Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Nokia Oyj’s preliminary victory in
its efforts to collect royalties from Taiwanese phonemaker HTC
Corp. will be reviewed by a U.S. trade agency with the power to
keep the smartphones from entering the country.
The U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington will
consider parts of a judge’s findings that HTC violated two Nokia
patents and not a third, the agency said in a notice dated Dec.
9 and posted on its website yesterday. The six-member
commission, which is being asked to block HTC phones that
infringe the patents, is scheduled to make a final decision by
Nokia, once the biggest maker of mobile phones that has
since sold its handset business, has filed patent-infringement
complaints against HTC throughout the U.S. and Europe. HTC on
Dec. 3 was banned from selling its One Mini phone in the U.K.
after it was found to infringe a Nokia patent there, though it
was given time to appeal.
ITC Judge Thomas Pender in September found HTC violated
Nokia’s patent 6,292,260, covering a way to remove errors in
radio signals; and patent 7,415,247, for a process of dealing
with different radio frequencies. No infringement was found of
Nokia’s patent 5,884,190, which covers a method of transmitting
data from a computer to a mobile phone, which Google Inc. helped
Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC challenge. It was directed at phones
running on Google’s Android operating system.
HTC, which is challenging the infringement finding, argued
in a filing with the agency that its products shouldn’t be cut
from the U.S. market even if it loses. It said the case is part
of an effort by companies like Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. to
curtail the growth of Android phones in the U.S.
The case targets HTC phones including the Amaze 4G, One,
Rhyme and Vivid, as well as the Flyer and Jetstream tablet
computers. Nokia has a second trade case pending against HTC at
Nokia is selling its handset business to Microsoft,
enabling it to demand excessive royalties on its patents without
fear of facing an infringement case against its own products,
HTC told the agency.
Dow AgroSciences Receives U.S. Patent Related to Enlist Corn
Dow Chemical Co.’s Dow AgroSciences unit received a patent
on a method of protection for corn plants, including the use of
the company’s proprietary Enlist herbicide-tolerant traits.
Patent 8,598,413 was issued Dec. 3, and Dow said in a
statement that it expects to introduce the Enlist corn covered
by the patent in 2015 in the U.S.
Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences applied for the patent
in February 2011, with the assistance of Faegre Baker Daniels
LLP of Minneapolis.
For more patent news, click here.
AARP Told to Bring in More Evidence to Justify Damages Award
American Association of Retired Persons, the Washington-based nonprofit organization that provides advocacy services for
older Americans, failed to convince a federal judge that its $10
million damages request in a trademark case is justified.
The organization sued a New Jersey insurance broker in
federal court in Washington D.C. April 30, accusing him of
trademark infringement. According to court papers, Michael Sycle
used the AARP trademark in advertising his business, even though
he doesn’t sell AARP-branded insurance.
Sycle used the trademarks without authorization on his
alifetimeinsurance.com website, and through Internet
advertisements and videos on Google Inc.’s YouTube video-sharing
service, according to the complaint.
Sycle didn’t respond to the complaint, and U.S. District
Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a ruling finding that he had
infringed the trademarks and awarding attorney fees to AARP.
While the advocacy group requested a $10 million damages
award, Kollar-Kotelly said AARP failed to provide any evidence
of Sycle’s sales, revenue, profit or expenses. She said she was
unable to make detailed estimates of Sycle’s gains resulting
from the infringement.
She also said that she lacked information about AARP’s
licensing fees and royalties related to the use of its
trademarks. Kollar-Kotelly gave AARP until Dec. 20 to provide
documentation that supports its damages request, or of its
efforts to acquire that information and explanations of why
Sycle’s actions blocked that request.
Additionally, she told AARP to submit documentation of its
costs and legal fees by that same date.
The case is AARP V. Michael Sycle, 1:13-cv-00608, U.S.
District Court for the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.)
For more trademark news, click here.
Beastie Boys Fire Back in ‘Girls’ Dispute with GoldieBlox
The Beastie Boys have responded to the copyright suit filed
by GoldieBlox Inc., a toy company founded to inspire girls to go
into engineering and science.
The Oakland, California-based company sued the band Nov.
21, seeking a judicial determination that one of its promotional
videos didn’t infringe the copyright for “Girls,” a 1987 song
by the Beastie Boys.
The suit is related to a video that has received more than
8 million hits on Google Inc.’s YouTube video-sharing website.
The video is set to a new recording of the song with new
lyrics, GoldieBlox said, claiming the ad is a parody created
“specifically to comment on the Beastie Boys song.”
Lyrics for the two versions are printed side by side in the
complaint. In the Beastie Boys’ version, girls are said to be
good for doing dishes, cleaning house and doing the laundry.
In the GoldieBlox version, girls are “more than princess
maids” and they can build spaceships, “code the new app” and
“grow up knowing that they can engineer that.”
The parody was created “to further the company’s goal to
break down gender stereotypes and to encourage young girls to
engage in activities that challenge their intellect,”
In its answer to the complaint, filed with the court Dec.
10, the band said its music publisher was contacted in November
by a representative of an ad agency that wanted to make sure the
song’s use had been properly licensed.
Beastie Boys claims that request was made because the ad
agency was in the process of submitting the GoldieBlox ad to a
competition sponsored by Intuit Inc. to win a 30-second
television commercial spot during the 2014 Super Bowl.
Shortly after this, GoldieBlox filed the suit seeking the
The band said in its court filing that the toy company had
used its song as a “jingle to sell GoldieBlox products” in an
advertising campaign that “condones and encourages stealing
GoldieBlox founder Debbie Stern said in a Nov. 27 blog post
that her company removed the video from YouTube and “we are
ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no
longer be under threat from your legal team.”
She said she had didn’t know the late Beastie Boy member
Adam Yauch “had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys
songs never be used in advertising. Although we believe our
parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his
wishes and yours.”
Beastie Boys’ counterclaim indicates the band will pursue
an infringement action. In its court papers, the band asked for
an order barring GoldieBlox’s use of the song, together with the
removal of the ad from circulation and destruction of all
Additionally, the band asked for money damages, including
all revenues, gains and profits the alleged infringement brought
to the toy company, together with extra damages intended to
punish GoldieBlox for its actions, together with awards of
attorney fees and litigation costs.
The case is GoldieBlox Inc. v. Island Def Jam Music Group,
13-cv-05428, U.S. District Court, Northern District of
For more copyright news, click here.
Michelle Lee Named Deputy Director of U.S. Patent Office
Michelle K. Lee was named deputy under secretary of
commerce for intellectual property and deputy director of the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to a statement from
the patent office.
Lee had previously served as director of the patent
office’s Silicon Valley office in California. Before she joined
the patent office, she was Google Inc.’s deputy general counsel,
leading the company’s patent and patent strategy operations.
Before that, she was a partner at Mountain View,
California’s Fenwick & West LLP. She also served as a judicial
clerk to U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker.
Before she became a lawyer, Lee was a computer scientist at
Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories and at Massachusetts
Institute of Technology’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
She has an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in
electrical engineering and computer science from Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and a law degree from Stanford
To contact the reporter on this story:
Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Michael Hytha at