(This is a daily report on global news about patents, trademarks, copyright and other intellectual property topics. Updates with University of Washington-Samsung in Patent section.)
Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Mylan Inc. won an appeals court ruling in its bid to sell generic versions of Warner Chilcott Plc’s antibiotic Doryx.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington said a judge erred when granting an order that bans Mylan from selling the copy while a patent-infringement suit is pending. The judge should have listened to some of the expert testimony in the case before ruling, the appeals court said as it returned the case to the trial court for further proceedings.
Doryx generated sales of $127 million in the first nine months of the year, Dublin-based Warner Chilcott said Nov. 4, or about 6 percent of the company’s total revenue. Warner Chilcott contends that Mylan shouldn’t be allowed to sell low-cost versions of the medicine until patent 6,958,161, which covers a modified coating for the drug expires in December 2022.
Mylan contends that the patent is invalid, and the Federal Circuit said the Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, company’s arguments weren’t addressed when District Judge William Martini in Newark, New Jersey, ruled that Warner Chilcott was likely to win the case.
A trial in the underlying patent dispute may be held next month, and the Federal Circuit said the judge could consider issuing a temporary order banning Mylan’s copy until that time.
The case is Warner Chilcott Laboratories Ireland Ltd. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., 2011-1611, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington). The lower court case is Warner Chilcott Laboratories v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., 09-cv-2073, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).
Metso’s Damages in Patent Case Against Terex Doubled by Judge
Metso Oyj’s damages in a patent-infringement case against Powerscreen International Distribution have been increased to $31.6 million, according to a Dec. 8 court ruling.
The Helsinki-based maker of process machinery sued Powerscreen, now known as Terex Corp., in federal court in Central Islip, New York, in 2006. The suit was related to patent 5,577,618, covering a mobile processing plant for aggregate.
In December 2010, a jury awarded Metso $15.9 million in damages, and said the infringement was deliberate. A temporary order barring infringement of the patent was replaced in July 2011 by a permanent order barring Terex from making and selling seven different devices that were found to have infringed the patent. Terex is also not allowed to import them into the U.S.
In his Dec. 8 order, U.S. District Judge Arthur D. Spatt doubled the damages.
He denied Metso’s request for attorney fees, saying that even though Terex “did employ some marginally vexations litigation tactics,” he recognized that “this case has been high staked from its inception” and “litigation by its nation is adversarial and often zealous advocacy can cross the fine line between fervor and offense.”
Taking that into consideration, he said the defense “did not act beyond the bounds of civility.”
He asked Metso to take another look at the litigation costs of $2.8 million they are seeking. He said that while some of the costs fall into permissible categories, “many of the costs are for expenditure that are now allowable.” Metso has until Dec. 18 to submit a new bill of costs.
The case is Metso Minerals Inc., v. Powerscreen International Distribution Ltd., 06-cv-01446, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Central Islip).
Samsung Sued by University of Washington Over Use of NXP Chips
Samsung Electronics Co. was sued for patent infringement by the technology licensing agency of the University of Washington.
According to the complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Seattle, the university has a license to a suite of patents for chipset technology developed by Edwin A. Suominen related to radio frequency receiver technology used in data communications including Bluetooth.
The university said others have taken license to the patents, including Broadcom Corp., Erickson AB, Infineon Technologies AB and Toshiba Corp.
Samsung products are accused of containing chipsets made by NXP Semiconductor NV that are unlicensed and infringing.
Specifically, the University objects to Samsung’s HotSpot SGH-T409 and Katalyst SGH-T739 phones. It said it will investigate during the course of litigation to see if other Samsung products also contain infringing chipsets.
The school asked the court for awards of money damages, attorney fees and litigation costs.
Samsung didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment.
The university is represented by C. Dean Little and Jonathan Yeh of Blank Law & Technology PS of Seattle.
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CPC Properties Crabs About Other Restaurants’ Use of Trademarks
CPC Properties Inc., the Wilmington, Delaware-based parent of the Chickie’s & Pete’s crab house and sports bar chain, has filed two trademark-infringement suits in efforts to protect its “crabfries” mark.
According to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, CPC registered the trademark in December 2009. The company also has a second trademark “Chickie’S & Pete’s Famous Crabfries” it registered in November 2007.
The company has filed infringement suits against restaurants in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, and Westminster, Maryland. In both cases it’s objecting to names that it claims infringe on its marks.
In a Dec. 5 filing, North Carolina’s S. Myers Corp responded by saying that it didn’t infringe, and that its use of “crabby fries” wasn’t so similar to CPC’s marks.
It does business as “Crabby Fries,” and has a page on Facebook Inc.’s social media site. Despite inquiries posted by news reporters and fans of the restaurant, Crabby Fries says it won’t comment on the case.
The Maryland restaurant, New York J&P Pizza, hasn’t yet responded to the complaint in a court filing.
The case against the Maryland restaurant is CPC Properties Inc. v. S. Myers Corp., 2:11-cv-00051, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina. The case against the Maryland restaurant is CPC Properties Inc. v. New York J&P Pizza, 2:11-cv-06731-CDJ, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).
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Google Chairman Assails Anti-Piracy Bills in U.S. Congress
Google Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt assailed Hollywood-backed legislation aimed at curbing online piracy, saying that measures under consideration by the U.S. House and Senate would spur censorship of the Internet.
Requiring Internet-service providers and search engines to remove links to websites accused of trafficking in counterfeit movies and music would amount to “censorship” and set a bad example for other countries, Schmidt said after a speech in Washington.
The House Judiciary Committee may vote this week on a bill supported by movie studios and the recording industry that would let the U.S. Justice Department seek court orders forcing Internet-service providers, search engines, payment services and advertising networks to block or cease business with foreign websites linked to piracy.
“Their goal is reasonable, and the mechanism is terrible,” Schmidt said during a question-and-answer session with reporters. “By criminalizing links, what these bills do is they force you to take content off the Internet. By doing so it’s a form of censorship.”
Representative Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has said he plans to hold a committee vote before year-end on the Stop Online Piracy Act, which he introduced.
Google, Facebook Inc. and other Web companies said in a Nov. 15 letter that the House measure and a similar bill in the Senate would create “new uncertain liabilities” for Internet companies and asked lawmakers to seek “more targeted ways” to combat “rogue” websites in other countries.
Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, and Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican, unveiled a draft measure meant as an alternative to the Hollywood-backed bills. The Wyden-Issa proposal would give the International Trade Commission the lead role in fighting foreign websites trafficking in illegal content and counterfeit goods.
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Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage
Global Cooling’s Trade Secrets Case Moved to Federal Court
A trade secrets case Global Cooling Inc., a maker of ultra- cold laboratory freezers, filed against a Dutch company has been moved from Ohio state court to federal court in Columbus, Ohio.
Global Cooling of York Township, Ohio, is suing E.G. Sagittar BV of Doetinchem, in the Netherlands, over an agreement that included transfer of intellectual property the Ohio company claims is worth 11.9 million euros ($15.7 million).
The suit, originally filed in Athens County, Ohio, Nov. 7, alleged that Saggitar had agreed to acquire all of Global Cooling’s IP in return for 45 percent of the shares in the Dutch company in the first stage of a transaction.
In the second state, Saggitar would be merged into Microgen Engine Corp. Holding, with 25 percent of its shares issued to Saggitar’s shareholders, which included Global Cooling.
Global Cooling said that despite a written agreement memorializing these transactions, it’s never received any shares, and it claims that Saggitar and Microgen are trying to pull the merger together without any involvement from then Ohio company.
If the merger goes through, Global Cooling said it will lose control of its designs and IP. It asked the court either to order the return of the IP or to award it damages related to their value. Additionally, it asked that the damages be tripled and for awards of litigation costs and attorney fees.
On Dec. 5 court filing, Sagittar said state court wasn’t the proper venue for the dispute because it isn’t a citizen of Ohio, and asked for the suit’s refilling in federal court. The Sagittar filing didn’t address the allegations in the state- court complaint.
The case is Global Cooling Inc., v. E.C. Sagittar BV, 2:11- cv-01083-GCS-MRA, U.s. District Court, Southern District of Ohio (Columbus).
--With assistance from Susan Decker and Eric Engleman in Washington. Editors: Mary Romano, Glenn Holdcraft.
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