Bites (noun): more meaty news to sink your teeth into.
Barks (noun): peripheral noise worth your attention.
This week in Other Barks & Bites: the full Senate Judiciary Committee approves the IDEA Act, moving it towards a Senate floor vote; China’s IP administration issues statistics purporting to show that the country leads in global patent applications for 6G networking technologies; the Federal Circuit affirms an ITC ruling against Bio-Rad over that company’s arguments that it was a co-inventor of patents asserted by 10X Genomics; AG Pitruzzella tells the CJEU that PDO products should be protected against all forms of commercial parasitism; the European Commission increases antitrust pressure against Apple for abusing its market-dominant position in app stores; the Copyright Office issues an NPRM for expediting copyright registrations for works involved in claims or counterclaims in front of the Copyright Claims Board; and Brazil’s Senate passes a bill setting a framework for COVID-19 patent waivers for consideration by the lower house of Brazil’s Congress.
Senate Judiciary Passes IDEA Act Out of Committee – On Thursday, April 29, the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary voted to pass the Inventor Diversity for Economic Advancement (IDEA) Act out of committee towards a vote on the floor of the Senate, advancing a bill that would give the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the ability to collect demographic information to address a lack of representation for various groups within the U.S. patent system. Innovation Alliance Executive Director Brian Pomper said of the Senate Judiciary’s passage action: “The Innovation Alliance applauds the Senate Judiciary Committee for passing the IDEA Act and thanks Senators Hirono, Tillis, Coons, Leahy, and Grassley for cosponsoring the bill. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation is needed to help improve diversity in patenting, which is critical to promoting American innovation and competitiveness.”
Brazil Senate Votes to Suspend Patent Rights for COVID-19 Vaccines – On Thursday, April 29, the Federal Senate of Brazil approved a bill that would require entities owning patents related to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments to provide Brazilian authorities with information related to those medical innovations and to submit to compulsory licensing in the event that the country declares a state of emergency related to COVID-19. The bill now moves on for consideration by the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the National Congress of Brazil.
CAFC Tosses Bio-Rad’s Co-Inventorship Argument in Appeal From ITC – On Thursday, April 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision in Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. v. International Trade Commission in which the appellate court affirmed the ITC’s Section 337 investigation findings that Bio-Rad’s genetic sequencing technology infringed on patent claims owned by 10X Genomics. In so holding, the Federal Circuit ruled against Bio-Rad’s arguments that it was a co-owner of the 10X Genomics patents that were invented by former Bio-Rad employees.
AG Pitruzzella Tells CJEU That PDO Products Protected Against All Commercial Parasitism – On Thursday, April 29, Advocate General Giovanni Pitruzzella issued an opinion for the Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) indicating that the court should rule that protected designation of origin (PDO) products are protected under EU law against all forms of commercial parasitism regardless if the use of that PDO name is used to advertise services and not goods.
Copyright Office Issues NPRM on Expedited Registration of Works in Small Claims Court – On Monday, April 26, the U.S. Copyright Office issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would create a new pathway for expedited copyright registration for works that are the subject of claims or counterclaims filed at the Copyright Claims Board established through recent passage of the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act.
Chinese State Media Reports That China Leads World in 6G Networking Patent Applications – On Monday, April 26, Chinese state-owned media reported that China’s National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) statistics show that China is the country of origin for 38,000 global patent applications that have been filed to cover 6G mobile networking technologies, representing 35 percent of all 6G patent applications filed across the world, the largest amount from any single nation according to the CNIPA’s statistics.
Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Infringement Claims Filed by “Copyright Troll” – On Friday, April 23, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a decision in Design Basics, LLC v. Signature Construction, Inc. in which the appellate court affirmed the district court’s finding that plaintiff Design Basics’ asserted copyright in its architectural floor plans, calling Design Basics a “copyright troll” engaging in an “intellectual property shakedown” designed to “prompt settlements with defendants who would prefer to pay modest or nuisance settlements rather than be tied up in expensive litigation.”
Sen. Cornyn Mulls Expanding ITC’s Section 337 Authority to Combat Chinese Trade Secret Theft – On Thursday, April 22, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) reportedly made comments at a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee on U.S.-Chinese competition in trade that he was considering proposing legislation that would expand the authority of the U.S. International Trade Commission to issue exclusion orders against the importation or sale of products coming from overseas that were developed in part through trade secret theft from the U.S. before a full Section 337 investigation on infringement has been completed.
USPTO Requests Comments on Maintenance Fee Payments, Third Party Submissions and Protests – On Friday, April 30, the USPTO announced a pair of information collections in the Federal Register requesting public comment regarding forms for submitting maintenance fee payments and designating a change in fee address, as well as third-party submissions from members of the public of information and protests related to patent applications being prosecuted at the agency.
Texas State Court Jury Finds No Misappropriation in $35 Million in Offshore Drilling Trade Secret Case – On Thursday, April 29, a jury verdict entered in the District Court of Harris County, Texas, found that Richard Murphy, an engineer who previously worked on subsea drilling technology firm FMC Technologies, did not misappropriate trade secrets related to subsea tree systems when he left to work for rival firm Dril-Quip Inc.
USPTO Seeks Nomination for 2021 National Medal of Technology and Innovation – On Wednesday, April 28, the USPTO announced that it was seeking nominations of individuals, teams up to four individuals, and companies for the 2021 National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement.
Core Optical Expands SaaS Cloud Services Patent Suit With Claims Against Apple, Google, AT&T – On Tuesday, April 27, cloud services developer Core Optical Technologies, which commercializes technology invented by company manager Mark Core, filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of California alleging claims of patent infringement against Apple, Google, AT&T, Verizon Communications and Equinix, after discovery in Core Optical’s patent lawsuit against Juniper Networks revealed infringement by those parties as well.
Facebook, Gucci File Lawsuit Against Counterfeiter Placing Social Media Ads – On Monday, April 26, social media giant Facebook and luxury fashion brand Gucci filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of California against Russian national Natalia Kokhtenko, alleging that Kokhtenko used Facebook and Instagram to promote a website selling Gucci-branded counterfeit goods.
ADT Files Trademark Suit Against Amazon’s Ring Over Blue Octagon Mark – On Monday, April 26, home security provider ADT filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida against Amazon subsidiary Ring, alleging that Ring has misappropriated the use of ADT’s famed blue octagon mark, “seeking to tout a reputation for trust to potential customers that it has not earned.”
TTAB Grants Motion to Suspend Trademark Opposition Between Marc Jacobs, OSU – On Friday, April 23, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) granted a 90-day motion to suspend opposition proceedings filed by The Ohio State University against fashion designer Marc Jacobs as the two parties have reportedly agreed to allow each other to sell products using the contested trademark “THE” until the TTAB enters further rulings.
Ninth Circuit Rejects Failure-to-Act Claims Against Facebook in Copyright Suit – On Friday, April 23, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an unpublished decision in Long v. Dorset in which the appellate court affirmed the district court’s dismissal of copyright infringement claims filed against Facebook, rejecting Long’s argument that the social media network’s eight-day delay in removing posts by a third-party that contained or linked to infringing material.
This Week on Wall Street
EU Commission Says Apple “Abused Its Dominant Position” in App Store Practices – On Friday, April 30, the European Commission issued a statement finding that Apple had abused its market-dominant position over app developers by imposing Apple’s own in-app purchase mechanism upon Spotify and other streaming music providers offering apps through Apple’s iOS platform.
Amazon Posts Strong Earnings as COVID-19 Online Sales Bump Continues – On Thursday, April 29, e-commerce giant Amazon.com reported earnings for the first quarter of 2021 during which the company posted revenues of $108.52 billion, beating analyst expectations of $104.47 billion in revenues, a 44% increase over the company’s sales for the first quarter of 2020.
Quarterly Earnings – The following firms identified among the IPO’s Top 300 Patent Recipients for 2020 are announcing quarterly earnings next week (2020 rank in parentheses):
- Monday: Innolux Corp. (t-261st); ON Semiconductor Corp. (124th); Rambus Inc. (t-261st)
- Tuesday: Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (t-181st); DuPont de Nemours, Inc. (226th); Eaton Corp. (t-111st); Globus Medical Inc. (t-269th); Infineon Technologies AG (52nd); Xilinx Inc. (t-170th); Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (t-251st)
- Wednesday: BorgWarner Inc. (t-244th); Emerson Electric Co. (107th); General Motors Co. (54th); Microchip Technology, Inc. (t-269th); Motorola Solutions, Inc. (202nd); Novo Nordisk A/S (t-295th); PayPal Holdings, Inc. (159th); Qorvo, Inc. (158th); Uber Technologies, Inc. (224th); Xperi Holding Corp. (t-220th);
- Thursday: Becton, Dickinson and Co. (t-120th); Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA (254th); Interdigital Inc. (t-140th); LG Corporation (3rd)
- Friday: Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (t-129th); Nippon Steel Corp. (t-132nd); Olympus Corp. (75th); Ricoh Co. Ltd. (49th); Siemens AG (31st)
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