Enzo, Eurocopter, Beyonce, Super Bowl: Intellectual Property

Enzo Life Sciences, which makes products for genetic analysis to diagnose disease, sued rivals Roche Diagnostics Corp., Life Technologies Corp. (LIFE) and Gen-Probe Inc. (GPRO) alleging infringement of a U.S. patent.

The unit of New York-based Enzo Biochem (ENZ) contends Roche, of Indianapolis; Life, of Carlsbad, California; and Gen-Probe, of San Diego, are wrongly using gene assays to detect HIV and other disorders before the patent expires.

In dispute is patent 6,992,180, which was issued in 2006, 11 years after the initial application was filed.

Enzo “has the right to sue and recover damages for any current or past infringement” of the patent, its lawyers said in three separate complaints filed Jan. 30 in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Enzo Biochem reported $102 million in sales and a $16 million net loss for the 12-month period ending Oct. 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Its shares have fallen about 47 percent in the past year.

Roche parent Roche Holding AG (ROG) of Basel, Switzerland, with about $48 billion in annual sales, is the world’s biggest maker of cancer drugs.

Life Technologies logged about $3.5 billion in sales in the fiscal year ended in December 2010, and projects more than $400 million in net income this year.

Gen-Probe, with about $554 million in revenue for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, makes tests for sexually transmitted diseases and blood screening.

Suzanne Clancy, a Life Technologies spokeswoman, declined to comment on the lawsuit. Michael Watts of Gen-Probe didn’t immediately return voice and e-mail messages seeking comment.

“We are reviewing this matter and are confident of our position,” Robin Snyder, a spokeswoman for Roche, said in an e-mail. “Beyond that, we are not able to comment on pending litigation.”

The cases are Enzo v. Roche, 12-cv-106; Enzo v. Life Technologies, 12-cv-105; and Enzo v. Gen-Probe, 12-cv-104, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Neptune’s Krill Patent Suit Put on Hold Pending USPTO Action

Neptune Technologies & Bioresources Inc.’s patent infringement lawsuit against a Norwegian fisheries company and a Utah vitamin company has been put on hold, according to a court filing.

Neptune, based in Laval, Quebec, sued two Aker ASA units and Schiff Nutrition International Inc. for patent infringement in federal court in Delaware in October. They were accused of infringing Neptune’s patent 8,030,348.

The patent, issued in October, covers an extract from krill, which is a small shrimp-like marine crustacean. According to the patent, the extract can be used in nutraceutical, pharmaceutical or cosmetic applications.

Schiff is promoting MegaRed, a krill-based oil, as an aid to cardiovascular health.

In a Jan. 30 court filing, all parties agreed to put the dispute on hold, pending a re-examination of the patent at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. When those proceedings are complete, the parties have 10 days to contact the court and report on the status of the patent office action.

The case is Neptune Technologies & Bioresources Inc. v. Aker BioMarein ASA, 11-cv-894, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Eurocopter, Textron Both Say They Won Canadian Patent Dispute

Eurocopter SAS and Textron Inc. (TXT)’s Bell Helicopter both claimed victory in a patent-infringement case in a Canadian court, Australian Aviation reported on its website.

Eurocopter sued Bell, claiming landing gear on the Bell 429 copter infringed its patents and is a “slavish copy” of its own design, according to Australian Aviation.

The court did find infringement and ordered Bell to pay punitive damages and destroy the infringing product, according to Australian Aviation.

Bell’s claim to victory lies in the court’s dismissal of 15 other claims by Marignane, France-based Eurocopter, the website reported. Textron is based in Providence, Rhode Island.

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

‘Blue Ivy Carter NYC’ Request Dropped by Trademark Applicant

A New Jersey clothing designer who filed an application to register “Blue Ivy Carter NYC” as a trademark four days after a daughter born to pop singer Beyonce Knowles was given that name has dropped the request.

Joseph Mbeh, who designs for his own label FourFront1602, filed the application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Jan. 11. In the application, he said he wanted to use the mark for children’s clothing and footwear.

He abandoned his application Jan. 24 after receiving media attention and being accused of trying to cash in on the fame of the newborn child and her parents.

In a statement released on the HipHopWired.com website, Mbeh said he had been designing a children’s line before the baby was born. To protect the name, he filed an application and started creating samples, which he planned to present to her parents, Knowles and Jay-Z, also known as Sean Corey Carter.

“Given our history and the mark we’ve made as fashion trendsetters, we wanted to create and present a complete idea to the Carters that would uphold the integrity of their collective brands,” he said in the statement.

Mbeh said his objective was to “foster a creative relationship” with the two performers, not to “destroy a potential one.”

On Jan. 26, BGJ Trademark Holdings LLC, which is Knowles’s trademark-holding company, filed an application to register “Blue Ivy Carter” for a range of products in addition to children’s clothing. According to the application, the mark would be used with fragrances and cosmetics, key chains, banners, toys and sports equipment, audio and visual sound recordings, product merchandising and entertainment services.

An application was filed Jan. 20 to register “Blue Ivy Carter Glory IV” for a variety of cosmetic and fragrance uses. The applicant is DBH By Benton Clothier LLC, which does business as Creative Business House.

According to the Creative Business House website, the company does trademark registration and manufactures patterns and samples. The company said its clients include fashion photographer Nigel Barker; Donald Trump, for the interior design used on “The Apprentice;” Tommy Hilfiger; and the Sweetface by J.Lo line of Jennifer Lopez.

Creative Business House of Long Island City, New York, didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment.

Super Bowl Trademark Enforcement Takes Place in ‘Clean Zones’

When fans arrive at the Indianapolis stadium for the National Football League’s Super Bowl XLVI, they will encounter “clean zones” near the stadium barring the sale or promotion of any goods or services connected to the game unless the vendor is approved and paid $75 for a “limited duration license,” Sports Illustrated reported.

The zones, part of efforts to limit so-called “guerilla marketing” by unauthorized vendors, apply to long-established businesses as well as vendors who come into town on game day, according to Sports Illustrated.

The magazine reported that while the requirement for “clean zones” isn’t new, Indianapolis is the first Super Bowl host city to designate multiple sites, and to make the radius of such zones adjustable.

Host cities that fail to enforce their “clean zone” ordinances are subject to fines to be paid to the sponsors of the sporting event, according to Sports Illustrated.

Philippines Experiences 7 Percent Surge in Trademark Filings

Trademark applications in the Philippines rose 7 percent in 2011 from the previous year, the country’s Business Mirror newspaper reported.

Americans filed 23 percent of the 17,928 applications submitted in 2011, part of the 8 percent increase in foreign applications for that year, according to the Business Mirror.

Residents of the Philippines filed 57 percent of the trademark applications, the Business Mirror reported.

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines reduced the turnaround time for trademark applications to 8.3 months from 10 months from filing to registration, the newspaper reported.

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

Twitter Receives More than 4,000 DMCA Takedown Requests

Twitter Inc., the San Francisco-based provider of short messaging services, has received more than 4,400 copyright infringement claims made under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, according to the Chilling Effects website.

Chilling Effects, which traces DMCA takedown notices, is a joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law clinics.

Most of the takedown notices claim a particular “tweet” transmitted through Twitter provides a link to illegal file- sharing sites where copyrighted material can be downloaded without authorization.

Most of the notices were sent by movie studios or music companies. Twitter also received DMCA notices from Cricket South Africa, Cricket Australia, the Premier League, the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Philadelphia-based Westminster Theological Seminary.

The seminary’s takedown notice was somewhat different from most. It complained that a Twitter user has an avatar that infringed the school’s copyright-protected logo design “depicting an open book with a cross in the middle.”

Michigan Man Arrested for Illegally Streaming Sports Events

A Michigan man was arrested for operating websites that illegally streamed football and basketball games over the Internet just days before the Super Bowl will be distributed live to some mobile devices.

Yonjo Quiroa, 28, was arrested Feb. 1 and federal prosecutors seized 16 websites, including nine he operated, according to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

“Sports fans may be tempted by illegal streaming websites, but in the end it is they who pay the price,” Bharara said in a statement yesterday. “These websites and their operators deprive sports leagues and networks of legitimate revenue, forcing spectators and viewers to bear the cost of this piracy.”

The New York Giants and New England Patriots will play in a Super Bowl rematch Feb. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) said yesterday in a statement that it will stream the Super Bowl over some mobile devices, the first time that the game may be viewed that way.

The websites seized by the federal government are known as “linking sites” because they provide access to other sites that host pirated events, Bharara said. Linking sites are popular because they allow users to browse and locate sporting events that would otherwise be hard to find, he said.

Quiroa, who lives in Comstock Park, earned at least $13,000 from merchants who advertised on his sites, prosecutors said. He was arrested yesterday in Michigan and charged with copyright infringement.

The case is U.S. v. Quiroa, 12-mag-00241, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

For copyright news, click here.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at vslindflor@bloomberg.net

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

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