Veoh still safe in harbour
Last Monday a Los Angeles federal judge threw out the 2007 copyright infringement claim brought by Universal Music Group against online video site Veoh for distributing videos that incorporated music from its artists. In a summary judgment issued last week, Judge Howard Matz ruled that Veoh satisfied the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) requirements for safe harbour. The safe harbour exemptions allow companies to avoid copyright liability if they are not aware that content infringes copyright and, once aware, act expeditiously to remove the content. This is the second federal court decision affirming Veoh’s compliance with the DMCA requirements. As reported by Reuters, Universal stated that they will appeal the judgment.
On Tuesday American retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co filed a claim for trade mark infringement against fragrance company Coty, anticipating the launch of Beyonce’s perfume which is allegedly called “Sasha Fierce”. Abercrombie owns the trade mark for the word FIERCE, which is the name of one of Abercrombie’s colognes retailing for £40. According to the BBC, the terms Fierce and Sasha Fierce are not being used for Beyonce’s new fragrance.
After years of using a patented method of determining the proper dosage of thiopurine (right) in treating autoimmune disease, the Mayo Clinic announced in 2004 it would begin selling its own dosage test, prompting a lawsuit brought by the patent owner, Prometheus. Following previous lower court decisions that held that Prometheus’s patent was invalid, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit last week reversed these decisions in ruling that Prometheus's method was patentable. The Federal Circuit applied their “definitive test” in Bilski when determining whether a process is patent-eligible under section 101:
“a claimed process is surely patentable if (1) it is tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or (2) it transforms a particular article into a different state or thing”.The transformation must also be central to the purpose of the claimed process. The court held that the method satisfied this test because “the result of the physical administration of a drug to a subject to transform, i.e. treat – the subject, which is itself not a natural process” was transformative and it is clear that this transformation was at the heart of the claimed patent. The AmeriKat reminds readers that Bilski is subject to an appeal before the Supreme Court.