IP Protection: The Nook, Groupon and "App Store"

Post date: Mar 22, 2011 9:41:15 PM

(1) The Nook: Microsoft has filed suit against Barnes and Noble -- producer of the e-reader Nook -- alleging that the Nook took intellectual property of Microsoft. Apparently Microsoft is arguing that B&N became a crook in order to produce their Nook (the terrible rhyming is an attempt to distract you from the fact that I really don't have much info about what is going on here).

For slightly more information, check out GigaLaw.

(2) Groupon, the awesome site to get deals, is being sued for trademark infringement. Long story short, the owner of the mark GROUPION is asking for GROUPON to be canceled due to a claim of priority (essentially, "we had it first"). Problem is, GROUPION deals with computer software which, realistically, has nothing to due with Groupon. Not to mention the fact that no one knows what GROUPION is. I think if this were turned around with Groupon suing the owner of GROUPION, it would be a victorious outcome. Not so much in this case, though.

For a better explanation of what is happening (including a foreign filing, etc.), check out Your Trademark Attorney.

(3) Although I never wrote about it (and we all know the only place you all get legal news is from me), Apple was engaged in a heated battle not too long ago over their quest to register the term APP STORE as a trademark. Those opposed to the registration (e.g., Microsoft) claimed the mark was generic and, therefore, not eligible for trademark protection. Well now Apple has, as expected, taken steps to use their alleged trademark in APP STORE on the offensive. Apple filed suit this week against Amazon because of Amazon's "Android Appstore." Apparently Amazon tried to differentiate their "app store" by contracting the term into one word. It doesn't quite work like that, though. In the end, I am somewhat optimistic that Amazon will prevail based on APP STORE eventually being deemed as generic. Stay tuned.

For more info, check out Engadget. Thanks for the submission by loyal reader CJM.