Bloomberg News

Neurovision, PepsiCo, Graffiti: Intellectual Property

August 13, 2014

Neurovision Medical Products Inc., a maker of medical instruments and devices, persuaded a federal judge to cancel a trademark belonging to competitor NuVasive Inc. (NUVA:US)

U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer in Los Angeles said in his order canceling the “Neurovision” mark, and ordering San Diego’s NuVasive not to use it, that without these actions Neurovision would suffer irreparable harm.

The order stems from a 2009 trademark case with a lengthy and complex procedural history.

In April, a federal jury in Los Angeles awarded Neurovision $30 million, finding that NuVasive fraudulently obtained its registration and willfully infringed a trademark.

This is the second trial related to the dispute. NuVasive successfully appealed an earlier $60 million, infringement verdict. The appeals court found that improper jury instructions had been given and sent the case back for retrial.

The case is Neurovision Medical Products Inc. v. NuVasive Inc., 09-cv-06988, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

PepsiCo Sued for $2 Billion Over Use of ‘Aunt Jemima’ Image

PepsiCo Inc. (PEP:US) and its Quaker Oats unit were sued for trademark infringement by the descendants of the woman on whom the “Aunt Jemima” product line was allegedly based. They are seeking $2 billion in damages.

In a suit filed in federal court in Chicago, the heirs said Anna Short Harrington’s image was used for profit without adequate compensation. The heirs asked to have Quaker Oats products banned in emerging markets in West Africa, saying the company should be punished for causing collateral economic injury to black Americans.

Jody Menaker, a spokeswoman for Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo, said in an e-mailed statement that the company doesn’t believe there’s any merit in the suit.

“People associate the Aunt Jemima brand with warmth, hospitality and comfort, and we stand by this heritage as well as the ways in which we do business,” she said.

The case is Hunter v. PepsiCo, 14-cv-06011, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

For more trademark news, click here


American Eagle Accused of Infringing Graffiti Artist’s Work

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (AEO:US), a retailer of youth-oriented clothing, was sued for copyright infringement over an eyeball by a Miami graffiti artist.

David Anasagasti, who works under the pseudonym “Ahol Sniffs Glue,” said two of his works featuring a signature eyeball motif are infringed in America Eagle ads.

The infringement occurs on the Pittsburgh-based company’s website, in window displays, on billboards and on in-store displays, according to a complaint Anasagasti filed in Manhattan federal court.

American Eagle didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the claims.

The case is Anasagasti v. American Eagle Outfitters Inc., 14-cv-05618, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Asustek Sued by VIA Over Trade Secret Misappropriation Claim

Asustek Computer Inc. (2357), a maker of computers and computer components, was sued for trade secret misappropriation by VIA Technologies Inc. (2388)

VIA said its proprietary information was brought to Asustek by defecting employees, including a former president. Asustek is accused of conducting a “carefully orchestrated scheme” that enabled a maker of digital photo frames to become a mass producer of complex computer chips almost overnight.

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

Both companies are based in Taiwan

The case is Via Technologies Inc., v. ASUS Computer International, 14-cv-03486, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at Andrew Dunn, Charles Carter

The Good Business Issue

Companies Mentioned

  • NUVA
    (NuVasive Inc)
    • $47.7 USD
    • 0.33
    • 0.69%
  • PEP
    (PepsiCo Inc)
    • $97.05 USD
    • -0.04
    • -0.04%
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