Mylan, Dow Patent Win, Books-a-Million, World Cup: Intellectual Property

Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., a maker of acne and wrinkle treatments, sued Mylan Inc. seeking to stop sales of a generic form of its Solodyn tablets used to treat pimples.

Mylan and a subsidiary are seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a generic version of the treatment before patent 5,908,838 held by Medicis expires, according to the complaint filed June 14 in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

“Medicis will be irreparably harmed” unless Mylan is prohibited from infringing the patent before it expires in 2018, the company said in its court papers.

Medicis, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, logged $571.9 million in revenue last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Mylan, based in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, reported sales of $5.09 billion last year.

Michael Laffin, a spokesman for Mylan, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

The case is Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. v. Mylan Inc., 1:10-CV-00524, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Dow Chemical Wins $61.7 Million in Nova Patent Trial

Dow Chemical Co., the largest U.S. chemical maker, won $61.7 million in damages as a jury found that rival Nova Chemicals Corp. infringed two of its patents for super-strong plastics used in grocery bags.

Dow, based in Midland, Michigan, sued Calgary-based Nova in federal court in 2005 in Wilmington, Delaware, over the patents 5,847,053 and 6,111,023. Yesterday’s verdict followed a two-week trial.

The panel of five women and three men deliberated about three hours before also deciding the patents are valid. The damages included $57.4 million in lost profit and $4.3 million in royalties, according to the verdict read in court.

“The jury’s verdict is a critical step in establishing that Dow’s patents are valid and enforceable,” and the company “will continue to pursue all legal remedies available to protect this valuable intellectual property,” Bob Plishka, a Dow spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

“We are disappointed with the verdict, but the final outcome of the case is still uncertain, and we expect to prevail,” said Greg Wilkinson, a Nova spokesman. He said “a major issue regarding standing” has yet to be considered at a nonjury trial.

Dow contended in its complaint that Nova imported polyethylene products since 2003 in violation of the patents. Nova is owned by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It was bought by Abu Dhabi interests last year.

The case is Dow Chemical Co., v. Nova Chemicals Corp., 05-cv-00737, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

For more patent news, click here.


Books-A-Million Sued for Infringing Illustrator’s Copyright

Books-A-Million Inc., a 200-store book retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama, was sued for copyright infringement by an illustrator from Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Donna Catanese said she was hired to produce illustrations for a book “Christmas Pageant,” to be produced by Cliff Road Books. She produced 16 illustrations, which were delivered to Cliff Road and accepted for publication, she said in the complaint filed June 11 in federal court in Chicago.

Her agent, Wilkinson Studios, billed the publisher for the illustrations in July 2009. Books-A-Million acquired the book in November, according to court papers.

Despite having been sent an invoice and notice of Catanese’s copyright to the images in the book, the illustrator hasn’t been paid, she said in her complaint. She’s sought payment from Cliff Road Books, from its successor, Crane Hill Publishers Inc., and from Books-A-Million, according to her pleadings.

She said that by virtue of publishing the book, the publisher has “wrongly, falsely and illegally represented” that it owns the copyright to the image. Because the company hadn’t paid for the images, it wasn’t transferred the copyright and therefore had no right to reproduce her images, Cantanese said.

Cantanese asked the court for money damages “in an amount sufficient to place the defendant on notice that it will be less expensive to simply obey the copyright laws,” an award of profits derived from the sale of “Christmas Pageant,” and litigation costs and attorney fees.

She is represented by David C. Hurst of Bruggeman, Hurst & Associates PC of Mokena, Illinois.

The case is Wilkinson Studios Inc. v. Cliff Road Books Inc., 1:10-cv-03639, U.S. District Court, District of Illinois (Chicago).

For more copyright news, click here.


BMW Claims Texas Auto Dealer Infringes Marks in Ads, on Web

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s largest maker of luxury cars, sued a Texas auto dealer for trademark infringement.

Forza Motorcars Ltd., of Texarkana, Texas, is accused of using the German automaker’s trademarks on a website and in its print advertisements without authorization.

Despite having been sent two cease-and-desist letters, Forza still displays a BMW trademark on its website and continues to place print ads that also use the mark without authorization, BMW said in the complaint filed June 15 in federal court in Tyler, Texas.

BMW said Forza has never had an affiliation with BMW, and has never provided any services for the German automaker or its subsidiaries, according to court papers.

The Texas auto dealer is accused of causing confusion in the marketplace and is attempting to trade on the goodwill BMW has acquired over the years. Its unauthorized use of the marks makes it impossible for BMW to control the quality and goods the Forza sells under BMW’s name, the company said in its complaint.

BMW asked the court to bar Forza from any unauthorized use of the company’s marks and logos, and asks for an award of profits Forza derived from its alleged infringement.

The German automaker also asked for money damges, attorney fees and litigation costs, and requested the court award additional damages to punish Forza for its actions.

BMW is represented by John G. Froemming of Washinton’s Howrey LLP, and S. Calvin Capshaw, Elizabeth L. DeRieux and D. Jeffrey Dambin of Longview, Texas-based Capshaw DeRieux LLP.

The case is BMW of North America LLC v. Forza Motorcars Ltd., 6:10-cv-00286, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Tyler).

Orange Dresses at World Cup Spark Marketing Dispute With FIFA

FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, questioned a group of female soccer fans June 14 after they donned orange dresses that are part of a promotional campaign for a Dutch beer during a World Cup game.

The 27 South Africans and three Dutch citizens were accused of so-called ambush marketing and were held after the Netherlands’ opening tournament game against Denmark in Johannesburg. Orange is the official color of the Dutch team.

“There was clear ambush marketing activity by a Dutch brewing company,” FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot told a news conference in Johannesburg yesterday. “We are looking into all available legal remedies against this brewery.”

The company, Bavaria NV, employed a similar ploy during the last World Cup in Germany when it encouraged fans to go in “Leeuwenhosen,” orange lederhosen with a tail and the brewer’s brand on it. Supporters were ordered to take the trousers off before entering stadiums. The orange dresses in the latest dispute are free when people buy the beer.

“We didn’t put our name on the dress this time,” Peer Swinkels, who sits on Bavaria’s board and oversees its marketing, said by phone yesterday. “We decided to accommodate FIFA in order not to get our consumers in any trouble.”

Sponsors have paid about $1.2 billion for the right to be associated with the World Cup, sport’s most-watched event. FIFA lawyers have filed more than 2,500 cases globally against parties it accuses of ambush marketing.

The Netherlands asked the South African government to explain why its nationals were detained.

“We are not aware of any southern African legislation stating wearing an orange dress is a ground for arrest,” Aad Meijer, a Hague-based spokesman for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said by phone. “They were held for a couple of hours in and near the stadium and questioned.”

Vishnu Naidoo, a spokesman for the South African Police Service, said FIFA officials handled the detention and that the police were not involved.

Lieshout, Netherlands-based Bavaria said that while it had commissioned the dresses for a promotional campaign, they bore none of the company’s branding. It did pay for two of the women to fly to South Africa and Sylvie van der Vaart, the wife of Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart, is the public face of Bavaria’s latest advertising campaign.

“I think it is ludicrous that FIFA can set out what to wear,” Swinkels said. FIFA hasn’t contacted the brewer, he said.

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is the official beer supplier for the tournament.

Three Arrested in Indian for Infringing Salt Company’s Marks

Following a complaint from Indo Brine Industries of Ganadhidham, India, police in Rajkot, India, arrested three people for trademark infringement, the Times of India reported.

The owner of Ahir Salt Works in Gandhidham and the two owners of a warehouse in Rajkot were accused of infringing Indo Brine Industries’ “Dandi Salt” and “Dandi Namak” trademarks, according to the newspaper.

Police raided the warehouse and seized salt packaged with an infringing trademark, according to the Times.

The warehouse has been sealed, and police are conducting additional investigation of the infringement allegations, the newspaper reported.

Adidas ‘Jabulani’ Bringing Some Teams Anything but Rejoicing

Although “Jabulani” means “rejoice” in the Zulu language, the soccer ball with that name seems to be bringing anything but joy to some of the teams playing in the FIFA World Cup competition in South Africa.

Goalkeepers are saying Adidas Ag’s Jabulani is unsteady and unpredictable in the air. Adidas, which is sponsoring the world’s most-watched sporting event, said the players have had enough time to get used to the ball, which was released at the beginning of the year. The ball fits the criteria laid down by soccer’s governing body, FIFA, Adidas spokesman Erik van Leeuwen said June 13.

The ball is made from eight “thermally bonded 3D panels, creating a perfect sphere, replacing previous models with flat panels, according to FIFA’s website. The ball has an aerodynamic profile enhancing control and stabilizing flight, it said.

Bayer AG, the inventor of Aspirin, supplied adhesives and coating for Jabulani, the company said.

Adidas registered the name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in May, according to the patent office database. The Herzogenaurach, Germany-based company applied for the trademark in September 2008, and specified in its application that it be used for soccer balls.

Those who are unhappy with the results of games played with Jabulani balls may turn to for consolation to a Jabulani of a different kind. According to the patent office database, a South African company by that name registered Jabulani in July 2005 to be used with wines, distilled spirits and liquers.

Jabulani wines, marketed by Cape Coastal Vintners of Belleville, South Africa, are imported to the U.S. by Hemingway & Hale of Rosswell, Georgia. The five Jabulani wines are all named varietals: sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and pinotage.

For more trademark news, click here.

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

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