Ranbaxy, Apple, Dollar Tree, Bhang, Pillsbury: Intellectual Property

A unit of India’s Lupin Ltd. sued Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. for infringing a U.S. patent for Antara capsules, used to treat high cholesterol levels.

Lupin Atlantis Holdings SA, based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, accuses Ranbaxy, a unit of Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo Co., of planning to market a generic version of Antara before Lupin’s patent 7,101,574 expires in 2020.

Ranbaxy, based in Gurgaon, India, contends “no valid, enforceable claim of the patent would be infringed” with its product, according to Lupin’s Aug. 6 complaint in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware. Lupin, based in Mumbai, said it “will be irreparably harmed” if the generic copy is allowed.

The Antara patent was awarded in 2006 to Ethypharm SA, based in Saint-Cloud, France. Lupin bought assets, including U.S. rights to the drug, from bankrupt Oscient Pharmaceuticals Corp. last year for $38.6 million.

The lawsuit “is all part of the process” of applying to sell a generic drug, said Chuck Caprariello, a Ranbaxy spokesman, in a phone interview.

The case is Lupin v. Ranbaxy, 10-cv-00659, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Apple Patent Application Puts Company Into Your Closet

Apple Inc., the maker of the iPad and the iPhone, is moving into the world of fashion.

The Cupertino, California-based company has filed an application for a patent on what it calls a “virtual fashion closet.”

This is an application for the iPhone and other portable computing devices that compiles data on all the clothing and accessories in a user’s real-world closet. The application can remind the user of unworn items, can provide an alert about which items need to be washed or sent to the cleaners, and can keep track of clothing loaned to friends.

Additionally, the application can be used to try on combinations of clothing and accessories in virtual space, and can recommend which items to buy or reject. Friends can use the virtual closet to coordinate what they are going to wear to a particular event.

Weather data can be added to the system, enabling the application to recommend specific clothing items based on the season or weather. Vendors can use the application to recommend clothing purchases to the user.

Apple filed application 20100191770 in August 2009 with the assistance of New York’s Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP. The application was published in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office July 29.

South Korea Begins Probe Into Patent-Rights Abuses

South Korea’s antitrust regulator began an investigation of 59 technology companies to determine whether they deterred competition by abusing their patent rights.

The Fair Trade Commission said it began a probe of 40 South Korean companies and 19 firms based outside the country regarding anticompetitive actions from wrongful lawsuits to excessive royalty fees, the regulator said in a statement yesterday, without identifying the companies.

The probe comes a year after the commission fined San Diego, California-based Qualcomm Inc., the world’s largest maker of mobile-phone chips, a record 260 billion won ($224 million) for discriminatory acts that included charging higher royalties to some customers. The regulator said it began the investigation on concern a “sharp” increase in patent-related disputes may prevent small- and midsized companies from competing.

FirstGroup’s Greyhound Sued Over Onboard Wi-Fi Service for Buses

FirstGroup Plc’s Greyhound Lines unit was sued for patent infringement by two patent owners.

Saied and Bijan Tadayon of Potomac, Maryland, accused the bus line of violating their patent 7,031,657. The patent, issued in April 2006, covers a “method and system for mobile or wireless computing or communication devices.”

They claim that Greyhound buses that offer Wi-Fi service infringe the patent. In May they filed a similar suit against several U.S. units of the U.K.’s Stagecoach Group Plc.

The Tadayons say they’re damaged by Greyhound’s actions and asked the court to order the bus company to quit infringing the patent. They also seek money damages “in no event less than a reasonable royalty” and asked that the damages be tripled to punish the defendants for their actions.

Additionally, they asked for awards of attorney fees and litigation costs.

Both of the Tadayons are lawyers and they represent themselves in this action. They do business at an address in Potomac shared by MaxValueIP Consulting LLC, an IP consulting, patent-search, prosecution and litigation-support company.

The case is Saied Tadayon v. Greyhound Lines Inc., 1:10-cv- 01326-JDB, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington DC). The earlier case is Tadayon v. Coach USA Inc., 1:10-cv- 00882-JDB, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington DC).

For more patent news, click here.


Dollar Tree Sued Over $1 Prints of Ukrainian Artist’s Work

Dollar Tree Inc., a discount variety-store chain based in Chesapeake, Virginia, was sued for copyright infringement by a Ukrainian artist.

Anatoliy Kalytko of Hosiv, Ukraine, sold “Roses,” a work he completed in 2002 to the late Walter Belanger, who was formerly the principal of the Broadman Fine Arts Corp. of Agoura Hills, California, according to court papers.

The artist registered his copyright with the U.S. Register of Copyrights in 2009, he said in the complaint filed Aug. 6 in federal court in Philadelphia.

Broadman is a defendant in the case as is Kodomo International Corp. of Rancho Dominguez, California. According to court papers, Kodomo acted as the intermediary between Broadman and Dollar Tree, and ordered prints of the painting which were sold at Dollar Tree for $1 apiece.

Kalytko claims more than 63,000 prints of his painting were provided to Dollar Store. He said all defendants acknowledged that his painting was copied, duplicated and sold as a print.

He claims he’s been “irreparably harmed” by this sale and that the value of his other works are now “significantly diminished” by the alleged infringement.

Kalytko asked the court for money damages and for an accounting of all profits the defendants derived from their allegedly infringing actions.

He is represented by Marina Kats of Kats van der Veen Baccari & Associates of Feasterville, Pennsylvania.

The case is Anatoliy Kalytko v. Dollar Tree Inc., 2:10-cv- 0391-TJS, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).

For more copyright news, click here.


‘Bhang’ Trademark Sought for ‘High-End’ Marijuana Chocolate

A New Mexico entrepreneur has applied to register a trademark for a marijuana-infused candy, according to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.

Scott J. van Rixel of Albuquerque, New Mexico, filed an application June 14 to register “Bhang The Original Cannabis Chocolate” as a trademark. According to his application, the mark would be used for “processed food adapted for medical purposes.”

According to a recipe on the Food Network website, bhang is a drink made of marijuana, milk, almonds, ginger, rosewater and spices that is legally consumed during the Indian festival of Holi.

Van Rixel told the Hindustan Times that he seeks to make a “high-end cannabis chocolate” and eventually hopes to sell the product in India as well as in the U.S.

San Francisco’s Department of Public Health has developed a set of regulations regarding packaging and labeling for edible products containing marijuana, the East Bay Express reported.

Californians will vote in November on whether to legalize recreational use of marijuana. The state’s voters authorized medical marijuana use in 1996.

For more trademark news, click here.

IP Moves

Pillsbury Hires Goodwin Procter’s Patrick Doody for IP Group

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP hired Patrick Doody for its IP practice, the San Francisco-based firm said in a statement.

Doody, who was formerly a partner at Boston’s Goodwin Procter LLP, has also worked as an in-house patent counsel at Union Carbide Corp., and practiced at Richmond, Virginia’s Hunton & Williams.

He does both litigation and patent-application work, and has represented clients in the chemical and biotech industries.

Doody has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a law degree from George Mason University.

McKenna Firm Brings in Victor Balancia from Morgan Lewis

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP hired Victor Balancia for its IP group, the international firm said in a statement. Balancia has previously practiced at Philadelphia’s Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP and at Pennie & Edmonds, a now-defunct New York IP specialty firm.

He does patent-related transactional and litigation work. His clients’ technologies have included pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, medical devices and consumer packaging.

Balancia has an undergraduate degree in pharmacy from Long Island School of Pharmacy, a law degree from St. John’s University and a master of laws degree in trade regulation from New York University.

Hall Estill Expands IP Practice by Hiring Phillip L. Free

Hall Estill hired Phillip L. Free for its IP group, the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based firm said in a statement yesterday.

Free, a litigator, joined from Crowe & Dunlevy of Oklahoma City. He’s represented clients in patent and trademark disputes from a variety of technology areas, including oil-field services, microprocessors and biotech.

He has an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Southwest Oklahoma State University and a law degree from the University of Oklahoma.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in Oakland, California, at vslindflor@bloomberg.net.

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