Apple, Delaware North, Sony, EPHA: Intellectual Property

(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc., maker of the iPhone and iPod, received a patent on a technology that would enable streaming content from a television set to a portable device.

Patent 8,918,822, which was issued Dec. 23, covers what Apple says is “displaying a synchronized instance of content on a portable electronic device.”

The mobile device determines whether it is compatible with the streaming content going into the fixed display system -- the television set -- then requests and displays the streaming content.

According to the patent, a scenario in which the patented technology would be useful would arise when a group of people is watching streaming content, such as a movie, from a television screen. Presently, if one person has to leave the gathering, the rest of the group either has to halt its viewing until that person returns, or must reconcile to that person’s missing out on the rest of the program.

Under the new technology, the person who is leaving can ask the portable device to go back to the original source of the streaming content, and pick up the content at the same point. Meanwhile, those who remain behind can continue to watch the program to its end.

Cupertino-based Apple applied for the patent in September 2012 with the assistance of Park, Vaughan, Fleming & Dowler LLP of Davis, California.

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

Delaware North Seeks $51 Million From Park Service For Names

Delaware North Companies, the Buffalo, New York-based operators of casinos, race tracks and the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, owns the trademarks for some of Yosemite Park’s landmark lodgings and is demanding $51 million from the U.S. National Park Service for their use, the Bay Area NBC news outlet reported.

Scott Gediman, a spokesman for Yosemite National Park, told the NBC outlet that the park service was “surprised” to receive notice from Delaware North and said that the names of those properties, which have been operated by Delaware North since 1993, “belong to the American people.”

The names to which the concessionaire is claiming ownership include that of the 87-year-old Ahwahnee Hotel, Curry Village, Badger Pass, the Wawona Hotel and Yosemite Lodge, according to NBC news.

Jim Stellmack, director of marketing for Delaware North at Yosemite, told the news outlet his company has had the rights to the names since 1993, and that the issue has surfaced only now because its contract with the parks service is coming up for renewal.

Cricket Australia Seeks Defensive ‘63 Not Out’ Trademark

Cricket Australia, the governing body for cricket in that nation, has applied to register “63 not out” as a trademark in effort to stop others from using the term to exploit the accidental death of a cricket player earlier this year, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

After cricket player Phillip Hughes died in November when he was struck in the neck by a bouncing cricket ball during the Sheffield Shield cricket match, Cricket Australia listed his final innings score in records as “63 not out,” according to the newspaper.

Unlicensed Hughes merchandise then began showing up at online auction sites bearing that phrase, the newspaper reported.

A spokesman for Cricket Australia told the Sydney Morning Herald that his organization is registering the phrase “purely as a defensive registration.”

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

TorrentFreak Says Hotfile Settlement Actually Only $4 Million

Torrent Freak, the anti-copyright news website, reported that the actual amount paid to settle a copyright suit between the major motion picture studios and the Hotfile file-hosting website was only $4 million.

The news service said this dollar figure came from an e-mail from a Sony Corp. official that was leaked as part of a hack of Sony Corp.’s computer systems.

In the e-mail cited by TorrentFreak, an official from Sony’s legal department said that Hotfile had agreed to pay $4 million and to have an $80 million judgment entered.

According to a case filing in December 2014, the studios were awarded $80 million in damages for their victorious claim of vicarious infringement against Panama-based Hotfile. Some subsequent filings in the case remain sealed.

The case is Disney Enterprises Inc. v. Hotfile Corp., 1:11-cv-20427, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Miami).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

EPHA Claims Proposed EU Trade Secrets Directive Can Cause Harm

The European Public Health Alliance, a coalition of 97 non-governmental organizations, said in a statement that it opposed a proposed European Union directive on trade secrets.

The organization said the EU’s directive contains “an unreasonably broad” definition of trade secrets and “overly broad protection’ for companies.

Additionally, the EPHA said that the directives fail to contain safeguards giving journalists, researchers, consumers and whistle-blowers in the EU reliable access to important data in the public interest.

Areas of particular concern, the EPHA said, are health, the environment, food safety, the right to freedom of expression and the mobility of workers within the EU.

In its statement, the coalition said that proposed trade secrets legislation in the U.S. might raise some of the same issues, particularly because of the possible inclusion of trade=secret protection in the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Xbox, PlayStation Networks Targeted as Hackers Claim Credit

Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox Live and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation Network, Internet services that video gamers use to play online, were hit by connection failures on Christmas Day, with the hackers Lizard Squad claiming responsibility.

‘‘It’s not yet clear whether it’s just an outage of the PlayStation Network or if some personal data has been stolen too,” said Hideki Yasuda, a Tokyo-based analyst at Ace Research Institute.

Service was restored for Xbox users Dec. 26, while the PlayStation Network remained offline that day. Sony said its engineers were “working hard to resolve the network issues.”

Hackers attacked the video-game networks on the same day “The Interview” was released online, after major U.S. theaters decided not to show the movie following hacking incidents at Sony’s TV and film unit last month.

A different group called Guardians of Peace claimed responsibility for infiltrating Sony Pictures Entertainment’s servers, destroying data, exposing Hollywood secrets, and forcing the movie studio to cancel the release of the comedy at major movie chains. That group and Lizard Squad had threatened further disruptions on Christmas Day.

Lizard Squad, which took credit for an attack on Sony earlier this year, said on its Twitter account that it was behind the incidents. The group said it would “stop hitting” the services if users called attention to the hack by retweeting its statements.

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 Joe Schneider, Peter Blumberg

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