HBO Max to Launch in May, Gains Exclusive Rights of ‘South Park’; Forbes’ Unique List of Dead Celebrities Income; Google Cloud Unveils New Celebrity Recognition Feature; Golf TV to introduce its Originals; Louis Vuitton Bids to take over Tiffany & Co.; TSMC and GlobalFoundries End Legal Battle with a Cross-Licensing Deal; Spotify Launches a Kids-friendly App; NFL is the Latest Addition to the Music Streaming World; Ola’s Electric Vehicle Venture Raises USD 300 million Funding; Twitter to Ban All Political Ads Ahead of the 2020 Elections in the U.S.; CCI launches Investigation against Oyo and Make My Trip; Microsoft Bags Pentagon’s USD 10 Billion Jedi Contract and more.

HBO Max to Launch in May, Gains Exclusive Rights of ‘South Park’

AT&T and Warner Bros. have announced that HBO Max will be launched in May 2020 and will be priced at USD 14.99 per month. Also, the company has secured exclusive multiyear streaming rights of the famous show, ‘South Park’. Not only does HBO Max have rights to the existing episodes but also the episodes of the upcoming three seasons will be aired on the channel within 24 hours of their debut on Comedy Central. The whole idea behind licensing out these popular shows on online platforms like Netflix and Comcast is to make them available to the new generation who missed them earlier and also to cash on their popularity.

Forbes’ Unique List of Dead Celebrities Income

Forbes Magazine has compiled an interesting list of nine deceased artists whose creations still earn sky-high revenues in the U.S. In the last twelve months, these celebrities including Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, have generated 15.2 billion streaming spins, along with their physical sales. It is as though these artists have an alternative career post their deaths.

Google Cloud Unveils New Celebrity Recognition Feature

Google Cloud launched ‘Celebrity Recognition’ feature for its Cloud Vision and Video Intelligence products. This feature, which primarily works on Artificial Intelligence Principles, will be able to recognize internationally acclaimed actors and athletes based on a repertoire of licensed images in its database. Celebrity Recognition will help users tag these celebrities out of thousands of videos and help them categorize by the name of such celebrity. It could also be used to create streaming apps with customized content based on such celebrity. However, Google is very apprehensive about the usage of this new feature and will only share it with approved and limited media and entertainment houses.

Golf TV to introduce its Originals

Discovery Inc. owned Golf TV is all set to introduce its very own event series, kind of like the Netflix ‘Originals’ but only in golf. The unique online streaming platform that was launched in January this year, has already acquired 150 PGA Tour Competitions while associating with the golf legend, Tiger Woods as its brand ambassador. Discovery Golf President has clarified that this platform will enhance the and build an ecosystem for the sport where viewers will not only be able to watch the game live but also get inputs regarding the equipment, player interviews, tutorials and such other interesting features.

Louis Vuitton Bids to take over Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co.’s stocks rose over 28% in New York open trading after the French luxury brand, Louis Vuitton, bid USD 14.5 billion in an offer to buy the famous New York-based jeweler. LVMH, the luxury brand that owns Lois Vuitton, had previously taken over major brands like Christian Dior, Bulgari, Tag Heuer, to name a few.  This deal will make LVMH’s presence stronger in the U.S. markets. As for Tiffany, the deal will help the company extend its prospects in watches and other jewelry.

TSMC and GlobalFoundries End Legal Battle with a Cross-Licensing Deal

TSMC, world’s largest contract chip maker and GlobalFoundries, ranked the third largest chip-maker company, end their long list of patent litigations against each other and agreed upon signing a broad cross-licensing deal. The two companies own thousands of patents among them and will now be cross licensing each other’s patents and also all future patents for the next ten years. The spat between the two companies had spelt an impending doom on the global electronics market as big names like Apple, Nvidia, Qualcomm were involved in the litigation.

Spotify Launches a Kids-friendly App

Spotify premium users can now avail Spotify’s new kids friendly app, Spotify Kids. The app has been rolled out to Spotify Premium subscribers in Ireland as a beta program which will later be expanded to other markets. It boasts of 100% human curated ad-free content for children aged three years and above coming from companies like Disney, Discovery Kids and Nickelodeon. There will be categorized audio options for “younger kids” being mainly lullabies and for “older kids” specifically curated content.

NFL is the Latest Addition to the Music Streaming World

The National Football League (NFL) has recently launched an interesting channel called Around the NFL which will be available over a wide range of online music streaming platforms. This feature will enable subscribers of the music platforms to get sports highlights, podcasts and also some of the best moments in the history of the game; all without any additional charges. The channel is already available on Spotify, Pandora, TIDAL, TuneIn and SoundCloud.

Ola’s Electric Vehicle Venture Raises USD 300 million 

The Competition Commission of India approved a foreign investment to the tune of USD 300 million on ANI Technologies which operates Ola and Ola Electric Mobility. The funding came from the Korean automobile makers, Hyundai and Kia Motors. Ola is also in the talks of finalizing a deal with Microsoft where the software giant might invest USD 170 to 200 million in the ride-hailing company.

Twitter to Ban All Political Ads Ahead of the 2020 Elections in the U.S.

Twitter has recently confirmed that all kinds of political ads will be banned ahead of the 2020 Presidential Election in the U.S. The company currently allows only certified organisations to run political ads relating to candidates and issues. There will however be a minor exception regarding ads which encourage voter turnout. This ban is a preventive step against circulation of misinformation on social media which is extremely harmful when it comes to politics. Facebook, on the other hand, justifies paid political ads on grounds of freedom of speech.

CCI launches Investigation against Oyo and Make My Trip

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has launched investigation against Oyo Hotels and Homes and Make My Trip on charges of predatory pricing and deep discounting. A complaint was registered by the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) that the two companies charged exorbitant rates from the hotel owners while giving deep discounts, thus creating an imbalance in the market.

Microsoft Bags Pentagon’s USD 10 Billion Jedi Contract

Amidst the battle between Microsoft and rival Amazon over dominance in the cloud market, Microsoft managed to get the USD 10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Contract whereby the company will be providing all kinds of software services to the Pentagon; starting from basic cloud storage services to artificial intelligence processing, machine learning, mission-critical processing. Both Microsoft and Amazon have been battling it out over this extremely lucrative contract for quite some time now.
Authored and compiled by Anusmita Mazumder and Ashwini Arun (Associates, BananaIP Counsels)
The eCommerce Law and IP Transactions News Bulletin is brought to you by the eCommerce Law and Consulting/Strategy Division of BananaIP Counsels, a Top IP Firm in India. If you have any questions, or need any clarifications, please write to [email protected]  with the subject: eCommerce Law News.
Disclaimer: Please note that the news bulletin has been put together from different sources, primary and secondary, and BananaIP’s reporters may not have verified all the news published in the bulletin. You may write to [email protected]  for corrections and take down.

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