Uber has become quite an adept punching bag for journalists over the last few months. However, its unsavory actions only helped to hang itself in the corner of every garage across America while wearing an Everlast logo. At this point, it might as well say something nasty about everyone’s mother.
It isn’t just the press giving the ride-hailing and autonomous tech company a hard time, though. The judge overseeing its court case with Waymo over stolen intellectual property isn’t taking any bullshit from either company, or the litigant’s lawyers, and had some incredibly harsh words to share from behind the bench before adjourning court for the rest of April. (Read More…)
A Supreme Court ruling between two food companies may benefit the Detroit Three and its many domestic suppliers.
The case of TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands focused on where plaintiffs in an intellectual property or patent infringement dispute can file a lawsuit. Current U.S. law dictates that the plaintiff may file a patent infringement suit in any court district where the defendant does business. This has saturated the Eastern District of Texas with countless patent and I.P. lawsuits. Plaintiffs prefer the region because rural Texas juries are more likely to rule against big businesses and the district is known for expediting proceedings.
According to a January study by the Stanford Technology Law Review, only about 15 percent of cases heard in the court actually involved a patent invented within the district or had an accused party that had an office in the area. However, the Supreme Court is expected to put the kibosh on the practice by forcing plaintiffs to try cases near the defendant’s headquarters — meaning domestic automakers could have the home field advantage in future legal proceedings. (Read More…)
This is the Renault Zoe. It’s like most EVs on the road, with its limited range, limited power, and limited usability.
Unlike the other EVs, however, the Zoe comes with DRM attached to its battery pack. In short: If you value your ability to drive the Zoe at all, then you will submit to a rental contract with the pack’s manufacturer. Should you fail to pay the rent or your lease term expires, Renault can and will turn your Zoe into an expensive, useless paperweight by preventing the pack’s ability to be recharged, consequences be damned.
A Detroit court found a former GM engineer and her husband guilty of conspiring to steal hybrid car trade secrets. Their lawyers unsuccessfully argued that there were no secrets to steal. Ed Niedermeyer had said that for years.
A few months ago, Volkswagen extended its joint venture contract with Chinese partner FAW for another 25 years, with appropriate pomp and circumstance: Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and German Chancellor Angela Merkel witnessed the signature. Now, Volkswagen takes the unusual step of going semi-public with the theft of intellectual property. According to reports in German media, FAW has “systematically and repeatedly” stolen designs of important components such as engines and transmissions. Volkswagen’s hands are tied. (Read More…)
U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow ruled that Chrysler’s request didn’t show that it would suffer irreparable harm or that it had a strong likelihood of winning its case. That means Pure Detroit’s owner, Detroit retailer Moda Group LLC, can continue selling its “Imported from Detroit” products.
Tarnow also noted that Chrysler doesn’t have a trademark on “Imported from Detroit” and rejected the automaker’s argument that trademark law isn’t applicable to the case.
Interestingly, the last time Chrysler fought over its brand intellectual property (in a dispute with a Florida high school that had adopted the Ram’s Head logo as its school symbol), it won… only to stop using the the logo for Dodges when it spun off its Ram brand. In any case, this latest ruling may take Chrysler’s tagline out of its complete control, but it should also stimulate a strong market in knock-off goods bearing the line, ultimately increasing its exposure. And, at the end of the day, Chrysler needs to look past Detroit-boosting if it wants to get its marketing back on a nationally-appealing footing and win back sales on the coasts. This ruling may not be sucha bad thing after all….
China’s 11th Five-Year Plan (they still have one of those) encourages industrial design as one of the six key modern service sectors that will receive priority support from the central government.
One of these support measures was the creation of a government-sponsored patent award, which “ aims to boost the nation’s intellectual property strategy and accelerate creation of proprietary intellectual property,” as Gasgoo put it.
FAW’s Besturn B70 was the only design patent to win a gold medal at the 11th China Patent Awards in Beijing. There is just a small niggling problem: (Read More…)