Spider-Man Swings to Supreme Court

spider web, by flickr user cybershot dude, licensed by Creative Commons

Trapped in a web

If you are a child during the holiday season, there may be no better gift than a brand new Spider-Man toy. However, it appears that a trademark lawsuit may keep some Marvel merchandise off the shelves. A man named Stephen Kimble invented a toy glove that fires silly string, allowing kids to pretend they are the web-slinging hero Spider-Man. Marvel bought the idea and had been paying Kimble royalties from sales, until his patent on the idea ran out. Furious, the inventor filed a lawsuit to overturn a 50-year-old Supreme Court ruling about expiring patents, seemingly forcing Spider-Man to trade in his red-and-blue spandex for a suit and tie. Read more

Slip Up: Banana Lady’s Lawsuits Bear No Fruit

bananas, Flickr user Fernando Stankuns, licensed by Creative Commons.

Crazy? More like going bananas.

Catherine Conrad makes a living as an inspirational speaker, personal motivator, and also delivers singing telegrams dressed in a banana suit.  After several incidents with clients which ended up in Ms. Conrad filing multiple lawsuits, it seems the U.S. District Courts have had enough.  A recent ruling against the Wisconsin-native claims that although those who receive the banana-grams take pictures and videos, Catherine has no copyright claim over the over-sized, yellow costume. Previously, she had filed infringement lawsuits of anywhere between $40,000 and $80,000.  A jurist recently declared that her accusations and demands were “without merit” and an “abuse of the legal process”. Read more

Lawsuit Over Evil Stuffed Bear

Toy Store at the Toy Story Fun Zone

“Lots-O’-Problems”

“Disney Enterprises has been taken to Texas federal court by a trademark owner who objects to the “Lots-O’-Huggin'” stuffed bear character in Toy Story 3“. Lots-O is a psychologically dysfunctional stuffed animal featured in the movie, and is the principal “villain”. Diece-Lisa Industries is a company located in New Jersey, who created “Lots of Hugs” stuffed toy bears, and have been licensing them since 1995. DLI has trademarks, and a registered patent as well; they also state that Disney was well aware of this patent based on previous contracts with the company. DLI affiliated with Disney for its sale of “Bear in the Big Blue House” huggable stuffed bear product. Read More

Settlement For Alzheimer’s Patent

FDG-PET_brain_scan-normal-MCI-Alzheimers

“Alzheimer’s is the cleverest thief, because she not only steals from you, but she steals the very thing you need to remember what’s been stolen. 
”
― Jarod Kintz.

In the pharmaceutical world, there is always a new drug or treatment to cure, suspend growth of, or prevent a disease/illness. Just like any other business, the competition is steep and each company is trying to produce “the cure.” Recently, Eli Lilly & Company and Johnson & Johnson both have been in the process of developing potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, that gets worse as it progresses which eventually leads to death. In April, Eli Lilly & Co sought to revoke a patent held by J&J in London courts, which was recently settled with Eli Lilly & Co as victor for the patent. “We are disappointed by the outcome of this case, and we are considering our options,” Greg Panico, a U.S. spokesman for Janssen. Read More

A Kodak Moment: Patents To Sell for $525 Million

Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom

Courtroom

It seems that film isn’t the only thing Kodak has been developing recently.  The famous digital imaging and photography company agreed to sell their patent portfolio to a large group of companies including Google, Apple, and Facebook.  Eastman Kodak, based in Rochester NY, is monetizing their patents to help recover from a recent bankruptcy.  Economists are predicting that the $525 million agreement will help Kodak re-emerge from Chapter 11 in the first half of 2013.  Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft are also members of the 12-company group of licensees. Read more