Bloomberg News

Neway Valve, Pfizer, Constellation: Intellectual Property (1)

March 14, 2014

Neway Valve (Suzhou) Co. (603699) of China was accused in a lawsuit brought by the state of Oklahoma of competing unfairly through the use of unlicensed software.

Neway competed unfairly with other valve makers including Oklahoma City-based Kimray Inc. by under-licensing software for use in its business, according to the complaint filed in Oklahoma state court yesterday.

The state said that although the company may have as many as 1,400 desktop computers in its Chinese facilities, it has bought fewer than 400 software licenses and the law requires one license per computer.

Suzhou, China-based Neway didn’t respond immediately to an e-mail request for comment on the lawsuit.

The case is State of Oklahoma v. Neway Valve Co., CJ-2014-1482, District Court of Oklahoma County, State of Oklahoma.

Smartphones, Cloud Face Copyright Tax Under Law, PC World Says

The European Parliament passed a law that could extend copyright levies to cloud services as well as mobile devices, PC World reported.

Such taxes currently apply to products that enable the copying of content, such as printers, according to PC World.

Consumers who buy electronic devices such as tablets or smartphones would also be subject to the tax, even if they never use the devices to make copies, PC World said.

For more copyright news, click here.

Patents

Pfizer Seen Facing Celebrex Copies in May After Patent Loss

Pfizer Inc. (PFE:US), the world’s biggest drugmaker, faces competition to its $3 billion arthritis pill Celebrex in May after a federal judge invalidated a patent that could have delayed generic versions of the medicine.

A patent expiring in December 2015 was invalid because it wasn’t different enough from one ending in May, a federal judge in Norfolk, Virginia, said March 12 in a victory for companies including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA), Mylan Inc., and Lupin Ltd. (LPC)

Pfizer “will pursue all available remedies, including an immediate appeal of the court’s decision,” the company said in a statement.

Actavis Plc (ACT:US) and Mylan said they plan to begin selling a generic Celebrex in May, as long as they get regulatory approval.

The case is G.D. Searle LLC v. Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc., 13-cv-00121, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Norfolk).

Overstock Says Patent Firms Drop Cases After Pledge to Fight

Overstock.com Inc. (OSTK:US), the online discount retailer, won dismissal of two lawsuits brought by firms that specialize in acquiring patents to obtain royalties from other companies.

Overstock, based in Salt Lake City, said in a statement yesterday that after it pledged not to settle the infringement cases, the plaintiffs, which it described as “patent trolls,” “just walked away.”

The term “patent troll” is sometimes used to disparage companies that don’t make the products covered by the patents they own and instead sue others for infringement to force a cash settlement.

One suit, brought by Eclipse IP LLC in April, accused Overstock of infringing three patents. That case was dismissed Feb. 24, according to court records.

The other suit was brought in May 2012, alleging that Overstock infringed a single patent. Plaintiff Execware LLC dropped that case in a March 7 court filing.

The cases are Eclipse IP LLC v. Overstock.com Inc., 2:13-cv-00293, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Marshall); and Execware LLC v. Overstock.com Inc., 1:12-cv-00559, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

Constellation Brands Told to Quit Selling ‘Rosatello’ Wine

Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ:US), which markets wine, beer and distilled spirits in North America, Europe and Australia, was ordered by a federal court in California to stop selling wine under the “Rosatello” label.

San Antonio Winery Inc. of Los Angeles sued Constellation in August 2013, claiming the wine infringed its “Stella Rosa” mark, used with a low-alcohol semisweet sparkling wine.

The case is San Antonio Winery Inc. v. Constellation Brands Inc., 13-cv-06409, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

For more trademark news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Toshiba Corp. Memory Secrets Allegedly Leaked to Competitor

An ex-employee of a chipmaker that worked with Toshiba Corp. (6502) is being questioned in connection with allegations he leaked the company’s data to a South Korean company, the Yomiuri Shimbun of Japan reported.

The secrets he’s accused of leaking are related to a Toshiba memory product, the newspaper said.

The former employee of the chipmaker allegedly copied research data onto a storage device and brought it with him to a new job with the Korean company, according to the newspaper.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net Andrew Dunn, Stephen Farr


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    (Actavis plc)
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