(This is a daily report on global news about patents, trademarks, copyright and other intellectual property topics. Updaets with Apple item in top section.)
Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Sanofi said a U.S. District Court in Massachusetts granted an injunction against a rival knee-pain injection made by Tokyo-based Seikagaku Corp.
The ruling restricts the introduction of the product ahead of a scheduled trial in April, Sanofi said in a statement.
In dispute is patent 7,931,030, which was issued in April to Genzyme Corp. Paris-based Sanofi acquired Genzyme in 2011.
China Experiences 34 Percent Increase in Patent Applications
The number of patent applications filed in China in 2011 increased 34 percent from the previous year’s total, according to Xinhua’s English-language website.
China’s intellectual property office said and Xinhua reported that 1.83 million applications were filed last year.
The number of patents granted rose 18 percent to 961,000 in 2011, according to Xinhua. The quality of Chinese patents is improving, the office’s Tian Lipu said at an IP rights conference reported by Xinhua.
Apple Seeks Patent on Password Secret Recovery System
Apple Inc., maker of the iPad and iPhone, applied for a patent on a technology that would permit users to store the passwords for their portable electronic devices in the devices’ power adapters.
According to application 20120005747, published yesterday in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, while devices are frequently lost or stolen when they are “out and about,” the power adapter is much less likely to disappear and is often carried separately from the device or left at home.
Instead of a power adapter, the application suggests that other peripheral devices could be used to store the password recovery secret, such as a portable hard drive, a network router, a flash drive, a remote control or an external monitor.
It is “inevitable” that users will forget their usernames or passwords necessary to access the device, according to the application. The result, Cupertino, California-based Apple said, is that many users choose not to employ a password, or select one that is so short or easily guessable that it provides minimum protection.
Apple applied for the patent in July.
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Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage
H&P’s Product ‘Recondition’ Program Won’t Be Revealed, FDA Says
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration won’t make public the details of H&P Industries Inc.’s plan to recondition more than $6 million worth of seized medical supplies so they’re safe for use, MSNBC reported.
The regulatory agency told MSNBC that H&P’s plan contains confidential information and trade secrets.
H&P, based in Hartland, Wisconsin, had its medical-wipe business shut down in June following reports that patients became ill or even died after using contaminated H&P products, according to MSNBC.
Under terms of the court order, H&P must destroy recalled products that can’t be reconditioned using a method approved by the FDA, MSNBC reported.
BandCamp Says Torrent Seekers Are Becoming Paying Customers
BandCamp, a San Francisco-based online music store, said many of its customers are buying music after looking for it for free on unauthorized sharing sites.
In a Jan. 3 blog posting, BandCamp said it’s learned it can “effectively compete with filesharing and other free distribution platforms.” Customers are deciding to buy the music legitimately because they don’t want to “have to sift through a bunch of torrent sites,” BandCamp said.
The company checks the search terms that have led customers to its site and often they will include the word “torrent.” That term refers to the BitTorrent protocol often used to share music or videos without authorization.
The company said that in December, artists whose work it sells through the website “raked in more than one million dollars in music and merchandise sales.” At least 40 percent of the time, customers are paying more than the asking price for name-your-price albums, and 53 percent of all purchases are made by customers from outside the U.S., BandCamp said.
In November, BandCamp co-founder Ethan Diamond told Bloomberg that 25,000 artists were signing up to sell their music through BandCamp each month. Artists can plug Bandcamp’s player into their websites to stream albums and sell or give away downloads. Some offer a free song in exchange for signing up for a mailing list.
U.K. IP Office Seeks Input on Digital Copyright Exchange
The U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office is seeking comment on the feasibility of a digital copyright exchange, according to a statement released by the office yesterday.
Comments are sought in conjunction with an independent study on the feasibility of developing such an exchange in the U.K.
Richard Hooper, who was appointed in November to head the study, said the establishment of a digital copyright exchange “is a controversial issue with strongly held opinions across the spectrum.” He is asking for hard data and evidence for or against the hypothesis that the U.K.’s present copyright system doesn’t work well in the digital age.
Deadline for submission to the office is Feb. 10. Although the study is independent, Hooper will submit his findings to the government before Parliament has its summer recess.
Hooper said in the statement he’s looking for input “to inform my thinking as a move to develop a concept for workable licensing solutions to problems identified.”
He previously headed independent review groups that looked at the U.K.’s Postal Services and helped choose the winning bid for an independently funded news group for Scotland, Wales and northern England.
For more copyright news, click here.
British Soccer Star Says Image Used Without His Permission
An image that appears to John Terry, captain of the Chelsea soccer club, is being used without his authorization on cigarette packages as part of an Indian anti-smoking campaign, the BBC reported.
Terry’s management group told the BBC that no permission had been given, and that the use of the image is now being investigated by its legal team.
One official at the Indian agency responsible for the ad said the image isn’t Terry and is “purely a piece of artistic imagination,” according to the BBC.
The image appears on cigarette packages above the text “Smoking Kills,” the BBC reported.
For more trademark news, click here.
Kaye Scholer Expands Asian IP Practice, Hires Grace L. Pan
Kaye Scholer LLP hired Grace L. Pan for its IP practice, the New York based firm said in a statement.
Pan, a litigator, is registered as a Gaikokuho Jimu Bengoshi, which gives her limited practice rights in Japan. She joins Kaye Scholer from Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP, also of New York.
She has represented clients from the U.S., Japan and Taiwan whose technologies have included polymer chemistry, medical devices and semiconductors. In addition to litigation, she also does patent, trademark, copyright and domain-name acquisition work.
Pan has an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry from Lewis & Clark College, a second undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Scripps College and a law degree from Northwestern University.
RatnerPrestia Hires Patent Specialist Derek Richmond From Nath
RatnerPrestia hired patent specialist Derek Richmond, the Valley Forge, Pennsylvania-based firm said in a statement.
Richmond joins from the Nath Law Group of Alexandria, Virginia, where he did IP litigation and patent acquisition work, and also assisted clients with licensing negotiations.
Before he was a lawyer, Richmond worked as an engineer in the automotive industry. He has also done engineering work in connection with the design of industrial furnaces for heat- treating materials.
Richmond has an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Lawrence Technological University and a law degree from George Washington University.
--With assistance from John Tozzi in New York. Editors: Mary Romano, Stephen Farr
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