IP News November 2018

Welcome to IP News This Month. Here’s your 5-minute guide to all things intellectual property, culled from news reports from around the world. Tips or comments: jeffjohnroberts AT gmail.com. Know someone who likes IP News? Tell them to sign up here!

Top 3 Stories

Is there a badge for IP litigation? Girl Scouts of America file trademark suit against Boy Scouts after the latter drop “boy” from their name and begin accepting girls

Patent scam lawyer ascends to top of Justice Department: President Trump’s acting AG previously did legal work for a fraudulent patent firm shut down by the FTC

Good taste prevails: ECJ rules Dutch company can’t copyright the taste of a cheese, saying taste is subjective and an idea rather than an expression


Blockchain pundit Alex Tapscott claims blockchain technology can improve IP management in Canada across a range of industries, from agriculture to medicine to film

A Quebec judge approved a settlement that ends copyright litigation between Laval University and rights manager Copibec

United States

SCOTUS will hear two copyright cases in January: One turns on registration requirements, and the other will examine the meaning of “full costs” for prevailing parties

A group called the Satanic Temple reached a settlement with Netflix over the studio’s unauthorized depiction of a goat deity statue

Stephen Colbert accused President Trump of “stealing his intellectual property” after Trump went on a rant with phrases the comedian says was lifted from his character in the Colbert Report

Prosecutors are relying on asset forfeiture laws in a bid to seize biker gangs’ trademarks; they hope a victory will let cops seize jackets off bikers’ backs, though IP attorneys are skeptical


YouTube has been using pop-up ads on its platform to warn users about the EU’s impending Article 13 directive, which the company says will prevent many people from uploading video in the future

Rappers are threatening legal action against the viral game Fortnite for reproducing their dance moves; a UK lawyer says the moves are protectable, provided they are original


An Australian consumer body took the rare of step opposing a company’s trademark requests; the move was based on concern the firm, which makes biodegradable bags, could use the marks to assert a misleading monopoly

China has ramped up hacking and IP theft directed at the U.S. in recent months; the escalation signals the end of a 2015 cyber-arms pact between President Obama and China

The Danish toy maker Lego says a recent run of copyright victories in China shows the country is, in fact, making strides to protect IP

South Africa is wrestling with whether to adopt fair use as part of a Copyright Act overhaul; scholars support the idea while others prefer sticking with a fair dealing app

This content has been updated on December 3, 2018 at 18:38.