Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Apple Seeks $2.2 Billion in Damages from Samsung

The 2nd trial between Apple and Samsung is 5 days in, Apple is seeking $2.2 billion in damages from Samsung for alleged infringements of 5 of Apple’s patents. Apple filed Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd et al in the California Northern District Court on February 20, 2012, and to make things interesting Samsung filed a counterclaim, alleging that two patents have been infringed on by Apple. Samsung is seeking $6 million, a fraction in comparison. The two tech heavyweights have been at each others throats for years, and by July 2012 had over 50 lawsuits against each other around the world.

The latest news from the case involve Apple’s expert, Christopher Vellturo, who testified this week that the infringement covers 37 million phones and tablets sold during a 2 year period, and the patents at issue involved software that makes the smartphone user friendly. The damages total $2.2 billion. The argument is that Samsung cut into the public demand for Apple’s products by infringing on their patents. Not surprisingly, Samsung’s lawyers think the $2.2 billion demand in damages is a “gross, gross exaggeration.”

If Apple prevails on the merits, although unprobable, but not impossible, that the tech giant will collect billions in damages. While even Apple’s trial lawyers may not believe they can get it, the late Steve Jobs, who declared “holy war” on Google, would be pleased with the fighting spirit. The trial has just begun, and Samsung could use the victory after losing to Apple in a separate, but similar trial, otherwise Apple may feel empowered to push Samsung even further and more frequently into the court room.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Trademark Opposition of Deadmou5 vs. Disney

At the end of March, The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board granted Disney a 90 day extension to file an opposition against a pending trademark sought by Ronica Holdings, Limited, on behalf of the popular EDM artist, Joel Zimmerman, known as “Deadmou5” (pronounced “Dead Mouse”).

The pending trademark, shown below (Serial No. 85972976) features a smiling black and white mouse head with big ears, similar to the Mickey Mouse silhouette, also shown below. It is likely that Disney and Zimmerman’s representatives are trying to hash this out during the 90 day period.

In one scenario, Disney may seek to block the trademark outright fearing a black and white mouse logo may lead to a likelihood of confusion with the iconic Mickey Mouse trademark. Moreover, Disney may also fear that a similar mouse logo used in connection with the edgy EDM scene, may tarnish the Mickey Mouse’s family friendly image that Disney has worked to build up for many years.

Alternatively, the parties may reach an agreement where both trademarks may co-exist with certain agreed upon limitations.

Zimmerman’s mark at issue is already used in interstate commerce and around the world. According the Deadmou5 wikipedia page, Joel Zimmerman created his mouse head logo using 3D graphic design software, and has used similar mouse designs on his album artwork dating back to 2005. Moreover, Zimmerman is recognized for performing as Deadmou5 while wearing a giant electronic mouse head.

While on one hand, Zimmerman may argue that there is no likelihood of confusion based on his continued use of the mark without a problem for almost ten years, but on the other hand, Disney’s ability to litigate this to the fullest may give Mr. Zimmerman good reason to avoid a high cost legal battle, and seek a quick compromise.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Congrats to Bambooee on Shark Tank!

We are proud to announce our client, Noam Krasniansky

Bambooee, Shark Tank, patent, trademark, copyright, Noam Krasniansky

, will appear on Shark Tank tonight at 9pm PST to work out a deal with the Sharks regarding his product Bambooee. Congrats Noam!

Top Gun Copyright Infringement on Twitter

Paramount Pictures is not happy about the way a Twitter user is sharing one of its movies. The Twitter user @555hz attempted to show the entire film “Top Gun” on Twitter through tweets of the film as frame-by-frame clips and images.

The Twitter user posted content from the film every half hour, generating over 1,500 tweets in one month. The user has gained a following of over 6,900 other Twitter users. The handle “@555hz” is suggested to reference the number of frames per second at which the film was being “shown” on Twitter. According to this calculation, the film could be tweeted in 7,000 postings at a rate of two tweets posted per hour. At this rate, the entire film would be on Twitter within 145 days.

Paramount obviously caught this well before the 145-day mark. The last frame was posted on Twitter on February 25, 2014, with Paramount threatening legal action. Paramount issued a Digital Millennium and Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice on February 21, 2014. The DMCA provides a safe harbor for internet service providers and imposes no liability on providers for transmitting information that may infringe a copyright. However, the DMCA requires that the providers remove material from their users’ websites when they receive proper notice that their users are engaging in acts of copyright infringement. This gives copyright holders an avenue to limit those who are infringing their rights.

Though Twitter has not removed @555hz from its site, the user has not posted any Tweets since February 25, 2014. Many of the tweets showing frames of the movie are still available on the user’s Twitter feed, while a few posts are unable to be seen, with the message, “This image has been removed in response to a report from the copyright holder.”

Generally, infringement of a film through the use of film clips would typically be seen on video-based platforms such as YouTube. Additionally, Twitter ostensibly seems like an unlikely candidate as a platform for viewing copyrighted materials, however we now know otherwise with advancements in social media that can lend to such potential infringements. So this case shows the ease, or maybe we should say creative ways, in which individuals may potentially infringe copyrighted material. It enforces the need for lawyers to be quick in responding to infringement (at two frames uploaded per hour, @555hz got quite far!), and the need for the law to keep up with the ways in which users may interact with developing platforms and technology.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Law Clerk Position Available

We have a law clerk opening for a 3rd year law student or recent graduate pending bar results. Must have taken trademark law and preferably other IP courses in law school. Please send cover letter and resume to info@cohenip.com. No phone calls please.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Amazing Innovator from Sierra Leone

Great story about a young innovator from the African country of Sierra Leone, creating important tools to help his community with limited resources. He lands an invitation from MIT to foster his abilities.


Friday, December 27, 2013