Joel Zand

Joel Zand

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Apple acquired partial European trademark rights to the word “lightning” from motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson’s intellectual property unit, H-D Michigan, LLC, according to public filings with the European Union’s trademark and design unit (see below), and a blog post by Patently Apple.

Apple uses the term Lightning to describe its proprietary connection interface for iPhone, iPad, iPod, and iTouch devices that were introduced starting in September 2012.

The trademark update, however, currently applies only in the EU, although it seems likely that Apple and H-D also negotiated for the transfer of certain U.S. trademark rights to the word mark.

The H-D unit filed a trademark registration on January 1, 1995, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “motorcycles and structural parts therefore,” and was awarded trademark registration by the USPTO for the word mark nearly 2.5 years later on June 3, 1997.


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Samsung’s lawyers want a copy of Apple’s patent licensing agreement with HTC, according to emails filed in federal court on Friday (highlighted below).

After a federal jury returned a $1.05 billion verdict for Apple in August — just one of the two companies’ hotly contested global patent disputes — U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh scheduled a December 6 hearing date on Apple’s request for an injunction prohibiting the sale of reportedly infringing Samsung products.

Samsung, however, is trying to lessen the severity of any injunctive relief sought by Apple, since the Cupertino company and competing mobile device marker HTC just settled their own patent litigation.


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Defense attorneys for Facebook and founder Mark Zuckerberg won’t oppose attorney Dean Boland’s motion to withdraw from representing plaintiff Paul Ceglia, as long as he can’t have his cake and eat it too, according to a new federal court filing (read it below).

First, they insist that a withdrawal “not be construed as authorizing any further delay” in the case, including a pending decision on a defense motion to dismiss Ceglia’s “fraudulent lawsuit” seeking a fifty-percent ownership stake in Facebook.

Second, Facebook’s attorneys want Boland’s in camera communication to the judge in support of his withdrawal made public, arguing that there is nothing confidential about Boland’s “personal reasons” for withdrawing because, they say, at the same time he filed a “‘self-serving’ memorandum that he admits was for ‘the media.'”


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Apple must pay more than $368 million in damages to VirnetX Inc. according to a jury verdict returned in federal court yesterday (see it below). The same day the verdict was reached, VirnetX and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) filed a new patent lawsuit against Apple.

In 2010, VirnetX said that its patent portfolio was “derived from a Central Intelligence Agency security project”

The four (4) patents in this litigation reportedly stem from technology for secure communications developed for the CIA by SAIC.


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A federal court dismissed Apple’s fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) patent licensing claims against Motorola Mobility, Inc. this morning.

The case was dismissed ‘with prejudice,’ legalese that means Apple’s claims that the court threw out cannot be raised a second time in a different lawsuit.

A once sentence transcript of minutes from this morning’s 2 hour and 37 minute court hearing is succinct and to the point (read it below):


The exact reasons behind the court’s decision to dismiss this case will hopefully become clear after the court adds a detailed written opinion to the case docket detailing its legal reasoning behind.

Last week this blogger noted that FRAND disputes were being pursued in parallel litigation tracks in the U.S. and abroad.

On October 31, 2012, Apple declared told the court and Motorola Mobility that its competitor’s essential wireless patents in dispute are worth, at most, just one dollar per iPhone.

There were at least six lawyers at this morning’s hearing before U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb in the Western District of Wisconsin — three for Apple and three for Motorola Mobility.


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After three years, language-learning software company Rosetta Stone settled its trademark lawsuit against Google over the company’s Adwords advertising program. (read the settlement below).

The litigation rollercoastered during that time. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted Google’s motion to dismiss Rosetta Stone’s lawsuit on August 2, 2010, and the Rosetta Stone appealed the dismissal. In April 2012, however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reinstated three (3) Rosetta Stone claims for direct infringement, contributory infringement, and trademark dilution.

Unfortunately, here is why the undisclosed terms of their settlement agreement won’t give any more insight into preventing online advertising trademark litigation in the future.


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Paul Ceglia, the embattled Facebook, Inc. litigant claiming a 50% ownership stake in the social media company, is likely to lose yet another lawyer to represent him in his two-year-old lawsuit.

Early this year, Facebook’s and Mark Zuckerberg’s lead attorney Orin Snyder described Ceglia’s “revolving door of lawyers [as]…additional evidence that this abusive lawsuit is a hoax and a fraud.”

Now, less than a week after federal fraud charges were filed against Ceglia, Ohio lawyer Dean Boland became the latest lawyer ask for permission to stop representing Ceglia. Boland stated that there is no connection between his motion to withdraw, and Ceglia’s latest felony charges.


Posted in: Facebook, Law Practice

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A snippy apology is apparently not what the judges involved in Apple’s U.K. patent litigation over Samsung tablets ordered, according to testy statements made at a U.K. Court of Appeal hearing today.

Judge Robin Jacob court told Apple and Samsung lawyers this morning that the iPad maker had 24 hours to revise its currently published statement about the verdict in favor of Samsung on Apple’s UK website, replace it with a new one apologizing for inaccuracies, put the link on its home page, and use at least an 11-point font.

The website notice that Apple published last Friday highlighted a lower court judge’s statement that the Samsung tablets involved in the lawsuit “are not as cool” as Apple’s iPad.  Apple also piled on a host of earlier judicial platitudes emphasizing that the iPad has “extreme simplicity . . . is striking . . . . It is a cool design.”

The original July 18, 2012 order by Judge Colin Birss of the Patent Court, granted Samsung’s request to require Apple to publish a simple, one-paragraph statement on its website, and in a number of print publications:

“On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronics (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet computers, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design 000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High Court is available via the following link [insert hyperlink].”

Judge Birss ordered Apple to publish the notice only in the U.K., denying Samsung’s request that Apple publish it on each of the company’s country-specific European websites. He also rejected Samsung’s request that the notice be on Apple’s UK website for a year, concluding that six months was more appropriate. The judge’s rationale was that “this a very fast moving industry and I bear in mind the risk of prejudice to Apple” of a more extended publication requirement.


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On Monday, Apple filed an Ex parte application for discovery against Motorola Mobility (‘Motorola’) to defend against the Google subsidiary’s patent claims in Germany. Motorola’s claims allege that Apple’s iPhone and iPad wireless devices infringe two of the company’s European patents.

One central Apple legal defense to Motorola’s European patent claims is that the telecommunications hardware maker would not offer it fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (‘FRAND’) licensing terms over the wireless patents in dispute, “in violation of German and European antitrust laws.”

FRAND contract disputes also remain an issue in the companies’ U.S. patent lawsuits. In Wisconsin, for example, Apple declared today that Motorola’s essential wireless patents are worth, at most, only one dollar per iPhone.

Motorola’s European patents at issue involve:

  • EP 1 010 336 (the ‘336 patent) — Method for Performing a Countdown Function During a Mobile-Originated Transfer for a Packet Radio System
  • EP 1 053 613 (the ‘613 patent) — Method and System for Generating a Complex Pseudonoise Sequence for Processing a Code Division Multiple Access Signal

The relief sought by Apple under 28 U.S. § 1782 is commonly used when parties litigating abroad can assist foreign courts with relevant information in dispute, the request is reasonable and narrowly tailored, no foreign prohibition exists against the request, and no foreign prohibition exists against the request.


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Image credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

Apple published a roundabout apology today (see below) after losing an appeal in the British courts over a lawsuit claiming that some Samsung tablets infringed the registered design of the Cupertino, California, company’s iPad.

The publication notice was made to comply with an earlier July 18, 2012, ruling by a lower court requiring Apple to publish, at its own expense, a link and explanation to the judgment rendered by HHJ Birss QC on July 9, 2012.

The apology listed below was issued after an iPad-toting British judge upheld a lower court finding that three different Samsung tablet computers “do not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 000181607-0001.”

The phrase ‘registered design’ refers to a legal status conferred by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office for “grant[ing] exclusive rights in the look and appearance of your product.”

Sir Robin Jacob, who wrote the judgment for the panel of three British Court of Appeal judges who heard and decided the case, candidly disclosed that he has an Apple iPad (“I own one”).