Apple, Zimmer, Media Televisi: Intellectual Property
An industrial designer testifying for Apple Inc. (AAPL) in its multibillion-dollar trial against Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) said the South Korean company copied patented technology for smartphones and tablet computers.
Apple yesterday called as a witness Peter Bressler, the founder and chairman of Philadelphia-based BresslerGroup and an inventor on 70 design and utility patents who teaches product design at the University of Pennsylvania.
Bressler said he had studied different versions of the iPhone in preparation for his testimony. Shown diagrams from Apple’s patents and actual phones based on them, he described the “rectangular proportion” of the diagrams as providing “a specific impression or design.”
The phones “embody the design of the patent,” he said in response to questions from Apple’s lawyer, Rachel Krevans.
Bressler said he performed an infringement analysis of the Galaxy S 4G phone and found that its “flat, uninterrupted surface” and “rectangular proportions” infringe Apple’s patents. He said he arrived at the same conclusion after doing a similar analysis for more than 10 other Samsung phones and a Samsung tablet.
He is an expert in “user research, human factors application, manufacturing processes and innovative criteria conflict resolution,” according to his website. His testimony may continue to lay the groundwork for Apple’s infringement claims, which Apple started last week with Scott Forstall, the company’s senior vice president in charge of iPhone and iPad software. He gave jurors the first detailed testimony about one of the patents at issue.
Earlier yesterday the jury heard from Samsung Vice President Justin Denison, the company’s chief strategy officer for Samsung Telecommunications America, who said he finds “offensive” claims his company is copying Apple.
Samsung is proud of the “products it produces, and all the hard work that goes into bringing those products to market,” Denison said. Samsung “does an excellent job of remaining very humble,” with its employees possessing a “self-critical” attitude that drives “change, innovation,” Denison said under questioning from Samsung’s lawyer, John Quinn.
Apple and Samsung are battling for leadership in the global smartphone market. As companies including Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) and Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) face mounting losses, the two rivals are garnering a larger piece of the market’s profits.
The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 11- cv-01846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).
Zimmer Wins Genzyme Trial Over Knee-Arthritis Treatment
A federal jury in Boston said Aug. 3 the Gel-One product made by Tokyo-based Seikagaku and distributed by Zimmer doesn’t infringe Genzyme’s patent 7,931,030, which covers a method to treat arthritic pain in the knee. The jury also said that the patent is invalid because it covered obvious variations of earlier work.
Genzyme’s Synvisc-One product was the only single-injection treatment approved by U.S. regulators until Gel-One was given clearance in March 2011, according to the complaint filed in federal court one month after the approval was granted. The injection of a hyaluronic acid gel provides pain relief for as long as six months, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Genzyme said.
U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock issued an order Dec. 30 preventing Warsaw, Indiana-based Zimmer from selling Gel-One at a price less than $547.60 per injection or giving out free samples, so it didn’t undercut the price of Synvisc-One. The judge vacated that order following the jury verdict.
Synvisc and Gel-One use different compositions of the hyaluronic acid, and the patent covers a way of providing the treatment through a single injection rather than multiple injections over a period of time, said Sarah Columbia of Chicago’s McDermott Will & Emery LLP, who represented Zimmer and Seikagaku.
Synvisc and Synvisc-One generated 184 million euros ($228 million) in the first half of the year for Sanofi. Sales were up 8.9 percent over the year-earlier period, the Paris-based company said July 26. Zimmer doesn’t break out sales of Gel-One.
The case is Genzyme Corp. v. Seikagaku Corp, 1:11-cv-10636- DPW, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Boston).
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China Police Arrest More Than 1,900 People in Fake-Drug Hunt
Police in China arrested more than 1,900 people and seized about 1.16 billion yuan ($182 million) worth of counterfeit drugs and related goods amid a government crackdown in the world’s fastest-growing pharmaceuticals market.
The fake drugs seized were illegally advertised to treat illnesses including hypertension, diabetes, skin diseases and cancer, the Ministry of Public Security said in an Aug. 5 statement. More than 18,000 members of the police contributed to breaking up drug-counterfeit rings across the country, it said.
“The criminals have come up with new ways to conceal,” the ministry said in the statement. “Counterfeit drug crimes have still not been eradicated.”
Less than 1 percent of medicines in developed markets and as much as 30 percent or more in developing countries are fake, World Health Organization estimates show. China and India are the biggest suppliers of the counterfeits, which cause 700,000 deaths a year among malaria and tuberculosis sufferers alone, according to the Washington-based International Policy Network.
The statement didn’t specify whether the fake drugs were meant for the domestic or international market.
The Ministry of Public Security will offer as much as 50,000 yuan to anyone who contributes to uncovering fake medicine rings and operations, it said in the statement.
China criminalized the manufacture of counterfeit medicines last year and raised maximum penalties to the death sentence to try to contain illegal production.
Drug spending in China is forecast to rise at a compound annual rate of 19 percent to 22 percent in the five years to 2015, reaching as much as $125 billion, IMS Health Inc. said in a May 2011 report. That’s the fastest growth rate globally, according to the Parsippany, New Jersey-based researcher.
Gabby Douglas Needs Jalen Rose Assist for Fab Five Windfall
The key to a potential pay day for Gabby Douglas and her four U.S. gymnastics gold-medal teammates belongs to a member of another “Fab Five.”
Jalen Rose, a member of the University of Michigan’s “Fab Five” basketball team of 1991, was granted the trademark for the term last year, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website.
For the last week the phrase has been associated with the gymnasts who won the team gold medal at the London Olympics and are preparing for an endorsement windfall.
“If you’re Jalen Rose, you’ve got a real opportunity here,” said attorney Pamela M. Deese, a partner at the Washington law firm Arent Fox who assisted National Basketball Association player Jeremy Lin with his “Linsanity” trademark. “It makes sense for him to approach the women’s gymnastics people.”
Rose was a member of the highly touted freshman class that included fellow NBA players Chris Webber and Juwan Howard, as well as Jimmy King and Ray Jackson. The group reached the men’s college basketball championship game as freshmen and sophomores, losing both times. ESPN made a documentary about the basketball team called “Fab Five.”
A Google search of the term “Fab Five gymnastics” yields almost 1.6 million results.
The 39-year-old Rose, a basketball analyst with Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN, wasn’t available for comment, according to network spokesman Ben Cafardo.
USA Gymnastics spokeswoman Luan Peszek said in an e-mail the organization will use the “Fierce Five” catchphrase for a reason unrelated to trademark restriction.
“The girls liked Fierce Five,” she said.
Fierce Five is available, according to the patent and trademark office. The term was trademarked by DreamWorks Animation and abandoned in 2009.
Douglas, 16, the first black gymnast to win the Olympic all-around title and a member of the gold-medal U.S. team, stands to make $1 million to $3 million a year in endorsements, according to Bob Dorfman, executive creative director at San Francisco-based Baker Street Advertising. She already has an endorsement agreement with Kellogg Co. (K), which put the gymnast on the cover of its corn flakes box.
A message left at Kellogg’s media relations department seeking comment on whether the company would be interested in a “Fab Five” trademark license wasn’t immediately returned.
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Scripps’ DMCA Takedown Demand Crashes NASA Mars Landing Video
E.W. Scripps Co. (SSP), the Cincinnati-based media company, filed a request with Google Inc. (GOOG)’s YouTube video-sharing site that caused footage of the Aug. 5 Mars landing to be removed, the Mother Board technology website reported.
The footage, which was posted on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s YouTube channel and showed the landing of NASA’s $2.6 billion rover vehicle Curiosity, was removed under a takedown order authorized by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, according to Mother Board.
Scripps later acknowledged that the removal was a mistake, Mother Board Reported.
In an e-mail sent to Mother Board, the publisher said that “we’ve adjusted our workflow processes to remedy the situation in future,” and that the video -- which was a public-domain video posted on NASA’s own channel and documenting an event paid for with U.S. taxpayer dollars -- had been put back online again.
CBS Expands Copyright Claims Against ABC in ‘Glass House’ Suit
Even though a federal judge in Los Angeles told CBS Corp. (CBS) in June that it was unlikely to win its copyright case related to ABC’s “The Glass House” reality TV show, the network has filed court papers expanding its copyright infringement claim.
In a July 30 court filing, CBS said that the ABC show is based on a “blatant theft” of its copyrightable expression in the CBS “Big Brother” program, duplicating “every key aspect” of plot, themes, setting, pace, characters, sequence of events and “other concrete elements.”
Among those elements CBS claims the Walt Disney Co.’s ABC has copied are “an obligatory older player,” “an openly gay player” and a “‘core of mixed-ethnicity, geographically diverse twentysomethings.” Both shows blend “equal parts attractive young men and women, and aggressive and passive- aggressive contestants in the same way,” and both shows make use of a “villain” who “purposely creates havoc and conflict among other contestants,” according to the filing.
ABC had argued in its filings that there is “no secret sauce” involved in the production of “Big Brother” and that both programs are “generic staples of the reality show genre.”
The case is CBS v. ABC, 2:12-cv-40073-GAF-JEM, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).
Indonesian Copyright Claim Targets TV Station That Aired Concert
Two Indonesian musicians filed a copyright infringement report to police in Jakarta, saying their songs were used without authorization in a concert in that country in April, the Jakarta Post reported.
Jockie Suryoprayogo, one of the two musicians filing suit, told the Jakarta Post that to no avail he sent warning letters to the alleged infringers -- including the television station that aired the program -- and demanded an admission of responsibility.
The concert was broadcast on Indonesia’s Metro TV, owned by PT Media Televisi Indonesia, according to the Jakarta Post.
The alleged infringers may face as much 5 billion Indonesian rupiah ($528,000) in fines and seven-year jail terms, Jakarta Post reported.
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