Apple and Samsung Agree to a Truce – Outside the U.S.


Bloomberg recently reported that Apple and Samsung have agreed to drop all patent lawsuits against each other outside the United States.  The agreement between Apple and Samsung does not involve any licensing arrangements.   Apple and Samsung recently dropped a cross-appeal of a final ITC ruling banning importation of certain Samsung products.  In May, Apple and Google reached a similar truce that purportedly did not involve a license agreement but did include a global settlement of all patent litigation between the...
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PTAB Issues First Precedential Ruling Under America Invents Act


The PTAB recently issued its first precedential ruling under the America Invents Act in a Covered Business Method Review proceeding.  In its ruling, the PTAB decided that a CBM review cannot proceed if a petitioner files a civil suit to challenge a patent's validity before filing a petition for Covered Business Method Review.   The PTAB issues decisions in three categories:  routine, informative, and precedential.  Routine decisions may be cited as persuasive authority.  Informative decisions are not binding...
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Victoria’s Secret Loses Most Recent Battle in the Global War over “PINK


Two retail giants, Victoria’s Secret (L Brands) and Thomas Pink (LVMH Moet Hennessy) have been fighting over the exclusive right to use the “PINK” trademark in the United States and internationally after numerous lawsuits and countersuits have been filed on both sides of the Atlantic. Victoria’s Secret, which began as an exclusive lingerie-only brand, launched its extremely successfully “Pink” line in 2002.  The “Pink” line offers both lingerie and loungewear, and many...
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Even a Monkey Can Do It? A Copyright Fight Over an Animal Selfie


When British nature photographer David J. Slater traveled to Indonesia in 2011, his goal was to add to his list of awards with a prize image of the crested black macaque. He was in for a surprise, however, when one of the primates took the shot that would be seen by millions around the world. As Slater set up his equipment, one curious macaque knocked over a camera and accidentally snapped a picture.  Hearing the click, the macaque became more curious and soon had hit the button over 300 times while looking at the reflection in...
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The Court of Justice of the EU Overturns German Trademark Office’s 2013 “Nein” Ruling against Apple, Inc.


The Court of Justice of the European Union has overturned a 2013 ruling by the German Patent and Trademark Office that had previously held that Apple, Inc.’s (“Apple”) retail store design was ineligible for trademark registration. Apple had already successfully registered the trademark in the United States and was relying on that 2010 registration to seek international protection under the Madrid Agreement.   As many trademark lawyers already know, many parties to the Madrid Agreement may choose to accept...
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Beware your Avatar


FIFA filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice for avatars that used FIFA’s official images related to World Cup.   FIFA, an entity that strictly prohibits use of its logos, stated that “Any unauthorized use of the Official Marks not only undermines the integrity of the FIFA World Cup™ and its marketing program, but also puts the interests of the worldwide football community at stake . . . .”  FIFA asserted that using its logos may leave to a false association and could damage...
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Wrestling with Defamation


Chris Kyle, a former U.S. sniper, published his autobiography in 2012.  Along with stories about his sniper days, Kyle included a story about punching a guy – later identified as Jesse Ventura – in 2006.   Ventura claimed the incident never happened and sued Kyle for defamation.  Because Kyle was killed in 2013, the lawsuit proceeded against the estate. To win his case, Ventura had to prove two key elements.  First, Ventura had to prove that Kyle’s account about the fight was false....
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