1. Utah-based fantasy theme park sues Taylor Swift for trademark infringement

A fantasy-themed amusement park in Utah – Evermore is suing Taylor Swift for trademark infringement over her latest album, that was named the same. The park alleged that the title of Swift’s 2020 album violates the park’s trademark rights and seeks millions in damages. The usage of ‘Evermore’ in her album has led to confused guests and negatively affected the park’s searchability on Google, the Park stated. However, the artist’s team denied the accusations in a letter filed in court, referring to the suit as “baseless”. The letter also pointed out that several items sold by the Evermore Park were not similar to that of what was being sold on Taylor Swift’s website, thereby demanding that they “desist from (the) use of the EVERMORE trademark.”

2. Madras HC sets aside order restraining Patanjali from using ‘Coronil’ trademark

Recently, a Division Bench of the Madras High Court set aside a Single Bench order restraining Patanjali Ayurvedic from using the trademark in relation to its immunity booster product ‘Coronil’. The decision was a result of the appeal made by the company against the decision of the Court on July 17, granting an interim injunction in favour of Chennai-based Arudra Engineering Pvt Ltd, which had registered the trademark for Coronil-92 B in 1993 as an acid inhibitor product for industrial cleaning and chemical preparations for industrial use. The Division Bench, however, was of the opinion that although the alleged label by Arudra’s is registered as a trademark and incorporates the word ‘Coronil’, it cannot be said that the word ‘Coronil’ adopted by Patanjali was similar to that of the registered labels of Arudra. There exists no prima facie case of infringement here as Arudra had not claimed any monopoly over the word ‘Coronil’, the Court said. 

3. Activision Blizzard and several of its contractors have been sued concerning a character in its 2019 video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

The video game publisher has been accused of copyright infringement by freelance photographer and writer Clayton Haugen over a character featured in Modern Warfare  named ‘Mara’, which Haugen claims was based on the main character in his story November Renaissance. Haugen holds the copyrights to both November Renaissance and its treatment, featuring the protagonist Cade Janus. He also registered copyrights for several of the photographs depicting the character in December last year. Haugen hired model, cosplayer and streamer Alex Zedrya in 2017 to realise his character in a photoshoot, publishing the photographs to his instagram account. He claims that the photographs, alongside his story, were used in pitches to film studios. Allegedly, Activision hired the same model, makeup professional and based its character Mara’s appearance on Haugen’s photography. Additionally, Haugen presented evidence that one of the photographs for the photoshoot was featured in a development document for Activision’s previous Call of Duty game, Black Ops IV. Haugen claims this proves the company had access to his photographs since September 2017, prior to the release of Modern Warfare.

4. Valve has been fined after being found to have infringed a video game controller patent.

The jury at the District Court for the Western District of Washington gave a unanimous verdict against the computer gaming giant, finding willful infringement of Ironburg Inventions’ controller patent. Ironburg Inventions, the IP holding arm of hardware manufacturer SCUF, filed the suit against Valve in 2017, claiming that the company’s Steam Controller infringed its rear-fitted paddle lever controller. The trial was the first of its kind to take place over Zoom, ending in Valve being ordered to pay $4 million, with the possibility of supra-compensatory damages. “Valve did know that its conduct involved an unreasonable risk of infringement, but it simply proceeded to infringe anyway — the classic David and Goliath story: Goliath does what Goliath wants to do,” said Ironburg’s lawyer Robert Becker, according to VGC. Valve was reportedly warned by Ironburg’s counsel of the infringement in 2014, when the initial prototype of the Steam Controller was first revealed. But Valve proceeded with its design, selling more than 1.6 million units of the final product. The Steam Controller was discontinued in 2019.

5. U.S. Lawsuit Claims Apple Infringed Patents For Face ID And Other Camera Tech

The plaintiff, Gesture Technology Partners LLC, appears to have been started by Dr. Pryor, who happens to be the inventor of the patents that have been mentioned in the suit, according to a report. The lawsuit claims that several features related to the camera have infringed on Dr. Pryor’s patents – including technology used in FaceID, facial recognition, Attention Aware features, optical image stabilisation, and Smart HDR. The lawsuit states, “Dr Pryor conceived of the inventions embodied in (the patents) in the mid to late-1990s, when he was working on a variety of different projects related to imaging and computer control. Dr Pryor describes the process as a brainstorm that led to several breakthrough moments, ultimately resulting in (the patents).”

6. Sony Patents AI That Adjusts Gameplay Difficulty When You’re Struggling

A new patent application from the Japanese tech titan describes a machine learning system that automatically adjusts difficulty levels when gamers are struggling. It suggests using AI to alter a boss’ moves “based on successful and/or unsuccessful methods or tactics” the application states, “The methods or tactics may include, as examples, particular attacks such as a flying punch, a low kick, etc. Certain attack patterns or sequences may also establish the methods/tactics, as well as certain player movements and location changes within the level or fighting environment in which the player tends to remain while fighting the boss/opponent. The reward may include, for example, a particular trophy, a particular medal, a particular amount of video game currency, a particular amount of video game points, and/or a particular amount of currency to spend via an electronic or e-commerce store.”

7. Ministry of Law and IPOS seek public feedback on draft Copyright Bill

To seek and replace the Current Copyright Act in Singapore, The Ministry of Law and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) are seeking public feedback on a draft Bill. The aims of the draft bill are to update the legislation by introducing new rights for content creators by expanding the rights of use for users and enhancement of remedies for intermediaries. Creators will be better protected under this bill and by default they will own their commissioned work, including photographs, portraits, engravings, sound recordings, and films unless they have stated otherwise in a contract.

8. Alibaba Sued Tencent For Copyright Infringement, Tencent Judged To Compensate  432,000 Yuan

According to a civil judgment that was published by China Judgments Online, Alibaba has sued Tencent for infringement of information network dissemination rights of music works such as Mayday, Liang Jingru, and Pinguan. Tencent was sentenced to compensate RMB 432,000 in the first instance. It was found by the court that Tencent Technology Company and Tencent Computer Company had directly infringed Alibaba’s network information dissemination rights through different work divisions based on the purpose of joint cooperation, based on the liaison of common will. It was determined by the court that Tencent must compensate Alibaba for the economic losses based on 6000 yuan per song which is 432000 yuan.

Image Sources:

  1. Eva Rinaldi on Wikimedia
  2. Akvwha143 on Wikimedia
  3. Fábio Silva on Unsplash
  4. Louis-Philippe Poitras on Unsplash.
  5. Rob Janoff on Wikimedia
  6. Hautala on Wikimedia
  7. CEphoto, Uwe Aranas on Wikimedia 
  8. Tencent on wikimedia