Archive for the ‘Intellectual Property’ Category

Fitness Tracking Patent Suit – adidas v Asics

Monday, March 20th, 2017

On March 17, 2017, ADIDAS AG and ADIDAS America, Inc. filed a patent infringement action against ASICS America Corporation and FitnessKeeper, Inc. (3rd Cir. – Delaware).

The dispute centers around adidas’ fitness tracking patents such as US8,068,858 (Methods and computer program products for providing information about a user during a physical activity) and US7,805,150 (Wireless device, program products and methods of using a wireless device to deliver services), and US8,968,156 (Methods for determining workout plans and sessions), among others.

According to the complaint in this case, adidas claims that the “My Asics” mobile application, its respective desktop, website, and server software and interfaces, and associated products sold by Asics America are infringing its patents.  Moreover, Asics, acquired FitnessKeeper last year (Press Release), which includes the fitness tracking app ‘Runkeeper’, an application that can track and record fitness activities such as running, walking and cycling through GPS on smartphone devices, which is itself accused of, for example, RunKeeper is accused of permitting its millions of users to assign ratings to and/or annotate fitness routes infringing the adidas patents.  The accused functionality includes “the ability to receive data from another device, for example a heart rate monitor, and associate data from such device with other information regarding a fitness activity.”

fitness tracking patent drawing US8068858


Curiously enough, adidas also claims Defendants had, should have had, prior knowledge of the patents in suit because of a prior action brought by adidas two years before the RunKeeper acquisition. In February of 2014, adidas sued Under Armour, Inc. and MapMyFitness, Inc. over some of the same patents asserted now.

It is very early in the case, but it will be interesting to see how far these patents, which claim fundamental high-level functionality in vogue right now, can go in overcoming challenges to patentable subject matter from an Alice perspective, or does adidas own fitness tracking?

It is not the same…but it is

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

In a global marketplace, branding in a foreign language can lead to some curious situations. The current example is the TTAB decision cancelling the registration for the “Portón” line of brandy launched in 2011 in the US by a Peruvian firm Pisco (Portón in Spanish is a large entry door, typically for a grand ranch or residence).
The company objecting to this mark is the famous “Patrón” brand of tequila from México (Patrón in Spanish is the boss, or an employer, in an organization). While the two terms mean very different things to Spanish speakers – and one is a thing and the other a person – the TTAB was persuaded to agree with the tequila brand’s position that, for most non-spanish speakers in the US market, both terms can be likely to be confused as they do not appear to sufficiently distinguish the marks, particularly in a noisy bar setting.

Confusing Terms to non-Spanish speakers


The case seems clear enough, although confusing to us Spanish speakers as the terms do not have the same meaning…but as far as branding in the US is concerned, they do!

Hat tip: @BDonahueLaw360

Case: Pisco Porton LLC v Patron SPirits Int’l. AG (USPTO TTAB 92059527)