STLR Link Roundup – August 25, 2013

McDonald’s versus the MACDIMSUM

On July 2, 2007, a Canadian man applied for the trademark MACDIMSUM for Malaysian, Asian and Chinese food and drink products.  McDonald’s opposed the trademark, arguing that there is a strong likelihood of confusion between MACDIMSUM and McDonald’s family of trademarks starting with the prefixes MC and MAC.  Last year, the Canadian Trademarks Opposition Board (“TMOB”) ruled in favor of McDonald’s, finding that MACDIMSUM is not a strong mark and that a significant amount of people would believe the MACDIMSUM was a McDonald’s product.  The Canadian man appealed to the Federal Court of Canada.  The Federal Court found that new evidence presented was not material and thus the standard of review was one of “reasonableness” and not the higher standard of “correctness.”  The Court then, while acknowledging that McDonald’s had lost similar trademark arguments in the past, upheld the TMOB decision.

Google Has Its Eye on You

Last week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Google a patent for a “Gaze Tracking System.” The patent tracks eye movement and pupil dilation in order to record how often an individual views advertisements.  While the patent does not explicitly reference Google Glass, many predict Google will incorporate the “Gaze Tracking System” into the glasses.  Such a tracking system is an ideal way to monetize Google Glass.  Obviously, this new “pay per gaze” method of advertising, while intriguing and exciting, is still in its infant stage and serious privacy issues remain.

Technical Glitch Halts Nasdaq Trading

At 12:14 p.m. on Thursday August 22, 2013, trading in all stocks listed on the Nasdaq exchange came to a halt until further notice due to a computer glitch.  The technical glitch involved the data feed from which stock prices are derived.  As a result, all exchanges were forced to cease trading in Nasdaq stocks, including Apple, Microsoft and Facebook.   Nasdaq resolved the problem and all stocks resumed trading by 3:25 p.m.

Did the NSA Read Your Email?

According to current and former officials, the National Security Agency (“NSA”) can see 75% of all U.S. web traffic.  This number is apparently larger than had been previously reported to the public.  Previously, the NSA claimed it “touched” just 1.6% of worldwide Internet traffic. The current and former officials claim the NSA occasionally retains the written content of emails sent between U.S. citizens within the U.S. and domestic phone calls made over the Internet.  Further, a secret ruling made public on Wednesday further reveals that in 2011 the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rebuked the NSA for misleading the court regarding the extent of its domestic surveillance.  As a result of these recent revelations and growing public criticism, lawmakers promised additional hearings on NSA surveillance.


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