Google Sees Spike in Copyright Removal Requests

Google recently announced new figures regarding the number of takedown notices it receives under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The search giant also announced that interested parties can now download all the data shown for copyright removals in a new “Transparency Report.”

According to Google, when it launched the copyright removals feature, it received more than 250,000 requests per week.  That number  spiked in just six months to more than 2.5 million requests per week.

Google also reports that although it is receiving more requests, it is still able to process them, on average, within approximately six hours. Overall, Google has removed 97.5 percent of all Web links included in copyright removal requests.

Google has staunchly opposed legislative efforts to combat online piracy, such as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The latest reports seems to be an effort to show that it is up to the task of policing its own search results.

“We’ll continue to fine tune our removals process to fight online piracy while providing information that gives everyone a better picture of how it works,” Fred Von Lohmann, Legal Director at Google, stated in a related blog post. “By making our copyright data available in detail, we hope policymakers will be able to see whether or not laws are serving their intended purpose and being enforced in the public interest.”

How Can I Help?

For more information about how to protect your copyrighted material, contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Cooperation to avoid litigation.

Rosetta Stone Inc. and Google Inc. have announced plans to dismiss a three-year old trademark infringement lawsuit over Google’s AdWords system. The two companies  now plan to work together to fight trademark abuse online.

Rosetta Stone filed suit in 2009, alleging that Google allowed its competitors to market copycat software when Rosetta’s trademarks were used as search terms in Google’s AdWords system. “Google’s search engine is helping third parties to mislead consumers and misappropriate the Rosetta Stone marks by using them as ‘keyword’ triggers for paid advertisements and by using them within the text or title of paid advertisements,” Rosetta Stone alleged.

As the Associated Press reports, the lawsuit was dismissed in 2010. However, it was scheduled to resume this year after an appeals court ruled that some of the claims should go to trial.

In a statement, Rosetta Stone and Google pledged to “meaningfully collaborate to combat online ads for counterfeit goods and prevent the misuse and abuse of trademarks on the Internet.”

“By working together, Google and Rosetta Stone hope to improve detection methods, and better protect from abuse brands like Rosetta Stone, advertising platforms like Google AdWords, and ultimately consumers on the Internet,” they continued. “At the end of the day, both companies would rather cooperate than litigate, and we believe this agreement is an important step toward eliminating piracy and trademark abuse on the Internet.”

In this case, it appears that Google and Rosetta Stone have decided that it may be more cost-effective to pool their resources against a common enemy as opposed to the time and expense of trial. However, it is likely that this was just one of the factors taken into consideration when settling the lawsuit, as other terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.

How Can I Help?

If you need help to protect a brand, file a trademark application, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

New Google Search Algorithm May Deter Copyright Infringement

Google has changed how it ranks search results in order to account for copyright infringement claims. The move is seen as a big win for large media companies that have been pressuring the search giant to take a stand against piracy.

The revised search algorithm specifically takes into account the number of valid copyright removal notices Google receives for any given site. Therefore, sites with high numbers of removal notices will likely appear lower in the search results.

“This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily — whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music Web site, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify,” Amit Singhal, Google’s senior vice president of engineering, stated in a Google blog post.

Of course, even under the new system, Google will not remove any pages from search results until it receives a valid copyright removal notice from the owner. For more information about what to do if your copyright is being infringed online, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +

Norman

 

A-Maze-ing!

Okay, nothing about astronomy in this post, but I thought this was cool anyway.

It seems the people over at Google have create a program that allows you to turn any website into a 3D marble maze.  To start you need to have both Google’s Chrome browser and a smartphone to control the marble.

You then go to http://chrome.com/maze/ and enter the URL of the website, which is then converted to a 3D maze.  After you install the smartphone app (at least Android 4.0 or iOS 5) and sync it up with the browser, you are all set to go.

android-mascot

Using your smartphone, you move the marble along the slightly inclined flat maze trying to collect blue gems. You have 300 seconds (5 minutes) and three lives to play with.

I can already see the competitiveness of web developers trying to make the hardest mazes possible.  Thereby, make their sites unusable by mortals anywhere, but great gaming!

What ever happened to pinball?

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +.  If you need help with any patent, trademark, or copyright issue, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

Norman

Could Google Lose Its Trademark?

Have you “googled,” something lately?  If you don’t know the meaning look it on the Internet. But has the word become so synonymous with search that Google could lose its trademark protection?

David Elliott, the plaintiff in a lawsuit pending in Arizona is seeking to cancel the trademark registration for Google contending that “[t]he term ‘GOOGLE’ is, or has become, a generic term universally used to describe the action of internet search with any search engine.”  David commenced the suit after a court ordered him to turn over more than 750 website names such as “googlegaycruises.com” and “googledonaldtrump.com.”

While the Google trademark has likely not yet reached generic status, the lawsuit does illustrate that success can have its downsides, particularly when it comes to trademarks.

Trademarks are not guaranteed to last forever. In fact, a mark owner can lose its trademark if the mark in question loses its distinctiveness and becomes synonymous with a generic product or service. For instance, the following have lost their trademark significance under U.S. law because they have become generic:

  • Escalator, originally a trademark of Otis Elevator Company
  • Thermos, originally a trademark of Thermos GmbH
  • Yo-Yo, originally a trademark of Duncan Yo-Yo Company
  • Zipper, originally a trademark of B.F. Goodrich

In order to make sure it does not end up on the list of extinct marks, Google has actively taken steps to maintain the distinctiveness of its mark. It specifically discourages the use of the term “googling” in reference to web searches.  In 2006, Google took to its own blog to protect its brand.

The blog post stated: “While we’re pleased that so many people think of us when they think of searching the web, let’s face it, we do have a brand to protect, so we’d like to make clear that you should please only use ‘Google’ when you’re actually referring to Google Inc. and our services.”

How Can I Help?

If you need help to file a trademark, or to protect an existing trademark, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +

Norman

The Impact Of EU Copyright Protection for Software On U.S. Litigation.

The European Union’s Court of Justice has repeatedly confirmed that computer software is not eligible for copyright protection.  While this is a win for many in the software industry that rely on reverse engineering, its impact on U.S. copyright litigation is unknown.

In the court’s decision in  SAS Institute Inc. v. World Programming Ltd., the court concluded that “neither the functionality of a computer program nor the programming language and the format of data files used in a computer program” are expressive enough to qualify for copyright protection.

“To accept that the functionality of a computer program can be protected by copyright would amount to making it possible to monopolise ideas, to the detriment of technological progress and industrial development,” the court said.

Oracle and Google, among others, are currently litigating several software copyright infringement claims here in the U.S.  Oracle has argued for an even broader interpretation of copyright law as it applies to software, contending that the structure, sequence, and organization of its Java APIs are copyrightable, while Google maintains that Oracle is overreaching.  As previously reported, Oracle did not fair well in the initial case and is still mulling appeals.

How Can I Help?

If you need help to protect your software here or abroad, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +

Norman