Bloomberg News

Metabolon, Google, Gilead: Intellectual Property

August 29, 2012

Metabolon Inc., a medical diagnostics company, sued a Madison, Wisconsin-based competitor for patent infringement.

Stemina Biomarker Discovery Inc. is accused of infringing patents 7,550,258 and 7,910,301. The patents, which Metabolon owns jointly with the Cornell Research Foundation Inc., cover methods of drug discovery, disease treatment and diagnosis using the study of the chemical processes of metabolites.

According to the complaint, Stemina offers services based on identifying metabolites and biomarkers of biological processes that infringe both patents. They include services that use brain tumor stem cells, human embryonic stem cells, and human and animal tissue and fluid, according to court papers.

Metabolon, based in Durham, North Carolina, claims it offered Stemina a license with “reasonable financial terms.” After almost five months of negotiations, Stemina refused to take a license, Metabolon claimed.

Metabolon asked the court for an order barring further infringement and for awards of money damages, litigation costs and attorney fees. Alleging the infringement is deliberate, Metabolon requested that the damages be tripled to punish Stemina for its actions.

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

The case is Metabolon Inc., v. Stemina Biomarker Discover Inc., 3:12-cv-00618, U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin (Madison).

Google’s Motorola Mobility Sued Over Cloud-Data Patents

The Motorola Mobility unit of Google Inc. (GOOG:US), the world’s most popular Internet search engine, was sued by a patent holder claiming infringement of two U.S. patents for applications allowing remote data access from handheld devices.

Clouding IP LLC contends Motorola Mobility, based in Libertyville, Illinois, is violating the patents awarded in 2005 and 2007 by marketing its ZumoCast and MotoCast products, according to a complaint filed Aug. 27 in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Clouding, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, said in court papers that it should be paid “a reasonable royalty” to compensate for damages. In dispute are patents 6,925,481 and 7,254,621.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, completed the purchase of Motorola Mobility in May in its biggest takeover, boosting its patent portfolio and stepping up competition with Apple Inc. (AAPL:US), based in Cupertino, California.

Android software, which Google offers at no cost to mobile device makers, leads the smartphone market. Google-powered devices accounted for 56 percent of global sales in the first three months of the year, compared with 23 percent for Apple’s iPhone, according to Gartner Inc.

Christa Smith, a Motorola Mobility spokeswoman, declined to comment on the suit.

The case is Clouding IP LLC v. Motorola Mobility, 1:12-cv- 01078, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Gilead’s 4-in-1 Pill Wins U.S. Approval for New HIV Patients

Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD:US), the world’s biggest maker of AIDS drugs, won U.S. approval to sell a pill for new HIV patients that combines four of the company’s drugs into one.

The therapy, called Stribild, was cleared as a medicine that will help simplify patients’ treatment regimens, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Aug. 27 in a statement. Stribild contains two new drugs and two previously approved compounds that make up Foster City, California-based Gilead’s Truvada HIV medicine.

The new treatment, previously referred to as Quad, will help make up for a potential $5 billion in lost sales when Gilead’s other HIV drugs lose patent protection starting in 2018 and face generic competition, said Robyn Karnauskas, an analyst with Deutsche Bank Securities in New York. Stribild may generate $4.7 billion in peak annual sales, she said.

“It’s a big deal for Gilead,” Karnauskas said in a telephone interview before the FDA’s decision. “It offers convenience for patients that never had it before and a better side-effect profile.”

Karnauskas estimated that about 35 percent of new patients will use the drug, at a cost of as much as $29,000 a year. About 1.2 million people in the U.S. have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 50,000 people become infected each year.

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

Collegiate Licensing Tells Bakery It Can’t Use Alabama’s ‘A’

Forstman Little & Co.’s Collegiate Licensing unit told a bakery in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to quit selling cookies decorated with the letter “A,” Associated Press reported.

The licensing group told Mary’s Cakes & Pastries it must not use trademarks associated with the University of Alabama, to which the group provides licensing services, according to AP.

The bakery was also told to send the licensing company a list of infringing merchandise it had sold and to determine damages and legal costs for unauthorized use of the trademarks, the news service reported.

Mary Cesar, owner of the bakery, told AP that while she was aware of licensing issues and wouldn’t use characters from Disney on her cakes, she didn’t think putting a letter “A” on a cookie should be such a problem.

Toys ‘R’ Us Accused of Infringing ‘Hunka-Ta-Bunk-Ta’ Trademark

Toys “R” Us Inc. (TOYS:US), the Wayne, New Jersey-based retail chain, was sued for trademark infringement by a Colorado-based creator of children’s music and products.

According to the complaint filed Aug. 27 in federal court in Denver, the retailer is accused of selling under its private label stuffed animal toys that infringe Katherine Dines’s “Hunka-Ta-Bunk-Ta” trademark. She registered the mark in July 1997 and has used it continually for children’s music and related products, Dines said in her complaint.

Dines said she sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company in May and in response Toys “R” Us told her it was “unable to identify any products” it sold that used her mark.

Dines claims that Toys “R” Us continued to advertise and sell infringing products on its website and in its stores.

She said after additional efforts on her part, the offending items were taken down from the website. In the suit, she claims the retailer still used the mark to identify its product in keyword advertising and in website metadata.

Dines asked the court to find that Toys “R” Us infringed her marks deliberately, and for awards of money damages, profits the retailer derived from its alleged infringement and attorney fees and litigation costs.

Toys R Us doesn’t comment on pending litigation, company spokeswoman Kathleen Waugh said in an e-mail yesterday.

The case is Dines v. Toys “R” Us Inc., 12-cv-03379, U.S. District Court, District of Colorado (Denver).

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

BSH Says Thermador Ads Don’t Infringe Julia Child’s IP Rights

BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeraete GmbH’s BSH Home Appliances unit asked a federal court in Boston to declare it’s not infringing copyrights or trademarks related to the late Julia Child.

The company, which makes Thermador home appliances, said Child’s preference for and use of Thermador products at home and on the set of her “The French Chef” television program “is well-known and widely documented.”

After Child died in 2004, a replica of her kitchen -- containing her Thermador oven -- was donated to the Smithsonian Institution, where it is presently on display, the company said in its pleadings.

Images of Child and reference to “the well-known historical fact of her use of Thermador products” has been used on the Thermador website and on its social media pages, the company said. BSH claims this use “reflects the long history, significance and influence of Thermador products on American society and culture” and Child’s use of them rather than any endorsement by the late chef.

Thermador was sent a cease-and-desist letter in July by the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, accusing the company of copyright and trademark infringement, according to the complaint. BSH asked the court to declare it isn’t infringing and has the right to continue to make reference to Julia Child in connection with its “historical presentations.”

BSH also seeks litigation costs and attorney fees.

The foundation didn’t yet have a formal statement in response to the suit, Todd Shulkin, its intellectual-property manager, said in an e-mail.

The case is BSH Home Appliances Corp. v. The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, 12-cv-11590, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

Bollywood Film Plagiarized Script, Indian Screenwriter Claims

The makers of the 2011 comedy film “Desi Boyz” were targeted in a copyright-infringement complaint by Indian screenwriter and director Shyam Devkatte, the Bollywood Life website reported.

Devkatte told police the film’s director plagiarized a story he registered in 2008, according to the website.

He said that the script was copied after he submitted it to producers, according to Bollywood Life.

The “Desi Boyz” director was sent a summons to appear in connection with the case, Bollywood Life reported.

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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