Cara Delevingne Trademarks Her Name

The British model of the moment registered her name as a trademark with the Intellectual Property Office.

Cara Delevingne is poised to take over the world. At the ripe old age of 20, the British model is one of 2012’s breakout stars, starring in ad campaigns for Burberry and Chanel and walking big-name runways like Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta. Now, the bushy-browed beauty is planning her next big move: becoming a global brand.

Delevingne filed to trademark her name with the International Property Office in December, The Sunday Times reports. The newly-acquired branding rights means that, from now on, she is the only one permitted to use her name–giving her power over a range of products including perfumes, handbags and umbrellas. And that’s not all Delevingne controls. She also registered her own company, Cara & Co, with her father Charles listed as its co-director.

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Inventor argues Nintendo infringed his 3-D patent

By Bernard Vaughan

NEW YORK, Feb 26 (Reuters) – A patent infringement trial over 3-D display technology has pit an inventor against videogaming giant Nintendo Co.

The patent relates to technology that inventor Seijiro Tomita developed for providing 3-D images without the need for 3-D glasses.

In opening arguments on Monday, Tomita’s attorney, Joe Diamante of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, told a jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan that Nintendo used technology that the inventor developed for its handheld 3DS videogame system. Tomita is a former longtime Sony Corp employee.

But Scott Lindvall of Kaye Scholer, an attorney for the Super Mario Bros franchise creator, said the 3DS doesn’t use key aspects of Tomita’s patent.

Lindvall also said a 2003 meeting that Tomita cites in his argument was merely one of several the company held with vendors selling 3-D display technology.

Tomita sued Nintendo and its U.S. unit in 2011 for patent infringement and is seeking damages.

His attorney cited an expert’s damage estimate that Tomita is entitled to about $9.80 for every 3DS sold. The 3DS, a colorful cellphone-size product, costs $169.99 on the company’s website.

The trial is before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff.

Earlier this year, Nintendo, the world’s leading gaming company by machines sold, cut the sales outlook for the 3DS by 2.5 million machines to 15 million for its fiscal year ending in March.

Tomita displayed a prototype of his technology for seven Nintendo officials at the company’s Kyoto headquarters in 2003 as he was looking for licensee partners while his patent application was pending, Diamante told jurors.

Four of those seven people would go on to help develop the 3DS, which Nintendo eventually launched in March 2011, he said.

“He actually felt betrayed and hurt that they were using his technology,” Diamante said.

But Lindvall noted that Nintendo constantly has meetings with vendors. And prior to its meeting with Tomita, Nintendo had already had four meetings with vendors shopping 3-D display technology, including a 2002 meeting with Sharp Corp, which eventually made the display for Nintendo’s 3DS.

“Mr. Tomita’s meeting was one of hundreds,” Lindvall said.

Moreover, he said, the 3DS does not use a key aspect of Tomita’s patent called “cross-point” information, which helps display 3-D images on different screens.

Tomita, 58, is a scientist and engineer who retired from Sony in 2002 after almost 30 years to pursue inventions, according to his lawsuit.

He is listed as an inventor or co-inventor of nearly 70 patents globally, according to the lawsuit.

Tomita received a patent for the 3-D display technology in the United States in 2008, and he holds a corresponding patent in Japan, according to the lawsuit. But since Nintendo launched 3DS, Tomita has had trouble finding a licensee partner for his technology, Diamante told the jury.

Tomita was in a wheelchair on Monday, as he continues to recover from a stroke, Diamante said.

The case is Tomita Technologies USA LLC and Tomita Technologies International Inc v. Nintendo Co Ltd and Nintendo of America Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-4256.

For Tomita Technologies USA LLC and Tomita Technologies International Inc: Joseph Diamante, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.

For Nintendo Co Ltd and Nintendo of America Inc: Scott Lindvall, Kaye Scholer.

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Obama Administration Announces New Open Access Policy

Intellectual Property Watch

By Kelly Burke for Intellectual Property Watch

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has issued a new policy memorandum increasing public access to federally funded scientific research, including peer-reviewed publications and digital data.

OSTP Director John Holdren has directed federal agencies with “more than US$ 100 million in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication,” according to the memo, available here.

“Scientific research supported by the Federal Government catalyzes innovative breakthroughs that drive our economy,” the memo stated. “The results of that research become the grist for new insights and are assets for progress in areas such as health, energy, the environment, agriculture, and national security.”

The directive refers to the post-publication period as a “guideline”, suggesting that different embargo periods might apply in different disciplines. Agencies have six months, from the publication of the memorandum, to detail plans to the OSTP.

The final policy was announced, in part, as a response to an online public petition calling for free access to research. The petition secured more than 65,000 signatures.

Peter Suber, director of the Harvard Open Access Project, said in his blog: “This is big. It’s big in its own right, and even bigger when put together with FASTR, the bipartisan open access bill introduced into both houses of Congress.

Judge rebukes Justice Department in trade secrets case vs Kolon

Feb 26 (Reuters) – In an unusual rebuke to the U.S. Justice Department, a federal judge said prosecutors may not yet pursue their high-profile criminal case accusing Kolon Industries Inc of stealing trade secrets from Kevlar maker DuPont Co.

While refusing to dismiss the indictment, U.S. District Judge Robert Payne in Richmond, Virginia, in a Feb. 22 decision decided to put the case on hold because prosecutors had failed to properly notify the South Korean company of the charges.

The same judge had presided over a civil trial in which a jury in September 2011 ordered Kolon to pay DuPont $919.9 million for stealing 149 trade secrets related to Kevlar, a high-strength para-aramid fiber used in body armor, military helmets, tires and fiber-optic cables. Kolon is appealing.

In delaying the criminal case, which was unveiled in October, Payne said prosecutors failed to comply with laws designed to ensure that defendants are “served” with papers describing the charges and giving them a chance to answer.

The judge rejected what he called at least eight U.S. government efforts to serve Kolon, including under a bilateral treaty on legal proceedings.

For example, he said that in one instance the government waited too long to serve, while in another it did not suffice to serve a New Jersey-based unit rather than the parent.

Payne canceled a March 6 arraignment but said a new proceeding could take place as soon as June 7 if Kolon is properly served.

“The court cannot conclude to any degree of certainty that the United States will not be able to serve Kolon in this case,” the judge wrote in a 59-page decision.

He said Congress could not have intended the “absurd” result that foreign companies be able to escape U.S. prosecution by keeping their principal places of business outside the country.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride in Alexandria, Virginia, said: “The court clearly ruled that Kolon is amenable to service in this case, and we intend to serve Kolon pursuant to the court’s order.”

Jeff Randall, a partner at Paul Hastings representing Kolon, said in a statement that his client plans to defend against the charges at the appropriate time.

He also said it may be difficult to serve Kolon in light of a recent letter from a Justice Department lawyer questioning the ability to serve “a foreign organization that has no agent or principal place of business within the United States.”

Kolon and five executives were charged with stealing trade secrets from DuPont, which had begun selling Kevlar in 1965, and from Japan’s Teijin Ltd, which makes a rival fabric, Twaron.

Prosecutors said they want to take at least $226 million of assets from Kolon, representing gross proceeds from the company’s sale of its own fabric, Heracron.

The indictment was dated Aug. 21 but kept secret for two months. Also in August, Kolon was barred from making its fabric for 20 years, but a federal appeals court later set aside this order while Kolon pursues appeals.

The case is U.S. v. Kolon Industries Inc, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, No. 12-cr-00137.

For Kolon: Jeff Randall, at Paul Hastings.

For the United States: Michael Dry, U.S. Attorney’s office, Richmond, Virginia.


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Dutch copyrights org files suit against cable operators

Dutch copyright organization Lira has filed a suit against cable operators Ziggo, UPC and Delta, Tweakers reported, citing paper sources. Lira collects royalties on behalf of screenwriters, translators and journalists. The cable companies pay a fixed amount per connection, because legally, they open content to the public. UPC, Ziggo and Delta never extended their agreement with Lira, which ended on 1 October 2012. The companies did not respond to requests for comments. Lira said that the EUR 0.10-0.13 per line costs are marginal. The parties also went to court in 2005.–927399

Wisconsin State Court OKs Bidding On Trademarks In Paid Search

A Wisconsin appeals court this week affirmed a circuit court’s ruling that it’s OK to use trademarks as keywords to trigger the display of paid search ads. The court’s conclusions are in line with search engines’ policies with regard to trademark bidding and with a Federal case decided last year in California.

Image courtesy

The Wisconsin case, which involved two personal injury law firms, centered around what it means to “use” a name for advertising purposes.

In the 2009 lawsuit, the owners of the Habush Habush & Rottier firm accused competitor Cannon & Dunphy of violating their privacy by using the terms “Habush” and “Rottier” as keywords in their search advertising campaigns on Google, Yahoo and Bing.

The Wisconsin statute in question says people are entitled to relief if their privacy is invaded, and one definition of invasion of privacy includes:

The use, for advertising purposes or for purposes of trade, of the name, portrait or picture of any living person, without having first obtained the written consent of the person or, if the person is a minor, of his or her parent or guardian

The appeals court affirmed the circuit court ruling, likening bidding on trademarks to one business locating its office near that of another, more established business, to take advantage of the flow of potential customers who come there.

“This strategy undeniably takes advantage of the name of the established business and its ability to draw potential customers, but the strategy does not ‘use’ the name of the business in the same way as putting the name or image of the business in an advertisement or on a product,” the appeals court wrote in its decision.

This question of whether it’s acceptable to use competitors’ trademarks as keywords, has been the subject of longstanding debate in the search marketing business, but it’s growing clearer that what has become standard practice — because of search engines’ policies — will likely stand up to legal scrutiny.

US judge asks Apple and Samsung to narrow patent infringement claims

Judge the firms to limit their lawsuits to 25 patent claims


A US district judge has ordered Apple and Samsung to limit the number of patent claims in a lawsuit scheduled to go on trial in 2014.

The judge told lawyers to limit themselves to 25 patent claims or infringed elements.

“We’ll keep narrowing and narrowing,” the judge said.

“You’ve already been litigating this thing for a year; you must know something about what’s your best case.”

The upcoming trial deals with the latest devices from both smartphone makers in addition to other different patents.

Apple recently added Samsung’s Galaxy Note smartphone and tablet computer to its ongoing patent lawsuits, while Samsung alleged that ‘all generations’ of Apple’s iPhone and iPads infringed about three of its patents.

Additionally, the US Court of Appeals has rejected Apple’s request to fast-track its bid to bar the sales of various Samsung Electronics phones.

Apple had won a $1.05bn verdict in August 2012 over the South Korean firm in a California trial court, in which the company sought a ban on several Samsung phones.