- Reese Witherspoon is in a legal struggle to trademark her name, which was allegedly marketed on some imitation jewelry. [Hollywood Reporter]
- In another step to make self-driving cars a reality, Google's latest patent shows how its vehicles will avoid colliding with pedestrians. [Washington Post]
- A lawsuit between the MPAA and piracy site MovieTube remains inconclusive as the latter accuses the MPAA of abusing SOPA-like powers. [Ars Technica]
- The leading manufacturer of tree-shaped car air fresheners has won a trademark suit against a competitor over their packaging. [New York Times]
- Texas A&M is suing the Colts over using its 12th Man trademark [Bleacher Report]
- Apple has won yet another patent suit, this time over DRM technologies used for digital content distribution services such as iTunes and iBooks. [Reuters]
PIPG was proud to welcome Erich Spangenberg, founder of IPNav and nXn Partners. Mr. Spangenberg first spoke about his early legal career at Jones Day. He then addressed how he adapted software and systems ports use to regulate shipping to develop his software that identifies patents with potential validity issues. His company was at the forefront of helping patent owners adjust to the AIA. He also spoke on the state of the current market for the IP space, and recommendations for young lawyers hoping to work in patent law. Mr. Spangenberg recommended that all emerging litigators look to international experience, particularly to changing EU patent review, which will increase the size of the market. He also recommended that all litigators develop skills to translate legalese into language business people can understand.
A pop culture savvy district court judge proved that Taylor Swift will never be out of style in a recent copyright suit involving the popstar. [CNN]
In the never-ending saga of the "Happy Birthday" song's copyright, a charity organization is now claiming its legal stake on the tune. [Billboard]
- Al Jazeera will be suing two Egyptian pirates for creating and running a copycat YouTube channel [Hollywood Reporter]
Date: November 13, 2015
Location: Golkin 70, Kline & Specter Moot Court Room
Anand Grover is a leading Indian litigator, known for his legal activism in the area of gay rights and AIDS-related issues. He is the Director of the HIV/AIDS Unit of Lawyer’s Collective (India), and the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health (2008-2014). During his time as Rapporteur, his reports focused on promoting non-discrimination, empowering vulnerable groups and ensuring the meaningful participation of affected communities.
Mr. Grover will discuss the landmark case that he argued in the field of public interest and human rights law, the Naz Foundation case (LGBT rights), which resulted in the ruling that decriminalized homosexuality in India and has been the center of much debate, analysis and reporting in academic, media, and activist circles. Mr. Grover will also discuss the innovative work he has done in the field of patent protection for ARVs and access to affordable ARVs, particularly the Novartis case (right to health), which challenged a section of the Indian Patents Act by claiming that it did not comply with TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, a major international trade agreement aimed at protecting patents) and that it was unconstitutional.
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is making headlines again with his possible extradition to be tried in the U.S. [Ars Technica]
A single (but copyrighted) shark photograph could cause some legal trouble for the latest buzzy biopic of Steve Jobs. [The Hollywood Reporter]
- The judicial system is beginning to put limitations on patenting business methods. [Forbes]
In what would have been the greatest irony of ironies, PIPG nearly found itself in the midst of a trademark suit in 2012. Thankfully, with the help of our university’s associate general counsel, Penn Law was able to avoid the legal crosshair of a fashion heavyweight.
Said associate general counsel, Robert F. Firestone, gave a talk at PIPG’s first major event of the academic year last Wednesday, Oct. 21. Firestone prefaced the event with some exposition of the facts of the contentious situation: Louis Vuitton sent Penn Law a cease-and-desist letter over a flyer advertising PIPG’s annual symposium. Because the flyer used Louis Vuitton’s signature Toile Monogram pattern, the fashion corporation claimed that this was unauthorized use of its trademark. The issue was brought forth to Firestone, who sent off a reply effectively stating that the parodic design on PIPG’s flyer did not constitute infringement. Not only did any possibility of a lawsuit quickly evaporate, but Louis Vuitton’s president also issued Penn an apology on behalf of his company.
In his talk about the case that never was, Firestone emphasized the power of social media, which brought such wide, immediate awareness of the issue on the internet. For Firestone, the Louis Vuitton issue was business as usual — just another matter to deal with at work, no different from the numerous other cases he deals with on a regular basis. The fact that this particular situation — and, in particular, his own response to Louis Vuitton — went viral came as a great surprise to him. Firestone stressed to students that social media can become a clever PR strategy for attorneys involved in IP law and/or in-house matters. PIPG’s brief skirmish with Louis Vuitton further attested to the fact that in this digital day and age, the content we post on online platforms can quickly reach the ears (or perhaps more appropriately, the computer and phone screens) of netizens all over the world.