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Texas Court Registers a Victory For Karaoke Fans

On Tuesday, Law360 reported Judge Lee H. Rosenthal of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas partially dismissed a trademark suit brought by karaoke music publisher Phoenix Entertainment Partners LLC against several bars in the Houston area. The suit originated from the Houston bars playing several karaoke tracks while displaying the Sound Choice brand of karaoke tracks during the performance. Judge Rosenthal ruled that the suit should have been brought as a copyright claim, rather than a trademark claim, which follows several recent appellate-level decisions. This decision follows a similar January ruling in the Ninth Circuit.

Approved patent law application could charge up smartphones

How many Texas residents have found their smartphones running out of battery life with no way to charge them? Well, that could change now that Sony's patent law application was approved. The tech giant patented a way for one smartphone to draw battery power from another.

Costco Teeing Up A Patent Lawsuit Against One Of Golf's Heavy Hitters

The end of March is always an exciting time for golfers. Spring time is on the horizon, daylight savings has provided us with more sunshine at the end of the day, and the Masters is right around the corner. This year is shaping up nicely - most of the world's top players are playing well early in the season, and Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, and Rickie Fowler have each already won this year. But a few weeks before the Masters, a surprising name is making a splash in the golf industry. On Monday, multiple sources reported that Costco Wholesale Corporation has filed suit in the Western District of Washington seeking a declaratory judgment that it does not infringe on eleven patents for golf balls held by Acushnet, the parent company of industry leader Titleist.

FigureFun Building a Patent Infringement Case Against Lego

On Monday, World IP Review reported that a U.S. based business called FigureFun filed suit against Lego Systems in the Eastern District of Texas on March 8. The suit focuses on Lego's alleged infringement of two patents, Patent. No. 7,001,276 for "Gaming machine and server therefor" and Patent No. 7,338,377 for "Token with built-in IC chip." An IC chip is an integrated circuit chip, which is set of electronic circuits on a single chip. The advantages of integrated circuits are two-fold: they are both cheaper and perform better than a traditional electronic circuit. FigureFun alleges Lego is infringing upon its '276 patent by the development of Lego Dimensions, a video game for PlayStation, XBOX, and Nintendo Wii. FigureFun alleges Lego is infringing upon its '377 patent because characters in Lego Dimensions include "a token for a gaming machine on which a player plays a game by controlling the character."

Does patent law need to be reinvented?

Many Texas residents might feel as though they blink and the technology they use every day changes. Companies in the technology industry always seem to be tweaking and changing existing technology to do more. Just as many people have issues keeping up with the changes, some would say that outdated patent law is having the same problem.

Adidas In Another Trademark Dispute - This Time With Forever 21

On February 7, I wrote about Adidas and their opposition to Tesla's trademark application for the Model 3 logo. You can read that article here: /blog/2017/02/adidas-opposing-teslas-3-stripe-trademark-registration.shtml. I was not sold that Adidas would be able to prove customer confusion, but filing an opposition to Tesla's application was consistent with their history of aggressively protecting their three stripe trademark. Now, Adidas's actions may be coming back to bite them. On Monday, Law360 reported that Forever 21, Inc. filed suit against Adidas late last week in a California federal court for taking the enforcement of its three stripe trademark too far.

Apple Back in Court Over Eight Patents

On Monday, Law360 reported that Inventergy, Inc. has sued Apple, Inc., maker of our beloved iPhones, for allegedly infringing eight patents relating to communication equipment, base station equipment, and mobile phone's communication methods. Apple has been on notice of these claims since Inventergy approached them in January of 2015 and offered a nonexclusive license on "fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms." Apple refused to enter such an agreement.

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