The CrunchPad, an upcoming tablet computer that was left for dead last week, is alive, rechristened the Joo Joo.
For those of you who care most about how to get your hands on one of these tablet computers, here’s what you need to know: the black tablet, with a 12.1-inch touchscreen, boots in nine seconds and connects to the Internet. It has no other applications — it’s just for browsing the Web — and a touch keyboard appears when the user needs it. The Joo Joo will be available for pre-order on Dec. 11 for $499 at TheJooJoo.com and will ship eight to ten weeks later, according to Fusion Garage, the company that is producing it.
Arrington is livid that a company he let share his TechCrunch office space and with whom he jointly created the Crunchpad/Joo Joo would leave him holding the bag after much hard work and hundreds of thousands of invested dollars. "'It’s legally impossible for them to simply build and sell the device without our agreement,' Mr. Arrington wrote on his blog." And as Arrington is a lawyer, he might have something in store for Fusion Garage this holiday season that looks more like a huge lump of coal than a "thanks-for-a-job-well-done" fruit basket. Bah humbug!
ZDNet.com: Apple might be getting ready to swallow a bitter pill if a recent lawsuit by a patent-holding company has any merit. Rachael King reports: "Apple has a new problem with it’s [sic] iPhone: the built-in camera might be infringing on some digital camera patents. St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants is suing Apple, contending that the Cupertino-based companies is stepping on some toes with some of the 3-megapixel camera’s features concerning the lens and memory. The four St. Clair-held patents in question are ‘459, ‘219, ‘010 and ‘899." And because St. Clair has already gathered up millions in damages from other companies that infringed on their patent portfolio, in all likelihood Apple will soon be paying the piper a pretty penny to keep its cash cow iPhone products in the market. Read Apple in trouble over alleged iPhone camera infringement for more details.
The TTABlog: John L. Welch carefully watches the dockets of IP-related courts and recently pondered whether or not the term "vintage pink" is worthy of special protection under trademark law. From Welch's "VINTAGE PINK" Not Merely Descriptive of Jewelry and Clothing, Says TTAB we learn more: "In a determination 'not free from doubt,' the Board reversed a Section 2(e)(1) refusal to register VINTAGE PINK, finding it not merely descriptive of various jewelry and clothing items. Although Applicant admitted that some of her goods will be pink in color and will follow a 'retro style,' she contended that neither the color pink nor the 'retro style' is a significant attribute of her goods. In re Ashley O’Rourke, Serial No. 77093617 (December 2, 2009) [not precedential]." In the end, the court decided that the two words taken together provide more than a simple description of the items for sale and therefor "any doubt as to mere descriptiveness must be resolved in favor of Applicant." Tricky, those words and descriptors at times, don't you think, gentle reader?
United States Patent and Trademark Office: Here's a bit of information on the India-US memorandum of understanding (MOU) that focused on bilateral intellectual property rights. "The Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on comprehensive bilateral cooperation on intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement. Under the terms of the MOU, the USPTO and DIPP will cooperate on a range of IPR issues, focusing on capacity building, human resource development, and raising public awareness of the importance of IPR." The MOU includes "an accompanying Action Plan to carry out specific activities under the MOU, including exposure to patent examination practices, exchanges of information on patent databases and patent manuals, IPR awareness programs, exchange of information on traditional knowledge and genetic resources, exchanges of best practices, and other matters." For more information on this ground-breaking agreement, check out the complete news release entitled USPTO and India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Intellectual Property Rights Cooperation.
HS Today: The US Department of Homeland Security is responsible for many protective measure to help keep the nation free from terrorist attacks but there's another side to the agency that focuses on making sure US intellectual property is protected from fake imports and homegrown infringement known as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Phil Leggiere reports:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement places a significant emphasis on reducing the threat to health and safety posed by the trafficking of counterfeit, unapproved, and substandard pharmaceuticals. Due to the current 2009 H1N1 threat, this emphasis now includes efforts to identify and interdict counterfeit 2009 H1N1 vaccines and other influenza treatment products, such as counterfeit antiviral medications. In addition to the investigative resources of the ICE Office of Investigations, and the Office of International Affairs, ICE spearheaded the establishment of a new National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center).
A recent operation by the center netted thousands of suspected counterfeit drug packages from all over America. The partnerships embraced by the NIPRCC include an outreach program with the Mexican Customs Bureau in an effort to reduce "cross-border commercial fraud issues between our two countries." You can check out Leggiere's Counterfeit Goods Remain Huge Border Challenge for more.
Bonus IP piece o' the day: Artists' lawsuit: major record labels are the real pirates by Jacqui Cheng at ArsTechnica.com.