The English High Court had recently ruled against MS in a trademark claim filed by British Sky Broadcasting
Microsoft was the first truly big tech company to jump on the cloud storage bandwagon when it launched Windows Live Folders in August 2007. Within days of its initial release, the service had its name changed to Windows Live SkyDrive. Now, the cloud storage service, which has come a long way in terms of features and functionality since then, is once again about to have its name changed.
Apple's been harassing Samsung (and others) around the globe, using legislation and intellectual property nuances to suffocate competitive sales and yank Galaxy Tabs off store shelves. Now it's Apple's turn. After a Chinese court ruled that Apple has no right to use the "iPad" name in mainland China because a company called Proview Technology (Shenzhen) holds the trademark, Proview announced they were suing Apple for $1.6 billion in damages. Now, Proview wants a complete iPad import/export ban -- and since all iPads are manufactured in China, an export ban could choke off worldwide supply for the mega-popular tablet.
If Optimus Prime (of Transformers fame) were real, he’d probably just smash any puny tablet that tried passing itself off as the leader of the Autobots. But – disappointingly – Optimus Prime isn’t real, so it’s up to Hasbro to defend against gadgets trying to besmirch his honor. The company apparently takes its responsibility seriously, because it recently filed a lawsuit against Asus claiming that the Eee Pad Transformer Prime violates a number of Hasbro trademarks. Sigh… Real life is so boring compared to giant fighting robots.
It looks like Amazon won’t have to change up all their branding at this time. A federal judge in Oakland, California has ruled that Apple cannot force Amazon to stop using “Appstore” as the name of its ‒ well, app store. According to the decision, Apple failed to show a “likelihood of confusion” would result from Amazon’s use of the term. This case isn’t over, but things are looking more grim for Apple.
Everyone’s favorite short messaging service, Twitter has decided to squash a particularly bothersome cyber-squatter. The site in question is at Twiter.com. It’s not just the name that looks suspiciously similar. The site at that domain leverages Twitter’s UI aesthetic to essentially scam users out of cold hard cash.
Credit Apple for popularizing the concept of an "app store" as a viable business model, but should the Cupertino company be granted a trademark for the term? Not as far as Microsoft is concerned.
Microsoft this week filed a motion opposing Apple's application to trademark "app store," which Apple describes as a retail store offering "services featuring computer software provided via the Internet and other computer and electronic communication networks." According to Microsoft, the term is just too generic.
"Microsoft opposes Apple's application on the grounds that 'app store' is generic for retail store services featuring apps and unregistrable for ancillary services such as searching for and downloading apps from such stores," Microsoft said.
To prove its point, Microsoft quoted Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a recent interview using the term in reference to Android-based app stores popping up online.
"In addition to Google's own app marketplace, Amazon, Verizon, and Vodafone have all announced that they are creating their own app stores for Android," Jobs said. "There will be at least four app stores on Android which customers much search through to find the app they want and developers will need to work to distribute their apps and get paid."
Microsoft bolded the references for emphasis, claiming the quote as "undisputed evidence confirm[ing] that 'app store' is generic."
Erich Specht, a man who ran a data company called Android Data from 1998 through 2002, won't be receiving the $94 million payday he was hoping for. That's the amount he wanted Google to pay him for allegedly infringing on his trademark with the "Android" brand, but a judge didn't see it that way, TechCrunch reports.
Google filed a Motion for Summary Judgment to dismiss the case, and not only did the judge do that, but he also canceled Spect's original trademark, both because he's already used it "as a sword" against Google, and because it could cause confusion with Google's Android trademark.
"We are pleased to see this case dismissed, as it was baseless from the start," Google said in a statement.
Believe it or not, Facebook is insanely close to being awarded a patent for use of the word "Face," TechCrunch reports. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office sent the social networking outfit a Notice of Allowance, which basically means Facebook now has six months to file a Statement of Use (SOU), a sworn statement signed by Facebook, along with a filing fee.
Under the 'Goods And/Or Services' section of the trademark document, the USPTO lists usage rights to "Telecommunication services, namely, providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social entertainment subject matter, none primarily featuring or relating to motoring or to cars."
We're not sure what's up with the "motoring or to cars" bit, but then again, the whole thing has us baffled in the first place.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has tied up with Google to make bulk trademark and patent data accessible online. The latter has agreed to host roughly 10 terabytes of data free of cost for two years, by when the USPTO hopes to enter into a proper arrangement “with a contractor to retrieve and distribute USPTO patent and trademark bulk public data.” In fact, this is the first time that USPTO's public data in bulk form is being provided free of cost.
“The USPTO is committed to providing increased transparency as called for by the President’s Open Government Initiative. An important element of that transparency is making valuable public patent and trademark information more widely available in a bulk form so companies and researchers can download it for analysis and research,” said Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos.
The data that can be accessed online at the moment includes patent grants and published applications, trademark applications, and patent and trademark assignments etc.
It's taken Five years, but Google's email service in the UK is finally shedding its Googlemail domain, and becoming plain old Gmail. The delay stems from a trademark dispute with a company called Independent International Investment Research (IIR). The original settlement request was apparently unacceptable to Google, and they took to using the Google Mail name instead.
With the issues finally worked out, users will be given the option to use a @gmail address soon. Starting this week, anyone that signs up for a new account will receive a @gmail address. Google also pointed out that since typing gmail required 50% fewer keystrokes than typing googlemail, the change could save 60 million keystrokes per day. That amounts to 217 microjoules, or 20 bonbons worth of energy saved per day. Leave it to Google engineers to measure energy using bonbons as units.
Google said that changing addresses would not affect the functionality or settings of the account. Have any of you Brits become so attached to those extra letters that you'll stick with Googlemail?