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Weekly Issues in the News

By Geisa Balla

Apple TM Issue in China

A trademark dispute between Apple and Proview Technology has brought sales of iPads to a halt in China. Proview Technology trademarked the name IPAD in several countries in 2000, intending to use it for Internet-capable handheld device. Yet this project did not take off. In 2009, Apple established a company called IP Applications in order to acquire the iPad trademarks and preserve confidentiality on its intent to launch its tablet. IP Applications bought the IPAD trademark from Proview's Taiwan company in December 2009 for $55,000. Apple believed that it had acquired all the rights to the IPAD trademark, but later found out that the rights for mainland China were registered under Proview's Shenzhen company. According to court documents, Proview refused to rectify the mistake and suggested that Apple should pay $10 million to purchase the China trademarks. Proview has filed for bankruptcy, but still holds rights to the IPAD trademark. In its lawsuit, Apple claimed that Proview refused to honor its contractual obligation. Apple was granted an injunction against Proview, preventing Proview from selling off its trademark rights. Yet in December 2011, a court in Shenzhen dismissed Apple's contention that it owned the iPad name in China. Apple intends to appeal the ruling.

If Apple does not prevail in this lawsuit, it would have to pay penalties, and possibly its tablet would be banned under the iPad name. Tens of millions of iPads have been manufactured in various plants in China since it was first launched in 2010. Proview now plans to take legal action against Apple for using a "fake company."



Sex and the City Lawsuit

Sex and the City writer and creator Candace Bushnell is being sued by her former friend and manager Clifford Streit, the inspiration for Sex and the City character Stanford Blatch. Streit, who was Bushnell's manager until 1999, first filed a federal lawsuit against Bushnell in 2005, claiming that Bushnell owed him 10% of her earnings from the show. The parties settled the lawsuit in 2006 by agreeing to give him 7.5% of her earnings. Now Streit claims that Bushnell last paid him in 2009, and owes him 7.5% of her earnings from the Sex and the City 2 movie, as well as residual earnings from the first Sex and the City movie and the "Sex and the City" show.



The Kodak Theater in Hollywood, where the Academy Awards have been held for the past 10 years, will soon have to change its name. Eastman Kodak Co. filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in January 2012. In its proceeding, Kodak sought to cancel its 20-year agreement with landlord CIM/H&H Media to sponsor the theater. CIM/H&H Media moved to compel Kodak to continue performing under this agreement, but the court ruled in Kodak's favor. Kodak reportedly paid $3.6 million a year to CIM/H&H Media for the rights to the theater.



On February 14, 2012, Facebook Inc. was awarded $75,776 in legal fees from Paul Ceglia. Ceglia first filed a lawsuit against Zuckerberg in July 2010, alleging that pursuant to a 2003 agreement with Zuckerberg, he was entitled to half of Zuckerberg's stake in Facebook. U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio ordered Ceglia to reimburse Facebook for legal fees it incurred while trying to get Ceglia to comply with discovery in the lawsuit. Ceglia is now claiming that he should not have to pay the "stratospheric" legal fees charged by Facebook's attorneys.


Whitney Houston

Grammy-winning artist Whitney Houston passed away on February 11, 2012, in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton, where she was found partially submerged in a bathtub. Investigators did not find any illegal substances in Houston's hotel room, but found different prescriptions bottles, including some unidentified bottles. The Los Angeles County Coroner has issued subpoenas for Houston's medical records, and is investigating how Houston obtained these prescriptions. Hours after Houston was found dead, her 18-year-old daughter Bobbie Kristina Brown was rushed to the hospital after a "complete meltdown."

Despite Houston's death, her mentor Clive Davis went ahead with his annual pre-Grammy party that very same night, held in the same hotel. The February 12, 2012, Grammy awards honored Houston with an opening prayer and a performance by Jennifer Hudson. Whitney Houston's funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2012, at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, and will be streamed live online.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 17, 2012 10:05 AM.

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