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Category Archives: Intellectual Property

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Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-170/13 – Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd v ZTE Corp., ZTE Deutschland GmbH

Posted in Competition Law, FRAND, Intellectual Property

On 5 April 2013, the Landgericht Düsseldorf referred questions relating to injunctive relief over standard-essential patents (“SEPs”) to the Court of Justice (“CJEU”) in connection with a patent dispute between Huawei and ZTE relating to an alleged infringement by ZTE of a patent owned by Huawei and declared to be essential in connection with the… Continue Reading

The CJEU’s Nintendo v. PC Box: ‘Proportionate’ DRMs?

Posted in Intellectual Property

By Alain Strowel, Michael Clancy and Hee-Eun Kim On January 23, 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on the legality of anti-circumvention measures or DRMs for video games (Case C-355/12 Nintendo v. PC Box).[1]  Here are the links to the full text of the judgment and the non-binding Advocate General’s… Continue Reading

All Internet Service Providers Can be Required to Block Access to ‘Pirate’ Websites, Says European Court Advocate General

Posted in Intellectual Property

In his Opinion of 26 November 2013 (not yet available in English) Advocate General Cruz Villalón has taken the position that the Internet Service Provider (“ISP”) of the user of a website infringing copyright should be considered to be an “intermediary” under Directive 2001/29 and, as such, can be ordered to block access to the… Continue Reading

Ireland Proposes Amendments to Copyright Law

Posted in Intellectual Property

Written by Ezra Steinhardt and Colin Warriner On 29 October 2013, the Republic of Ireland’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) published a report containing proposed amendments to its copyright laws, named “Modernising Copyright” (“the Report”).  Taking account of submissions received during a public consultation that ran between February and May 2012, the DJEI’s… Continue Reading

European Court Issues Ruling on Jurisdiction in Cross-EU Copyright Infringement Case

Posted in Intellectual Property

Written by Ezra Steinhardt and Colin Warriner On 3 October 2013, in the case of Peter Pinckney vs. KDG Mediatech AG, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) confirmed that, with certain qualifications, when a copyrighted work is reproduced in one Member State, and offered for sale online by companies established in another,… Continue Reading

Standard Essential Patents and FRAND Licensing: An Update from Europe

Posted in Intellectual Property

This post highlights material recent developments in Europe concerning standard essential patents (SEPs) and FRAND licensing, including Samsung’s commitments proposed in the context of the ongoing antitrust probe of the European Commission (see our previous post). Samsung’s Commitments Proposal   In its commitments proposal, Samsung offered not to seek injunctions based on its patents essential to… Continue Reading

EU’s Highest Court Rules on the Situs of Damage of Online Copyright Infringements (Pinckney)

Posted in Intellectual Property

The Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) has now ruled on the Pinckney case, dealing with national courts’ competence to hear online copyright infringement cases in the EU.  See our post on the Opinion of Advocate General (“AG”) Niilo Jääskinen of 13 June 2013 here. In his Opinion, AG Jääskinen took the view that,… Continue Reading

Copyright Suits Against Anonymous Defendants Must Involve Common ‘Swarm’

Posted in Intellectual Property

A federal court last week ruled that copyright owners can only sue multiple peer-to-peer users if all of the defendants participated in the same infringement scheme. In recent years, copyright owners have sued people who have shared their movies, songs, and other content via peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent. The copyright owners use proprietary software to… Continue Reading

Oral Arguments Tee Up Widely Anticipated 9th Circuit Decision in “Aereokiller” Case

Posted in Broadcasting & Cable, Intellectual Property

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on Tuesday in the so-called “Aereokiller” litigation.  The case tests whether services that allow subscribers to stream broadcast television on their computers and mobile devices infringe the exclusive right of copyright owners to publicly perform their copyrighted works.  Specifically, the Ninth Circuit… Continue Reading

Fair Uses Big and Small in Recent Copyright Cases

Posted in Intellectual Property

A pair of recent decisions—one involving a work of street art used by the band Green Day for an in-concert video; the other about a single line from a William Faulkner novel paraphrased in a Woody Allen film—offer two distinct examples of the important role that copyright’s fair use doctrine plays in today’s popular media.

U.S. and China Seize Counterfeit Electronics in Major Joint Customs Operation

Posted in Intellectual Property

Last Wednesday, the U.S. and China announced a successful month-long operation resulting in the seizure of over 243,000 counterfeit Apple, Beats by Dr. Dre, Blackberry, Samsung, Sony, and UL electronics.  This was the first joint IPR enforcement operation between the U.S. and China’s customs agencies, and the largest bilateral customs enforcement effort ever conducted by the… Continue Reading

Clickwrap Agreement Found Sufficient to Transfer Copyright Ownership

Posted in Intellectual Property

In a case of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently held that accepting a website’s terms of use through a so-called “clickwrap” agreement constitutes a signature for purposes of effecting a transfer of copyright. The case, Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. v. American Home Realty Network, Inc., revolved around… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Panel Rules Against Fox Preliminary Injunction Request in Dish Hopper Case

Posted in Intellectual Property

Recently, a Ninth Circuit panel unanimously affirmed the district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction in Fox’s copyright and contractual challenge to Dish’s Hopper set-top boxes and related AutoHop feature.  The Ninth Circuit emphasized that it applied a “limited and deferential review” that does not “determin[e] the ultimate merits of the case.”  In particular, the… Continue Reading

Apple and Amazon Resolve “App Store” Trademark Dispute

Posted in Intellectual Property

Apple and Amazon.com have ended their lawsuit over use of the phrase “App Store” in marketing the companies’ competing interfaces for selling smartphone applications.  On Tuesday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed the case based on an agreement between the companies that will allow both to continue using the term…. Continue Reading

EU’s Highest Court Considers the Situs of Damage in Online Copyright Infringements (Pinckney)

Posted in Intellectual Property

On 13 June 2013, Advocate General (“AG”) Niilo Jääskinen of the EU’s Court of Justice (CJEU) issued his non-binding Opinion in the Pinckney case, dealing with the question of courts’ competence to hear online copyright infringement cases in the EU.  In his Opinion, the AG extended to copyright principles developed in relation to other IP… Continue Reading

UK Supreme Court Rules on Case Involving Misuse of Trade Secrets by Former Employee

Posted in Intellectual Property

By Ezra Steinhardt and Oliver Grazebrook On 22 May 2013, the Supreme Court issued a ruling on the English law of confidential information.  The case represents a helpful guide as to how confidential information may be protected by a business after the end of an employment contract. The case, Vestergaard Frandsen A/S (now called MVF… Continue Reading

Lessons from FDA’s First Public Mobile Medical Apps Enforcement Letter

Posted in Intellectual Property

As our colleagues discussed in a previous post on InsideMedicalDevices, FDA took its first publicly announced enforcement action against a mobile app developer on May 22, issuing an “It Has Come to Our Attention Letter” to India-based app developer, Biosense Technologies.  The letter received extensive media coverage, and the mHealth sector was immediately abuzz with interest (and concern)… Continue Reading

The UK Parliamentary Process Delays the Implementation of the Unitary Patent

Posted in Intellectual Property

by Morag Peberdy and Christina Helden When the legislative package the EU Unitary Patent was agreed last December, many speculated that the 1 January 2014 date for the implementation of the EU’s Unitary Patent was overly ambitious.  The publication of the UK’s new Intellectual Property Bill (the “Bill”) on 10 May 2013 now gives real… Continue Reading

Craigslist wins first step against screenscapers – lesson for drafting TOUs

Posted in Intellectual Property, Social Media, Transactions

On April 29, Craigslist was successful in fighting off a motion to dismiss filed by three screenscraping sites (3Taps, Padmapper and Lovely) in its pending litigation in the Northern District of California.   In Craigslist Inc. v. 3Taps Inc., No. CV 12-03816 (N.D. Cal.), Craigslist sued these sites, alleging that their scraping of Craigslist content violated… Continue Reading

ZTE Signs Android Licensing Deal With Microsoft

Posted in Intellectual Property, Telecommunications, Transactions

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a deal with ZTE under which ZTE will license Microsoft’s worldwide patent portfolio for use in cell phones, tablet computers, and other devices running the Android and Chrome operating systems.  Although the terms of the ZTE deal were not released, Microsoft’s agreements with other device manufacturers have required a royalty payment… Continue Reading

Survey: Foreign Companies Fear Data, IP Theft in China

Posted in Cloud Computing, Intellectual Property, Privacy & Data Security

On March 29, the American Chamber of Commerce in China (“AmCham China”) released its 15th annual Business Climate Survey.  This year, AmCham China polled 325 of its members, most of which are U.S. companies operating in China.  According to AmCham China’s Chairman, this year’s results reflect “expectations for growth” tempered with “a more conservative business… Continue Reading

What does the Commission’s Reuters Instrument Codes settlement mean for refusals to license essential inputs?

Posted in Intellectual Property

by Miranda Cole and Christos Malamataris On 20 March, the European Commission published its decision settling the Reuters Instrument Codes (“RICs”) Case.  The Commission’s investigation focused on whether the restrictions imposed by Thomson Reuters (previously Reuters) on the licensing of RICs amounted to the abuse of a dominant position (in breach of Article 102 TFEU)… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms Denial of Aereo Preliminary Injunction

Posted in Intellectual Property

Today, the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed by a 2-1 decision the district court’s decision declining to issue a preliminary injunction against Aereo’s broadcast television streaming service.  The plaintiffs had requested a preliminary injunction on the basis that Aereo allegedly infringes their exclusive right to publicly perform their copyrighted works.