Bloomberg News

Apple, Chanel, Avantha, Finnair: Intellectual Property (1)

June 04, 2013

Apple Inc. (AAPL:US), the maker of the iPad and iPod, filed an application to patent the use of a three-dimensional model for a cursor, according to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Cupertino, California-based Apple said that users sometimes are confused when a cursor’s appearance changes depending on the context in which it is used, for example an arrow when used on icons and a pointing hand when used with text.

The changes envisioned by application 2013135288 would give a three-dimensional model that could be manipulated by the user, depending on the context. The cursor could be “rotated, scaled and even morphed or deformed into different shapes,” according to the application. Apple says this would feel much more like a unified object.

Apple filed the application in November 2011, and it was published in the patent office database May 30.

Nintendo Must Face Patent Case Over Memory, Appeals Court Says

Nintendo Co., the Japanese maker of video games and consoles, must face a patent infringement case brought by California patent holder, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Creative Integrated Systems Inc. of Santa Ana, California, sued Nintendo in federal court in Los Angeles in April, 2010, claiming patents related to read-only memory were infringed.

In July 2012, U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz delivered what is known as a Markman ruling, based on his interpretation of what technology the patent covers.

The parties then stipulated to a non-infringement verdict. After this, Creative Integrated filed an appeal with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Washington-based court that hears appeals of patent disputes.

In its June 3 ruling, the appeals court said that Judge Matz didn’t interpret patent 5,241,497 correctly, and vacated the non-infringement finding. The case now goes back to the trail court for further proceedings.

The appeal is Creative Integrated Systems Inc. v. Nintendo of America Inc., 2012-1579, -1626, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The lower-court case is Creative Integrated Systems Inc. v. Nintendo of America Inc., 2:10-cv-02735-AHM-VBK, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

Chanel’s U.K. Application for ‘Jersey’ Fragrance Mark Rejected

Chanel SAS, the 104-year-old French fashion house, was told it can’t register “Jersey” as a U.K. trademark for a fragrance, the BBC reported.

The fragrance is named in honor of founder Coco Chanel, who introduced the knit fabric known as jersey as a fashion fabric, according to the BBC.

The U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office said only items made on the island of Jersey should be entitled to the trademark, the BBC reported.

The island’s Economic Development Department had filed an objection to Chanel’s application, according to the BBC.

Levi Files for ‘Field of Jeans,’ ‘Win One for the Zipper’ Marks

Levi Strauss & Co., the maker of blue jeans whose origins date back to the days of the California Gold Rush, has filed two trademark applications related to its $220 million agreement for naming rights to a National Football League stadium presently under construction in California.

The San Francisco-based company filed applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office May 8 to register “Field of Jeans” and “Win One for the Zipper” as trademarks to be used with the provision of stadium facilities for sporting events.

“Field of Jeans” is a play on “Field of Dreams,” a 1989 film about a baseball field in a former cornfield that magically attract players and fans.

“Win one for the Gipper” comes from a motivational speech Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne made to his team, referring to the late George Gipp, who died two weeks after being named Notre Dame’s All-American. The speech was also given in a movie about Rockne, in which President Ronald Reagan played Gipp, and the slogan was later used by Regan in his presidential campaigns.

The stadium, in Santa Clara, California, is set to open in 2014 and is the home of the San Francisco 49ers football team. On May 21 the National Football League voted to play the 50th anniversary Super Bowl game there in 2016.

Avantha Seeks Clarification of ‘Crompton’ Trademark Ownership

Avantha Group’s Crompton Greaves unit has asked the Gujarat High Court to overturn a ruling by India’s Registrar of Trademarks over the ‘Crompton’ Trademark, the Times of India reported.

Crompton Greaves is arguing its predecessor companies have used the mark since the 19th century, and that the board erred in 2012 by permitting its use by Hindustan Trading Corp., according to the newspaper.

Advocated for Crompton Greaves, a maker of electrical goods and lighting products, argued in court that the board failed to consider the company’s long history, according to the Times.

Crompton Greaves is seeking a court order for a second hearing by the trademark registry’s Intellectual Property Appellate Board and the removal of the mark from the registry of trademarks, the Times reported.

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

Finnair to Paint Out Design Following Plagiarism Allegations

Finnair Oyj (FIA1S), Finland’s largest airline, said it is stripping the livery from one of its Airbus planes after learning the design was plagiarized, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The design was created by Finland’s Marimekko Oyj (MMO1V), the Helsinki-based textile and clothing company, the newspaper reported.

A Finnish newspaper last week noted similarities between the design and work by Ukrainian artist known as Primatshenko, and Marimenkko designer Kristina Isola has acknowledged copying the design and apologized, according to the Times.

The disputed design depicted a stylized grouping of trees, the newspaper reported.

Taiwan Now Says It Won’t Block Foreign Websites That Infringe

Taiwan’s Intellectual Property Office said it will back down from plans to block overseas websites that violate copyright laws, the Focus Taiwan website reported.

Wang Mei-hua, who heads the office, said free-speech considerations prompted the policy change, according to Focus Taiwan.

The office will continue to direct domestic Internet service providers to remove Taiwan websites that infringe, Focus Taiwan reported.

The Intellectual Property Office will consult with judicial agencies about other possible ways of providing protection to intellectual property owners, according to Focus Taiwan.

Haiti’s President Registers With His Nation’s Copyright Bureau

As part of a strategy to encourage Haitian artists and content creators to protect their work, the nation’s president has registered his work with the Haitian Bureau of Copyright, the Haiti Sentinel reported.

President Michel Martelly, a singer who performed as “Sweet Micky,” said he hopes his action will encourage others in Haiti to protect their work and benefit from the protections registration offers, according to the Sentinel.

He said that registration is supported by a state agency in Haiti that will enforce artists’ rights, the Sentinel reported.

Apple Fights U.S. E-Books Pricing Claims in Antitrust Trial

Apple Inc., accused by the U.S. of being the ringmaster in a conspiracy with publishers to fix prices of electronic books, went to trial in a case that will feature evidence from the company’s dead founder, Steve Jobs.

A lawyer for the U.S. Justice Department began his opening statement in Manhattan federal court yesterday in a rare antitrust trial to determine whether Apple orchestrated an illegal price-fixing agreement when it entered the e-books market in 2010 with the introduction of the iPad.

Apple and five of the six biggest U.S. publishers “consciously committed to a scheme to raise e-book prices throughout the industry” that cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars, Justice Department lawyer Lawrence Buterman told U.S. District Judge Denise Cote.

Apple claims it did nothing wrong and says it benefited consumers by bringing innovation and competition to an e-books market that was dominated by Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN:US) Apple’s lawyer, Orin Snyder, yesterday echoed Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook in his opening statement yesterday, calling the government’s case “bizarre.”

Apple is the last defendant remaining in the case after the five publishers sued by the government avoided trial by settling.

Part of Apple’s fight will be to win over Cote, who is hearing the case without a jury. The judge said in a final pretrial conference May 23 that the government has evidence to show that Apple knowingly participated in a conspiracy to raise e-book prices.

Apple’s trial team is led by Snyder, a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Snyder, a former federal prosecutor, has handled antitrust and other high-stakes litigation for media and entertainment companies including Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC:US), Warner Music Group Corp. and Comcast Corp. (CMCSA:US)’s NBC Universal.

The government team is led by Mark W. Ryan, the director of litigation for the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. Ryan joined the division after a career in private practice.

Gabriel Gervey, a lawyer in the Texas attorney general’s office, is the lead lawyer for the states.

Each side will have a total of 29 hours to present.

The case is U.S. v. Apple Inc., 12-cv-02826, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Hagel Blames China for Cyber-Attacks as He Seeks Closer Ties

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel accused China of waging cyber-attacks, in comments made before a gathering of senior Asian officials that included members of the Chinese military.

“The United States has expressed our concerns about the growing threat of cyber intrusions, some of which appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military,” Hagel said in his first major policy address on Asia June 1 at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual security conference in Singapore.

U.S. officials and the Defense Department have blamed China previously for cyber-attacks. Hagel’s public comments today came as Chinese officials looked on -- and one questioned the U.S. commitment to improved relations.

While the U.S. claims its military pivot toward Asia isn’t a move against China, “China is not convinced,” Major-General Yao Yunzhu, director of the Center for China-America Defense Relations at the Academy of Military Science within the People’s Liberation Army, said at the conference.

China’s reported attempts to obtain sensitive U.S. military data as well as commercial intellectual property through electronic espionage have been highlighted repeatedly by Defense Department and White House officials. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said in March that China is waging a “large scale” computer campaign to steal trade secrets.

The Pentagon, in its latest annual report on China’s military capabilities, said last month that China’s military has targeted U.S. government computers with intrusions that seek sensitive data.

Even as he singled out China for cyber-attacks, Hagel said he welcomed China’s rise as a global power and sought closer military-to-military relations. He said he plans to host China’s defense minister at the Pentagon later this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in Oakland, California, at vslindflor@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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