Alt Legal IP News - Issue # 158

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Superheroes and Notable Characters

- Sony and Marvel Studios, whose battle threatened to break up the Avengers, have reconciled.


- Comic book author Stan Lee's daughter is suing to gain control of her father's IP rights—including famous characters like Spider-Man and Captain America—from POW! Entertainment.

- "Tom Terrific" and "Blue Ivy" may sound like superhero names, but they aren't; both are celebrity trademark applications. Has the celebrity trademark trend gone too far?

Our Policy Clearly States...

- The Supreme Court is considering hearing 9 different patent-related cases with topics ranging from obviousness to eligibility to litigation procedure.

- According to data compiled by Unified Patents, there were almost 900 district court patent litigation cases filed last quarter. This article looks at possible causes for the upsurge in IP litigation.

- The USPTO is defending its SAWS policy, which flags patent applications it considers "Sensitive."

- In this issue of Beyond the Docket, attorney Nancy Mertzel tells of her attempts to shape copyright policy during her 2015 testimony before Congress.

Publishing Concerns

- Commercial archiving site Adland has been shut down after DMCA violations claims.

- Copyright protection for literature written in the early twentieth century—before the 1976 Copyright Act—is sometimes complicated, but it seems that works in the public domain aren't necessarily cheaper for consumers to buy.

- Major publishers in France and Germany want Google to pay them when their content is displayed in its search index.

Odds and Ends

- BrightSign, a UK-based startup, is applying for a patent for its AI-based smart glove that vocalizes signs to allow the speech- and hearing-impaired to communicate with the hearing without needing a translator.

- Update: The UK's IP office has rejected Liverpool Football Club's trademark application. Find the original article here.

- Indiana-based brewery Three Floyds is suing Floyd’s Spiked Beverages because they say the name is confusingly similar to theirs, and the product is harming their name.

- Amazon is launching an Intellectual Property Accelerator to pair up entrepreneurs with IP attorneys to speed up IP protections.

- We're hosting our first ever conference, Alt Legal Connect, in New York next March Join us for sessions on trademark law and the business of running a legal practice, all focused on small firms and in-house teams. More details to follow soon!

See you next week!

Bri from Alt Legal