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Cohen Law > Blog (Page 16)

Facebook Patent Unleashed!

Facebook obtains potentially powerful patent on Newsfeed technology In 2006, Facebook filed a patent application on its much-imitated Newsfeed technology. Last week the patent was granted. Facebook has yet to announce any plans for legal action, but Web sites all over must be feeling more than a little apprehensive. After all, Twitter is essentially one big news feed. Google, Myspace and Flickr all use a similar technology. The USPTO granted coverage to “the generation of activity elements associated with a user through a social network, tethering an information link associated with at least one these activities, limiting access to material in question...

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Software Patents and Business Methods Patents, Are They Patentable?

Are software and business methods patentable? If you have been Googling the topic recently, you may have heard that the US Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit have heard a series of different cases during the past few years regarding it. Before I get into the history below, the short answer is still generally yes for software patents, with exceptions, but probably not for pure business methods, with exceptions of course! Some of the earliest cases in the 70’s held that abstract ideas are not patentable, thus computer software which is composed of algorithms/mathematical concepts were held not to be patentable....

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Copyright Infringement Harry Potter Style

A 36 page children’s book from a now-deceased and totally obscure British author may have lead to Harry Potter. Last week, the Associated Press reported that J.K. Rowling and her publisher are being sued for copyright infringement. The estate of Adrian Jacobs, who died penniless in 1997, alleges that Rowling’s fourth book, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” was lifted from “The Adventures of Willy the Wizard,” written by Jacobs in 1987. The trustee of Jacobs’ estate, Paul Allen, is suing for over $500 million pounds. According to Rowling: “The claims that are made are not only unfounded but absurd, and...

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Trademark Oppositions Cancellations Get Accelerated Case Resolution

If you know about trademark oppositions and cancellations before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), then here is a new procedure that may be right for you. The TTAB has recently introducted Accelerated Case Resolution (ACR). ACR is streamed line procedure used during an existing opposition and cancellation. It works like this: In the preliminary stages of a TTAB proceeding, the parties agree that only a small amount of evidence or testimony will be used, and that the overall record is not extensive. ACR is then requested from the TTAB. Generally, notice should be given to the TTAB during the...

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Legalzoom Complaint, Again

In its nine years or so of business, Los Angeles-based Legalzoom.com has earned praise, awards, quite a bit of money, and most recently…a 5-million dollar class-action petition. In 2008, a Missouri man, Todd Janson, used Legalzoom to prepare a Last Will and Testament. Perhaps dissatisfied with the service, Janson filed a petition against Legalzoom in the District court of Cole County, Missouri titled Todd Janson on Behalf of Himself and all other Missourians similarly Situated v. Legalzoom, Inc. In January 2009, a class-action petition was filed, which included Todd Janson and C&J Remodeling (and any other Missourians who had used Legalzoom...

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Chinese Trademarks Are More Important Than You Think

As a Los Angeles patent and trademark attorney, many of my clients ask about the possibility of getting their invention stolen when manufacturering in China. Sorry to scare you, but now you have something else to worry about. Recently, companies manufacturing in China have come across some costly and time-consuming trademark predicaments. It seems that certain players in the Chinese market are using the Chinese trademark system to swindle unsuspecting American companies. These hucksters sell trademarks back to companies, manipulating the Chinese legal and trademark system. It works something like this: An American company decides to manufacture their product in China,...

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Aerosmith Trademark Battle Near

A trademark battle for the ownership of the Aerosmith name could be on the horizon. For nearly a year now, rumors have been circulating about Steven Tyler splitting from Aerosmith. Now, it appears that he might be kicked out. However, Skip Miller, Tyler’s attorney, is threatening to sue the remaining members of the band for trademark infringement if Tyler gets the boot. According to the USPTO, Aerosmith is a registered trademark of Rag Doll Merchandising, Inc. According to Joe Perry, guitarist for Aerosmith, a combination Tyler’s lack of communication, injuries, and addiction to painkillers have plagued the band for some time...

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Jersey Shore Trademark for “The Situation” May Turn Into a Priority Dispute

“The Situation,” a phrase made popular by the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore,” is under review for a trademark. “The Situation” is a nickname that Michael Sorrentino, the show’s ripped leading man, has given to his abdominal muscles. Contrary to rumors going around that he is attempting to trademark his abs, we have not found any such trademark application with USPTO. Rather, there are two pending applications for the mark, both in Class 25 for clothing and related accessories. However, the story gets a little more interesting. The two applications are owned by different companies. One by Vadio Limited Liability Corporation...

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Apple’s Ipad Runs Into Fujitsu’s Trademark Application

With all the buzz last week over Apple’s new iPad, a significant detail may have been overlooked. Apparently, Fujitsu has been manufacturing and selling their own Fujitsu “iPad” for more than 8 years. The Fujitsu device isn’t an Apple knockoff, but rather a different kind of pad, a Windows point-of-sale tool for retailers. But it’s also called the iPad, and Fujitsu actually applied for a trademark in 2003. Initially Fujitsu’s application was abandoned in view of an existing application for “ipad” from a company called Mag-Tek! The original iPad, it seems, was a kind of pin-entry pad made by a...

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