Companies Who May Be In Trouble This Week

When products are made that have a striking similarity to products sold previously, intellectual property suits are bound to happen. Now the internet is actually helping some companies win these suits as you can find out the intention of what a product is being marketed as by tracking keywords and this has been damning evidence in the court room this month.

Kim Dotcom hearing

A court hearing was held in New Zealand today to determine
whether Kim Dotcom will be extradited to the US to face charge
of copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering
related to the Megaupload file-sharing website he founded,
reports Reuters

The US has been trying to make Dotcom face charges since
raiding his home in 2012 and freezing Megaupload’s assets.

Dotcom’s lawyer, Ira Rothken, told Reuters: “We feel as
though Kim Dotcom … will not have a fair procedural playing
field because he won’t have any assets with which to mount a
defence for the largest copyright case in history.”

In an expert report submitted in the hearing, Harvard law
professor Lawrence Lessig argued that the US does not have a
strong enough case.

“An attempt has been made to extract facts from multiple
sources and over a wide span of time, to organize a large
number of otherwise disconnected facts by using systematic
phraseology and to juxtapose phrases in order to create an
impression of coherence and substance,”
said Lessig
. “However, the attempt fails to reach its goals
and any impression of coherence or substance dissolves under

According to the Guardian
, Dotcom sat in a large leather
arm chair specially brought in for ergonomic reasons.

Rick Ross case dismissed

A judge in the Southern District of Florida
has dismissed a case
in which rapper Rick Ross claimed that
LMFAO merchandise featuring the phrase “every day I’m shufflin”
from its 2010 “Party Rock Anthem” song infringed the copyright
of his song Hustlin’, which includes the line “every day I’m

Lawrence Robins of the law firm Sullivan Worcester was
surprised the case got as far as it did. He pointed to Taylor
Swift’s applications to register trade marks on certain of her
lyrics and phrases from her 1989 album as an example of a
musician that understands that copyright and trade mark have
different ramifications.

“It is basic, black letter copyright law that words and
short phrases are not copyrightable subject matter and the
court ruled accordingly,”
said Robins in a blog post
. “Furthermore, as discussed in
detail in the court’s opinion, there have been more than a few
prior cases that applied this rule to song lyrics, raising the
question of why the Ross team thought this case was different.
Ms Swift obviously understood the different treatment accorded
short phrases or slogans under trademark and copyright law and,
accordingly, sought protection for her phrases as trademarks.
Mr Ross relied on copyright instead with predictable

The court noted that Ross’s phrase was not even that

“Moreover, Defendants have set forth unrebutted evidence
that the terms ‘hustling’ or ‘hustlin” have been used in
numerous songs prior to Plaintiff’s creation of Hustlin’ and
that at Ieast one song pre-dating Hustlin’ has the exact Iyrics
‘everyday I’m hustlin” in it,” wrote Judge Kathleen Williams.
“Specifically, Dr Munro states that several songs released
prior to Hustlin, contain Iyrics such as ‘We hustlin’ every God
damned day,’ ‘I’m hustlin’,’ ‘I’m Iivin’ everyday Iike a
hustle’, and ‘Every day I’m hustlin’, every night l’m

Segway gets lawsuit

Electric scooter manufacturer Segway has sued Inventist,
claiming its Hovertrax
(right) and Solowheel products infringe its patents,
reports The Verge

The website noted that the Hovertrax has been described in
the press as a “Segway without a pole”.

The lawsuit mentions five patents but in particular US
Patent 6,302,230, which relates to the Segway’s method of
transportation, which includes “balancing vehicles and methods
for transporting individuals over ground having a surface that
may be irregular”. The complaint charges: “Inventist has
knowledge of the â?~230 patent or has acted
with wilful blindness to its existence.”

Investist also has its own patent, and has also been suing
According to The Hollywood Reporter
, Investist has sued the
Soibatian Corporation, and there is talk of more lawsuits to

Adidas tells
Skechers to stop

Adidas has sued Skechers alleging trade mark infringement of
its classic Stan Smith sneaker,
reports Business Insider

Adidas says that Skechers’ Onix sneaker is a rip-off of the
Stan Smith, which is a white shoe with green markings and

An Adidas spokesperson told Business Insider: “Adidas filed
a lawsuit today against Skechers to protect its valuable
intellectual property and put an end to a long-term pattern of
unlawful conduct by Skechers to sell shoes that infringe
Adidas’ rights. Adidas will not stand silently while Skechers
copies the iconic Stan Smith shoe and uses terms like ‘adidas
Originals’ and ‘Stan Smith’ as keywords on its website to
divert customers looking for authentic adidas shoes. We believe
Skechers’ unlawful behaviour, which also includes
misappropriation of Adidas’ SUPERNOVA and Three-Stripe
trademarks, needs to stop now.”

Last month, Adidas
sued Forever 21 ad Central Mills
, claiming they violated
its three stripes trade mark.

Also on the blog this week:

MARQUES Annual Conference, Vienna 2015: Day 1

In our news and analysis this week:

Federal Circuit rules laches a viable defence
in patent cases

Europe IP news round-up

CJEU provides guidance on shape marks in Kit
Kat case

Unitary Patent and UPC: Progress Report

Warner-Lambert still in Swiss-type pain in the

WIPO continues push for Marrakesh Treaty

Copyright holders must consider fair use
before sending takedown notices – 9th Circuit