Facebook, LDS Church, DMCA, Snowden: Intellectual Property

June 4 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc., operator of the world’s most-used social-media site, now bans users younger than 13 years of age.

The company may be rethinking that policy, according to a newly published application in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

In application 20140150068, published May 29, Menlo Park, California-based Facebook seeks a patent on a process of managing access to its site based on the user’s age.

Under the policy outlined in the filing, a verified parent of a child user will be the administrator of the child’s account. The parent would provide the social networking system with administrative settings to be used by the system.

Under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, operators of child-oriented online services that collect children’s personal information must get parental consent, Facebook said in the filing.

Facebook applied for the patent in November 2012.

InterDigital Reaches Accord With Samsung in Standards Dispute

InterDigital Inc., a mobile-phone design company, settled a dispute with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. through a patent-licensing agreement.

InterDigital had claimed Samsung and other companies, including Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp., were using without permission its technology related to the latest mobile-phone standards. The multiyear agreement announced yesterday resolves all lawsuits with Samsung, Wilmington, Delaware-based InterDigital said in a statement.

The dispute with Samsung was part of a broader debate in the technology sector over how to treat patents that relate to fundamental inventions used across platforms. InterDigital helped create industry standards for mobile technology, and was obligated to license relevant patents on fair and non-discriminatory terms.

InterDigital, which as of last year owned more than 1,700 U.S. patents related to wireless technology, has said phone companies have been using its inventions that activate idle phones, control power and transmit and display data.

For more patent news, click here.


LDS Church, EFF File Briefs in ‘Mormon’ Trademark Lawsuit

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has responded to a trademark suit brought by the operator of a dating site aimed at members of the church.

The suit was brought in April by Jonathan Eller of Spring, Texas, who said he and the Utah-based church are at odds in proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over his efforts to register “Mormon Match” as a trademark.

The church responded by saying it had registered the mark and itself used it in connection with “instruction in the field of marital relations.” The Salt Lake City, Utah-based church accused Eller of trademark infringement.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based digital-rights organization, filed a friend of the court brief May 30 in support of Eller, saying his use of “Mormon” is “indisputably fair” and that he is using the term to describe the nature rather than the source of his services.

The case is Eller v. Intellectual Reserve Inc., 4:14-cv-00914, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).

China Refuses Company’s Registration of French Wine Names

The Institut national de l’origine et de la qualité and the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Roussillon, French organizations concerned with protecting the use of names of France’s wine-producing regions, succeeded in getting Chinese authorities to ban the registration of “Roussillon” and “Banyuls” as brands in that country, the wine-industry publication Decanter reported.

China’s Tribunal of Commerce and Industry said the use of a Chinese translation of Rousillon for wines made by the Chinese company would only confuse customers, and also barred the registration of the two words using the Latin alphabet, Decanter reported.

For more trademark news, click here.


DMCA Claim Brings Down Ecuadorian Corruption Newspaper Report

Following an infringement claim filed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the website for the Ecuadorean newspaper La Republica was blocked last week, the Torrent Freak anti-copyright news website reported.

The DMCA claim was filed in the U.S. by Spain’s Ares Rights anti-piracy firm after the newspaper published an article about diversion of government funds to some police officers’ bank accounts, according to Torrent Freak.

The news website reported that Ares Rights filed the claim on behalf of a police officer who alleged his copyright was infringed after the newspaper published a photo of a check made out to him.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Snowden Says He Won’t Trade Secrets for Brazilian Asylum

Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who is living in Russia after leaking information about government surveillance, has said that, while he would like to relocate to Brazil, he won’t leak data in return for asylum, the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper reported.

Snowden made his remarks to Brazilian journalists in a television interview in which he said that while Russia has policies with which he disagrees, living there is better than being in prison, according to the Telegraph.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at vslindflor@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net Fred Strasser, Charles Carter

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