Sanyo, Boeing, Deutsche Bank: Intellectual Property

Patent Group LLC, identified in court papers only as “a limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of the state of Texas,” filed 18 patent cases in federal court this week.

The suits, filed in Marshall, Texas, are all against manufacturers that Patent Group accuses of marking their products with false patent numbers. In many cases, the products are marked with the numbers of expired patents, the Patent Group alleged.

Patent Group has filed more than 100 such cases since January 2010. It seeks to recover $500 for each falsely marked article, with half of that award to be paid to the U.S.

The venue is often regarded as somewhat more sympathetic to plaintiffs’ claims than other federal judicial districts. According to a blog following the so-called “false patent- marking cases” -- Justin E. Gray’s “Gray on Claims” -- of the more than 500 cases filed in 2010, almost half were filed in Marshall, followed by Chicago federal court.

Among the companies sued by Patent Group this week are Kodiak Products Group Co. of Fort Worth, Texas, for allegedly putting expired patent numbers on its red eye bearing protector; Alameda Tackle Co. of Georgetown, Texas, whose Alameda Rattler fishing tackle is allegedly marked with false patent numbers; and Pull’r Holding Co. of Elk Grove Village, Illinois; which Patent Group claims marks its fence wire grip with an expired patent number.

In the various complaints the Patent Group claims it has “suffered harm, both individually and as a member of the public.”

Patent Group is represented by Martin Walker PC of Tyler, Texas.

Sanyo Sues Sharp Over LCD TV, Handset Modules in Japan

Sanyo Electric Co. filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Sharp Corp. with the Tokyo District Court yesterday regarding liquid-crystal-display technology.

Sanyo is seeking permanent injunctions and damages for LCD modules used in televisions and mobile phones, according to a statement yesterday on Sanyo’s website.

Boeing Gets Patent on Navigation System Display for ‘Brain Bag’

Boeing Co., whose 787 Dreamliner aircraft is three years behind schedule, received a patent on a flight-deck navigation display system that could be portable.

The company’s patent 7,876,238, which was issued Jan. 15, covers a display system that can be shown on a cockpit screen or positioned elsewhere in the aircraft. It could be part of a fixed or removable flight bag, according to the patent.

The large flight bags pilots carry that contain flight operation manuals and airway and topographic maps are known as “brain bags.” The patent suggests the system could be used on a personal digital assistant, a laptop personal computer or as a software component operating on a processor that is a subsystem of the aircraft.

The system can be used to store user configurable flight- related information such as routes, temporary flight restrictions and ground operations, and could receive real-time updates from various aircraft and ground sensors and systems.

Boeing, based in Chicago, applied for the patent in December 2006, with the assistance of Armstrong Teasdale LLP of St. Louis.

For more patent news, click here.


Susser Seeks to Halt TGI Friday’s Use of ‘Earn Your Stripes’

Susser Holdings Corp.’s Stripes unit sued closely held Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc. for trademark infringement.

The suit, filed Jan. 26 in federal court in McAllen, Texas, related to the use of several phrases incorporating the word “stripes” by Carlson’s TGI Friday’s restaurants.

Stripes, which operates more than 525 convenience stores and restaurants in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, said it registered the mark “stripes” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2003. The company also claimed in court papers that it has used the phrase “Earn your Stripes” in trade since March 2007 and has common-law rights to the phrase as a trademark.

The Corpus Christi, Texas-based chain objects to TGI Friday’s use of “Give me more Stripes” and “Earn your Stripes” for promotional purposes. It claims the public is likely to assume, falsely, that an affiliation exists between the restaurants and that the strength and prestige of its mark is diluted.

It asked the court to bar the Carrollton, Texas-based company’s use of the two phrases and to order the cancellation of Carlson’s registration of the “Give me more Stripes” trademark.

Additionally, the company seeks money damages, destruction of all infringing products and promotional materials, and awards for money damages, attorney fees and litigation costs. Stripes also asked that the damages be tripled to punish Carlson for its actions.

Susan Morgenstern, a Carlson spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that because the case is in litigation “it would not be appropriate to discuss the details.”

Stripes is represented by Edward A. Cavazos, Conor Civins and John C. Rawls of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP of Austin, Texas.

The case is Stripes LLC v. Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc., 7:11-cv-00019, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (McAllen).

For more trademark news, click here.


Deutsche Bank Securities Accused of Infringing Oil Daily

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., a unit of Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank AG, was sued for copyright infringement by a publisher of global energy-industry news.

Energy Intelligence Group Inc. of New York sued Houston- based Deutsche Bank Securities in federal court in Houston June 26.

The securities company is accused of infringing copyrights to Energy Intelligence’s Oil Daily by giving multiple employees access to a subscription that is licensed to a single subscriber.

According to court papers, from January 2010 to at least June 2010, DBS “continually and systematically accessed” Oil Daily through the singe-person password and copied, transmitted and distributed copies of the copyrighted works to multiple unauthorized users.

Energy Intelligence called the alleged infringement “willful and deliberate” and said it’s causing “irreparable harm and damage.”

In addition to money damages and litigation costs and attorney fees, Energy Intelligence seeks Deutsche Bank Securities’ profit attributable to the alleged infringement.

Deutsche Bank Securities didn’t immediately return an e- mail seeking comment on the case.

The publisher is represented by Robert L. Powley, James M. Gibson and Margarita Wallach of New York’s Powley & Gibson PC.

The case is Energy Intelligence Group Inc. v. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., 4:11-cv-00361, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).

For more copyright news, click here.

IP Moves

Lathrop Expands Boston IP Practice With Group from Lahive

Lathrop & Gage LLP hired three IP specialists for its Boston office, the Kansas City, Missouri-based firm said in a statement.

The new hires, Giulio A. DeConti, Brian C. Trinque and James H. Velema, previously worked at Boston’s Lahive & Cockfield. Joining with them are two technical specialists from Lahive, David F. Cauble and Andrew T. Wilkins.

DeConti does patent acquisition, counseling and opinion work for clients in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and chemistry. His specialties include drugs, proteins, peptides and antibodies (monoclonal antibodies), nucleic acids (siRNA), small organic molecules, drug-discovery technology, recombinant DNA and genomics areas.

He has an undergraduate and a master’s degree in science from Brown University and a law degree from Georgetown University.

Trinque has represented clients whose technologies include small molecules, biologics, synthetic methods, drug-delivery compositions, polymers, materials science and medical devices. He has done patent-acquisition work and IP due diligence with respect to licensing and acquisitions.

He has an undergraduate degree in English and biology from the University of Rhode Island, a doctorate in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of Texas and a law degree from Suffolk University.

Velema also does patent-acquisition work and counseling. His areas of expertise are biologic therapies, research tools, screening assays, bioprocessing and purification. A particular focus of his work has involved representing clients in the fields of RNA silencing and antibody technology.

He has an undergraduate degree in biology from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in biology and biotechnology from Tufts University and a law degree from Suffolk University.

Cauble, a technical specialist in the organic chemistry area, has an undergraduate degree in organic chemistry from North Carolina State University, a doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Texas and a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Wilkins, a biotech specialist, has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Glasgow and a doctorate in molecular cell biology from the University of London.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at

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