IP Industry Roundup: Week of March 28, 2019

EU Passes New Legislation Including ‘Meme Ban’

The European Union Parliament approved the controversial Copyright Directive on Tuesday, March 26. The updated Copyright Directive has added the divisive articles 11 and 13 to the EU’s law books.

Article 11 states that “the reproduction of more than single words or very short extracts of a news story would require a licence”, while Article 13 will hold internet platforms with user generated content responsible for upholding copyright licenses. It is believed this entails the creation and implementation of extremely strict copyright filters, which critics believe will cause severe harm to independent creators whose content is similar to or a derivative of mainstream copyrighted content.

As one can imagine, these new laws are not going over well at all on popular websites like YouTube and Reddit. Even internet juggernauts Facebook and Google came out against the directive and pushed against it. In a battle of “Silicon Valley vs. Hollywood,” protestors went out to fight the directive, and a petition against it was signed by millions. Yet, in the end, the EU Parliament sided with copyright holders and passed the new law, albeit with a very close margin.

Jaguar Gets a Big Win in China

While facing an impending No Deal Brexit, at least one British company is celebrating. Jaguar, the British luxury vehicle brand, recently won an IP battle against a Chinese copycat. In a rare move for Chinese authorities, the Chinese courts have decided that Chinese automotive manufacturer, Jiangling Motors, must cease production of their Landwind X7.

According to the Chinese courts, the Landwind X7 closely copies five unique features of Jaguar’s Land Rovers. It seems Jiangling Motors were undercutting Jaguar, producing a similar car but with a steep cut in price. This is not unheard of for Chinese companies, in fact there is a good deal of controversy surrounding Chinese lack of respect for foreign patents. Many companies fear filing patents into China due to this exact same problem, Chinese companies could possibly steal their product and then export it at a much cheaper price.

The court’s decision to uphold Jaguar’s intellectual property rights may be signs of positive change coming. China has also recently announced its intention to enforce stricter intellectual property law, and perhaps this is one of the first signs they will in fact go through with it.

Lithuanian Smartwatch Can Save Lives

Wearable tech has been growing in popularity over the last few years, but, while many of them have great fitness components such as counting steps and recording heart rates, they have not yet become a major tool in the medical world. A group of researchers in Lithuania might have developed an invention that will take smartwatches to the next stage as a valuable piece of medical equipment saving lives.

The researchers at Kaunas University of Technology are developing a smartwatch that is able to detect atrial fibrillation. The most common form of heart arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation often goes dangerously unnoticed. If it goes undetected and untreated, atrial fibrillation can lead to severe heart damage and eventually can kill. The Lithuanians’ invention, an easily worn device, can help with early detection and save many lives.

Google Inventing VR Controllers

It was only two weeks ago that we were speculating over the possibility that Google will be entering the video gaming arena due to a controller patent. Since then, Google has indeed announced their new video game streaming service, Stadia, and it looks to be a strong contender. Not content to rest on their laurels, Google is working on another Stadia controller, but this time for a virtual reality headset.

While virtual reality headsets are all the rage, with everyone filing their own patents and preparing for releases, the new Google headset is innovative in that it addresses the issue of locational tracking. Most VR controllers are only able to record orientation, which direction the controller is in, while movement upward/downward, side-to-side, or forward/backward remains a challenge. The new patent from Google addresses this with a controller attached to the arm of the user. This new controller can be tracked, allowing users to interact more fully with the virtual scenery. The controller could act as the player’s hand, a realistic sword moving precisely with the swing of the player, or a gun aimed exactly where they point. There is a lot of great potential here for some fun gaming, and possibly even other uses.

Updates

In the continuing war between Apple and Qualcomm, Qualcomm is now pushing the International Trade Commission to ban the import of iPhones into the United States. Doing so would be a major strike against Apple.

We reported a few weeks back on a shocking story in which McDonalds lost a trademark case against Supermacs and had its Big Mac trademark revoked in Europe. Not surprisingly, the fast food giant is not going to accept this, and has begun the process of appealing the decision.

By |2019-04-29T11:10:01+00:00March 28th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments