Germany’s Federal Cartel Office orders Facebook to stop collecting user data from multiple sources

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, known as the Bundeskartellamt has imposed on Facebook an order with far-reaching restrictions in the processing of user data.

The announcement was made on Thursday 7th February 2019, and follows a three-year long probe that began with intensive scrutiny of Facebook over a series of privacy protection failures, including the leaking of data on tens of millions of Facebook users, and the extensive use of targeted ads purchased by state actors of countries seeking to influence US elections.

The cartel office objected to how Facebook acquires data on people from third-party apps – including its own WhatsApp and Instagram services – and its online tracking (using Facebook analytics) of people who aren’t even members of the platform.

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Irish Burger Chain wins a major victory against McDonald’s in “Big Mac” European Trade Mark revocation case

Supermac’s, an Irish burger chain which in 2017 filed an application to revoke McDonald’s’ European Trade Mark for “Big Mac”, has scored a major legal victory that potentially could lead to the revocation of the ‘Big Mac’ and ‘Mc’ trademarks by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The decision was based on findings that the global fast food chain had failed to prove that Big Mac had been “put to genuine use in the union for the goods or services for which it is registered” during the five years prior to the revocation request being lodged. It is potentially a big reversal for McDonald’s, which in the past has argued that Supermac’s sounds confusingly similar to Big Mac and the company’s other famous brands.

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Copyright Infringement

What is copyright?

Copyright is a property right given to the creator of original work. The range of original work in which copyright subsists is quite substantial. These rights are awarded automatically and how long they last is dependent on the type of work protected. In the UK literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works have copyright lasting 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author of the work dies. Copyright can also extend to other countries through an international agreement such as the Berne Convention.

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Happy Birthday, Sliced Bread!

This month marks the 90th anniversary of the very first sliced bread patents.

By the late 1920’s the majority of bread baking was done in factories. The result was an incredibly soft bread loaf, which in turn, was incredibly difficult to slice at home with a traditional bread knife, yet factory slicing would result in the bread being stale before it was even sold.

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Osram, Nichia to enter into a new cross-licensing Patent agreement

lighting bulb

Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH, a subsidiary of Osram GmbH, has announced that it will enter into a new cross-licensing agreement with Japan’s Nichia Corp  (www.nichia.co.jp).

Announcing the collaboration at Light+Building 2018 show in Frankfurt, Germany, Aldo Kamper, CEO of Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH and Hiroyoshi Ogawa, president of Nichia Corp, agreed that a lot had happened in the industry since 2010, when the companies last signed a licensing agreement.

According to Kamper, Nichia and Osram have collectively spent more than €2.5bn in research and development since 2011 “to further advance LED and laser technology…”. 

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