Archives: Intellectual Property

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Understanding MongoDB’s New Copyleft Open Source License

MongoDB, the developer of a popular document-oriented distributed database server by the same name, has updated the open source license that applies to versions of its software published after October 16, 2018. Previously, the MongoDB software was licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License v.3 (“AGPLv3”), which is a “strong copyleft” license. Strong copyleft … Continue Reading

Covington IoT Update: Best Practices for Outsmarting Common Pitfalls in Smart City Projects

City leaders across the globe are predicted to spend upwards of $41 trillion by 2020 to deploy smart city technologies within their locales. From Toronto to Tokyo, cities are vying to harness the benefits of the Internet of Things (“IOT”) in order to help make their streets safer, transportation more efficient, and their environments greener. … Continue Reading

Covington Internet of Things Update: China’s regulatory environment steps up for Low-Power WAN IoT deployment

In 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), China’s telecom regulator and industrial policy maker, issued the Circular on Comprehensively Advancing the Construction and Development of Mobile Internet of Things (NB-IoT) (MIIT Circular [2017] No. 351, the “Circular”), which sets out the policy goals and plans for NB-IoT development in China and concrete … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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
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