STLR Link Roundup – Nov. 14, 2015

GoPro sued by Polaroid over design patent

C&A, the company behind Polaroid cameras, filed suit against GoPro last week alleging that GoPro’s Hero4 Session camera copied the “ornamental design” of the Polaroid Cube Camera. In January 2014, C&A filed for a US Design Patent for its Polaroid Cube Camera; they obtained the patent titled “Cubic Action Camera” (U.S. Patent No. D730,423) in May 2015. GoPro denies copying the design patent, and insists that it had been working on the Hero4 Session well before C&A filed its patent; GoPro is still waiting for a patent it had filed last year. Although both products are cube-shaped with rounded corner, with a front side camera as well as a large control button on the top, GoPro maintains that the overall design of the products are not similar. Specifically, GoPro advocates that the Hero4 Session does not include the specific features that are required by the competitor’s patents. C&A supports its claim by referencing several consumer comments and press articles noting the similarities of the two cameras, including a consumer video titled “GoPro Hero4 Session: Copying the Polaroid Cube?!”. C&A is asking the court to halt sales of the GoPro Session and award it damages, including all of GoPro’s profits from the camera.

New York Attorney General orders fantasy-sports betting sites to stop accepting bets in New York

This week, New York Attorney General ordered the two biggest fantasy sports websites – DraftKings and FanDuel – to stop accepting bets in New York. The cease-and-desist order comes after a month-long investigation into both sites. The investigation was initiated after a DraftKings employee inadvertently released internal betting data and subsequently won $350,000 on FanDuel; the companies eventually concluded that the employee had done nothing wrong. Until recently, daily fantasy games were assumed lawful under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act which prohibits gambling businesses from accepting payments for bets or wagers online but exempts skill-based games. Although fantasy sports companies contend that their games involve more skill than chance and thus should be permitted under the Act, this view is being challenged as these sites have begun offering million-dollar prices and bets on individual sports (such as golf, and Nascar races) which magnify the element of chance. The order does not apply to seasonal competitions or to other companies that offer fantasy games. This loophole in the Act has been similarly challenged in Nevada; several other states including New Jersey and Illinois are currently looking into the legality of daily fantasy sports sites.

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