Apple, Cronut, Seahawks, Rovio: Intellectual Property

Apple Inc., maker of the iPad and iPhone, received a patent for a solar-powered laptop.

Patent 8,638,549, issued yesterday, covers an electronic device display module that includes photovoltaic cells on the back side of the display unit. The cells can produce power when activated by an external light source.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, applied for the patent in August 2010 with assistance from Treyz Law Group of San Francisco.

Google Gets Patent on Advertiser-Funded Transportation Process

Google Inc., creator of the world’s most used search engine, received a patent that may change the way potential customers travel to brick-and-mortar sales locations.

Patent 8,630,897, issued to the Mountain View, California-based company Jan. 14, covers what Google calls “transportation-aware physical advertising conversions.”

The invention is a computer-implemented method of providing free or discounted transportation to an advertiser’s location. This is already done in cities such Las Vegas, for example, with taxis providing transportation to advertisers’ restaurants and the like, Google said in the patent.

The patented technology would bring transparency to the process, with cost calculations for the trip based on demand for the advertiser’s goods and potential profit margins, Google said.

The search-engine company applied for the patent in January 2011 with assistance from Littenberg Krumholz & Mentlik LLP of Westfield, New Jersey.

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‘Cronut’ Trademark Holder Ansel Seeks Registration for Wider Use

Dominique Ansel, the New York pastry chef who successfully registered “Cronut” as a trademark for his doughnut/croissant hybrid pastry Jan. 17, is now seeking registration of the mark for other goods.

According to an application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, other categories for which Ansel wants to register the trademark include frozen desserts, sports bags, credit cards, wheeled shopping bags, cookbooks, marking pens, novels, body-piercing rings, nail polish, flash cards and coloring books.

Ansel threatened trademark litigation against a California doughnut shop last year until the shop changed the name of its pastry from “Dkronut” to “DK Double Decker O-Nut.”

Seahawks Pay for Exclusive Use of Texas A&M’s ‘12th Man’ Mark

The Seattle Seahawks, who will meet the Denver Broncos in the Feb. 2 Super Bowl game, have the right to use the “12th man” trademark belonging to Texas A&M University, the website reported.

Seattle’s National Football League team paid the school $100,000 for rights to the mark and will make an annual payment of $5,000 through 2016, according to

The school registered the mark in 1990 and licensed the term to the Seahawks in 2006, reported.

A flag featuring the number 12 is being flown from the top of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle restaurant as part of efforts to rally Seahawks fans in advance of Sunday’s game, according to

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IDG Ventures Sued for Infringement by Vietnamese Music Producer

IDG Ventures Inc. was sued for copyright infringement by a California company that produces Vietnamese music.

IDG Ventures, based in San Francisco, is accused of funding and having some control over Vietnam’s VNG Corp., which runs a music website through which Westminster, California’s Lang Van Inc.’s content is allegedly infringed. VNG is also a defendant in the complaint filed Jan. 22 in federal court in Santa Ana, California.

IDG Ventures didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the suit.

The case is Lang Van Inc. v. VNG Corp., 14-cv-00100, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Rovio Says It Doesn’t Pass User Data to Government Spy Agencies

Rovio Entertainment Oy said in a statement yesterday that it doesn’t “share data, collaborate or collude” with any government spy agencies anywhere in the world.

The Espoo, Finland-based company was responding to news reports that the U.S. National Security Agency had targeted Rovio’s “Angry Birds” game to collect end-user data, based on information from documents about alleged government spying and industrial espionage leaked by Edward Snowden.

In its statement, the company said that if there is surveillance, it may be conducted through third-party ad networks “used by millions of commercial websites and mobile applications across all industries.”

If ad networks are targeted, Rovio said, it would appear that no Internet-enabled device that visits ad-enabled websites or uses ad-enabled applications is immune to such surveillance.

The company said it doesn’t allow any third-party network to use or hand over personal end-user data from its apps.

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