Medicines Co., Perrigo, Lauder, SOPA: Intellectual Property

Medicines Co. (MDCO) and Fresenius (FRE)’s APP Pharmaceuticals Inc. (APPX) settled litigation over patents for the Angiomax anticoagulant drug, with Medicines agreeing to pay $30 million to license some APP drugs.

Medicines Co., based in Parsippany, New Jersey, sued Schaumburg, Illinois-based APP in October 2009 IN Wilmington, Delaware, federal court alleging patent infringement for plans to market a generic copy of Angiomax. APP announced the settlement yesterday.

“The settlement agreement includes a license by The Medicines Co. to APP” to sell generic Angiomax in the U.S. starting May 1, 2019, Medicines said in a statement.

Medicines will pay APP $30 million for a non-exclusive license “to sell 10 specified generic products” to hospitals and suppliers until Jan. 22, 2022, according to a Medicines filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The case is The Medicines Co. v. APP Pharmaceuticals, 09- CV-00752, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Perrigo, Apotex Sued by Meda Over Generic Astepro Spray

Generic drugmakers Perrigo Co. (PRGO) and Apotex Inc. were sued by Meda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (783447Q) and accused of infringing a U.S. patent for the nasal spray Astepro, used to treat allergies.

Meda, based in Somerset, New Jersey, contends Perrigo, based in Allegan, Michigan, and Apotex, of Toronto, plan to market copies of the drug before its U.S. patent 8,071,073 expires in 2028. It filed a complaint Jan. 19 in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey.

“Perrigo is committed to making quality health care more affordable for our customers,” Chief Executive Officer Joseph C. Papa said yesterday in a statement.

An Apotex spokesman, Elie Betito, didn’t immediately reply to voice and e-mail messages seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Meda is a unit of Solna, Sweden-based Meda AB. (MEDAA)

The case is Meda v. Apotex, 12-cv-361, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Trenton).

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

Estee Lauder Sued Over Use of ‘Empress’ for SeanJohn Fragrance

Estee Lauder Cos. (EL) and its M.A.C. Cosmetics unit were sued for trademark infringement by a maker of hair-care products.

According to the complaint filed Jan. 10 in federal court in Manhattan, Empress Inc. of Dallas objects to the use of the word “Empress” for fragrances and other cosmetic products made by Estee Lauder for performer Sean Jean Combs’ Sean John Fragrances.

Empress, whose products target African-American women, said it’s been in existence as a unit of Dallas-based Colberts Inc., since 2002. It registered its marks in the U.S., Canada and Europe, according to the complaint.

The Texas company said that despite its opposition to the issuance of any Empress-related marks for the Sean John products and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s refusal to register the marks, an Empress SeanJohn fragrance was released in August.

Customers are confused by SeanJohn’s use of the name, and Empress said it received inquiries from customers who were “surprised as to who was selling the products.”

It claims to be damaged by the use of the word “Empress” for the SeanJohn products, and asked the court to bar further infringement of its trademarks. Additionally, it seeks a court order for the destruction of all infringing promotional materials, and awards of money damages, defendants’ profits flowing from the alleged infringement, attorney fees and litigation costs.

New York-based Estee Lauder doesn’t comment on pending litigation, spokeswoman Kathleen Pierce said in an e-mail.

Empress is represented by Stephen R. Roth, Orville R. Cockings and Aaron S. Eckenthal of Lerner David Littenberg Krumholz & Mentlik LLP of Westfield, New Jersey.

The case is Empress Inc. v. SeanJohn Fragrances, 1:12-cv- 00193-KMW, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

New College of Humanities Trademark Application Rejected in U.K.

The New College of the Humanities, a private school in London whose tuition is twice that of the maximum for public universities in the U.K., had its application to register its name as a trademark rejected by that country’s Intellectual Property Office, the BBC reported.

University of Oxford’s New College had raised concerns about possible confusion the new school’s name would cause and itself registered “New College, Oxford” as a trademark, according to the BBC.

The private school told the BBC it will re-apply to register its name as a trademark “in due course” and that it expects to be successful the next time.

Government officials had challenged the private school’s use of the term “university college,” noting it hadn’t received that status and lacked the power to award its own degrees, according to the BBC.

Alberta’s Queen of Tarts to Change Name to Dauphine After Suit

An Ontario pastry chef whose tarts were featured on Martha Stewart’s television program sued an Alberta bakery owner for trademark infringement, Canada’s CTV.com reported.

The fight is over the “Queen of Tarts” trademark registered to Stephanie Pick of Toronto in 2004, according to CTV.com.

Linda Kearney began using the Queen of Tarts to sell her lemon tarts in an Edmonton, Alberta, farmers market, and later owned a bakery and café by the same name, CTV.com reported.

Pick was ordered to pay $10,000 in damages and to find a new name for her business, which she told CTV.com will be “Dauphine,” and has now cautioned other new business owners to register their trademarks.

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

Music Group Urges ‘Hysterical’ SOPA Detractors to Be More French

The U.S. music industry would get a boost from tighter controls on pirated content, just as France has seen digital music sales rise after introducing its own rules, said an industry group representing record labels.

Digital album sales rose 71 percent last year in France compared with 19 percent in the U.S., the largest music market, according to a study by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents record companies such as Universal Music, Sony Music and EMI.

More than a fourth of users steal music online, causing industrywide sales declines, the IFPI said. Still, U.S. Web companies have fought against the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act, the most recently proposed anti-piracy legislation, which they say would require them to police users and would restrict innovation. Wikipedia took its encyclopedia offline and Google Inc. put a black bar across its logo in protest last week. The reaction caused lawmakers to shelve the bills.

“We’ve seen some pretty hysterical reaction to those bills, but if you look in the long run, it is never easy to move those things forward,” said Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, which is affiliated with the Recording Industry Association of America in the U.S. “It isn’t a question of whether they will tackle piracy; it’s how they will tackle piracy.”

The French legislation, passed in 2009, has increased sales of singles on Apple Inc. (APPL)’s iTunes music service by 23 percent, the IFPI said. The French law, which gives illegal downloaders three warnings before their case is sent to a criminal court, was opposed by Internet service providers.

Digital music revenue grew 8 percent worldwide last year to $5.2 billion and helped slow declines in total music sales to 3 percent from 8 percent in 2010, the IFPI said. Digital music sales in the U.S. have become the primary source of revenue for record companies.

“Our digital business is progressing in spite of the environment in which it operates, not because of it,” Moore said. “We need legislation from governments with coordinated measures that deal with piracy effectively and in all its forms. We also need more cooperation from intermediaries such as search engines and advertisers.”

NinjaVideo Founder Gets 14-Month Sentence in Copyright Case

One of the founders of a website that enabled unauthorized downloading of television programs and movies has received a prison sentence in connection with a guilty plea in a criminal copyright-infringement case, according to Bloomberg data.

Matrhew David Howard Smith, 24, of Raleigh, North Carolina, will serve 14 months in federal prison, according to the sentence handed down Jan. 20. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and criminal copyright infringement in federal court Sept. 23.

He and four others associated with NinjaVideo were indicted Sept. 9. He acknowledged that his company collected more than $500,000 during its two years of operation. Visitors to the NinjaVideo website could download some content for free, and could get access to other material by making donations to the site.

Smith must also pay more than $172,000 in restitution. He had asked for a sentence of probation or home confinement instead of imprisonment.

The case is U.S.A. v. Veshara, 1:11-cr-00447-AJT, U.S. District Court, District of Virginia (Alexandria).

For copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Ex-Sanofi Research Chemist Pleads Guilty in Trade Secrets Case

A research chemist entered a guilty plea to stealing trade secrets from her former employer Sanofi-Aventis. (SAN)

Yuan Li, a Chinese citizen living in Somerset, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to taking data related to Sanofi compounds and selling this information -- including their chemical structures -- through the website belonging to a company in which she had a 50 percent ownership.

According to court papers, Li was a partner in Abby Pharmatech Inc., which was purported to be a subsidiary of a chemical company in Xiamen, China. Between October 2008 and June 2011, she assigned Abby catalog numbers to the chemical structures of the Sanofi compounds and offered them for sale.

Li entered her plea in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, Jan. 17. She faces a potential 10-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.

Sentencing is set for April 23.

Li was represented by Paul Brickfield of Brickfield & Donahue of River Edge, New Jersey. The government’s case was prosecuted by Gurbir S. Grewal of the Economic Crimes Unit of the S.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark, New Jersey.

The case is U.S. A. v. Li, 3:12-cr-00034-JAP, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Trenton).

Lawmakers Consider Trade Secret Measure for Heliskiing GPS Data

Lawmakers in Alaska’s Haines Borough are considering a measure that would designate as protectable trade secrets global positioning system data used for helicopter skiing, Alaska’s Chilkat Daily News reported.

Under the present law all commercial ski-tour operators are required to use as GPS system capable of tracking and preserving information about the routes they use to and from skiing and snowboarding areas, according to the newspaper.

Sean Brownell of Alaska Heliskiing wrote the lawmakers demanding the data be kept from public view or “you will be giving away our trade secrets and competitors in the heliskiing industry would have access to all our research and confidential information and where we ski,” the Daily News reported.

One Haines Borough lawmaker who objected to keeping the data confidential compared the ski operations to the fishing industry, saying “the state tells you where you can fish, but where you put your net in the water is not proprietary,” according to the Daily News.

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.

Bloomberg reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.