Bloomberg News

Kimberly-Clark, RDA Micro, Facebook: Intellectual Property

March 28, 2012

Kimberly-Clark Corp. (KMB:US)’s Kimberly- Clark Worldwide Inc. sued Valor Brands LLC for patent infringement.

The lawsuit, filed March 26 in federal court in Green Bay, Wisconsin, accused Valor and Puebla, Mexico-based Grupo P.I. Mabe SA of infringing four patents related to disposable training pants.

Kimberly-Clark, based in Dallas, has filed at least five infringement suits over disposable diapers since 2009, and is the defendant in several other cases.

Valor, based in Alpharetta, Georgia, is accused of selling and distributing infringing training pants under the “Roundy’s,” “Meijer” and “DG Toddler” names. Mabe manufactures the training pants.

In dispute are patents 6,307,119, issued in October 2001; 6,318,555, issued in November 2001; 6,491,165, issued in December 2002; and 7,021,466, issued in April 2006.

Kimberly-Clark claims it has been damaged by the sale of infringing products and seeks money damages, litigation costs and attorney fees. Claiming the infringement is deliberate, the company asked that the damages be tripled.

Valor didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the lawsuit.

Kimberly-Clark is represented by Daniel T. Flaherty and Anthony S. Baish of Godfrey & Kahn SC of Milwaukee.

The case is Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc., v. Valor Brands LLC, 1:12-cv-00298-WCG, U.s. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin (Green Bay).

RDA Microelectronics Buys Coolsand IP Assets for $46 Million

RDA Microelectronics Inc. (RDA:US), a Shanghai-based designer of semiconductors, acquired the baseband intellectual property assets of Coolsand Holding Co. (COOLSANZ) for $46 million.

Coolsand will receive $20 million in cash and 15 million RDA shares, according to a joint statement. Both companies are owned by affiliates of Warburg Pincus LLC.

RDA said the acquired IP will help it increase the silicon content in each handset and expand its product offerings.

For more patent news, click here.

Trademarks

Facebook User Agreement Hints at ‘Book’ Trademark Application

Facebook Inc. (FB:US), which operates the world’s biggest social- networking site, may be planning to register “book” as a trademark.

The Menlo Park, California-based company is making a change in the newest version of its statement of rights and responsibilities to which users must agree.

Under the “protecting other people’s rights sections,” users must agree not to use the company’s copyrights or trademarks. The agreement lists trademarks and includes “book” among the terms.

According to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Facebook doesn’t have an application to register “book.” The only pending application for the term was filed in July 2011 by Peg Perego SpA of Arcore, Italy, a maker of baby carriages.

Facebook officials didn’t immediately respond to an e- mailed request for comment on the potential trademark application.

Trayvon Martin’s Mother Applies Applies for ‘Trayvon’ Trademarks

The mother of the 17-year-old boy shot and killed by a member of a neighborhood watch committee in Sanford, Florida, is seeking trademarks that include her son’s first name.

Sabrina Fulton of Orlando, Florida, filed two applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office March 21 to register “I am Trayvon” and “Justice for Trayvon.”

Her son Trayvon Martin died Feb. 26 after being shot by George Zimmerman. According to news accounts, Martin was unarmed. President Barack Obama addressed the killing, saying “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

The applications were filed on Fulton’s behalf by Kimra Major-Morris of Major-Morris Law, also in Orlando. According to the applications, Fulton plans to use the marks for digital materials related to her son.

Maori Artists’ ‘Toi Iho’ Trademark Gets New Administrator Group

A new organization has been established to manage a New Zealand trademark to be used by Maori artists, the Rotorua Daily Post reported.

The “Toi Iho” mark for Maori artwork was initially managed by Creative New Zealand, which divested it in 2009, and now will be administered by the new organization, called TIKI, according to the newspaper.

Artists who wish to use the mark will have to prove their heritage as indigenous Maori, according to the Daily Post. The mark will cover the visual arts, performance, music, drama and literature, the Post reported.

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

Telefonica’s O2 ISP Must Give Subscriber Data to Pornographer

Telefonica SA (TEF)’s Telefonica O2 UK Ltd. unit must hand over personal details of 9,000 of its broadband subscribers to a maker of adult films, the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper reported.

While the high court authorized the release of information as in a copyright-infringement dispute, it said the filmmaker’s plan to demand 700 pounds ($1,118) from each of those accused of unauthorized file-sharing was “unsupportable,” according to the Telegraph.

The demand letter from the filmmaker Golden Eye International may cause the recipients “unnecessary distress” because it could be read as a threat to make their names public, the court said and the Telegraph reported.

The court rejected other applications seeking personal data from O2 subscribers in favor of Golden Eye because it will pursue the alleged illegal downloaders on its own rather than passing on the data to a third-party enforcer, according to the newspaper.

Zee TV Drops Copyright Case Against News Corp. (NWSA:US)’s Star (India)

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (Z)’s Zee TV unit withdrew a copyright-infringement lawsuit against News Corp.’s Star (India) TV and television producer Gajendra Singh, the Times of India reported.

The suit, filed five years ago, was related to shows based on the Indian musical word game Antakshari that were similar to a show running on Zee TV since 1993, according to the newspaper.

In 2007, the court found there had been “passing off” and ordered a Star (India) version off the air, the Times reported.

Hungary Panel Blames University in President Plagiarism Case

A commission charged with examining allegations that Hungarian President Pal Schmitt plagiarized his doctoral dissertation blamed the university for overlooking similarities with previous works.

The probe was started after local news website HVG.hu reported on Jan. 11 that Schmitt copied word for word about 180 pages in his 215-page thesis from Bulgarian sports researcher Nikolay Gueorguiev. The news website Index later reported that other paragraphs were plagiarized from another work.

The commission set up by Semmelweis University confirmed that 180 pages of Schmitt’s 1992 thesis were “partially identical” to Gueorguiev’s work, according to excerpts of the report posted on the Budapest-based university’s website yesterday. Schmitt made no direct references to his sources in the text and used no quotation marks, footnotes or endnotes to identify borrowed passages, the commission said in the report.

The university “made a professional mistake by not discovering the identical text in time and made the author believe that his dissertation met the standards,” the commission said.

A spokeswoman for Schmitt declined to comment on the commission’s report, asking not to be identified citing the policy of the presidential office.

In an interview with public radio station MR1-Kossuth in January, Schmitt denied the plagiarism accusation, saying he used a total of 21 sources in his work.

Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party, of which Schmitt, 69, is a former vice-president, said it regards the matter as “closed” after the commission’s report, spokeswoman Gabriella Selmeczi said in an e-mailed statement.

Former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, a member of the opposition Democratic Coalition party, said the findings “will make Schmitt’s moral downfall even more obvious than before, if that’s at all possible.”

Hungary’s prime minister has the bulk of executive power, while the president’s role is largely ceremonial. Schmitt’s responsibilities include signing bills into law, with the option of sending legislation back to lawmakers for reconsideration or to the Constitutional Court for a legal probe.

Righthaven Defendant Seeks Appeal Dismissal for Non-Prosecution

A defendant in a lawsuit brought by Righthaven LLC, the Las Vegas-based organization set up to enforce the copyrights of Stephens Media Group’s newspapers, asked a U.S. appeals court to dismiss the case.

Realty One Group Inc., a Las Vegas real-estate brokerage, was among the targets of more than 200 infringement lawsuits filed by Righthaven. The cases largely stalled after courts expressed skepticism about whether Righthaven had standing to pursue the claims. Some cases were dismissed outright and attorney fees were awarded to the defendants.

Righthaven didn’t pay the fees, so courts awarded some of the copyrights it sought to enforce to defendants, court records show. The Righthaven domain name was put up for auction and the company’s chief executive officer is now practicing law with a Detroit-based firm.

In the Realty One case, the brokerage was accused of making an unauthorized reproduction of a news story about Fannie Mae’s “First Start” program and posting it on the company’s website.

Last year, Righthaven appealed an adverse ruling it received in the case. On March 23, Realty One filed a motion asking the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco to dismiss the lawsuit, citing what court rules call “a failure to prosecute.” Righthaven didn’t file an opening brief on Feb. 10 as directed by the court’s schedule and hasn’t requested an extension, Realty One said.

Realty One is represented by Todd William Baxter and Anne Elizabeth Padgett of Fresno, California-based McCormick, Barstow, Sheppard, Wayte & Carruth LLP.

The appeal is Righthaven LLC v. Realty One Group Inc., 11- 15714, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The lower court case is Righthaven LLC v. Realty One Group Inc., 2:10-cv- 01036-LRH-PAL, U.S. District Court, District of Nevada (Las Vegas). For more copyright news, click here

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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Companies Mentioned

  • KMB
    (Kimberly-Clark Corp)
    • $106.39 USD
    • 0.37
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