For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Letter from AmeriKat II: bits 'n bobs

Poster poser faces a criminal investigation: Last year the AmeriKat wrote briefly about the Shepard Fairey copyright case, involving the creator’s famous tri-toned “Obama Hope” poster. In February 2008 Fairey brought a pre-emptive claim against the Associated Press (AP), seeking a declaration that his poster did not infringe AP’s photograph (taken by Mannie Garcia, who is also suing for copyright). Last October Fairey admitted to lying about which AP photograph he used for the work and also to destroying and fabricating evidence. As reported by Am Law Daily, Fairey now faces a criminal investigation into his behaviour during the litigation. The news came as a result of Judge Hellerstein denying Fairey’s lawyers’ (Jones Day) motion to extend the discovery deadline by six months in order, in part, to permit Fairey to delay his deposition in the face of a criminal investigation. The extension was denied by Judge Hellerstein, who stated:

“Everything in this world is time sensitive. Especially news. Especially photographs.”
For further information see this article in the New York Times.


Motorola v BlackBerry: Last Friday Motorola filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) requesting an investigation into alleged infringing use of several of Motorola’s patents by RIM, the maker of BlackBerry. The complaint also asked the ITC to ban RIM from importing, selling, marketing and advertising any of the allegedly infringing products. The patents include technology related to controlling Wi-Fi access, power management, and a method for storing received messages. According to an email from Motorola to The Register, RIM had entered into a licence agreement for this technology in 2003, however their use of the patents continued after the deal expired in 2007. The ITC complaint follows the 2008 lawsuits brought by Motorola against RIM in Texas and the UK which have yet to be resolved. Jonathan Meyer, Motorola’s VP of IP, declared:
“[i]n light of RIM’s continued unlicensed use of Motorola’s patents RIM’s use of delay tactics in our current patent litigation, and RIM’s refusal to design out Motorola’s proprietary technology, Motorola has no choice but to file a complaint with the ITC to halt RIM’s continued infringement.”
For more information see this article in the Wall Street Journal.


USPTO’s interim procedures for patent term extensions: Last week the AmeriKat reported on the important decision of Wyeth v Kappos which held that the USPTO misapplied patent term calculations resulting in shorter patent terms for patentees than what they should have been. Last week the USPTO announced interim procedures for re-calculating and extending patent terms. The USPTO will process recalculation requests for patents issued prior to 2 March 2010 that are requested no later than 180 days after the issue date. After 2 March 2010 the USPTO expects that their software modifications will calculate patent terms correctly. Here’s hoping….


Final push of opposition to Google Book Settlement: In the past week the Google Book Settlement has faced a further deluge of opposition with authors such as JK Rowling and Philip Pullman opposing the Settlement. As reported by The Times, Rowling’s lawyer stated that the settlement “purport[s] to change US and international copyright rules.” The AmeriKat says, however, that the Settlement does not change copyright rules, it just attempts to bypass them. Sci-fi author Ursula Le Guin (right) also joined the opposition last week stating, in a petition signed by almost 400 other authors, that, like France and Germany, the US should
“also be exempted from the settlement. We ask that the principle of copyright, which is directly threatened by the settlement, be honored and upheld in the United States.”
The final fairness hearing is scheduled for 18 February 2010 at 10AM. The AmeriKat recommends that readers review the letters of opposition filed last week, including those from France and Germany.

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