Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s patent- infringement complaint over Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS)’s Nook e-reader will be reviewed by a U.S. trade agency with the power to block imports of products into the U.S. market.
The U.S. International Trade Commission said yesterday it has begun an investigation into the complaint filed March 21 in Washington. Microsoft claims any product, including the Nook, that runs on Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android operating system is infringing Microsoft patents. The company has said it filed the complaint against Barnes & Noble and the Nook’s manufacturers, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. (2038) and Inventec Co., after yearlong licensing talks failed.
Adamis Takes License to Potential Universal Cancer Vaccine
Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp. (ADMP), a specialty pharmaceutical company based in Del Mar, California, has taken a license to two patents for a technology it says could be a potential universal vaccine against cancer, according to a company statement.
Patent 7,388,071, which was in-licensed from the University of California; and patent 7,851,591, from the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, cover a cancer vaccine technology. According to the company statement, the vaccine presents “the first concrete opportunity to program the immune system to mobilize killer lymphocytes to combat cancer calls.”
The vaccine would be used to treat multiple types of cancer, including breast, lung and colon cancer. Professor Maurizio Zanetti from the University of California at San Diego’s Moores Cancer Center is the named inventor on the University of California patent. He said the potential vaccine “is like the polio vaccine for cancer.”
Apple’s Preliminary iPad Sales Data Revealed in Patent Suit
Apple Inc., maker of the iPhone and iPad, released some preliminary sales numbers for the iPad tablet computer and iPhone in a lawsuit last week.
In the patent-infringement sued filed April 15 in federal court in Oakland, California, against Samsung Electronics Co., the company said it had sold more than 19 million iPads by March 2011. Based on unit sales in earlier quarters, that indicates at least 4.21 million iPads sold during the fiscal second quarter, less than the 6.1-million average estimate of 13 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.
Apple has had trouble keeping the iPad 2 in stock at stores since it was released on March 11. At the same time, iPhone sales may have exceeded estimates, based on figures in the lawsuit. The complaint says Apple had sold more than 108 million iPhones by March, which would mean at least 18 million sold in the second quarter, more than the 16.3 million estimated by analysts.
The lawsuit doesn’t say when in March the sales figures run through. The company’s second quarter ended on March 26. Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
The computer maker’s iPhone became available on the Verizon Wireless network for the first time during the second quarter. In the quarter, analysts predict Apple will report profit of $5.03 billion on sales of $23.4 billion, according to the average of 35 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The sales figures in the lawsuit were earlier reported by the website Asymco.com.
In the suit, Apple is represented by a team from Morrison & Foerster LLP, led by Michael Jacobs, the head of the San Francisco-based firm’s IP group. Harold J. McElhinny, Jason R. Bartlett and Jennifer Lee Taylor are also on the team.
The case is Apple Inc. (AAPL) v. Samsung Electronics Co., 4:11-cv- 01846-LB, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Oakland).
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ASCAP Sued by Composer of ‘Charge’ Used at Sporting Events
The American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers Inc. was sued by a Florida composer who said the royalties- collecting group failed to pay him royalties collected for the use of his composition.
Bobby Kent is the composer of “Stadium Doo Dads,” which he said he created when he was the music director for the National Football League’s San Diego Chargers. Beginning in 1980, he said he performed this composition regularly during the Chargers’ home games, and in 1981, it was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
During the years he was with the Chargers, Kent said he received royalties of between $10,000 and $20,000 from ASCAP for the public performances of his work.
In his complaint filed April 7 in Florida state court, Kent claims his work is performed “regularly and repeatedly” at stadiums and arenas for many different professional and amateur sports teams. It is also broadcast on television and radio by networks licensed to broadcast the sporting events, according to court papers.
He describes the “operative and most commonly known” part of his composition as “da da da da da da . . . CHARGE!”
Kent accused ASCAP of entering into blanket licenses with third party users who perform the work for commercial purposes, including Major League Baseball, and the National Hockey League, as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Kent said ASCAP has “collected millions of dollars” for the use of his composition, and has paid him “little to nothing.”
He asked the court for money damages, attorney fees and litigation costs.
“Because of the pending litigation, we can make no comment at this time,” Phil Crosland, ASCAP’s executive vice president/chief marketing officer, said in an e-mailed statement.
The case is Bobby Kent v. American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers Inc, 10815CA27, Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida.
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Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage
HUD Hit with FOIA Suit Over Contracting Details with Lockheed
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was sued by a non-partisan coalition of small businesses in an effort to force the government agency to release subcontracting details in a contract awarded to Lockheed Martin Corp.
According to the complaint filed April 13 in federal court in San Francisco, HUD had refused to release the data, claiming the material is privileged trades-secret information.
The Petaluma, California-based American Small Business League said in its complaint that there is no legal basis for HUD’s denial of access to the information it seeks. The suit it filed accuses HUD of violating the Freedom of Information Act for wrongfully withholding agency records.
The League was formed to “promote and advocate policies that provide the greatest opportunity for small businesses,” those with fewer than 100 employees, it says on its website.
According to court papers, HUD has told the ASBL that the information it wouldn’t disclose was “personal.” It also said that the League had “failed to demonstrate how disclosing the personal information at issue would provide any insight into HUD’s activities and if it would, how such service to the public interest would outweigh the privacy rights involved.”
The League’s correspondence with HUD is included in the court filing.
The case is one of more than 15 FOIA suits the League filed in the same court against various government agencies since 2004. Among the other agencies sued are the U.S. Department of the Navy, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics & Space Administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense, according to Bloomberg data.
The suits were all filed on the League’s behalf by Robert E. Belshaw of San Francisco-based Gutierrez & Associates.
The League asked the court to order the disclosure of the information it seeks from HUD, and to “provide for expeditious proceedings in this action.” It also asked for awards of attorney fees and litigation costs.
The case is American Small Business League v. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 3:11-cv-01795-JCS, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
Samsung Hit with Potential Theft of Trade Secrets, AFP Reports
Samsung Electronics Co., which has agreed to sell its hard- disk drive business to Seagate Technology Plc (STX), has said a former researcher is under investigation for possibly leaking trade secrets to a Chinese company, Agence France Presse reported.
The ex-employee was arrested and accused of photographing confidential documents relating to key technologies and sales plans belonging to Gyeongg, Korea-based Samsung, according to AFP.
A Chinese electronics firm had offered the ex-employee a job, a Korean prosecutor told AFP.
The former employee faces a potential 10 year prison term, according to AFP.
DNA Donors Mistakenly Believe They’re in Commercial Transactions
Research by scientists from the University of North Carolina and Duke University indicated that those who’ve contributed DNA samples for medical research consider this a commercial transaction, UNC’s Daily Tarheel newspaper reported.
The research, published in the journal Science April 15, found that even though they had read and signed informed consent documents to the contrary, they still considered their donations a commercial transaction, the college newspaper reported.
The paper, “Genomics, Biobanks and the Trade-Secret Model,” suggested a new legal model may be needed to increase participation in DNA research, according to the Daily Tarheel.
King & Spalding Expands IP Practice, Hires Orrick’s Dutta
King & Spalding LLP hired Sanjeet Dutta for its Silicon Valley IP group, the Atlanta-based firm said in a statement yesterday.
Dutta, who does patent litigation and acquisition, joins from San Francisco’s Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. The focus of his practice is processing architecture, semiconductor memories, verification/emulation, processing and manufacturing, Bluetooth protocol, and network routing.
Six Leave Mintz Levin to Form New IP Specialty Firm in Boston
Six defectors from Boston’s Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo PC have formed a new IP specialty firm in Boston, Hayes Bostock & Cronin LLC, according to a firm statement.
Those joining the new firm are Paul J. Hayes, Dean G. Bostock, Paul J. Cronin, Gene A. Feher, James Hall and Jacob Schneider. Another new member is Justin Hayes, who previously worked at the public defender’s office in Nashua, New Hampshire.
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