1. Columbia cites design patent in winter jacket suit

Columbia Sportswear is suing Canadian outerwear company Wuxly for infringing a design patent covering heat-reflective material. In a lawsuit filed at the US District Court, Columbia claimed that Wuxly’s Sabertooth line of jackets uses lightweight underlining that infringes its Omni-Heat Reflective material. Columbia chose to sue in its home state of Oregon under the “alien venue” rule, as Wuxly is registered in Canada and has no established place of business in the US. The design patent-in-suit (US number 655,921) covers a heat-reflective material that retains body heat, as well as allowing breathability and moisture-wicking. Specifically, the patent covers the “ornamental design” in which the lining is woven. Columbia says it first informed Wuxly of its infringing products in November 2020, but despite the Canadian company’s CEO acknowledging receipt of the letter, Wuxly continued to sell its Sabertooth products with the infringing underlining.

2. Gucci, Facebook file joint lawsuit against an alleged counterfeiter

Gucci and Facebook have filed a joint lawsuit in California against an individual who allegedly used the U.S. group’s social media platforms to sell fake Gucci products. The initiative, a first of its kind for both Gucci and Facebook, is the latest example of an Internet giant joining forces with a luxury label to fight the proliferation of counterfeit goods being sold via social media. Groups like Facebook are keen to make a bigger push into the luxury market and “social commerce”, but to do so they need to show that their platforms are not a conduit for counterfeiting and are safe for brands, some of which are reluctant to sell their products through third-party players.

3. TikTok Maker Sued for 2.274 billion RMB for Copyright Infringement and Trade Secret Misappropriation in China

It was announced on April 30, 2021 that Beijing ByteDance Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing Weibo Vision Technology Co., Ltd. and affiliated entities were sued by Meishe Technology for computer software copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation with relation to ByteDance’s Douyin app which is the Chinese version of the TikTok app and several other apps. Meishe has requested for a public apology and 2.274 billion RMB for damages and expenses. It was alleged by Meishe that version 3.0 and later of Douyin released on 1st November 2018  copied video and audio editing and processing software code from their beauty photo software.

4. 68% surge in IIT-Bombay’s intellectual property rights applications

There was a 68% rise in the number of applications for Intellectual Property rights for its innovations in 2020-21 by Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay. This was even as the pandemic locked the campus for students, last March. This was in comparison to the 156 applications filed in the year 2019-20. Around 15 to 20 of the applications were for innovations and solutions for Covid – 1, 163 were applications for patents, 88 were for trademark applications, and 10 for design registrations.

5. The United States Puts India on Priority Watch List For Intellectual Property Protection

The United States on Friday placed India and eight other countries on the Priority Watch List for IP protection and enforcement. The other countries that have been put on the list are Argentina, Chile, China, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Venezuela. In its “Special 301 Report” on the adequacy and effectiveness of US trading partners’ protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said these countries will be the subject of intense bilateral engagement during the coming year. “Over the past year, India has remained inconsistent in its progress on intellectual property (IP) protection and enforcement. While India’s enforcement of IP in the online sphere has gradually improved, a lack of concrete benefits for innovators and creators persists, which continues to undermine their efforts. India remains one of the world’s most challenging major economies with respect to protection and enforcement of IP,” she said. The office of the USTR reviewed more than 100 trading partners for this year’s “Special 301 Report ”, and eight on Priority Watch List and 23 on the Watch List. The 23 trading partners on the Watch List are Algeria, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. “Intellectual property rights incentivize our creators, manufacturers, and innovators to invent new products and technologies,” said Katherine Tai.

6. Tech Mahindra to File Patent for Coronavirus Attacking Molecule

IT company Tech Mahindra is in the process of filing a patent, along with Reagene Biosciences, for a drug molecule that can potentially attack coronavirus, according to a senior company official. Tech Mahindra Global Head (Makers Lab) Nikhil Malhotra told PTI that the company along with its partner is applying for patenting on which further testing will be done. Markers Lab is the research and development arm of Tech Mahindra. “We have found a molecule that can potentially attack coronavirus. We have applied for a joint patent and cannot reveal the name of the molecule unless the patent process is completed,” Malhotra said. Tech Mahindra and Reagene Biosciences are in the research process. Makers Lab started the computational modelling analysis of the coronavirus. Based on computational docking and modelling studies, Tech Mahindra and its partner shortlisted 10 drug molecules from a list of 8,000 FDA-approved drugs.

7. ADT Brings Trademark Suit Against Amazon’s Ring

ADT, one of the most trusted brands in smart homes and business security has brought an action for willful trademark infringement, unfair competition, and related violations against Ring LLC (Ring), an Amazon company and provider of smart home security devices. The complaint that was filed in March 2021 asserts that Rings LLC adopted a blue octagon mark that is virtually indistinguishable from ADT’s iconic blue octagon mark that is also protected under numerous federal trademark registrations. The current dispute is said to be Ring’s second attempt at the theft of ADT property. Prior to this, in 2017 Ring was alleged of obtaining an unauthorized copy of a software platform, related trade secrets, and other assets that ADT had spent two years and millions of dollars developing, the complaint explains.

8. Affinor Growers Files for Patent Protection in Eleven Additional Countries

Canadian vertical farming technology and greenhouse operations company Affnors continues to protect its technology in the larger global markets by filing for patent protection in eleven additional countries. The step is considered to be important as Affinor is getting ready to launch its state of the art, patented, automated, commercial vertical farm showcase in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The new facility is scheduled for food production and is said to include TESLA battery storage, solar efficient irrigation systems and composting technology to ensure optimal, safe, soil remediation.

The eleven new countries in which the company has applied for patent protection include:

  1.     United Arab Emirates, Patent Application No. P6000245/2021
  2.     Saudi Arabia, Patent Application No. 521421275
  3.     South Africa, National Phase Entry of No. PCT/CA2019/051145
  4.     European Patent Office, Patent Application No. 19852473.8
  5.     India, Patent Application No. 202117011874
  6.     Republic of Korea, Patent Application No. 10-2021-7008490
  7.     New Zealand, Patent Application No. 774080
  8.     Australia, Patent Application No. 2019324959
  9.     Aruba, Patent Application No. OCT-01/180831
  10. Colombia, Patent Application No. NC2018/0009567
  11. China, Patent Application No 201580020786.6

Image Sources:

  1. Ekaterina_Minaeva on Shutterstock
  2. Max Anderson on Unsplash
  3. Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash
  4. Harmanps91 on Wikimedia
  5. Office of Energy Secretary on Wikimedia
  6. http://www.techmahindra.com/ on Wikimedia 
  7. ADT.Inc 
  8. globenewswire.in