Sega trademarks Sonic Lost World

Sega of Europe has trademarked ‘Sonic Lost World’, suggesting a new title featuring its iconic blue speedster may be in the pipeline.

The listing appeared on the trademarks and design resgistration office website, and specifically states downloadable video games for use on mobile devices.
Earlier this week it was revealed Sega intends to re-release the first Sonic the Hedgehog title on the Nintendo 3DS eShop.

Accorrding to a page on the Japanese Sega website, the game will include the spin dash and the option to play either in stereoscopic 3D or classic mode.

Sega’s return to its backcatalogue has also yielded a remake of Mega Drive classic Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse.

The title is “a complete re-imagining” of the 1990 Mega Drive/Genesis side-scrolling classic. It features the original storyline, in which players are challenged to save Minnie from the evil witch Mizrabel, and will have updated visuals and new gameplay mechanics.


The Renowned Patent Attorneys at Adli Law Group, P.C. Receive a Well-Earned Office Upgrade

After years as the most effective and knowledgeable patent attorneys in Los Angeles, Adli Law Group, P.C. moves into exclusive new offices

By Adli Law Group P.C.

LOS ANGELES, MAY 16, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ — In recent years, the lawyers at Adli Law Group, P.C. have made a name for themselves as the ideal team for those seeking a business attorney, either in Los Angeles or various other key business-centers around the globe. In fact, the firm’s record of success among professionals seeking a business attorney in Los Angeles has necessitated larger offices to properly accommodate their local and international business clients alike. That’s why, on June 1st, Adli Law Group will be upgrading their offices from their location on West Fifth Street in downtown Los Angeles to an elite space in L.A.’s iconic Citigroup Tower.

The new location is a perfect fit for the company, famous for its success with a variety of clients from some of the largest and most influential Fortune 500 companies around the globe. While the elite Citigroup Tower offices of the Adli Law Group team will serve as the headquarters for the Los Angeles-based company, they will only be one hub of a firm with offices in important business centers including London, Tokyo and Taipei. The location is more impressive still, considering the broad spectrum of clients the skilled team elects to represent. Alongside their high profile global clients, Dr. Dariush Adli and his team are happy to represent a diverse mix of mid-size clients and start-up companies when appropriate.

The success of Adli Law Group founder, Dr. Adli, as a patent attorney comes as no surprise to those familiar with the distinguished attorney’s background as the Head of the Patent Group at a large, Los Angeles-based international law firm. Dr. Adli also served as a lead scientist at Duke Electric Power Company in Boston, MA, where he authored and co-authored a number of award-winning articles that were published in national scientific journals. It is largely due to this sincere passion for science and business that has allowed Dr. Adli to bring together such an acclaimed patent, trademark, and copyright law team. Regardless of the size, scope or geography of their clients, Adli Law Group consistently brings first rate expertise to develop, obtain and protect rights for intellectual property among other business issues.

For their many clients, the move to the globally-recognized Citigroup Tower represents an inspiring and all-too-rare example of a firm finding success based strictly on their record or unparalleled accomplishment and client-focus. Since the firm’s beginnings, the team has been fully committed to providing cogent advice concerning legal strategies related to patents, trademarks, copyrights and many other types of business-related litigation. For further details about Adli Law Group P.C., please call 213-623-6546; visit the website at or their new offices at 444 South Flower Street, Suite 1750, Los Angeles, CA 90071.

Supreme Court Decides Bowman v. Monsanto for Monsanto

On May 13th, a unanimous Court found that the doctrine of patent exhaustion “does not allow the purchaser to make new copies of the patented invention.” [A copy of decision is at the end of this post.] In this case, the patented invention was a soybean seed obtained from a plant that had been genetically altered so that it is resistant (“survives exposure”) to the herbicide glyphosate. I know that this is “yesterday’s news” by now, but I need a break from plumbing the depths of CLS v. Alice, so I thought I would offer a few observations. (I also did posts when the Fed. Cir. ruling came down, when the Supreme Court granted cert. and when oral argument was heard.)

At least this was a “patent friendly” decision, and the Court even spent some time discussing its relationship with J.E.M. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred, 534 U.S. 124 (2001) in which a divided Supreme Court held that utility patents were available for plants, despite the protections offered by Plant Variety Protection Act Certificates (PVPA certificates). Slip op. at 7. In that decision, the Court held that “only a patent holder (not a certificate holder) could prohibit ‘[a] farmer who legally purchases and plants’ a protected seed from saving harvested seed ‘for replanting’…(noting that the Patent Act, unlike the PVPA contains ‘no exemptio[n]’ for ‘saving seed’).”

Justice Kagen continued: “That statement is inconsistent with applying exhaustion to protect conduct like Bowman’s. If a sale cut off the right to control a patented seed’s progeny, then (contrary to J.E.M.) the patentee could not prevent the buyer from saving harvested seed [to replant a second crop]….Those limitations would turn upside-down the statutory scheme J.E.M. described.”

Although I don’t know whether or not any of the Justices or their clerks visit patents4life, I was gratified to see that the opinion cited and discussed Aro Mfg. Co. v. Convertible Top Replacement, 366 U.S. 336 (1961), which I discussed in my post of February 20th, and even quoted from the part of the decision that I quoted; “[A] ‘second creation’ of the patented item ‘call[s] the monopoly, conferred by the patent grant into play for a second time.”

It was also gratifying that the Court rejected two “natural phenomenon”-type arguments put forward by Bowman: (1) He should have the right to “use” the transgenic seeds “in the normal way farmers do”; that is, to raise a crop that effectively multiplies the original number of seeds that was purchased and (2) It was the planted soybean, not Bowman himself, that made the infringing replicas of Monsanto’s patented invention.

As to the first argument, Justice Kagen noted that such use would cause “[t]he undiluted patent monopoly [to] extend not for 20 years (as the Patent Act promises), but only for one transaction.” Slip op. at 8. Justice Kagan called the latter position a “blame-the-bean defense,” and noted that it was Bowman who devised and executed a novel way to harvest crops from Roundup Ready seeds [that he bought from a soybean elevator operator] without paying the usual premium….it was Bowman, and not the bean who controlled the reproduction (unto the eighth generation) of Monsanto’s patented invention.” Slip op. at 9-10.

Since this is a biotech/pharma blog, I must note that the decision closes with a disclaimer: “Our holding today is limited – addressing the situation before us, rather than every one involving a self-replicating product….the article’s self-replication might occur outside the purchaser’s control. Or it might be a necessary but incidental step in using the item for another purpose.” I will leave it to your imaginations to come up with some examples in the life sciences area.

Allure Energy Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit against Nest Labs

AUSTIN, Texas — 

Allure Energy, Inc. has filed suit against Nest Labs, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on the grounds of patent infringement through the design, manufacture and sale of smart thermostats under the name “Nest Learning Thermostat.” The complaint contends the Nest Learning Thermostat infringes on U.S. Patent No. 8,442,695 for the invention of an “Auto-Adaptable Energy Management Apparatus.”

Kevin Imes, president and CEO of Allure Energy, first began developing a smart thermostat in 2009, filing its patent application in 2010, to manage home temperature and energy usage. Allure Energy also developed and patented “Proximity Control Technology” that instantly adapts to a user’s daily schedule to provide automatic comfort and energy savings at home based on the distance a user may be from a residence.

“Allure Energy invented an elegant energy management solution through our EverSenseTM product line, which uses patented Proximity Control Technology we began developing back in 2009,” said Imes. “With our own capital, we created a smart and original thermostat control that also syncs music, reports local weather and offers energy tips, and filed all the required patent documentation well before Nest Labs launched its products.”

 The patent at issue covers, in addition to other features, a temperature controlling apparatus or thermostat capable of receiving inputs from users and automatically creating a schedule and set points. The thermostat is also capable of displaying an energy savings icon (e.g. a green leaf) in connection with the settings and can be accessed remotely using a wireless network from a mobile phone, tablet or computer.

In December 2011, following more than two years of research, development and patent filings, Allure Energy notified Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest Labs, and Nest Labs’ investors of the existence of various patents and publications related to Allure Energy’s development of smart thermostats, auto-learning capabilities and Proximity Control Technology. Each of the two U.S. patents and five patent applications referenced in the notification letter include the subject matter of the infringed patent at issue, an auto-adaptive or learning thermostat.

Imes added, “We have reached out to Nest Labs about the situation, but their management has elected not to respond to us. I’m disappointed it’s come to filing suit, but we have no other recourse to protect a private investment four years in the making.”

The EverSenseTM smart thermostat automatically creates the ideal environment homeowners want. As users approach their dwelling, the Proximity Control Technology adjusts the temperature of their home and manages their energy usage accordingly. EverSense™ also includes other convenient features, such as built-in speakers for streaming music from a smartphone, a weather application including animated radar and tips to help users save energy around the home.

EverSenseTM smart thermostats will be built in Austin, Texas.

In summary:


  • Allure Energy began developing smart thermostat technologies in 2009
  • Allure Energy filed for Intellectual Property coverage, including its first utility patent, with the U.S. Patent Office on July 20, 2010
  • Allure Energy contacted Nest Labs about the patent issues in December 2011 but has never received a response
  • Allure Energy received its patent for the invention of an “Auto-Adaptable Energy Management Apparatus” from the U.S. Patent Office on May 14, 2013
  • Allure filed suit against Nest Labs for patent infringement on May 14, 2013 in U.S. District Court


About Allure Energy

Allure Energy, Inc. is a smart technology provider based in Austin, Texas. Allure Energy develops leading-edge smart solutions that enhance a user’s experience with minimal effort. As consumers and energy providers search for ways to reduce energy consumption without increasing costs, a balance must be maintained between privacy, security, lifestyle, comfort and convenience. EverSenseTM is that solution. For more information, visit

La Calaca Feliz Sues Ambler’s Taco Feliz for Trademark Infringement


Taco Feliz is opening soon in Ambler, as indicated by this sign in the window, but it has nothing to do with Fairmount’s La Calaca Feliz, Fort Washington’s Cantina Feliz or Manayunk’s impending Taqueria Feliz, and the owners of those three restaurants are suing to protect their brand name.

On Tuesday, Timothy Spinner and Brian Sirhal of Feliz Restaurants, LLC filed a federal lawsuit against Taco Feliz, LLC and its owner, Rene Hernandez Zepeda, for trademark infringement and for the “passing off of Taco Feliz restaurant as one of the highly acclaimed Feliz Restaurants,” according to the suit.

The complaint mentions Craig LaBan’s review (three bells!) of La Calaca andPhiladelphia magazine’s 2012 Best of Philly award for Cantina Feliz as evidence of the restaurants’ prominence in the region and says that “the Feliz Restaurants have made ‘Feliz’ a well-known brand of innovative Mexican cuisine” in the area.

Zepeda’s Taco Feliz will be less than two miles from Cantina Feliz, the brand’s flagship, and under twenty miles from the other two Feliz Restaurants locations. “The likelihood of confusion is unmistakable,” reads the suit. Zepeda also owns La Villa Mexican Grille in Skippack.

Before there was any talk of federal lawsuits, Michael Klein noted the “¿Mucha confusión?” over the name last week on Zepeda told Klein that he had “never heard of it”, referring to Cantina Feliz. But the plaintiffs aren’t buying that. “Defendants’ conduct is knowing, intentional, and egregious,” they claim, alleging that there’s no way Zepeda could be oblivious to their restaurants, since he’s in the exact same business, and because he lives very close to Cantina.

The thing is, Spinner and Sirhal don’t actually own any trademarks on their restaurant names just yet. They only submitted their applications on May 10th once the issue arose, applying for trademarks on the following: Cantina Feliz, La Calaca Feliz, Taqueria Feliz and Feliz Restaurants.

I reached out to Montgomery County attorney Shawn Farmer, an expert in trademark issues, for his take on the Feliz feud. “Absent smoking gun evidence of bad faith by the defendants, the outcome of this case will depend on the plaintiffs’ ability to prove that consumers strongly associate the ‘feliz’ term with their existing restaurants,” Farmer explains. “The defendants will likely counter that the ‘feliz’ term, and the English equivalent ‘happy’ term, are very commonly used in the restaurant industry and should only be afforded very narrow trademark protection.” Too close to call, says Farmer.

Zepeda declined to comment for this story. He suggested that I reach out to his lawyer, but then said that he couldn’t remember his lawyer’s name. “I’ll call you when I have it,” he promised.

Compulsive Looking and (Lack of) Copyrights At Museums

Museums are somewhat infamous for trying to stop people taking pictures of famous paintings on display. Some museums forbid flash photography with the argument that thousands of flashes would inevitably damage works that are often carefully hung with special lighting and protective surfaces. But, really, stopping me taking a snap of a modern steel sculpture? What’s going on there?
According to Carolina A. Miranda at ARTnews what’s going on may be that the museum doesn’t hold the copyrights or permissions that would allow people to make copies. This isn’t such a big deal when people are taking holiday snaps for private or family display, but in the age of Instagram and Flickr when every cellphone image is instantly broadcast and then indexed and searchable it’s a potentially much bigger deal.

The very bigness of the deal may be compelling a change. Back in the day it was just one guy with a camera in hand; now it’s everyone with every cellphone and point-and-shoot. Trying to police all of them is both taxing on limited museum resources and ultimately futile anyway. So, according to Miranda, museums are loosening their policies and trying to become part of the social media conversations themselves, publishing Tumblrs and having their own Instagrams.

Enter copyright. Museums often restrict their open-access photography to their permanent collections, over which they tend to have complete control. But loaned and traveling exhibits, which can be the biggest draws, often come with copyright restrictions and photos published online – even if non-commercially – can be considered infringing derivative works. To combat this, museums need to work directly on these rights issues with the holders; for example, they can negotiate exemptions that permit non-commercial reproduction while agreeing to help rights-holders track down people who are trying to make money off the photos.

Taiwanese Research Firm Claims Patent Law Suit Against Google Search Products

Institute for Information, located in Taipei, Taiwan, has brought a patent lawsuit against Google in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. According to the case, the research institution claims Google Search, Google+ Local and Google Places infringes on the Institute for Information’s patented information retrieval system.

The patent in question was issued to the Institute for Information in January of 2005. Titled, “Information retrieval system with a neuro-fuzzy structure,” under US Patent Number 6,845,354, stated the Institute for Information’s patent covers:

An intelligent information system “capable of having a customizable thesaurus, tolerating erroneous inputs, performing and processing indefinite data and receiving software components.”

The law suit argues that Google has knowingly marketed search systems and services protected by the patent without authorization.  Because Google Search, Google+ Local and Google Places allow users to find information related to search queries with information retrieval systems, these products infringe on what Institute for Information believes is their patent and is seeking damages, enhanced damages, prejudgment and post-judgment interest, and attorney fees and costs.

This is the second lawsuit of this nature filed by Institute for Information. The first was a patent complaint against the search systems of LucidWorks Inc. filed earlier this year.

Institute for Information US patent