Intel, Vuitton, Kuoni, Comcast: Intellectual Property

Intel Corp. (INTC), the Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker, agreed to buy 1,700 patents and patent applications from InterDigital Inc. (IDCC), according to a joint company statement.

The patents are primarily related to advanced wireless technologies, including high-speed download packet access and high speed upload packet access.

Intel is paying the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based wireless technology company $375 million in cash, the companies said.

Scott McQuilkin, senior executive vice president for strategy and finance at InterDigital, said in the statement that the sale is only “a small portion of our overall patent portfolio,” and that it marks an expansion of the company’s IP strategy. The company intends to expand the monetization of its IP portfolio, he said.

The patents will support Intel’s “strategic investments in the mobile segment,” said Doug Melamed, Intel senior vice president and general counsel.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2012, subject to closing conditions and required regulatory approval, the companies said.

Allergan Loses Appeal Over Patents for Sanctura XR Drug

Allergan Inc. (AGN) lost an appeals court bid to block generic versions of the urinary incontinence drug Sanctura XR by companies including Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (WPI) and Novartis AG (NOVN)’s Sandoz unit.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington yesterday, without issuing a formal opinion, upheld a lower court ruling invalidating patents on the drug. Notice of the court’s decision was posted on its website.

The suit was filed in July 2009, and the lower court issued its ruling March 12.

The lower court case is Allergan Inc. v. Watson Laboratories Inc.-Florida, 1:09-cv-00511-GMS, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

The appeal is Allergan Inc. v. Watson Laboratories Inc., 12-1310, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington).

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

Vuitton’s Infringement Suit Over ‘Hangover’ Film Dismissed

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC)’s trademark infringement suit against Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s Warner Brothers Entertainment was dismissed by a federal judge in Manhattan.

The maker of luxury handbags filed suit in December, claiming the use of a counterfeit Louis Vuitton bag in “The Hangover: Part II” film constituted trademark infringement.

One of the characters in the film says of the bag “careful ... that is a Louis Vuitton,” and Vuitton had claimed this would confuse consumers as to the source of the product and that mistaken association would tarnish the company’s trademarks.

The bag used in the movie was actually from a company against which Vuitton brought an action before the U.S. International Trade Commission, a body with the power to ban the import of infringing items, the luxury-goods company said.

Vuitton does authorize product placement in movies, only with its permission and only with genuine products, according to court papers. Warner was accused of stepping outside the general practice in the movie industry of clearing the use of a branded product with the brand owner.

In addition to seeking an order barring the advertising, promotion and distribution of the film containing any scenes with the allegedly infringing bag, Vuitton had asked the court to order the destruction of all copies of the film that contain images of the counterfeit bag and represent it as a genuine Louis Vuitton product.

Additionally, Vuitton sought an award of Warner Brother’s profits related to its alleged false designation or origin, money damages, litigation costs and attorney fees.

U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter was unimpressed with the luxury-goods company’s arguments. He said in his June 15 ruling that there was no likelihood that moviegoers would think the fake was a real bag just because a character in the film said it was. He also said that the character mispronounced the company name, saying “Lewis” Vuitton.

The character’s mispronunciation is a comic element in the film, adding to his image as “a socially inept and comically misinformed character,” the judge said. He found that this put the film’s use of the bag and trade name into the realm of artistic expression permitted under the First Amendment.

He also said that it is “highly unlikely” that an appreciable number of moviegoers would even notice the bag was a knock-off.

This isn’t the first time the film has been the target of an infringement suit. In April 2011, the tattoo artist who created Mike Tyson’s distinctive tattoo sued over the use of that design in the film. That case settled in June 2011 for undisclosed terms.

That case was Whitmill v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 4:11-cv-00752-DCP, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis).

In the new case, Vuitton is represented by Theodore C. Max of Los Angeles-based Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, and Robert E. Shapiro, Wendi E. Sloane and Vito S. Solitro of Chicago’s Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP.

Time Warner’s lawyers were Andrew Harrison Bart and Gianni P. Servodidio of Chicago’s Jenner & Block LLP.

The case is Louis Vuitton Malletier SA v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 1:11-cv-09436-ALC, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Kuoni Wins Court Order Banning Indian Company’s Use of ‘SITA’

Kuoni Reisen Holding AG (KUNN), the Switzerland-based travel company that acquired India’s SITA World Travel in 2000, won a trademark case involving its “SITA” trademarks, India’s Financial Express reported.

Delhi’s High Court ordered Sita Expedition Pvt. Ltd. from doing business under the SITA trademark or using the Internet domain name sitaexpedition.com, according to the newspaper.

Counsel for Kuoni had argued that SITA/Sita Expedition of Ghaziabad included “SITA” in its name “with an oblique motive to capitalize on the goodwill and reputation of Kuoni,” the Express reported.

The court’s order is temporary and in force until the next hearing on the disputed mark, according to the newspaper.

Macy’s Sued for Infringement by Holder of ‘Lower East Side’ Mark

Macy’s Inc. (M), the retail chain based in Cincinnati, was sued for trademark infringement by the proprietor of the L.E.S. Clothing Co. of New York.

The suit involves the “LES” group of trademarks held by Robert Lopez’s L.E.S. Clothing. The marks are all related to the Lower East Side, a Manhattan neighborhood. Lopez said in the complaint his company has been selling clothing under those marks since 1999.

He objects to the large retailer’s sale of shirts printed with “Lower East Side” and “Lower East Side New York.” He claimed that he has had customers ask about the shirts sold at Macy’s.

Customers are confused by the shirts Macy’s is selling, Lopez says, and he’s been injured and damaged by such sales.

He asked the court to bar further infringement of his marks, and for an order for the seizure and destruction of any infringing products and promotional materials.

Additionally, he seeks money damages, including extra damages to punish Macy’s for its alleged infringement, together with awards of attorney fees and litigation costs. Macy’s didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment.

Lopez has sued other retailers for trademark infringement, including Payless ShoeSource Inc., J. Crew Inc., Aeropostale Inc., The Gap Inc., Urban Outfitters Inc. and Coat of Arms LLC. Most of those cases have settled, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

He is unrepresented by counsel in all the cases except for a dispute with The Gap. In that case, which hasn’t settled, he is represented by Nivritha Casi Ketty, Robert W. Lehrburder and Solmaz Fatemeh Firoz of New York’s Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP.

That case is Lopez v. The Gap Inc., 1:11-cv-03185-PAE, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

The case against Macy’s is Lopez v. Macys.com Inc., 1:12- cv-04621-PGG, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

Comcast Refused to Deliver Subscriber Data, Court Agrees

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), the Philadelphia-based cable company and Internet service provider, refused to comply with a demand that it release identification information about its subscribers to makers of adult films suing them for illegal file sharing.

In a June 1 court filing, Comcast said it was unfair to let the plaintiffs profit from litigation tactics that “uses the offices of the court as an inexpensive means to gain the Doe defendants personal information and coerce ‘settlements’ from them.”

Comcast claimed the film companies had no intention of actually trying a case and were only using the court to get information so they could “shake down” the defendants.

The film companies responded in a June 8 filing. They said Comcast is making “baseless” claims and instead “attempts to draw the court’s attention away from its meritless legal arguments through character attacks.”

In an order issued June 14, U.S. District Judge Garry Feinerman ordered that the subpoenas the film companies requested not be issued.

The case is AF Holdings LLC v. Comcast Cable Communications LLC, 1:12-cv-03516, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

Israeli Music Association Sues Arabic Station for Infringement

Israel’s Association of Composers Authors and Publishers of Music sued an Arabic-language media outlet for copyright infringement, Haaretz reported.

The suit, filed in Haifa District Court, alleged the newspaper Kul al-Arab of Nazareth has failed to pay royalties for the playing of music on its online radio station, according to Haaretz.

That court has temporarily ordered Kul al-Arab to quit playing music from any of the association’s members, according to Haaretz.

One of the owners of Kul al-Arab declined to comment on the suit, Haaretz reported.

For more copyright news, click here.

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: David Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.

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