Bloomberg News

Impax, Vivid, Alamo, Baidu, Netflix: Intellectual Property

November 23, 2011

(This is a daily report on global news about patents, trademarks, copyright and other intellectual property topics. Updates with Apple-S3 in top section.)

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Impax Laboratories Inc. was sued by the Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. unit Cephalon Inc., alleging infringement of four U.S. patents for the drug Fentora, used to treat pain associated with cancer.

Cephalon, based in Frazer, Pennsylvania, contends Hayward, California-based Impax is planning to market a generic version of Fentora in violation of patent protections, according to papers filed Nov. 18 in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

“Impax Laboratories was aware of the patents,” and “plaintiffs will be irreparably harmed” unless stopped by court order, Cephalon lawyers said in the complaint.

Cephalon is seeking a judgment of infringement, unspecified damages and an injunction to stop Impax’s generic sales.

In a statement yesterday, Impax acknowledged the challenge and said U.S. sales of the drug were about $159 million for the year ending in September.

Once its application is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Impax “intends to commercialize the drug,” it said in the statement.

Teva, based in Petach Tikvah, Israel, the world’s largest generic-drugmaker, acquired Cephalon last month in a $6.8 billion deal.

The case is Cephalon Inc. v. Impax Laboratories Inc., 11- cv-1152, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Apple Wins Patent Fight With S3 Graphics at Trade Agency

Apple Inc. won a U.S. trade case brought by HTC Corp.’s S3 Graphics over a method of compressing images to appear three- dimensional on an electronic display.

The U.S. International Trade Commission said S3’s patent rights weren’t violated by Apple in a notice released yesterday on the agency’s website with the full decision to be released later. The commission gave no reason for its decision.

An agency judge found in July that Apple’s Mac computers infringed two S3 patents, while devices that run on the iOS mobile operating system, including the iPhone and iPad table computer, didn’t. The six-member commission reviewed the entire decision, including the effects of Apple’s agreements with Intel Corp. and Nvidia Corp. for graphics chips.

Phonemaker HTC, which announced it would buy closely held S3 for $300 million after the judge issued his findings, was counting on a victory to bolster its patent battles with Apple. The commission is also reviewing an agency judge’s determination that HTC infringed two Apple patents, and may take a look at a judge’s findings that cleared Apple of infringing HTC patents.

Apple and Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC have other patent- infringement cases against each other, and S3 has filed a second patent case against Apple at the trade agency. S3, of Fremont, California, makes image-compression technology and its Texture Compression feature is used in Nintendo Co.’s Wii and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation portable gaming systems.

The case is In the Matter of Certain Electronic Devices with Image Processing Systems, 337-724, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

Vivid Claims ‘HTC Vivid’ Smartphone Name Infringes Trademark

Vivid Entertainment Inc. LLC, a maker of adult films, is demanding HTC Corp. change the name of its HTV Vivid mobile phone, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The company, which may be best known for marketing of the Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton sex tapes, claims that the public may mistakenly assume an affiliation exists with the Taiwan-based mobile phone manufacturer, according to the newspaper.

Vivid sent HTC a cease-and-desist letter, threatening legal action if the name of the phone isn’t changed, the Herald reported.

HTC didn’t comment on the allegations, according to the newspaper.

Georgia Lottery Can’t Be Sued for Infringement, Court Rules

The Georgia Lottery Corp. won a trademark dispute against the holder of the “Moneybags” trademark, the Atlanta Journal- Constitution reported.

The state’s supreme court rejected a $5 million claim against the lottery by the holder of the mark who had licensed its use by the lottery from 1999 to 2002, according to the AJC.

The lottery’s ticket printer used the logo without permission in 2005 and 2007, the newspaper reported.

The high court said a legal doctrine known as “sovereign immunity” protected the state from liability, according to the AJC.

Texas Settles Battle With Volunteer Group Over ‘Alamo’ Mark

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the state have settled their trademark dispute, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Under the agreement, the state has the rights to “Alamo,” “The Alamo” and other logos, websites, names and titles related to museum and related service, according to the newspaper.

The Daughters of the Republic had been under fire for trying to register a trademark and entering into a $900,000 promotions contract that later was canceled, according to the Chronicle.

The Texas General Land Office and the Daughters will work out an agreement on how best to run the state historic site and generate enough money for needed repairs, the Chronicle reported.

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

Baidu Accused of Enabling Unauthorized Game Downloading

Baidu Inc., China’s biggest Internet company, is being sued for copyright infringement by a game-developers’ industry group, Agency France-Presse reported.

Content Provider Union is seeking 30 million yuan ($4.7 million) in compensation from Baidu for allegedly providing unauthorized downloads of more than 350 games for mobile devices designed by its members, according to AFP.

Baidu denied that it’s permitting users to link to any but authorized games, AFP reported.

A court in Beijing agreed to hear the case, according to the French news service.

Netflix’s Entry in Ireland May Be Slowed by Licensing Issues

Efforts by Netflix Inc., the mail-order and online video service, to enter the Irish market may be affected by existing licensing agreements Hollywood studios already have in place with British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc, the Irish Times reported.

Content from those studios is available to Sky’s Irish subscribers on digital platforms, according to the Irish Times.

The newspaper reports that the studios may not want to agree to Netflix’s model of subscription-based service instead of a per-transaction model.

Netflix, based in Los Gatos, California, has said it would start its Irish subscription service for online film and television streaming some time in 2012, Irish Times reported.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

DoubleLine Expert Disputes Trade-Secret Royalties Owed to TCW

An expert witness for DoubleLine Capital LP disputed the amount of trade-secret royalties his client owes to TCW Group Inc.

The expert, Michael Wallace, disagreed with the calculation performed by TCW’s expert. A California judge said he will rule on the matter by the end of January.

The case is Trust Co. of the West v. Gundlach, BC429385, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County (Los Angeles).

Ex-AllianceBernstein Employee to Plead Guilty, Lawyer Says

A former AllianceBernstein Holding LP employee accused of stealing software from the fund manager will plead guilty to computer trespass, his lawyer said.

Peter Jan, 35, who was an application support specialist at the investment-management company, was accused in April of stealing software used to send and receive messages related to clients’ securities transactions and charged with computer trespass, grand larceny and unlawful duplication of computer- related materials.

He will plead guilty today to one count of felony computer trespass as part of a deal with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office, said one of Jan’s attorneys, Jeremy Saland. Vance’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jan will be able to withdraw his plea to the felony count and plead instead to a misdemeanor charge of attempted criminal trespass if he completes 100 hours of community service and stays out of trouble, Saland said. As a result, Jan will face no jail time and no probation, Saland said.

“Unfortunately, AllianceBernstein, as an institution, was upset that it believed its proprietary and client information was compromised and potentially utilized by Mr. Jan,” Saland said. “In fact, it was not. This deal, which will not result in a felony conviction, accurately reflects that despite AllianceBernstein’s beliefs, prosecutors thoroughly investigated the case and ultimately agreed with our assertion.”

John Meyers, a spokesman for AllianceBernstein, didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment on the plea agreement.

Prosecutors said Jan gave notice to New York-based AllianceBernstein on March 8, 2010, and was supposed to leave the company 11 days later. On four occasions, prosecutors said, he downloaded software used by the company for FIX messages, a financial information exchange standard. Jan was fired on March 15, 2010.

Jan is admitting to unauthorized use of a computer and isn’t pleading to any theft “in any way,” Saland said.

A felony conviction carrying as much as four years in prison would “certainly preclude him from many career paths,” Saland said.

The case is People vs. Jan, 01784/2011, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan.)

IP Moves

Hogan Lovells Expands IP Practice With Automotive Expert

Hogan Lovells LLP hired Song Zhu for its IP practice, the Washington-based firm said in a statement.

Song, who does litigation and works with Chinese clients, joins from Cleveland’s Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP. Before he was a lawyer, he was a senior engineer at General Motors Co., where he did research on a variety of vehicle systems.

He has represented clients in patent and trade secret disputes and has done IP-related transactional work for clients in the semiconductor manufacturing, electronic device, telecommunication, computer systems and software, renewable energy, automotive systems, and medical device industries.

Song has a doctorate in automotive engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a law degree from Georgetown University

--With assistance from Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles and Chris Dolmetsch in New York. Editors: Mary Romano, Fred Strasser

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at vslindflor@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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