Broadcom, Taser International, Intel, Pirate Party: Intellectual Property

Broadcom Corp. won an appeals court ruling that CSR Plc’s SiRF violated its patents and should be barred from importing to the U.S. certain navigation devices.

Yesterday’s decision upholds an infringement finding and an import ban issued last year by the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington against SiRF and devices containing SiRF chips made by Pharos Science & Applications Inc., Mitac International Corp.’s Mio Technology and E-TEN Corp.

The dispute began with Global Locate, a GPS-chip maker that Irvine, California-based Broadcom bought in 2007, and SiRF as they vied to provide semiconductors to GPS makers including Garmin Ltd. and TomTom NV. Each accused the other of infringing patents and filed ITC complaints in an effort to get a main competitor out of the U.S. market.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in an opinion posted on its Web site, yesterday rejected SiRF’s arguments that Global Locate didn’t have the right to assert one patent, and that two others in the case were invalid.

SiRF Technology Holdings, which was bought by Cambridge, England-based CSR last year, has said the decision “minimally affects” those customers named in the ITC order and wouldn’t affect others, including Nokia Oyj.

The ban was over certain navigation devices, personal digital assistants and some mobile phones, Broadcom has said. GPS, or the global positioning system, employs a network of satellites to pinpoint a user’s location and SiRF has said it would be able to alter products to avoid using the Broadcom technology covered by the patents.

Officials with Broadcom and CSR didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.

The case is SiRF Technology Inc. v. International Trade Commission, 2009-1262, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington). The ITC case is In the Matter of Certain GPS Devices and Products Containing Same, 337-602, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).

Stinger Systems Infringed Taser Patent, Arizona Court Says

Taser International Inc., the world’s largest maker of stun guns, persuaded a federal court in Arizona that Stinger Systems Inc. infringed a patent.

Taser sued Stringer in January 2007, alleging its Tampa, Florida-based competitor infringed patents related to electronic disabling devices.

In a March 31 ruling, U.S. District Judge Mary H. Murguia found that Stinger’s “Flyback Quantum Technology” infringed Taser’s patent 6,999,295, which was issued in February 2006.

The court dismissed Scottsdale, Arizona-based Taser’s claims its patent 7,102,870 was infringed, finding instead that the patent was invalid. The next hearing on the status of the case is set for April 19.

The case is Taser International Inc. v. Stinger Systems Inc., 2:07-cv-00042-MHM, U.S. District Court, District of Arizona (Phoenix).

Becton Dickinson Must Face Syringe-Patent Lawsuit, Court Says

Becton, Dickinson & Co. must face a patent-infringement lawsuit over syringes designed to protect health workers from accidental needle sticks after a federal appeals court revived the case.

MBO Laboratories Inc. won a ruling yesterday allowing the Massachusetts-based company to pursue a lawsuit it filed in 2003 against Becton Dickinson, a maker of medical devices and supplies. The decision was posted on the Web site of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington.

The court also said some claims brought by MBO were invalid.

The case is MBO Laboratories Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson & Co., 08-1288, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington).


Intel Seeks Court Review of Indian Trademark Registry Ruling

Intel Corp., the world’s largest semiconductor maker, asked the Bombay High court to overrule a decision by India’s trademarks registry in favor of a Mumbai-based exports company, the Hindustan Times reported.

Over Intel’s objections, the registry renewed Intel Exports Corp.’s trademark, according to the newspaper.

Pravia Walia, the export company’s finance controller, told the newspaper his company had owned its trademark since 1976, and “we are owners of the trademark and we have valid certificates to that effect.”

Although the Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker initially petitioned the Delhi High Court to act against the trademark board, it turned to the Bombay High Court because it has jurisdiction over the registry, according to the Hindustan Times.


Aga Khan Claims Writings, Speeches Infringed in Book, MP3 Files

Prince Karim Aga Khan, a philanthropist and the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, sued two Canadians for copyright infringement.

In his suit filed April 9 in Canadian federal court in Toronto, he alleges that Nagib Tajdin of Montreal and Alnaz Jiwa of Scarborough, Ontario, made unauthorized copies of his writings and speeches.

The infringement is the alleged reproduction of what are known as “farmans,” and “talikas,” respectively, addresses and written messages the Aga Khan delivered to his religions community, he said in his complaint. The defendants are accused of producing, publishing, distributing and selling this material without authorization.

The religious leader, who heads the Aga Khan Development Network, also claims his “moral rights” were infringed because he was unable to control the integrity of his work in the unauthorized editions.

He said the infringement occurred on his Dec. 13 birthday in 2009, when the defendants reproduced and released a book and MPT recordings of his speeches. The book is sold for 50 Canadian dollars ($49.81) a volume in a four-volume set, with the MPR offered as a free gift with purchase, according to court papers.

The Aga Khan asked the court to bar further infringement of his works, and for an order for the seizure of all infringing materials. He also seeks an accounting of the sales of the unauthorized books, and money damages, including extra damages to punish the alleged infringers for their actions.

The religious leader is represented by Brian W. Gray and Kristin E. Wall of Toronto’s Ogilvy Renault LLP.

The case is His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan v. Jagib Tajdin, T-514-10, Federal Court, Toronto.

Pirate Party Up and Running in Bulgaria, Selects Administrator

The Pirate Party, an anti-copyright political movement, now has a Bulgarian presence, the Sofia Echo reported yesterday.

Delegates from 20 Bulgarian towns held a forum in Sofia April 11, at which they adopted articles of constitution and the party’s political program, according to the newspaper.

The group elected Angel Todorov, who has formerly served as a police officer and as a member of the National Security Service, as its national administrator, the Sofia Echo reported.

Todorov and a Bulgarian member of the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation will represent the Bulgarian group in Brussels at the conference of Pirate Parties International April 16-18, according to the newspaper.

IP Moves

Harvard Picks WilmerHale’s William Lee for Board of Trustees

Harvard University named William F. Lee to its board of trustees, the first IP lawyer to be appointed to the board.

Lee, a partner in Boston’s Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP, will replace James Houghton, 74, who will step down July 1, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Harvard said yesterday in a statement on its Web site.

The IP litigator graduated from Harvard College in 1972 and presently teaches at Harvard Law School. He is also the parent of a daughter who graduated from Harvard’s law school, and a second daughter who is enrolled in Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government.

Regarding his legal background, Lee said in an e-mail yesterday, “I hope this means, among other things, that, I understand the importance of science and technology and Harvard’s role in ensuring that innovation and creativity thrive.”

Lee’s parents emigrated from Shanghai and started out “penniless” in the U.S. in 1948, he said in a phone interview. Harvard gave him an “unparalleled” educational opportunity when he arrived as an undergraduate in 1968, Lee said.

“The Asian community is an important part of the university,” Lee said in the interview. “I think that the fact that I’m a son of immigrants and grew up when I did and how I did will contribute to my perspective as a member of the corporation.” He is the board’s first Asian-American member.

His “wisdom and experience, his intellectual curiosity, his feel for people and situations, his deep sense of how institutions can adapt to changing times -- those qualities and more have made him an exceptionally valuable member of our community,” Harvard President Drew Faust said in the university’s statement. Faust also serves on the board.

After earning his undergraduate degree at Harvard, Lee got a master’s degree in business administration and his law degree at Cornell University.

Jeffer Mangels Hires Former Howrey IP Litigator Gregory Cordrey

Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro LLP hired Gregory S. Cordrey for its IP practice, the Los Angeles-based firm said in a statement yesterday.

Cordrey, a litigator, joins from Washington’s Howrey LLP. He represents clients in patent and trademark disputes.

His clients’ technologies have included the manufacturing liquid crystal displays, internal combustion engines, aircraft electronics and interiors, plastic containers, bio-medical products, construction equipment, specialty paper products, food containers, golf clubs and electrical components.

Before he was a lawyer, Cordrey worked as an aerodynamic design and flight-test engineer for McDonnell Douglas Corp.

Cordrey has an undergraduate degree in engineering from Boston University, a master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University and a law degree from the University of Southern California.

Banner & Witcoff Hires IP Litigator Brian Medlock from Sidley

Banner & Witcoff Ltd. hired V. Brian Medlock Jr. for its litigation practice, the Washington-based IP specialty firm said in a statement.

Medlock joins from Sidley Austin LLP, where he headed the Chicago firm’s litigation practice. Among his clients is Dallas- based Kimberly-Clark Corp., which he represented in the “diaper wars” series of patent cases. He has also represented AT&T Inc.

Medlock received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and a law degree both from the University of Oklahoma.

Akin Gump Brings in Patent Specialist Cono Carrano From Howery

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP hired Cono A. Carrano for its IP Practice, the Washington-based firm said in a statement.

Carrano, a patent specialist, joins from Howrey LLP. He has done both litigation and patent counseling and licensing work for clients whose technologies have included semiconductors, electronics, software, medical devices, wireless and optics.

He has represented clients in federal court and before the International Trade Commission.

Carrano has an undergraduate degree in electric engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, a master’s degree in electric engineering from Polytechnic University of New York University and a law degree from Hofstra University.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in Oakland, California, at

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