World of IP Round Up: December-January 2018 | Amazon-a-Go-Go!

World of IP: January/December

World of IP: January/December It’s Amazon a-Go-Go!

With 2017 and January well and truly in the rear view mirror – businesses are now taking 2018 well and truly by the horns.

Whilst the end and beginning of the year might be a time where things slow down for some businesses – it’s definitely not the case when it comes to IP.

In this World of IP round-up we give a whistle-stop tour through all the IP stories that hit the news over the past two months.

You will notice in particular that it’s been a very “Amazon heavy” couple of months (for better or worse). It’s interesting that this coincides with both Jeff Bezos becoming the richest person on the planet – and Amazon being announced the most valuable brand

Without further ado here’s everything from the World of IP that you need to know…

World of IP Round Up: The Big Ones

WIPO study find intangible capital contributes 2x the value to a business’ good in comparison to tangible assets

In a recent bout of research the World Intellectual Property Organisation found that IP added 2x the value of physical assets in contemporary businesses. Though it seems counterintuitive, building brands may be more valuable to your business that building … well … buildings.

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Amazon caught selling counterfeit Mercedes-Benz parts – now everything may change.

In the past Amazon have been the subject of brands’ ire as the marketplace has listed counterfeit products. They had avoided blame for this as they had not produced them themselves. However in this latest case, it would appear that second-tier Mercedes-Benz parts had been listed as “sold by Amazon” – resulting in a claim by the automotive giant.

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Red Bull refused trade mark for its blue and silver colour pairing

Recently, Red Bull had applied to trade mark the colour combination found on their cans. The combination of blue and silver was something they held to be synonymous with their brand. Regardless, this was not seen to be registerable as a trade mark by the court. Find out why:

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Amazon Vs. Coty: luxury brands land a blow on online retail giant

Luxury german cosmetics brand Coty won a case against Amazon recently; allowing it to stop others selling its products on the platform. This was seen as a big win for luxury brands who control over the circumstances in which customers buy their high-end goods – fearing loss of value. Liz Ward was asked to comment by Forbes on this matter – quote within.

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Spotify hit with $1.6B Copyright Lawsuit from Wixen Publishing

Music streaming service Spotify were hit with a $1.6billion copyright lawsuit from Wixen Publishing. Wixen accused Spotify of not taking the required steps to ensure that they had licensed their music (including some VL favourites like Tom Petty and The Beach Boys) before putting it on their platform.

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Faraday Future claim former CFO stole IP and employees

Waymo v Uber aren’t the only automotive company entering into trade secrets litigation this year…  Eclectic electric car manufacturer Faraday Future are suing their ex-CFO for allegedly stealing trade secrets and employees for a new company.

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Suggestions that plain packaging might reach the beverage industry, cause $293 billion loss

After the widespread adoption of plain-packaging on cigarettes; rumour has it the sights are now set on sugary and alcoholic beverages. The removal of branding and packaging to these brands is seen to represent a $293billion loss in value.

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Qualcomm fined $1.2billion by EU. Agreements with Apple seen to monopolise the market for 4G chips.

In an incredible anti-trust judgement Qualcomm have been ordered to pay $1.2 billion as their agreements with Apple didn’t allow anyone else to enter the space.

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World of IP Round Up: The Best of the Rest

MP Matt Hancock Delivers Speech at Alliance for Intellectual Property Reception. Government waking up to the value of IP..

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The Top 20 patent holders are biggest companies in the world. Coincidence?

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Meryl Streep applies to trade mark her own name. Streep no slouch when it comes to IP

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Does GDPR mean the end of WHOIS online domain information searches? A big part of ownership and accountability on the web to go “dark” in May?

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January’s unlikely queen of IP? Grumpy Cat. Still frownin’ despite massive copyright win.

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Movie industry successfully blocks 8 piracy sites in Ireland. First blood in Hollywood’s war on online piracy

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Lip Drip artist Vlada Haggerty sues “Make Up For Ever” for trade mark infringement. “Lip Drip” clearly Suffering from success.

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Japan sees massive increase in fortunes on account of IP. Land of the rising GDP.

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Starbucks win case against coffee brand with circular logo. “Coffee Rocks”? Starbucks says “not so much”…

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Immersion and Apple settle set of patent cases relating to touch interfaces with wide-ranging licensing agreement. A “touchy” subject for Apple’s in-house counsel?

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Anti-climatic result in the battle of the Comic-Cons. Blockbuster sequel very much on the cards.

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Bank of America CEO states that they have many blockchain patents. Is crypto soon to go mainstream?

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Jack Ma, Alibaba respond to “black market” accusations from USTR. China’s big players continue to move toward IP compliance.

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Pablo Escobar’s brother casts aside battle with Netflix over Narcos IP. Just in time for Series 4.

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TWiT (This Week in Tech) sues Twitter over trade mark infringement after co-existence breaks down. A little birdie tells making a lot of noise….

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Xiaomi fails to trade mark “Mi Pad” in case against Apple. Xaiomi pipped to mark and unable to take a bite out of Apple’s good will

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Amazon looks outside the home for it’s next big patent move – and into your garden!!? 5 star reviews coming to a patio near you

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Emerging dispute between Australia and New Zealand in bit to trade mark “manuka honey”. Show me the honey!

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Microsoft follow recent Apple patent promising foldable designs for smartphones. Hello? 2005 calling!

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Nike attempting to improve everyone’s handicap with glasses that show game stats? A hole in one, or a triple bogey?

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“Player Unknown Battlegrounds” developer bemoans ” lack of intellectual property in games. Is a “rage quit” on the cards?

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Amazon Register domains for “OpenTube”, implying new video services on the way. Watch out YouTube, now WeTube!

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Amazon patent a mirror that dresses you in virtual clothes. Amazon “Look” 2.0?

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Stunning result in EU trade mark case ends in loss for Apple.Steve Jobs” jeans anyone?

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Louboutin’s “Red Sole” declared a trade mark in India. Brand gets it’s swagger back.

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Systems and methods for augmenting an appearance of a hilt to simulate a bladed weapon. Or. in the common tongue a patent for a lightsaber.

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Amazon ordered to stop selling sandals similar to Birkenstock via “mispelled” AdWordsRetail giant told to stop stepping on shoe company’s toes

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The secret to great logos, from the gurus of corporate branding. Classic branding from those that wrote the rulebook

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Abraham Lincoln is the only President to hold a patent. Presidential patent for “buoying vessels” further evidence of a great man. 

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WWE sue Travis Scott for use of “Cactus Jack”. Rapper slammed for use of wrestler’s name

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Epic Games sue Fortnite player for copyright infringement and breach of contract, for creating and advertising in-game currency exploit. Epic no longer playing games

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PUMA file against Phillip Plein for trade mark infringement. The cat’s out of the bag, and it’s not very happy.

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Russian state win 15-year battle for Stoli vodka trade mark. Defendant ordered to pay historical profits since 1999. Ouch.

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New web series by the IPO teaches kids about IP. Never to young to get them started!

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Alibaba announces cooperation with brands to build great IP protection on their platform. Great news for people looking to trade in China

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Google and Tencent agree to share patents – big news for search giant that had previously retreated from the country. Google back in action in China, well kind of.

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Nintendo files trade mark for 1080 Snowboarding. Beloved gaming giant going to revive a classic series?

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Lavar Ball trade marks “Junior Basketball Association”. Ball setting up new league as an alternative to college basketball.

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Brewdog wins remarkable trade mark suit against Elvis estate. Music legend’s representatives “all shook up”

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Subtitles in Belgian pirated versions of “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” kindly tease illegal viewers. Samuel L Jackson has something to say for those who don’t view the film legally.

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Protecting patent rights seen to be a big difference maker in the commercial battle between China and the US. IP is the economic king maker.

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And that’s it! (Phew!) for December/January’s World of IP review.

Plenty of reading for you to bite into – and plenty more to come this year.

We will see you for next month’s World of IP Round-Up.

To contact our team of intellectual property solicitors please call:

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World of IP Round-Up January/December Amazon-a-Go-Go was written by Dr. Martin Douglas Hendry

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