BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (BCLI:US), a developer of adult stem-cell technologies, received a U.S. patent for the use of proprietary stem cells to secrete elevated levels of proteins for treating neurodegenerative diseases.
Patent 8,663,987 covers the use of two cells that could reestablish nerve-muscle interaction and potentially treat Parkinsonâs disease, according to the patent, issued March 4.
Luxembourg Ordered to Give EU Tax-Deal Detail Amid Aid Probe
European Union competition watchdogs ordered Luxembourg to hand over details of tax breaks for businesses after they said the Grand Duchy was hindering a state-aid probe spanning several EU nations.
Luxembourg refused to deliver details concerning the 100 largest companies benefiting from a special program for companies whose profits stem from intellectual-property rights, the European Commission said in an e-mailed statement. The nation also failed to provide a specific overview of its tax deals with certain companies in 2011 and 2012.
The commission started quizzing Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands last year on their tax practices to determine whether selective advantages were granted amid a global crackdown on tax-avoidance. Lawmakers in the U.S., the U.K., France and Italy have scrutinized companies such as Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ:US), Apple Inc., Google Inc. (GOOG:US) and Amazon.com Inc.
Most government support, including specific tax breaks, that enable companies to gain an unfair advantage over competitors is illegal under EU rules.
Several EU nations have introduced special tax systems for IP rights meant to stimulate innovation and investments in new technologies. Such programs include so-called patent boxes allowing tax reductions on income from patents.
The Luxembourg program, started in 2008, allows a tax exemption of 80 percent of profits derived from the use or licensing of IP rights such as patents, trademarks, designs, models, Internet domain names and software copyrights, according to the commission statement.
“Luxembourg remains committed to fully cooperate with the commission within the cooperative mechanisms foreseen by EU law,” it said.
Freescale Patent Plane Crash Theory Is Debunked by Snopes.com
A widely circulated theory that the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines (MLYAF:US) Flight MH370 was related to a newly issued “highly valuable” U.S. patent was debunked on the Snopes.com website.
Four of the five “patent holders” were on the flight and their presumed deaths supposedly would have left Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (FSL:US) as the sole owner of patent 8,677,205, according to Snopes.
Snopes said that the so-called patent-holders are actually the inventors and Freescale employees and that the patent owner -- listed on the patent document as the assignee -- is Austin, Texas-based Freescale.
The patent covers an improvement in the chip-manufacturing process, not a “breakthrough” product, Snopes reported.
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Air Force-Licensed Trademarks Fund Enlistee Welfare, Recreation
The U.S. Air Force Trademark and Licensing Office has given more than $352,0000 to programs providing morale, welfare and recreation activities for enlisted personnel and their families, according to an Air Force statement.
The revenue is derived from licenses that permit manufacturers to make and sell thousands of products under the Air Force brand. Licensees range from small startups to large companies that include Adidas AG (ADS) and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. (CBRL:US), the Air Force said.
In the past five years, the number of USAF licensees has increased 400 percent, according to the statement.
Nice Jewish Guys Calendar Asks Naughty Calendar to Halt Sales
The creator of the “Naughty Jewish Boys” calendar said that while his product that features “sexy Jewish men” is a riff on the “Nice Jewish Guys” calendar, he didn’t intend for anyone to assume the two products were affiliated.
In a statement posted on the Naughty website, calendar creator Duncan Pflaster said he was only offering an alternative and that objections from the Nice calendar are “weak” given that the “Nice Jewish Guys” trademark registration contains a disclaimer that it doesn’t claim the exclusive right to use “Jewish Guys” apart from the trademark as listed.
Counsel for Nice sent Naughty a cease-and-desist letter March 4, accusing Naughty of infringement and demanding that promotion and sale of the Naughty calendar be halted by the end of March.
IOC Says No to Plans for Trademark Based on Botched Ceremony
The International Olympic Committee said it will oppose an application by a Russian businessman to register as a trademark the four-rings-and-a-snowflake pattern at the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony, Associated Press reported.
The pattern was the result of the failure of the fifth ring to open during the ceremony, according to AP.
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Penguin Random House Unit Sued Over Book About Holocaust Escape
Penguin Random House LLC’s Penguin Canada unit was sued in Canadian federal court for copyright infringement by an Israeli journalist who claims the book “My Mother’s Secret” infringes her documentary film about her family’s rescue during the Holocaust, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.
Judy Maltz sued author Jenney Witterick as well as the publisher, claiming the book includes “countless” details copied from her film, according to Haaretz.
The newspaper reported that both the author and the publisher deny infringing the copyright.
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