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Samsung, YouView, Volkswagen: Intellectual Property

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Apple Inc.’s mobile-phone rival, has applied for a patent on a wearable device it characterized as a bangle.

According to application 2014160078, published in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on June 12, the Korean company is seeking a patent on a bracelet-like wearable device that can store and display information based on motions of the wearer. A bangle is a bracelet that fits loosely on the wrist.

A controller within the bangle can change content, zoom in or out, change a screen arrangement direction, activate or inactivating the display, turn off or on, and select an application depending on what’s detected by a motion sensor, Samsung said in the application.

Patent Litigation Stifles Venture Investment, MIT Professor Says

The surge in patent litigation from 2004 to 2012 has had a stifling effect on entrepreneurial activity, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor argued in a paper.

Venture capital investment would have been at least $8.1 billion higher but for suits filed by frequent patent litigators, Professor Catherine E. Tucker of MIT’s Sloan School of Business said in her report, “The Effect of Patent Litigation and Patent Assertion Entities on Entrepreneurial Activity.”

She cited one startup that had to get rid of four of its 15 employees to afford legal costs associated with patent litigation. As a result, she said, the company received a lower valuation from investors.

Tucker included the caveat that she only measured the effects of patent litigation that reached the courts. There was no way to gauge the effect of patent-litigation threats on companies that choose to settle rather than face lengthy and costly court battles, she said.

For more patent news, click here.


YouView Infringes Telecom Company’s Trademark, U.K. Court Says

YouView TV Ltd., an Internet-connected television service, infringes Total Ltd.’s trademark, the U.K.’s High Court ruled June 16, the news website reported.

The court said that YouView was infringing Total’s “YourView” trademark, according to

YouView said it will appeal the ruling, claiming there is no confusion between the service it offers and that of Total Ltd., said.

Total Ltd., a regional provider of business-to-business telecom service, told it was planning to seek an award of damages and legal costs as well as a court order barring any future use of its trademark by YouView.

VW Uses ‘Gooooolf’ Commercials to Get Name Before Soccer Fans

Volkswagen of American has apparently found a way to get its trademarks before World Cup soccer fans without being an official sponsor of the games, the Drum marketing trade publication reported.

According to the Drum, Volkswagen created videos of its Golf GTI cars painted in the team-uniform colors of countries competing in the games and it broadcasts the videos on ESPN and Univision.

Whenever a goal is scored, a video is shown of the car in the colors of the team that made the goal, and the sound track has a voice saying “Goooooooolf,” instead of the “Gooooooal” that often heard in soccer commentaries, the Drum reported.

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. is the official automobile-industry sponsor of the World Cup, according to the Drum.

For more trademark news, click here.


New Sherlock Holmes Stories Can Be Published, Appeals Court Says

The estate of Arthur Conan Doyle does not have the right to bar publication of a collection of stories inspired by and depicting Sherlock Holmes, a U.S. appeals court ruled.

The estate argued that the characters of Holmes, Dr. Watson and others weren’t fully developed until publication of the later stories, which are still protected by copyright, so the use of the characters in the anthology constituted infringement.

In an opinion released June 16, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner wrote that the estate’s appeal was bordering “on the quixotic” and its argument that the Sherlock Holmes character becomes “fully rounded” only in the later books not covered by copyright to have nothing to do with copyright law.

The case is Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate Ltd., 14-1128, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Chicago). The lower court case is Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd, 1:13-cv-01226, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Shenzhen Qvod Technology Fined $42 Million After Secret Hearing

The public was barred from Chinese copyright-infringement case on the grounds that “business secrets” needed to be protected, the news service XinHua reported.

Shenzhen QVOD Technology Co.’s alleged infringement was at issue in the hearing, according to XinHua.

The company is to be fined 260 million yuan ($42 million) for copyright infringement and linking to pornographic content, XinHua reported.

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