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IPR weekly Highlights (25)

8 (Demo)
TRADEMARK
DISH TV V/S DD FREE DISH

Recently, the division bench of the Delhi HC overturned an interim order issued by a single judge bench that had prohibited the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati from using the trademark ‘DD Free Dish’ or any other mark containing the word ‘Dish’ for its DTH (Direct to Home) service. The division bench concluded that ‘DD Free Dish’ and ‘Dish TV’ are not confusingly similar marks, and the principle of anti-dissection should be applied. Moreover, the court noted the presence of the word ‘DD’ as part of the appellant’s mark, which has been associated with the appellant for many decades. Consumers can clearly distinguish between ‘Dish TV’ and ‘DD Free Dish’. Additionally, even though the respondent’s mark may present the word ‘Dish’ in a stylized manner, it is still an English word referring to a Dish Antenna, and the respondent cannot claim any sort of monopoly over it.

Reference: 

(1) Prasar Bharati v/s Dish TV India Ltd [FAO(OS)(COMM) 267/2019]
COPYRIGHT
AI v/s COPYRIGHT BATTLE CONTINUES

Three authors—Brian Keena, Abdi Nazemian, and Stewart O’Nan—have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in the San Francisco Federal Court against Nvidia, a leading GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) company. They allege that Nvidia unlawfully incorporated material from their books into the training data for its AI (Artificial Intelligence) platform, NeMo. Nvidia has defended its actions by asserting that NeMo functions as a ‘toolkit’ for conversational AI and natural language processing. The platform provides users with the necessary ‘building blocks’ to efficiently develop their own generative AI models. The lawsuit, which is currently pending in court, seeks damages from Nvidia on behalf of individuals in the US whose works were utilized without permission to train NeMo within the last three years.

Reference: 

PATENT
PUMA LOSES ITS PATENT OVER A SOCIAL MEDIA POST

Puma found itself in a sneaker patent(design) dispute twist, all due to a decade-old Instagram post from Rihanna, a world-famous singer and fashion star. The star wore the contentious sneaker design at one of her events and later shared photos of her wearing the shoes on her Instagram account. Dutch footwear company Handelsmaatschappij J. van Hilst (HJVH) utilized the photos as evidence to challenge Puma’s patent registration at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in the year 2022. HJVH argued that Rihanna’s public display of the sneakers on social media, over a year before Puma’s patent registration, invalidated Puma’s claim. After considering all the arguments, the EUIPO deemed the Instagram images sufficient proof of the design’s public disclosure, potentially bringing it to the consumers’ attention. Puma countered this decision in 2022, arguing that when Rihanna shared the photos in 2014, the public was more interested in the celebrity herself rather than the sneakers she was wearing. The EU General Court rejected Puma’s stance, confirming that the design was publically disclosed in December 2014 thus making Puma’s patent registration void.

Reference: 

PATENT
DAVINCI V/S SPIDERDOOR

DaVinci Lock Self Storage Inc. introduced their patented DaVinci Lock, designed to aid self-storage operators. This innovative technology provides automated and contactless functionality for standard combination locks, each engraved with an encrypted serial code. However, recently a new competitor, with the name SpiderDoor, has replicated the DaVinci Lock system, infringing on its patents. Initially, DaVinci Lock aimed to resolve the matter amicably, seeking to minimize the impact. Despite DaVinci’s attempts, SpiderDoor has shown no willingness to halt its actions or make substantial changes to its product offering. Consequently, DaVinci Lock has been left with no choice but to pursue legal action. The patent infringement lawsuit is currently underway in the Northern District of Alabama. This case underscores the importance of protecting intellectual property in the self-storage industry.

Reference: 

TECHNOLOGY
GAMING AND NFT

Sony is venturing into a new frontier within the NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) sector by introducing a novel category of digital collectibles known as ‘Super Fungible Tokens’ through its gaming platforms. The company has recently filed a patent for this endeavor. In this new frontier, Sony aims to allow their players to consolidate all their digital collectibles, creating these Super Fungible Tokens within the framework of Sony’s game mechanics. Players will gain access to one of the NFTs within the Super Fungible Token, with the possibility for this functionality to expand across various games and publishers. This advanced possibility will empower players in the Sony ecosystem to utilize their Super Fungible tokens across different games, while the trading of these assets in secondary markets will distribute pre-packaged sets of necessary in-game NFTs to other players, streamlining the process for them.

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