Oh Sweet Irony of the Day: Pirate Bay Unlawfully Parodied By Copyright Police
Last week, Finland’s copyright enforcement agency CIAPC launched a parody website of The Pirate Bay, using their source code and replacing their iconic pirate logo with a sinking ship in a campaign against illegal file sharing. Then yesterday, the Pirate Bay reported the CIAPC’s spoof website to the Economic Crime unit of the Finnish Police, who will investigate whether or not copying the torrent-sharing website’s CSS files constitutes copyright infringement or violation of usage terms. Meanwhile, the Sweden-based company’s representative “Winston” explained in a blog post that they are pursuing the matter because they “will not stand by and watch copyright enforcing organizations disrespect copyright.”
Apple trademarks “distinctive design” of Apple Stores
As Patently Apple reports, the Cupertino, CA-based tech giant has trademarked the design and layout of its retail stores, nine years after the current look was first introduced in Pasadena, California, the way Steve Jobs and Ron Johnson, the company’s former head of retail, envisioned it.
The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office this week published the tech giant’s latest trademark certificate, which covers the “distinctive design & layout” of the 400 stores worldwide.
The trademark consists of the design of the typical Apple Store layout, with wide tables in the middle and benches around the sides where customers can try out the latest products, as well as the Genius Bar helpdesk at the back.
How to innovate and protect against “Patent Trolls”?
A “patent troll” is a person or company that enforces its patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered unduly aggressive or opportunistic, often with no intention to manufacture or market the product.  Uniloc, based in Texas, is a prime example of a patent troll.
Since I’m a huge aviation fan, I will talk about this in the context of the recent patent trolling of high-end flight simulator developer, Laminar Research, known widely for their X-Plane simulator software available for any platform ranging from university research labs to personal mobile phones. Austin Meyer, who has worked on the simulator since 1995, isn’t dealing with a claim against his simulator or the physics engines within. Instead, he’s being sued for using a simple copy-protection system found in almost all Android programs by Uniloc. 
In my opinion, this is a low blow. They seem to be actively looking for small holes in other companies’ product development, so that they can make claims that relate back to products they have patented years ago. The main concern that our justice system should have is that this behaviour will spread like wildfire, considering how easy it is for ill-minded savvy individuals to “start-up” a company. A hilarious video on this by college humour exists. See 
Meyer response by saying “Speaking for Laminar Research, we used only the technology that was provided to us by Google for copy protection in our Android App ‘X-Plane’… we used exactly the copy protection Google gave us! And, of course, this is what Google provides to everyone else that is making a game for Android!” 
From here we see that Meyer has a good understanding of the issue and the attach he is under. However, he also realizes that his situation can get pretty dangerous. He has even gone so far as to create a white house patent such that his company can put a definite defence up against Uniloc. My question to you is: how do we prevent the rise of patent trolling. Finally, one can help Laminar Research by signing this white house petition. 
On Jan 22, 2013 Apple was awarded a USA trademark for their retail stores. The trademark covers “…the design of the store front, recessed lighting, shelving, flush video screens and even their unique genius bar layout at the rear of the store”.
The previous “It Will Be Awesome” focused on the broad connection between intellectual property law and 3D printing. And this one whitepaper, “What’s the Deal?” focuses more on the relationship between copyright and 3D printing.
If the Supreme Court is looking for a middle ground in Wiley v. Kirtsaeng, it’s going to be hard to find. That copyright case, argued this morning, could have a big impact on resale markets around the country.
It’s impossible to know from reading into oral arguments which way the court will go. Questions from the bench today show the justices are seriously concerned about the possible effects on resellers of common goods, as well as legal obstacles that could be created for museums and libraries. At one point, Justice Stephen Breyer grilled Wiley’s lawyer about how a victory for his side would avoid interfering with the sale of millions of used Toyotas.
At the same time, at least some justices are concerned with copyright owners’ right to engage in “market segmentation,” and charge different prices in different countries. As for the grad student turned book-importer who challenged that system, Supap Kirtsaeng, there wasn’t much sympathy to be found. Justice Elena Kagan casually referred to him as a “rogue” at one point.
The case started in 2008, when textbook manufacturer John Wiley & Sons sued Supap Kirtsaeng for re-selling textbooks he bought in Thailand on the cheap. Wiley argues that by importing and selling the books without permission, Kirtsaeng violated copyright law—even though the books aren’t pirated, they’re simply cheap foreign editions. Wiley won its case at the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, and now the stakes have become higher. Kirtsaeng’s inability to win the case on “first sale” grounds has alarmed an array of groups—from retailers to museums and libraries—all of whom believe copyright owners might interfere with their own resale and lending.