IP News February 2016

Top 3 Stories

Law professors vs Harvard Law Review: profs are proffering a public domain alternative to the futsy system of citation known as the Bluebook, but a copyright claim means the project is in jeopardy More »

Apple and Samsung’s global patent battle may end with a whimper. The Federal Circuit threw out a $119 million jury verdict that found Samsung infringed on a slide-to-unlock iPhone feature More »

Woe, thy name is WIPO: the embattled IP body is under renewed fire from US lawmakers who blasted it as the “FIFA of UN agencies” and called for the ouster of its director over allegations of corruption and illicit deals with North Korea More »


A whale of a copyright case: the Vancouver aquarium is seeking damages and an injunction against a filmmaker who allegedly used images from its website as part of a critical documentary posted to YouTube More »

The National Post has a deep-dive into how Canada’s notice-and-notice regime is working, including how more copyright agents are tucking settlement letters into their notices More »

A court threw out a Quebec copyright collection society’s lawsuit against a university that rejected a license in favor of an expanded fair dealing policy More »

United States

Judge Lucy Koh, a Silicon Valley fixture admired for her deft work in Apple-Samsung and a host of other major tech trials, has been tapped to go to the 9th Circuit More »

SCOTUS, sans Justice Scalia, heard a case on when to award treble damages; the issue turns on statutory interpretation of willfulness More »

The busy jurors of East Texas have struck again, ordering Apple to pay $625M to a patent troll over infringements related to VPNs and FaceTime More »

The success of the superhero film Deadpool is fueling IP disputes over facial animation technology More »

A large art foundation, concluding the copyright clearance system “creates barriers for the wrong people,” will now offer museums full access to its work even in some cases that may not count as fair use More »

Prof Kerr looks at why the Patent Office, unlike nearly other regulatory agency, doesn’t receive deference from the courts for its decisions More »

The indefatigable Authors Guild is appealing the Google Books case to the Supreme Court More »

PayPal is cutting off payment services to VPN providers that help Canadians skirt geo-fences to watch US Netflix More »

A proposed settlement over “Happy Birthday” calls for a court to declare the song in the public domain and for Warner Music to pay $14M More »

The Academy sued the company beyond lavish Oscar gift bags – said to contain everything from vape pens to vibrators – diluting its trademark and tarnishing goodwill More »

The “All Writs Act” – the law used by the Justice Department in its case against Apple – is also being used by copyright owners in a growing number of cases against piracy sites, domain registrars, et al More »


A German court invalidated a key Nespresso patent; the ruling is another blow to the company’s attempt to use IP to keep rivals out of the single-serving coffee market More »

A Scottish paper has a fawning profile of the lawyer who provides trademark protection for many of the country’s tweeds, tartans and brands More »

Furniture fans in the UK are griping about a copyright change that will add 50 years of copyright design protection to sofas, lamps and other objects More »

The EU General Court rebuffed Coca-Cola’s bid to obtain a trademark for the shape of a new bottle More »


Cuba persuaded the US to renew its long-lapsed trademark claim to “Havana Club” but now Florida lawmakers, backed by Baccardi, are pushing the White House to reverse the decision More »

Australia’s academic publishers and copyright collectors are pushing back against impending reforms, warning a proposed fair use provision “would block investment, discourage experiment and innovation” More »

Meanwhile, Australia is scrapping a 3-strikes copyright scheme after an audit revealed it would be prohibitively expensive to administer More »

Google persuade the Supreme Court of Canada to review a case where an IP owner obtained an order to scrub search results; the case, like ones in Europe, has big implications for extra-territorial law More »

This month’s Twitter star is Roberto Ledesma, a Brooklyn lawyer who hosts a trademark blog, and tweets TM news at “ProofOfUse” Follow him at: More »


Tips or comments? Send them to jeffrobertslegal at gmail.com

This content has been updated on April 7, 2016 at 12:45.