Apple Buds, Queen of Beer, Salt Lick: Intellectual Property

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(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. has filed an application for a patent on wireless earbuds with noise-canceling capabilities.

Application 20150245129, published Thursday in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, covers an invention aimed at improving the speech quality input by filtering out the environmental noise.

This is accomplished by determining which of two earbuds should transmit an acoustical signal to the mobile device. A microphone in the earbud detects the environmental noise and, based on the output received from the earbud, the voice activity can be detected to reduce noise.

Cupertino, California-based Applied for the patent in February 2014.

For more patent news, click here.


Megaupload User Asks Court to Give Access to His Files

An Ohio sports reporter, who stored his video files on servers used by Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload asked a Virginia federal court to find a way to return his files.

Kyle Goodwin, owner of OhioSportsNet, shoots videos of high school sporting events. According to court filings, Goodwin backed up his footage by storing it on Megaupload, and when his hard drive crashed in January 2012, he planned to retrieve his videos.

Before he could do so, the servers were seized by the government as part of the proceedings in a criminal copyright case against Dotcom. Goodwin said he hasn’t been able to retrieve the files since then, causing harm to his reputation and costing him money.

The government is still blocking access to the servers, Goodwin said in a court filing. Dotcom, who lives in New Zealand, is fighting an extradition order that would bring him to the U.S. to stand trial. The data on the servers would be evidence in the trial.

The company that owns the servers was acquired by QTS Realty Trust Inc. on May 6. QTS said in an Aug. 11 court filing that it wants relief from the physical and financial burden of storing and maintaining the 1,103 computer servers at issue. The Overland Park, Kansas-based company told the court it is having to pay $5,760 per month for storage.

The case is U.S.A. v. Kim Dotcom, 1:12-cr-00003, U.s. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

Trade Group Raps Size of Statutory Damages in Copyright Cases

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, a Washington-based trade group, has issued a report outlining its desire for changes in U.S. copyright legislation.

One provision addressed in the report is the damages section of the Copyright Act. The organization, commonly known as CCIA, said that the existing statutory damages framework “has created incentives for co-called copyright trolling or predatory enforcement.”

Noting that statutory damages can run as high as $150,000 per work infringed, the report suggests that while wrongful conduct needs to be discouraged, the present system is akin to “the death penalty for illegal parking.”

Among the members of the association are Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp., Google Inc., eBay Inc. and Inc.

For more copyright news, click here.


Anheuser-Busch Sees No Room for a Queen in the Kingdom of Beer

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is opposing a trademark application filed by a Lancaster, California-based brewer.

According to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Anheuser-Busch is trying to block She Beverage Co.’s registration of “The Queen of Beer.” The Leuven, Belgium-based brewer claims it would infringe the “King of Beers” mark it uses with Budweiser.

According to the patent office docket, She Beverage has to file a response by the end of September.

Salt Lick of Texas Says Georgia Sausage Company Infringes

A Texas restaurant specializing in barbecue products sued a Georgia sausage company for trademark infringement.

Salt Lick objects to Salt Lick Sausage Co.’s name, claiming the name infringes registered trademarks.

Driftwood, Texas-based Salt Lick asked the court to bar the sausage company’s use of “Salt Lick” and asked that the Salt Lick Sausage Co.’s Internet domain name be awarded to the Texas restaurant.

Salt Lick Sausage didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the suit.

The case is Roberts v. Salt Lick Sausage CO., 1:15-cv-00754, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas (Austin).

For more trademark news, click here

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at Charles Carter, Joe Schneider

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