IP Industry Roundup: Week of March 21, 2019

Apple and Qualcomm Continue to Exchange Blows

In an IP War that some may consider a battle of who can be the worst, Qualcomm won a major US victory against their opponent Apple. The two companies were once partners in crime, working together in order to cut down competitors, but recent court cases have pitted them against each other in an intense IP War.

A US jury has decided in favor of Qualcomm’s claims that Apple infringed upon three of their patents, and awarded the chip company $31 million. This amounts to very little in the larger battle, a German court recently ordered Qualcomm to pay $1 billion to Apple. More significantly, the US court’s judgement based the reward on the number of iPhones using the patented technology were sold. This can prove valuable to Qualcomm, who could use this to receive royalties on future sales.

Amazon and Youtube Struggle with Infringement Crack Down

Hoping to help intellectual property owners, Amazon recently launched their Project Zero, a service that would allow businesses to automatically report and pull counterfeits off the marketplace. Project Zero is also automation to find counterfeits on its own and help keep brands safe. While the new project is being hailed as a positive move, it seems Project Zero’s automation is not enough to pick up larger sellers of counterfeit goods.

YouTube, Google’s popular video streaming website, has been battling copyright infringement for years, and has recently begun to crack down on “reaction videos.” These, often monetized, videos feature the YouTuber reacting to a viral video. Issues arise when the video they are watching contains copyrighted material. Even though you likely can’t see copyrighted material, the audio is still protected. YouTube has begun to respond to these violations, but users are desperate to keep their stream of video content coming and have been quite creative and are now singing over the audio to hide it! What will they think of next?

Amazon and Youtube are not alone in their efforts to defend intellectual property, Bonanza.com, another online marketplace has begun to take steps designed to curtail the sale of pirated e-textbooks on their online platform.

Counterfeiting is a growing issue. A recent EUIPO report shows that among imports to the European Union, 7% of items are counterfeit or pirated goods. Many of these items being imported are infringing upon the rights of American intellectual property owners.

Nirvana Sues a Clothing Designer for Copyright Infringement

Popular ‘90s grunge band Nirvana is taking fashion designer Marc Jacobs to court for copyright infringement. That’s right, a music band is suing a fashion designer. The band is accusing Jacobs’s new Redux Grunge Collection of containing direct ripoffs of their copyrighted materials. While Nirvana states that their lyrics are being used in marketing the collection, the piece that seems to be at the center of it is the Bootleg Grunge Tee, which looks almost exactly like Nirvana’s famous Smiley-Face logo used on the band’s t-shirts.

While the designer is open about the fact that Nirvana and it’s style influenced the Redux Grunge Collection, he has filed a motion to dismiss the case, stating that his t-shirts contain enough alterations to stand on its own without causing confusion. Also, the almost $100 increase in price should be enough to keep true grunge fans from being confused.

Automated Subtitles and Alternative Channels Might Solve VOIP Challenges

Crackling sounds, volume going in and out and even frozen screens have been known to challenge voice over IP (VOIP) technology. While the technology behind such services as Skype, Viber and WhatsApp have definitely improved, conversations over text or traditional phone systems are still considered more reliable.

Microsoft has filed a new patent that could change the shape of VOIP technology by playing defense. Instead of seeking lighter technology that could be delivered quickly, the patent seeks to provide backup options available in case something goes wrong. One way Microsoft would do this is by building a system that would create live subtitles during a conversation, and intelligently fill any blanks created by downtime. Another backup in the patent would be for alternate rooms that users would automatically switch to in cases where there is a problem. This could solve bandwidth issues. While they won’t solve every problem, these two band-aids could possibly rock the VOIP world and make the technology more accessible.

By |2019-04-29T11:10:34+00:00March 21st, 2019|Blog|0 Comments