Friday, May 23, 2014

(BN) Oculus, India, Sanrio, NFL, Vimeo: Intellectual Property

(BN) Oculus VR Inc., the maker of virtual-reality goggles that Facebook Inc. (FB) is acquiring for $2 billion, was accused by ZeniMax Media Inc. of misappropriating intellectual property it claims is worth billions of dollars.

Oculus wrongfully took copyrighted computer code, trade secrets and technical know-how and exploited it, according to a complaint filed May 21 by ZeniMax, a video-game maker, in federal court in Dallas.

"The lawsuit filed by ZeniMax has no merit whatsoever," Oculus said in an e-mailed statement. "As we have previously said, ZeniMax did not contribute to any Oculus technology."

The case is ZeniMax Media Inc. v. Oculus VR Inc., 14-cv-01849, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).


India Patent Lawyer Group Says Process Biased Toward Foreigners

India's Intellectual Property Rights Attorneys Association filed a public-interest case in the Madras High Court, claiming that foreign companies receive preferential processing of their patent applications compared with Indian applicants, the Times of India reported.


Hello Kitty Maker Sanrio's Targets Cut by Goldman Sachs

Sanrio Co. (8136), the maker and licensor of Hello Kitty goods, had its profit and share-price targets cut by analysts including Sho Kawano at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. because of a waning outlook for U.S. sales.

Kawano reduced the estimate for operating profit in the year ending March by 7 percent, citing costs related to a shift back to merchandise sales from a focus on licensing. Sanrio founder Shintaro Tsuji previously sought to reduce the reliance on marketing Hello Kitty goods by licensing character rights to companies that make items based on them.

"The changes are part of our effort to supplement the licensing business, which is our profit driver," said Hideo Yamaguchi, a spokesman for the company.

"We see little prospect of a rapid turnaround given that this is a transition period," Kawano wrote in a note to clients dated May 21. Kawano cut the price target for the Tokyo-based company to 3,200 yen ($31) from 3,800 yen.

Senator Tells NFL Trademark Cease-and-Desist Letter Is Laughable

U.S. Senator David Vitter, a Republican from Louisiana, has weighed in on the trademark dispute between a New Orleans restaurant and the National Football League, the Times-Picayune reported.

The senator sent NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a letter in which he said the league's cease-and-desist letter to the owner of Phil's Grill over its Lom-Burger Trophy and "Burger Bowl" charity fundraisers didn't pass "the laugh test," according to the Picayune.

Vitter said he will begin offering T-shirts on his campaign website with an image of the Lom-Burger Trophy and the message "Who Dat Says we can't have fun for charity," according to the newspaper. "Who dat?" is a slogan chanted by fans of the NFL's New Orleans Saints.


Vimeo to Begin Screening User-Loaded Videos for Copyrights

Vimeo LLC, the video-streaming site owned by billionaire Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI), said it's putting a copyright-detecting system in place.

In a May 21 staff blog posting, the company said it will start monitoring what users post "to help us ensure that the videos on our platform follow our community guidelines when it comes to respecting the copyrights of other artists and creators."

Users who are informed that the copyright-detection system has found a match to protected content will have the option of removing the video, swapping its soundtrack with a track from Vimeo's music store or informing Vimeo that the work is used with permission or that the use comes under copyright law's "fair use" provision, according to the blog posting.

Vimeo said it's working with Audible Magic content-detection systems.

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