IP Roundup for the Week of May 30, 2019

US vs. China Births a New OS

A centerpiece in current tensions between the United States and China, Huawei has seen some ups and downs these past few months. When a ban was first enacted, Google, among several companies fearful of economic sanctions, withdrew from conducting business with Huawei. This dealt a huge blow to the smartphone producer cutting off access to the Android operating system.

While things seem to be turning around and Google is now cooperating with Huawei, Huawei is dedicated to becoming independent through the development of its own OS. Not much has been known about the OS, except that it is rumored to be compatible with Android apps.

The big news this past week is that Huawei has registered trademarks for what people believe will be the name of the new OS. According to these trademark registrations, the OS will be called HongMeng in China and/or Ark abroad. It will be fascinating to see how these developments move forward.

The Peeing Logo Trademark

An image of a man urinating doesn’t seem to bother guests at a Taiwanese restaurant, but the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office was not so keen on allowing the venue to trademark their mischievous logo. GUMGUM, a popular bar and grill, has been using the image of a man with a pipe casually peeing as their logo, but had their preliminary trademark rejected. The local Trademark Act ensures that trademarks will not be registered if they go against public policy or morality. In this case the public morality the logo goes against is public peeing!

Fortunately for the restaurant, the IP attorneys argued that the logo was designed to be humorous and portray the relaxed free spirit of the venue and they were able to receive the trademark.

China Seeks to Join Hague System

Shen Changyu, director of China’s National Intellectual Property Administration, reported that he has been in talks with the World Intellectual Property Organization negotiating China’s entry into the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs.

While doing so would require some legal changes in China, joining the Hague system would enter China into a 70-nation treaty that protects industrial patents for up to 15 years through a single patent application. If China were to join the Hague system, Chinese businesses would be better protected from intellectual property theft. Additionally, it can increase business for Chinese businesses who will see an improvement in reputation that will allow them to increase exports.

Gangsters Look to Trademark a Fallen Member’s Slogan

The death of a popular rapper in a shooting this past March shook the rap world and left many mourning. Nipsey Hussle was a popular rapper known for his community outreach and standing up for his community. He also was known to be a member of the local Los Angeles gang, the Rollin’ 60 Crips.

Since his passing, Crips LLC has applied to register the phrase “The Marathon Continues,” Nipsey’s slogan and the name of one of his mixtapes. The trademark is being registered for community building events between the Crips and their rival Bloods, and entertainment purposes.

Qualcomm Fights Antitrust Ruling

In a controversial ruling, Judge Lucy Koh found that Qualcomm had violated anti-monopoly laws, and strangled competition in order to force smartphone manufacturers to pay exorbitant amounts in patent licenses.

Judge Koh’s ruling and demands have the potential to rewrite the entire smartphone and chip industry. The FTC may be celebrating, but Qualcomm is claiming that the changes Judge Koh demands would cause irreparable damage to the industry, slow down 5G development, and create security concerns.

The company has requested that the ruling be put on hold temporarily until an appeal can be heard so that damage would not be done too early.

Quick Bits

  • Amazon is, not surprisingly, leading the way in innovation with two new patents. One patent will allow their devices like the Echo to record even users without needing a wake word. The second patent is for a wearable that could read human emotions. Neither of them are particularly comforting when it comes to privacy.
  • Poland is not so happy with the EU’s new controversial Copyright Directive. The country has submitted a complaint to the Court of Justice of the European Union, stating that the new directive amounts to preventative censorship.
  • The Kardashian/Wests are at it again, as they have filed a trademark for their fourth child’s name only two weeks after the birth of baby Psalms West. The family is part of a trend among celebrity parents trademarking their children’s names in order to build brands with them.


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By |2019-05-30T13:25:14+00:00May 30th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments