Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., which have sued each other around the globe over patents, joined together to tell the European Union to cut down on the ability of companies that license patents to win court rulings limiting product sales.
Apple and Samsung are among 19 companies and associations that told the EU in a letter that a new court should limit the ability of companies that license technology to win injunctions when the validity of the underlying patent is in dispute.
Manufacturers are turning to lawmakers and courts in Europe and America in battles with patent trolls, a derogatory term for intellectual property owners that don’t manufacturer products and instead rely on license fees. A similar group of companies are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to make it easier for them to collect legal fees in patent disputes.
InterDigital’s EU Case Shut as Huawei Pulls Antitrust Complaint
InterDigital Inc. no longer faces a European Union antitrust investigation after Huawei Technologies Co. withdrew a complaint about its use of patents.
Huawei contacted the EU last month to withdraw a complaint it filed in 2012 that sought a probe into InterDigital’s alleged refusal to license wireless patents that are part of an industry standard, InterDigital said in a regulatory filing yesterday. Huawei’s move followed a confidential settlement with InterDigital agreed on in December.
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Samsung Applies to Register ‘Finger Scanner’ as U.S. Trademark
Samsung Electronics Co., the South Korean maker of smartphones, applied to register “finger scanner” as a trademark, according to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The application, filed Feb. 19, specifies that the mark would be used with a range of electronic products, including 3D eyeglasses, mobile telephones, wireless headsets for mobile phones, printers for computers and semiconductors.
Nasty Gal Sues Mr. Nasty Time Entertainment Over Trademark
Nasty Gal Inc., a Los Angeles based Internet clothing retailer, sued a New York entertainment company for trademark infringement.
Jason Jarvis and his Mr. Nasty Time Entertainment infringed Nasty Gal’s trademarks, according to the complaint filed Feb. 24 in federal court in Manhattan. The clothing company said it made repeated attempts to contact Jarvis and “resolve this dispute amicably,” to no avail.
Nasty Gal asked the court to order Jarvis and his company to quit using the “Da Nasty Boys” name, and for awards of money damages, attorney fees and litigation costs. The clothing company also seeks a court order for the destruction of all infringing products and promotional materials and for extra damages intended to punish the defendants for their actions.
Jarvis didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the complaint.
The case is Nasty Gal Inc. v. Jarvis, 14-cv-01135, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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‘Simpsons’ Actor Azaria Bests Craig Bierko’s Copyright Claims
Hank Azaria, an actor on Fox television’s “The Simpsons,” defeated a 2012 copyright challenge by fellow actor Craig Bierko over the rights to the voice of a fictional baseball announcer in an Internet comedy program.
A Los Angeles court said Feb. 21 that Azaria’s character, named Jim Brockmire, didn’t infringe Bierko’s rights to his “baseball announcer character,” which the court found not entitled to copyright protection.
The case is Azaria v. Bierko, 12-cv-09732, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).
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Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage
CREATE.Org Releases Report on Economics of Trade Secret Theft
The Center for Responsible Enterprise & Trade, a Washington-based advocacy organization headed by former Microsoft Corp. Deputy General Counsel Pamela Passman and known as CREATE.org, released a study on the economic effects of trade-secret theft.
The study was conducted in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. It identifies five categories of potential misappropriators of trade secrets: nation states, malicious insiders, competitors, transnational organized crime and what it calls “hactavists.”
Four factors that will probably affect trade secret theft in the future are the balance of cyber power, the openness of the Internet, the pace of innovation and regulation focused on trade-secret protection, according to the report.
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