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HTC, Avago, Apple, Shanda, Righthaven: Intellectual Property

HTC Corp. (2498), the largest smartphone vendor in the U.S., said a decision on Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s bid to stop some of the Taiwanese company’s imports has been delayed a second time.

The International Trade Commission was set to announce a ruling in Washington yesterday on whether HTC infringed patents owned by Apple. Publication of the verdict was delayed to Dec. 19, HTC said in an e-mailed statement. The ITC originally scheduled the announcement for Dec. 6 before postponing it a first time. No reason was given.

A decision for Cupertino, California-based Apple could result in a ban or limits on imports of HTC phones into the U.S. An outcome favoring Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC could help the company in separate cases brought by the iPhone maker alleging infringements of its intellectual-property patents.

Calls and e-mails to officials at the ITC and Apple weren’t immediately answered outside U.S. business hours.

HTC also filed a complaint with the same trade agency alleging Apple infringed its own patents.

Apple’s case against HTC is In the Matter of Certain Personal Data and Mobile Communications Devices and Related Software, 337-710.

HTC’s case against Apple is In the Matter of Portable Electronic Devices with Communication Capabilities, 337-721, both U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).

Avago Drops Patent Infringement Suit Against Cypress

Avago Technologies Ltd. (AVGO) has dropped its patent infringement suit against Cypress Semiconductor Corp., according to court filings.

The Singapore-based semiconductor maker sued Cypress in federal court in Delaware in January, claiming that its patents were infringed by Cypress products.

In the course of the suit, each company claimed five of its patents were infringed by the other side.

In a Dec. 12 statement, San Jose, California-based Cypress said that it paid no damages and admitted no infringement.

The case is Avago Technologies U.S. Inc., v. Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (CY), 1:11-cv-00071-SLR, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Apple Founder Jobs Commemorated in Patent Office Exhibition

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is honoring the late Steve Jobs with an exhibit of the more than 300 issued patents that bear his name, together with many of the trademarks belonging to the company he and fellow computer enthusiast Steve Wozniak founded, according to a patent office statement.

The exhibit commemorates Apple Inc.’s founder Jobs, who died Oct. 5 of pancreatic cancer. It runs through Jan. 15 in the atrium of the patent office’s Madison Building in Alexandria, Virginia. It’s free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, and on Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.

Jobs’s patents and trademarks “provide a striking example of the importance intellectual property plays in the global marketplace,” David Kappos, the undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the patent office, said in the statement.

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

Shanda’s Suit Over ‘Dragon Nest’ Trademark Goes to Trial

Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd. (SNDA)’s trademark suit against Shenzhen Teelio Technology Co. has gone to trial, according to the EastDay.com news website.

The suit is over the Chinese name “Dragon Nest” used for a Shanda game, which allegedly infringes a trademark belonging to Shenzhen Teelio Technology Co. according to the website.

Before trial Teelio had asked Shanda for either 56 million yuan ($8.8 million) to buy the mark outright, or an annual licensing fee of 12 million yuan, the website reported.

Shanghai-based Shanda, which agreed last month to be taken private through a buyout offer from its chief executive and his family, is arguing that the two companies’ trademarks are registered for different categories, and that no infringement actually occurred, according to EastDay.com.

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

Righthaven Assets Reduced to ‘Legal Memorabilia,’ Defendant Says

Righthaven LLC, the Las Vegas-based company that’s been attempting to enforce copyrights for Stephens Media Group’s publications, must come to court and reveal the location of its assets.

In a Dec. 12 order, a federal magistrate judge said two Righthaven officials must appear in federal court in Las Vegas Jan. 5 to “provide testimony under oath” about the assets the company possesses.

Also on Dec. 12, the magistrate judge granted the defendant Wayne Hoehn’s request to be assigned Righthaven’s intellectual property. Righthaven sued Hoehn in January, accusing him of infringement for allegedly posting content from the Las Vegas Review-Journal to his “Dogs that Bark” blog. The court found that Righthaven lacked the standing to sue Hoehn because it didn’t have complete control over the copyrighted material he allegedly infringed.

In earlier court filings, Righthaven had sought to stay a damages award, saying it possessed valuable intellectual property in the form of software it used to search the Internet for potentially infringing content. The company claimed that should the IP be awarded to any of the more than 100 defendants it has sued in the past year, the software could be reverse engineered by the very people it had been invented to pursue.

In seeking assignment of the Righthaven intellectual property, counsel for Hoehn argued yesterday that the notoriety the company achieved through its unsuccessful copyright enforcement campaign enhanced the value of its intellectual property, including its trademark and Internet domain name.

“The public has a palpable interest in Righthaven and it is foreseeable that Righthaven’s assets will take on the form of ‘legal memorabilia’ and thus their auction price would be higher than their inherent value.”

Hoehn said in a filing that his lawyers have already received requests for the Righthaven IP “from curious collectors and other parties who wish to have a piece of Righthaven memorabilia.” He noted that a federal judge permitted the auction of personal items belonging to convicted Unabomber Ted Kaczynski to satisfy a restitution agreement.

In a declaration filed with the request for the IP, one of Hoehn’s lawyers said he has been contacted by people who wanted to buy anything related to Righthaven, including its office artwork, office supplies such as staplers and lamps, and a Bluetooth headset worn by Righthaven Chief Executive Officer Steven Gibson.

The case is Righthaven LLC v. Hoehn, 2:11-cv-00050-PMP-RJJ, U.s. District Court, District of Nevada (Las Vegas).

Technology Executives Attack Anti-Piracy Bills in Congress

Founders of Google Inc. (GOOG), PayPal Inc., EBay Inc. (EBAY) and other Internet executives published an open letter in newspapers criticizing Hollywood-backed anti-piracy legislation in Congress.

“We urge Congress to think hard before changing the regulation that underpins the Internet,” the companies said in letter that was sent to members of Congress and appeared yesterday in newspapers including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

Lobbying by Internet companies and movie studios has intensified as the House Judiciary Committee prepares to vote today on its version of the Hollywood-supported measure.

Adult Film Company Sues Single Defendant for Infringement

AF Holdings LLC, a maker of adult films based in the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, sued a single unidentified defendant for copyright infringement.

The suit, filed in federal court in Miami, Florida, on Dec. 13, is related to the alleged infringement of AF’s film, “Sexual Obsession,” through the use of the BitTorrent file- sharing protocol. The video was downloaded through the Pirate Bay file-sharing site, AF said in its court filing.

According to the complaint, the defendant was also included in an earlier case AF filed against 162 anonymous defendants in the same court in August. AF voluntarily dismissed one of the defendants on Dec. 13, according to Bloomberg data. AF said in its filing that the defendant hadn’t responded to the suit and was therefore an appropriate candidate for dismissal.

The unidentified defendant dismissed Dec. 13 has the same numeric Internet protocol address as the defendant named in the new complaint.

In the new complaint, AF said that even though it didn’t know the defendant’s identity, it believed the defendant lived within the court’s geographic jurisdiction, where the infringement also occurred.

AF asked for awards of money damages, attorney fees and litigation costs and an order for the seizure of all infringing content under the defendant’s control.

The company is represented by Joseph Perea of Prenda Law Inc. of Miami, Florida. The firm uses WeFightPiracy.com as its website address.

The new case is AF Holdings LLC v. John Doe, 1:11-cv- 244473-JAL, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Miami). The first case is AF Holdings LLC v. Does 1-162, 1:11- cv-23036-RNS, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Miami).

For more copyright news, click here

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Facebook Hacker Admits Actions, to Be Sentenced in February

A U.K. student whose actions triggered an industrial- espionage alert at Facebook Inc. has admitted hacking into the Palo Alto, California-based company’s website and faces sentencing Feb. 17, the BBC reported.

Glenn Mangham, 26, told the court that his actions were only intended to show Facebook how to improve its security, according to the BBC.

The hacking was so “effective and egregious” that even the Federal Bureau of Investigation was concerned, government prosecutor Sandip Patel told the court, the BBC reported.

Mangham’s defense counsel had argued that his client was ethical, and operated with a “high moral stance,” according to the BBC.

IP Moves

McGlinchey Stafford Adds Coca-Cola Patent Counsel to IP Practice

McGlinchey Stafford PLLC hired Hoang M. “Wayne” Vo for its IP group, the New Orleans-based firm said in a statement.

Vo previously was with the Coca-Cola Co. (KO), where he did patent-acquisition and IP-related transactional work. Before he became a lawyer, Vo was part of a research group that synthesized a drug used to treat AIDS.

He has an undergraduate degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in organic chemistry from Emory University and a law degree from Georgia State University.

McCarter & English Expands IP Practice with Hire From Proskauer

McCarter & English LLP hired Deborah M. Vernon for its intellectual property/information technology group, the Newark, New Jersey-based firm said in a statement.

Vernon, who previously practiced at New York’s Proskauer Rose LLP, does patent acquisition work for clients whose technology included superconductors, semiconductors, photovoltatics, plasma science, ceramics, thin film technology, nanophase and composite materials, spectroscopy, analytical chemistry, medical devices and instrumentation, and mechanical engineering.

She has an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Trinity College, a master’s degree and a doctorate in material science from Brown University and a law degree from Suffolk Law School.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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