the maker of the iPhone and iPad, has applied for a patent for a stylus-like device that will deliver information to a user through a sense of touch.

According to application 20120127088, published in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office May 24, the device would give the user more tactile feedback than could be experienced by simply moving a finger across a touch screen.

This feedback could be communicated through “forces, vibrations, and/or motions that may be sensed by the user,” according to the application.

Cupertino, California-based Apple filed this application in November 2010. No outside counsel is listed on the application.

Cot’n Wash Sued Henkel Unit Over Detergent-Packaging Patent

Cot’n Wash Inc., the maker of Dropps liquid-dose laundry detergent, sued Henkel AG’s Dial unit for patent infringement.

The suit, filed May 23 in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, accuses Dial of infringing patent 6,037,319, which covers water-soluble packets containing liquid cleaning concentrates.

At issue are the water-soluble laundry packets Henkel sells under the Purex label. Cot’n Wash said that there had been fruitless discussions between the two companies about licensing the technology covered by the patent. Officials from Dusseldorf, Germany-based Henkel had said they weren’t interested in such a product, according to court papers.

Cot’n Wash claims Henkel went ahead and developed its own product incorporating the patented technology without permission. The Ardmore, Pennsylvania-based company said it’s damaged by Henkel’s actions and asked the court to bar further infringement of the patent.

Additionally, Cot’n Wash asked for awards of money damages, attorney fees and litigation costs.

Henkel’s Dial unit didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment.

The case is Cot’n Wash Inc. v. Henkel Corp., 1:12-cv-00650-UNA, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

For more patent news, click here.


Linsanity Belongs to Jeremy Lin After Point Guard Wins Trademark

‘Linsanity’ belongs to Jeremy Lin.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has registered the term for Lin, the point guard for the New York Knicks who, in February, moved to take control of the catch phrase that encapsulated his meteoric rise from undrafted player to starter.

“It’s not only Linsanity, but all Lin-related trademarks,” Pamela M. Deese, a partner in the law firm Arent Fox LLP who is working on the player’s behalf, said in a telephone interview. “Having a clean plate with rights in place makes it a lot easier to negotiate licenses and endorsements deals.”

The player’s filing on Feb. 13 came six days after a California man with no ties to the 23-year-old Harvard-educated Lin became the first to apply for a Linsanity trademark. A second filing was made on Feb. 9 and another on Feb. 14.

Lin, the first Chinese- or Taiwanese-American to play in the National Basketball Association, drew widespread attention coming off the bench Feb. 4 to score 25 points in a win over the New Jersey Nets. He then joined the starters and led the Knicks to six consecutive wins, boosting television ratings, ticket prices and global interest in his game.

Lin had surgery last month to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee. He missed the Knicks’ opening-round playoff series with the Miami Heat, which New York lost 4-1.

Robert Griffin III Seeks ‘Unbelievably Believable’ Trademark

Robert Griffin III, a player for the National Football League’s Washington Redskins team, has applied to register the phrase “unbelievably believable” as a trademark.

The application, published in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is for the use of the phrase for “promoting the goods and services of others, sponsorship of sports and athletic events and activities.”

It is one of five applications related to the athlete. He also has pending applications to register “Dream Big, Live Bigger,” “Robert Griffin III,” “RG3,” and “RGIII.” Griffin is referred to as “RGIII” in a television advertisement for Adidas AG athletic products.

According to the ESPN website, Griffin is the first NFL player to be permitted to use a Roman numeral on the back of his football jersey. Above his number his name will be listed as “Griffin III.”

WWE Applies to Register ‘Raw Active’ Trademarks for Fan Chat

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., the Stamford, Connecticut-based sports-entertainment company, has filed three applications to register “Raw Active,” and “#Raw Active” as trademarks.

According to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, WWE plans to use the marks in connection with fan-oriented online chat rooms and social networking.

The applications were filed May 17.

For more trademark news, click here.


Fox, NBC, CBS Sue Dish Over Ad-Free Video-on-Demand Service

News Corp.’s Fox Broadcasting Co., Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal and CBS Corp. sued Dish Network Corp., alleging that their copyrights are infringed by Dish’s PrimeTime Anytime video-on-demand service that allows viewers to watch network programs commercial-free.

Dish created a “bootleg video-on-demand service,” which, if not stopped “will ultimately destroy the advertising-supported ecosystem that provides consumers with the choice to enjoy free over-the-air, varied, high-quality primetime broadcast programming,” Fox said in a complaint filed May 24 in federal court in Los Angeles.

CBS and NBC sued Dish separately in the same court. The networks accuse Dish of copyright infringement, and ask for unspecified damages as well as court orders preventing unauthorized distribution of their programs by Dish. Fox also is suing Dish for breach of contract.

Dish, based in Englewood, Colorado, filed a separate complaint in federal court in New York against Fox, CBS, NBC and Walt Disney Co.’s ABC May 24. Dish seeks a court ruling that it isn’t infringing copyrights.

“Consumers should be able to fairly choose for themselves what they do and do not want to watch,” David Shull, Dish senior vice president of programming, said in a statement.

Aaron Johnson, a spokesman for Dish, didn’t immediately respond yesterday to a request seeking comment on the complaint filed by Fox.

In March, Dish introduced its Hopper set-top box, which contains, in addition to a subscriber-controlled digital video recorder, a Dish-controlled section of the hard drive that records the entire primetime broadcast schedule of the four major networks every night, according to the Fox complaint.

Dish operates the PrimeTime Anytime service so that the copied shows can be watched commercial-free with its Auto Hop feature, Fox said.

“We were given no choice but to file suit against one of our largest distributors, Dish Network, because of their surprising move to market a product with the clear goal of violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem,” Scott Grogin, a Fox spokesman, said in a statement.

Grogin declined to comment on Dish’s lawsuit in New York, where News Corp. is based.

The Los Angeles cases are Fox Broadcasting v. Dish Network LLC, 12-4529; NBC Studios LLC v. Dish Network Corp., 12-4536; and CBS Broadcasting Inc. v. Dish Network Corp., 12-4551, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles). The New York case is Dish Network LLC v. American Broadcasting Cos., 12-04155, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

For more copyright news, click here.

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