Intellectual Property News Roundup

A summary of IP and patent news around the world.ip head

New Features On EPO Global Patent Index

Global patent index now includes searchable legal status to help determine if a patent application been withdrawn or rejected, and if granted patents are still valid, expired, lapsed or revoked? It currently consists of the frontfile data provided by more than 60 authorities and the full legal status information (backfile) will soon be searchable. In addition to the three EPO official languages, the Global patent index interface is now also available in Japanese and Spanish.

New WIPO Text On Genetic Resources Misappropriation; Disclosure Still Uncertain

World Intellectual Property Organization member countries are working to get past their differences this week toward agreement on a way to protect genetic resources from biopiracy. A new document shows focus on misappropriation as a policy objective, and that a bridge still needs to be found on the issue of mandatory disclosure of origin in patent applications.

Obama Highlights Need for Innovation In State of the Union

Innovation, IP and patents received an important nod in President Obama’s State of the Union address, highlighting the need to invest in research and development to ensure strength in tomorrow’s global economy:

China and Europe aren’t standing on the sidelines. Neither should we. We know that the nation that goes all-in on innovation today will own the global economy tomorrow. This is an edge America cannot surrender. Federally-funded research helped lead to the ideas and inventions behind Google and smartphones. That’s why Congress should undo the damage done by last year’s cuts to basic research so we can unleash the next great American discovery – whether it’s vaccines that stay ahead of drug-resistant bacteria, or paper-thin material that’s stronger than steel. And let’s pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not costly, needless litigation.

Adidas AG Sues Under Armour Inc. For Patent Infringement

Adidas alleges Under Armour exercise-tracking and fitness-monitoring products infringe patents held by the world’s second-biggest maker of sporting goods. The lawsuit is related to Adidas patents that provide the technology for mobile applications products that track heart rates, calories burned and other information during workouts, the company said in a Feb. 5 complaint filed in federal court in Wilmington, Del.

Ericsson, Samsung Reach Agreement On Global Patent Licenses

Ericsson said Monday it ended a high-profile patent dispute against Samsung Electronics Co. in an out-of-court settlement that closes a string of lawsuits dating back to 2012. In late 2012, Ericsson sued Samsung after engaging in what it called two years of failed negotiations to renew a cross-licensing pact. Both parties struck a conciliatory tone Monday.

“Our intention has always been to enter an agreement with Samsung,” Kasim Alfalahi, chief intellectual property officer at Ericsson, said in an interview. “Really, we have no interest in lengthy court processes.”

Video Made On Government Time Can’t Be Copyrighted, Issa Says

A member of the U.S. Congress said that a General Services Administration employee who registered the copyright to a parody he created of Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire” video, isn’t eligible for copyright protection, but instead belongs to the U.S. government. U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican, said the parody, which was shown at a GSA regional conference focused on wasteful practices, isn’t copyrightable because it was filmed at government facilities, featured a GSA employee, and was made for an official government event.

Kraft Tells Spokane Bar That Drink Name Is Objectionable

Kraft Foods Group Inc. (KRFT), maker of Kool-Aid, is demanding a bar in Spokane, Wash., stop offering a cocktail named “Date Grape Koolaid,” the Spokesman-Review newspaper reported. Caroline Krajewski, spokeswoman for Northfield, Illinois-based Kraft, said the company is “appalled” at the use of the name and the “blatant misuse of the Kool-Aid trademark”, and will soon take action against the bar.