Google, Netflix, Kinder Morgan: Intellectual Property

(Bloomberg) -- Google Inc., creator of the world’s most used Internet search engine, received a patent on the use of cloud computing to control a multiplicity of robots.

Patent 9,008,839, issued April 14, covers what Mountain View, California-based Google calls “systems and methods for allocating tasks to a plurality of robotic devices.”

According to the patent, the cloud -- computer services provided through a network -- could receive information from a pool of robotic devices and direct them to perform a variety of tasks. Any computer on the network could share the same pool of computing power, so someone could use applications on a remote server rather than carry around a storage medium.

Google applied for this patent in February 2003, with the assistance of Chicago’s McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP.

For more patent news, click here.


Pirates Target New Netflix Series ‘Marvel’s Daredevil’

Netflix Inc.’s “Marvel’s Daredevil,” an original series, has been illegally downloaded by “hundreds of thousands” of people since its release April 10, the entertainment-industry trade publication Variety reported.

By April 16, the series was downloaded without authorization more than 726,000 times in the U.S., 637,000 times in Brazil and 589,000 in India, according to Variety.

The only show downloaded more during that time frame was “Game of Thrones” from Time Warner Inc.’s HBO unit, with 6.5 million unauthorized downloads made through the use of the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol, according to Variety.

Kim Dotcom May Face Deportation Over Undisclosed Traffic Offense

Kim Dotcom, who is accused of criminal copyright infringement in the U.S., may be deported from New Zealand because of an undeclared traffic offense, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The Megaupload website founder, who was already fighting extradition to the U.S., failed to disclose on a New Zealand residency application a 2009 guilty plea he entered for driving 149 kilometers per hour (93 miles per hour) in a 50 kph zone, according to the newspaper.

Dotcom has said it was a misunderstanding that is known to his advisers pursuing the residency permit for him, the Herald reported.

Immigration officials told the newspaper that Dotcom’s liability for deportation was being assessed.

California Considers Mandated Warning on Public 3-D Printers

California lawmakers are considering a measure that would require public libraries providing access to 3-D printers to post warning notices of potential liability for copyright infringement.

AB 37 would add this requirement to the state’s education code relating to libraries.

The warning would be drafted by the state’s Department of Justice and be subject to annual review.

It would also warn of liability for possible trademark and patent infringement, according to the bill’s text.

For more copyright news, click here.


Duluth Trading, Don Henley Settle Trademark Dispute Over Ad

Duluth Trading Co., a Wisconsin-based clothing retailer, has settled a trademark suit with Don Henley of the Eagles.

Henley sued the company in Los Angeles federal court in October 2014, objecting to the use of his name to describe a style of shirt offered for sale. The complaint included a photo of the advertisement, which read “Don a Henley Take It Easy,” incorporating the musician’s name and the title of the Eagles’ 1972 hit “Take It Easy.”

In his pleadings, Henley asked the court for a ban on this use of his name, together with awards of attorney fees, litigation costs and money damages.

A notice of settlement, filed with the court April 14, said the parties have agreed to an order permanently barring Duluth Trading’s use of the musician’s name. No financial terms were disclosed.

Duluth Trading posted an apology on its website, saying it “pushed the advertising envelope too far and distributed an advertisement promoting our line of Henley shirts that invoked American recording artist Don Henley’s name without his permission.”

The company said it has also agreed to make a monetary payment to the Walden Woods Foundation, an organization focused on the preservation of the land, literature and legacy of Henry David Thoreau.

The case is Henley v. Duluth Holdings Inc., 2:14-cv-07827, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

Texas Retailer Arrested After Raid Nets Counterfeit Clothing

A Waco, Texas, retailer was arrested after police found more than 300 clothing items bearing fake trademarks, according to the ABC News affiliate KXXV-TV.

Police said the value of the merchandise was almost $20,000, KXXV reported.

The fakes were copies of merchandise by Nike Inc., Polo Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Rockies Booney, Timberland and New Era, according to the TV station.

China Radio Seeks Registration for Musical Phrase Trademark

China Radio International, the state-run broadcaster, has applied to register a musical sequence as a trademark, according to its English language website.

The phrase, a series of rising notes first played by a xylophone and then an ensemble of brass instruments, may be heard by clicking a link on that page.

China Radio said it’s the first company in China to apply for a sound-based trademark.

Authorities in China began accepting applications for sound-specific trademarks May 1, 2014, according to China Radio.

For more trademark news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Palmetto Pipeline Route Map Released for Georgia County

Despite Kinder Morgan Inc.’s assertions that the route of a petroleum pipeline in Georgia is a trade secret, Effington County officials permitted its release to the public, the Savannah Morning News reported.

The Houston-based pipeline company has also argued that behind its reluctance to make the route for the Palmetto Pipeline public is a federal rule related to the protection of infrastructure from terrorist attacks, according to the newspaper.

Lawyers for the newspaper, which put in the open-records request that resulted in the release, called Kinder Morgan’s position “bogus,” the paper reported.

Kinder Morgan has disclosed that about 80 percent of the pipeline’s route will be adjacent to existing pipe and power line easements, the newspaper said.

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 Sophia Pearson, Joe Schneider

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