Google, Facebook, Ubisoft, Apple: Intellectual Property

Google Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc., two of Silicon Valley’s largest companies, entered a long-term deal to license each other’s intellectual property, saying they want to curb the patent lawsuits that have plagued the industry.

The agreement covers a broad range of products and allows each company to extract “significant value” from its patents, according to a statement yesterday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The pact brings together two businesses that rarely compete directly. Cisco is the largest maker of networking equipment, while Google is the market leader in Internet searches and smartphone software. The agreement will decrease the risk of future lawsuits, the companies said in the statement.

Both San Jose, California-based Cisco and Mountain View, California-based Google belong to the advocacy group Coalition for Patent Fairness.

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Facebook’s ‘Paper’ App Followed by Software Firm’s Registration

After Facebook Inc. said Jan. 30 that it was releasing a new application to be named “Paper,” New York-based app-developer Fifty-Three Inc. filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register “Paper” as a trademark to be used with application software.

Fifty-Three said in the filing that it had been using the term in commerce since March 2012.

In a Feb. 3 blog posting, Fifty-Three Chief Executive Officer Georg Petschnigg said that while Facebook apologized about the name confusion, he still wants the social-network company to stop using the name.

Ubisoft Says ‘Watch Dogs’ Mark Wasn’t Abandoned, MCV Reports

Ubisoft Entertainment SA, the French maker of video games, said someone purporting to be a company official made a false filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, asking that the company’s application to register “watch dogs” be abandoned, according to MCV, a computer game news website.

The company told MCV that it’s working with the patent office to reinstate the mark.

Home Shopping Network Stops Using ‘Soligen’ to Sell Knives

HSN Inc.’s Home Shopping Network, along with Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse, agreed to stop using the name of Solingen, Germany, to sell knives. The knives at issue were made in China and marked with both “Soligen” and “Emerils,” according to court papers.

The agreement is part of the settlement of a trademark suit brought in federal court in Florida by the Chamber of Industry & Commerce Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid in September 2012. Other terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed to the court.

The case is Chamber of Industry and Commerce Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid v. Stewart, 13-cv-00563, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida (Tampa).

CrossFit Improperly Used DMCA Against Blogger, Court Rules

CrossFit Inc., the strength and conditioning company, can’t use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to shut down a blog it says infringed its trademarks because the law doesn’t cover trademarks, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled.

CrossFit sued Jenni Alvies of Brentwood, California, in August, saying she used its trademarks on her Facebook page and Calicrossfit blog without permission. CrossFit previously demanded she stop using the marks and filed DMCA “takedown” requests for removal of the postings, according to court filings.

Alvies called CrossFit a “corporate cyberbully” and accused it of abusing the DMCA by making trademark claims. She also said CrossFit violated California unfair-competition laws by forcing the removal of her Facebook page and blog postings.

The court gave Alvies time to amend her claim that Washington-based CrossFit injured her by forcing removal of the postings, finding it insufficiently specific.

The case is CrossFit Inc. v. Alvies, 13-cv-03771, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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Apple Asks Appeals Court to Halt Monitoring in E-Books Case

Apple Inc., facing as much as $840 million in state and consumer antitrust claims tied to price-fixing in the electronic-book market, asked an appeals court to halt oversight by a court-appointed compliance monitor.

The Cupertino, California-based company is challenging the monitor imposed by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan.

The case is U.S. v. Apple Inc. 14-60, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Manhattan). The district court case is U.S. v. Apple Inc., 12-cv-02826, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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