1. AI Machines cannot be granted patent on inventions: U.S Judge

In a recent decision, a U.S federal judge ruled that a computer using artificial intelligence cannot be listed as an inventor on patents, because as per the U.S law, only a human can be listed as an inventor. In the matter involving The Artificial Inventor Project, a global effort to get computers listed as inventors, it was reasoned that the federal law requires that an “individual” take an oath that he or she is the inventor on a patent application, and both the dictionary and legal definition of an individual is only applicable to a natural person. The ruling is now being considered as the first American decision that’s part of a global debate over how to handle computer-created innovation.

2. Off-White Hit With Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

Walker Wear, a New York-based streetwear brand of 30 years, recently filed a trademark infringement and dilution complaint against Off-White, one of the most sought-after streetwear brands of the world. According to the complaint, the label asserts that Off-White is selling a $2,200 jacket that bears a design that is nearly identical to Walker Wear’s WW XXL Athletic mark design. The suit was reportedly filed against Off-White and retailers Farfetch and Saks Fifth Avenue claiming that Walker Wear has been using the Athletic mark containing the overlapping W’s since 1993. It was also put forth by Walker Wear that despite the label having informed Off-White the same, the garment was creating confusion within the market and was still available for purchase at Saks and Farfetch.

Aside from damages, Walker Wear is also seeking injunctive relief to prevent Off-White from selling anything similar in the future, as well as a preliminary injunction to prevent the jacket from being sold while the case is pending.

3. Google appeals against €500m French fine in news copyright dispute

Google is contesting a €591m fine imposed by France’s Competition Authority over-sharing local news content on the platform. The financial penalty came amid increasing international pressure on online platforms such as Google and Facebook to share more of the revenue they make from using media outlets’ content. The watchdog’s July decision said the US tech group must come up with proposals within the next two months on how it would compensate news agencies and other publishers for the use of their content. If Google does not do that, it faces additional fines of up to €900,000 a day. Under the EU’s copyright directive introduced in 2019, publishers can charge for the display of news “snippets” on search engine results. The battle between tech companies and publishers resulted in Facebook temporarily removing news from its platform for its users in Australia in February. The social media company reversed the move after a few days, having reached an agreement with the Australian government.

4. Ericsson keeps win against HTC over wireless patent licensing terms

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that Ericsson didn’t breach its obligation to offer telecom rival HTC licenses to its 2G, 3G and 4G wireless patents on fair and reasonable terms. Sweden-based Ericsson and Taiwan-based HTC had signed three cross-licensing agreements for their standard-essential patents, which cover technology required to comply with international technical standards like 4G, to use in their respective mobile devices from 2003 to 2014. HTC sued Ericsson in East Texas federal court a few days after the meeting, alleging Ericsson had breached its international obligation to license its standard-essential patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. After HTC rejected its second offer, Ericsson counterclaimed that HTC hadn’t negotiated in good faith and sought a declaratory judgment that its offers were FRAND.

5. Mondelez threatens trademark battle over bar’s lilac packaging

Mondelez, a multinational confectionery company has threatened legal action against a London vegan snack maker, Primal Pantry over the colour of one of its fruit bars. Mondelez alleged that Primal Pantry’s cocoa bar exploits the trademark of its Milka chocolate range and demanded to cease the use of lilac packaging. Lawyers for Mondelez are also known to have warned Primal Pantry of a £5,200 penalty each time the trademark is infringed.

A spokeswoman for Mondelez stated that the company owns a colour trademark in Europe for the distinctive lilac Milka colour for food products and is currently in conversations with Primal Pantry to try and resolve the matter amicably.

A copyright infringement lawsuit has been filed against Amazon for illegal streaming of four movies via its streaming platform, Amazon Prime. The suit which was filed by a German Businessman Ralf Hartmann, claims that the rights of the movies in question were sold to him by a Los Angeles-based film production company, Capella International, and submitted the contracts to the same. 

Amazon has moved to dismiss Hartmann’s claims on the ground that, he has failed to submit the registration certificates issued by the US Copyright Office indicating his ownership of the films. The US District Court for the Southern District of New York has however allowed Hartmann to proceed with his claim.

7. Red Bull in trademark dispute with English gin firm Bullards

Norwich-based gin-maker, Bullards, threatened with legal action by global energy drinks company, Red Bull over the use of the word ‘bull’ in its name. The matter is in connection with Red Bull’s opposition to Bullards’ trademark application before the UK Intellectual Property Office. In a legal letter to Bullards, Red Bull said they were prepared to resolve this dispute if the former is ready to remove a series of goods and services from its trademark application and registration, including energy drinks, events, and non-alcoholic beverages.

In a similar matter in 2013, Red Bull is known to have threatened a brewery named Redwell Brewing in Norwich with legal action due to the presence of the term “Red” in the beginning and “ll” at the end.

In the period between 1st April and 30th June, around 8.1 billion videos were removed from TikTok for violating the company’s community guidelines or terms of service. The takedowns were measured to be less than 1 percent of the total number of videos posted and is considered to be in relation to the steps being taken to remove content that violates standards for minors on the platform. 

Amongst the takedowns, copyright-related concerns aren’t topping the list which either means that copyright infringement isn’t a big problem on the platform or that TikTok isn’t cracking down on IP-related infractions.


Image Sources:

  1. Possessed Photography on Unsplash
  2. Korie Cull on Unsplash
  3. Mitchell Luo on Unsplash
  4. C D-X on Unsplash 
  5. Ubcule on Wikimedia
  6. Christian Wiediger On Unsplash
  7. Bullards Spirits
  8. Solen Feyissa On Wikimedia