This week in Other Barks & Bites: Dr. Dre issues a cease-and-desist letter to Marjorie Taylor Greene alleging copyright infringement; Apple loses a patent case that threatens the import of certain Apple Watches; and a jury rules in favor of fashion designer Thom Browne over Adidas in a trademark case.
USPTO Extends Deadline to Comment on Initiatives to Expand Opportunities for Practicing Before the Office – On Friday, January 13, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced it will be extending the comment period related to two October 2022 Federal Register Notices – Expanding Opportunities to Appear before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and Expanding Admission Criteria for Registration to Practice in Patent Cases before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The comment period was originally set to end on January 17, 2023, but will now be extended to January 31, 2023. Comments can be submitted here and comments already submitted may be reviewed here and here.
Adidas Loses ‘Three-Stripe’ Trademark Lawsuit Against Fashion Designer
On Thursday, January 12, a New York jury ruled against Adidas in its $7.8 million lawsuit against fashion designer Thom Browne for allegedly infringing on its “three-stripe” trademark, according to reporting from Bloomberg Law. The dispute has lasted over 15 years, when Adidas originally accused Browne of mimicking its designs. Browne then shifted the design to a “four-bar” design. Browne’s lawyer said Adidas “does not own stripes.”
ITC Rules Apple Infringed on Pulse Oximeter Patent
On Tuesday, January 10, a U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) judge ruled that Apple infringed on a pulse oximeter patent from Masimo. The technology in question is used in the Apple Watch. In a statement, Joe Kiani, CEO of Masimo, said “Today’s decision should help restore fairness in the market. Apple has similarly infringed on other companies’ technologies, and we believe today’s ruling exposes Apple as a company that takes other companies’ innovations and repackages them.” The ITC is now set to consider whether it will ban imports of Apple Watches into the U.S.
Dr. Dre Issues Cease and Desist Letter to Marjorie Taylor Greene
On Monday, January 9, legal representatives for Dr. Dre sent Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) a cease and desist letter after the Georgia Republican used his song “Still D.R.E.” in a video posted to her Twitter account. In the letter, the musician’s lawyers accuse the controversial congresswoman of infringing on Dr. Dre’s copyright. The lawyers wrote, “one might expect that, as a member of Congress, you would have a passing familiarity with the laws of our country. It’s possible, though, that laws governing intellectual property are a little too arcane and insufficiently populist for you to really have spent much time on.” The video has since been removed from Greene’s Twitter account.
Supreme Court Rejects Juno’s Petition for Rehearing in Patent Dispute with Kite Pharma
On Monday, January 9, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Bristol Myers Squibb subsidiary Juno Therapeutics’ petition for rehearing in its patent infringement case against Gilead Sciences Inc’s Kite Pharma. In 2021, the courts originally ruled in favor of Juno Therapeutics in their lawsuit against Kite Pharma over alleged patent infringement of a cancer immunotherapy drug. The patent infringement and the subsequent $1.2 billion settlement were, however, ruled invalid by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). The High Court denied Juno Therapeutics’ petition filed in November 2022, but subsequently petitioned for rehearing, arguing that the grant of certiorari in Amgen v. Sanofi warranted reconsideration. Both cases deal with the meaning and scope of the enablement requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112.
CAFC Remands Parts of Grace Instrument Patent Infringement Lawsuit
On Thursday, January 12, the CAFC issued a precedential ruling in which Grace Instrument revived part of its patent infringement lawsuit against Chandler Instruments related to oil drilling technology. The CAFC ruled that the district court erred by considering the dictionary definition of “enlarged chamber” instead of considering how an artisan would interpret the meaning. While the CAFC wrote “we have considered Grace’s remaining arguments and do not find them persuasive,” the court did vacate some of the district court’s ruling and remanded these issues back to the lower court. Read more on the case here.
PTAB Rules Against Google in Smartphone Patent Case
On Wednesday, January 11, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) ruled against Google in its patent dispute against smartphone company Neonode. The PTAB found that Google had not provided enough evidence that its 13 claims that a Neonode patent is unpatentable. Last month, Neonode also defeated a similar lawsuit from Samsung.
USPTO Issues Gun Detection Patent
On Wednesday, January 11, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a patent to ZeroEyes for its AI-based gun detection video analytics platform. The platform identifies guns and quickly sends first responders the information.
Creator of an AI Asks Court for Copyright
On Tuesday, January 10, computer scientist Stephen Thaler filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to apply copyright law to AI-generated art. The United States Copyright Office denied Thaler a copyright registration, citing its “Human Authorship Requirement” policy, which requires artwork to be authored by a human. However, Thaler’s lawyers argued that since he created the AI that he should be able to copyright the artwork which he commanded it to make.
PTAB Finds Pilot’s Claims in Car Charger Patents Unpatentable
On Monday, January 9, the PTAB ruled in two separate decisions that nearly all claims in a pair of Pilot Inc. car charger patents are unpatentable. The two petitions for inter partes review were filed by Shenzhen Chic Electrics Co and the Noco Company.
This Week on Wall Street
Bankman-Fried Defends Actions in Substack Post
On Thursday, January 12, founder of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried, who is currently under house arrest facing federal fraud charges, released a defense of his former company’s actions on Substack. In the post, Bankman-Fried posted balance sheets, maintained his innocence, and said, “I didn’t steal funds, and I certainly didn’t stash billions away.” John Ray III, FTX’s new CEO who previously oversaw the liquidation of Enron, said of FTX, “never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here.”
Moderna Considering Quadrupling the Price of the COVID Vaccine
On Monday, January 9, The Wall Street Journal reported that Moderna is considering increasing the price of a single dose of its COVID-19 vaccine from $26 per dose to between $110 and $130 per dose. “I would think this type of pricing is consistent with the value,” said Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel. The pharmaceutical company has faced heavy criticism from politicians and advocates for the potential move.
Quarterly Earnings – The following firms identified among the IPO’s Top 300 Patent Recipients for 2021 are announcing quarterly earnings next week (2021 rank in parentheses):
- Monday: United Microelectronics Corporation (190th)
- Tuesday: None
- Wednesday: None
- Thursday: Procter & Gamble Company (78th)
- Friday: Schlumberger (100th)
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