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Google launches new patent search

Last night, search engine giant Google launched a new service, Google patent search. The search allows users to search all United States patents since 1790. It also provides links to each U.S. patent listed in the prior art statement as well as other patents that cite the patent in their own prior art statements. The […]

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Holy trademark infringer, Batman!

The Russian Main Intelligence Directorate, commonly referred to as the GRU, appears to use a somewhat famous mark as part of its logo. The GRU's logo is shown below: Even Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to notice the distinctive logo at GRU headquarters: Of course, there are sovereign immunity issues that likely prevent DC Comics […]

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Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center Elects New Board President

The Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center has a new president. Attorney and Iowa Army National Guard colonel, Janet E. Phipps Burkhead, was elected to the position at the Annual Meeting of the Museum and Education Center Board on December 12, 2006. The park and center were established to honor and recognize Fort Des […]

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Nintendo hit with patent infringement lawsuit over “Wiimote”

Nintendo, makers of one of the hottest Christmas gifts this year, the Wii, is being sued for patent infringement. Interlink is suing the electronics giant over the "Wiimote," the common name for the Wii's controller. Below is the Wiimote and Figure 1 of Interlink's patent: Interlink's patent is directed toward a "trigger operated electronic device," […]

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Prepaid cellular phone seller sues over DMCA exception

TracFone Wireless, the largest seller of prepaid cellular phone service in the United States, has sued the Librarian of Congress and Register of Copyrights, alleging that one of the DMCA exemptions granted last month is unlawful. Specifically, TracFone is upset about the exemption permitting cellular phone users to "unlock" their phones in order to use […]

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Roundup of media coverage of “KSR v. Teleflex”

After last week’s arguments before the Supreme Court in KSR v. Teleflex, the media has begun to offer its perspective on the case. Below is a sampling of the media coverage, which generally appears to think that the teaching-suggestion-motivation (TSM) test will either be scrapped entirely, or at least allow other ways to prove an […]

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Buffett settles with alleged trademark infringer

Jimmy Buffett reached a settlement with a man he accused of selling merchandise that infringed his trademarks. The alleged infringer, Robert Akard, was selling Buffett-themed merchandise via his website. The judge in the case ordered Mr. Akard’s website shut down until the conclusion of the case and to disclose how much money he had made […]

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Mattel sues makers of Bratz dolls for trade secret misappropriation

Mattel, the manufacturer of Barbie dolls, sued a former employee, Carter Bryant, for trade secret misappropriation in 2004. Now, Mattel is attempting to add MGA Entertainment, makers of the relatively new Bratz dolls, to the case. Mattel alleges that Mr. Bryant conceived of the Bratz doll design while working for Mattel, and therefore Mattel owns […]

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US Copyright office issues new exemptions from DMCA

Every three years, the United States Copyright Office seeks proposals for exemptions from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). The DMCA was enacted in 1998. As part of the DMCA, it became unlawful to circumvent access control measures copyright holders used to secure their copyrighted works. For example, it is a violation of the DMCA […]

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Washington Apple Commission takes on Chinese trademark office

The Washington Apple Commission has filed suit against the Chinese Trademark Review and Adjudication Board over its refusal to register a trademark. The mark at issue is shown below:This mark is registered in the United States, but in China, "well-known" geographical names cannot be used as trademarks unless there is also another meaning. The Apple […]

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