Google, Shakira, New Mexico Chile: Intellectual Property

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc., creator of the most-used Internet search engine, said it got more than 30 million requests in the past month to remove search results because of copyright-infringement claims. Requests are made under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

In a transparency report posted on the company website, Mountain View, California-based Google said the requests came from 4,547 copyright owners and 2,244 reporting organizations. More than 47,000 Internet domains were targeted.

Leading the list of copyright owners seeking removal of search results is an entity comprising members of the British Recording Music Industry Ltd. trade group, with 6.3 million search results targeted. Second is Froytal Services Ltd., which does business as Babes and operates adult-content websites.

The music companies that are members of the Recording Industry Association of America came in third.


Apple Inc., maker of the iPhone and iPad, has applied for a patent on a USB plug connector that can be inserted with either side up.

Application 20140235095, published Aug. 24 in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, details a plug connector that has reversible or dual orientations for mating with a USB receptacle. Apple filed the application for the patent in February 2014.

The Cupertino, California-based technology company said in the application that it is frequently difficult for some users to know how to insert the USB plug correctly, and failure to do so can frequently damage the plug or the receptacle.

The company says that while many plugs have markings indicating which side should be up for insertion, “not all manufacturers apply these markings in a consistent fashion.” In other situations, it’s difficult to view the markings because of such factors as lighting conditions.

The Apple Insider website notes that the USB Compliance Committee, which sets the standards for USB cables and accessories, does not presently authorize reversible USB plugs. USB stands for universal serial bus, a standard for connections for computing devices’ data-transfer communication systems.

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Shakira’s ‘Loca’ Infringes Spanish-Language Song, Judge Says

Pop Singer Shakira and Sony Corp. of America infringed the copyright of a Spanish-language song, a federal judge found.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in New York said Aug. 19 that Shakira’s Spanish-language version of “Loca” infringed “Loca Con Su Tiguere” owned by Mayimba Music Inc. of New York. The singer’s English-language version of the song wasn’t at issue in the dispute.

Mayimba sued in February 2012, claiming it hadn’t authorized or licensed the song for Shakira’s use.

According to Hellerstein’s order, the parties are to confer with him Sept. 8 to discuss the next stages of the case.

The case is Mayimba Music Inc. v. Sony Corp of America, 12-cv-01094, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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New Mexico Chile Trade Group Seeks Mark for Local Product

The New Mexico Chile Association, an agricultural trade group, is seeking to register “New Mexico Certified Chile” as a trademark, according to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The mark will be used to certify products containing chiles as coming exclusively from those grown in the state.

According to the association’s website, the chile-growing industry is in a steep decline, with only 9,600 acres harvested in 2012, down from 34,500 acres 20 years earlier.

The association said imports now make up 82 percent of the chiles consumed in the U.S., with many foreign-origin chiles falsely labeled as “Hatch” or “N.M. Grown.”

Hatch is a small town in southern New Mexico that bills itself as the “Chile Capital of the World.”

Denver Pearl Brewing to Ditch Name After Complaint from Pabst

A small Colorado brewery is changing its name after complaints from one local and one national brewery, the Denver Post reported.

Denver Pearl Brewing Co. said it was put on notice by Pabst Brewing Co., maker of Pearl and Pearl light beer, that its name had potential trademark problems, according to the newspaper.

Denver Beer Co. also had discussions about issues relating to the name, the Post reported.

Denver Pearl said it will announce a new name at a Sept. 6 “renaming party,” according to the newspaper.

For more trademark news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

North Carolina Official Predicts ‘Zoo’ at Fracking Hearings

After a contentious public hearing on shale gas exploration in Raleigh, North Carolina, Aug. 20, James Womack of the state’s Mining and Energy Commission said he expects today’s hearing in Sanford, North Carolina, to be a “zoo,” the News and Observer newspaper reported.

Many of the 80 speakers at the Aug. 20 hearing protested proposed trade-secret exemptions to disclosures of the chemical recipes for the hydraulic fracturing process used to extract gas from shale formations, according to the newspaper.

Two speakers sang anti-fracking songs, backed by a chorus in the audience, the News and Observer reported.

In addition to today’s hearing, two more such events will be held in the state in the coming weeks, according to the newspaper.

For patent 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: Michael Hytha at Charles Carter, Andrew Dunn

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