Letter from AmeriKat II - Bits 'n Pieces

An Almighty Wind – Last week General Electric, the largest maker of wind turbines in the US, filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Texas federal court against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Limited. A GE spokesperson stated that “GE has 148 issued US patents related to wind energy…[Mitsubishi Heavy] has substantially less. We believe that there are multiple areas where [their] 2.4 megawatt wind turbines infringe on GE’s existing patents”. (Does it bother anyone else when people say “infringe on”?) GE is also challenging the US International Trade Commission’s 8th of January decision that Mitsubishi Heavy was not violating five other GE patents. For more information see this article in Bloomberg.

Copying Cupcake Campers Face Copyright Lawsuit –Not a breathtaking story, but the AmeriKat seldom gets an opportunity to write about legal actions taken on behalf of cupcakes. Austin’s (Texas) Hey Cupcake filed a federal lawsuit last Wednesday alleging that a trailer cupcake business in Indiana copied the get-up of its retailer trailers (yes, “retail trailers”)(see photos here). The claim alleges that the large 3-D cupcake positioned on the roof is similar to their copyrighted cupcake used at their locations. According to this report, the Indiana outfit also began selling t-shirts that say “Real Men Eat Cupcakes” shortly after the Austin company began selling shirts that declared that “Real Men Love Cupcakes”. For London-based readers craving their own cupcake fix, the AmeriKat suggests visiting her guilty pleasure - Hummingbird Bakery.

Forgot about Dre? Death Row Records allegedly did - Dr. Dre is suing Death Row Records for a slew of claims including copyright and trade mark infringement after they allegedly re-released his acclaimed 1992 album “The Chronic” without his consent or payment of the proceeds. The claim demands over $75,000 in royalties. For more information see this article from NME.

American Needle Punting a Field Goal? – After a roaring day at Henley last July, the AmeriKat wrote about the upcoming Supreme Court case of American Needle. In short, following an agreement made between Reebok International and the National Football League (NFL) not to compete with each other in the licensing of merchandise or granting of licences to Reebok’s competitors, American Needle and other merchandise manufacturer’s licences were not renewed and consumer prices for NFL team’s merchandise rose. American Needle et al filed a complaint in 2004 alleging that this agreement was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court heard the oral arguments in this case. Why do we care? Well, the NFL (the biggest of the US sports business) is asking the court to shield them from anti-trust laws which means that this may allow the potential anti-competitive licensing of their intellectual property (trade mark merchandise for all 32 NFL teams) affecting manufacturers like American Needle and consumers of NFL products. Watch this space….See these articles from ESPN the Economist and Wall Street Journal.

Letter from AmeriKat II - Bits 'n Pieces Letter from AmeriKat II - Bits 'n Pieces Reviewed by Annsley Merelle Ward on Sunday, February 14, 2010 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Re "infringing on": it perhaps depends whether GE mean to imply that Mitsubishi is transgressing their patent (OED 1989 meaning 2), or merely that they are encroaching upon it (OED 1989 meaning 5: "To break in or encroach on or upon"; e.g. "Never let pleasure infringe on the domain of duty."). Presuming they mean the latter, then, yes, it grates with me too.


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