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This week in Other Barks & Bites: The U.S. Copyright Office appoints a new Deputy Director of Policy & International Affairs; Getty Images launches a lawsuit against an AI art company; the United States Patent and Trademark Office pushes back the deadline for comments on its Draft 2022-2026 Strategic Plan; and the U.S. Solicitor General supports Jack Daniel’s in its Supreme Court trademark case.
USPTO Extends Deadline for Strategic Plan Comments – Following an announcement earlier this month that it would accept comments on the draft 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Friday, January 20, said it is extending the deadline for submissions from January 31 to February 17 to allow more time for input. Members of the public can submit their comments to the USPTO via email at [email protected]. The final plan will be published in the spring of 2023.
U.S. Solicitor General Backs Jack Daniel’s in Trademark Dispute
On Wednesday, January 18, the U.S. Solicitor General filed a brief in the Supreme Court supporting the whiskey company Jack Daniel’s in its trademark lawsuit with VIP Products, an Arizona-based pet toy company. The Solicitor General argued that a federal appeals court was incorrect when it ruled VIP was protected by the First Amendment from accusations that it infringed on Jack Daniel’s trademark when marketing dog toys. Another brief in support of Jack Daniel’s was also filed Wednesday by a wide range of large companies including Levi’s and Campbell’s.
USPTO Announces New IP Identifier Tool for Creators
On Wednesday, January 18, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Kathi Vidal announced the agency’s new Intellectual Property Identifier tool. The tool is designed to help those who are less familiar with IP to identify whether they have IP and IP rights. “This resource will equip entrepreneurs with a basic understanding of the IP they have and will lead them to resources to protect it. We encourage everyone who is considering starting a business or trying to grow one to utilize this tool,” said Vidal.
U.S. Copyright Office Announces New Deputy Director of Policy and International Affairs
On Tuesday, January 17, the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) announced the appointment of Andrew Foglia as Deputy Director of Policy and International Affairs. Foglia first joined the USCO in 2020 as senior counsel for policy and international affairs. The new deputy director worked previously with portfolios including artificial intelligence, South Asia, Canada, and Mexico. Now, Foglia will work with the Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Policy on domestic and international policy analyses, legislative support, and trade negotiations.
Getty Images Launches Lawsuit against AI Art Company
On Tuesday, January 17, Getty Images announced that it launched legal proceedings in the United Kingdom against the AI art company Stability AI for infringing IP rights. Getty accused Stability AI of scrapping Getty’s database and feeding the images into its AI art-generating algorithm. Getty said that it grants licenses to AI firms for training purposes, but they argue Stability did not seek such a license and is profiting from Getty’s photo database and copyright.
Samsung and Proxense File to Dismiss Phone Fingerprint Patent Lawsuit
On Thursday, January 19, Samsung and Proxense filed a joint order to cancel jury selection in their ongoing patent dispute, thus dismissing and settling the case. Proxense had accused Samsung of infringing on a patent related to its technology for verifying fingerprints and biometric data on phones.
PTAB Invalidates Three Electric-fracking Patents
On Wednesday, January 18, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) invalidated three electric-fracking patents that U.S. Well Services accused Halliburton of infringing on. Halliburton was able to convince the PTAB that the patents were invalid based on previous inventions. U.S. Well Services began the suit in 2021 and had already seen four separate patents invalidated by a district judge.
CAFC Affirms PTAB Decision in Power Converter Patent Case
On Wednesday, January 18, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (Board) decision in an inter partes reexamination of a power converter patent. The CAFC agreed with the PTAB’s ruling in favor of Vicor Corporation who argued that Synqor’s power converter patent was unpatentable.
HP and Oracle Settle Copyright Dispute
On Tuesday, January 17, Hewlett Packard and Oracle announced that the two companies have settled a copyright lawsuit after a Texas jury awarded Oracle a $30 million settlement in July 2022. The 2022 ruling found that HP infringed on Oracle’s software copyright. As a result, of the confidential agreement both sides now want the case to be dismissed.
This Week on Wall Street
Google is Planning to Fire 12,000 Workers
On Friday, January 20, Reuters reported that the CEO of Alphabet told staffers in a memo that the company will be letting go of 12,000 employees. The firings will begin immediately and will impact its US staff. The news mirrors the recent firing wave and hiring freeze across the tech sector. Only a day previously, Microsoft announced it was firing 10,000 employees, and at the end of 2022, Twitter went through a much-publicized period of staff layoffs.
Cryptocurrency Lender Files for Bankruptcy in Wake of FTX Collapse
On Thursday, January 19, the cryptocurrency lender Genesis and two subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy. At the time of bankruptcy, Genesis had more than 100,000 creditors, including Alameda Research, a branch of FTX, which received more than 100 million dollars from Celsius. The bankruptcy is another blow for the cryptocurrency industry which has been in freefall since the end of 2021.
Quarterly Earnings – The following firms identified among the IPO’s Top 300 Patent Recipients for 2022 are announcing quarterly earnings next week (2022 rank in parentheses):
- Monday: Baker Hughes Company (123rd)
- Tuesday: Raytheon, (9th), Microsoft (18th), Johnson & Johnson (23rd), General Electric, (28th), Texas Instruments, (48th), Verizon (61st), 3M Company (85th), Intuitive Surgical (227th), Danaher (248th)
- Wednesday: IBM (2nd), Boeing (36th), AT&T (47th), Abbott Laboratories (147th), ASML Holding (186th),
- Thursday: Intel (12th), SAP SE (65th), Comcast (104th), Visa (141st), Mastercard (144th),
- Friday: None
Image Source: Deposit Photos
Image ID: 17158459