November 2, 2020 11:12 am Published by

Welcome to the Let’s talk IP series where we will tap in the IP world and explore the top 3 current hot topics and exciting news in the sector.

1. TikTok and ByteDance have sued Triller

Tik Tok and its Chinese parent ByteDance filed a case in San Francisco federal court in response to a patent infringement lawsuit that their rival Triller filed in July. 

“TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, have been infringing on Triller’s patents and stealing its technology for many years — enriching themselves and their investors at Triller’s expense,” Triller CEO Mike Lu said in a comment emailed to CNBC. In return, TikTok and ByteDance argue in the latest legal filing that Triller’s accusations have “cast a cloud” over ByteDance’s reputation and brand and are insisting on a legal decision to resolve the dispute.

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2. Bezos-backed British startup run by ex-Uber executive is accused of stealing data

A former Uber Technologies executive who co-founded the British startup Beacon Industries backed by billionaire Jeff Bezos has been accused of stealing algorithms, data and other intellectual property in 2018 from a California shipping and logistics company Vanguard Logistics Services Inc. to create a “copycat” London-based company.

Vanguard claims that Robinson approached its owners, the Mansour family, in late 2017 to work as a consultant and a board member. But it said this was a “charade,” and that after winning the family’s trust Robinson began stealing confidential information and working secretly with Dmitri Izmailov, the other former Uber executive, to create Beacon. The complaint against Robinson and Beacon was filed on Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Beacon announced in May it had raised more than $15 million from investors including Bezos and the San Francisco venture capital firm 8VC. The company’s backers also include Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick and former Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt. Beacon says on its website that the startup’s goal is to become a logistics and trade finance leader by making trade simpler, more transparent and reliable.

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3. Playboy Enterprises Inc. sues Fashion Nova for trademark infringement

Playboy Enterprises, Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Fashion Nova, Inc. for infringing Playboy’s world-famous Playboy BUNNY COSTUME design (the “BUNNY COSTUME®”).

Playboy has been a leading global lifestyle and entertainment brand for over 65 years.

Playboy makes the defense and enforcement of its renowned trademarks, including PLAYBOY, the RABBIT HEAD DESIGN, and the BUNNY COSTUME®, a cornerstone of its efforts to ensure that when consumers see the Playboy marks, they can expect the associated goods or services to have the backing of Playboy. The BUNNY COSTUME® has been associated with Playboy for over 60 years and has since become a main element of the Playboy brand. The BUNNY COSTUME® was the first service uniform registered with the United States Patent & Trademark Office. 

In order to keep its brand protected, Playboy took legal action against Fashion Nova today based on Fashion Nova’s unauthorized marketing and sale of multiple versions of Playboy’s iconic BUNNY COSTUME®.

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