Fujitsu, Ecosphere, GoldieBlox: Intellectual Property

Fujitsu Ltd. (6702), the Japanese maker of semiconductors, computers and communications equipment, is the top owner of patents related to 3-D printing, according to a study released by the U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office.

The Japanese company owns 92 patents in this category, according to the November report.

Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS) of Eden Prairie, Wisconsin, is in second place, with 92, tied with 3-D Systems Corp. (DDD), of Rock Hill, South Carolina. Also on the list is the University of Texas System, which has 36 published patents, according to the report.

Ecosphere Gets Patent on Self-Sustaining Power Station

Ecosphere Technologies Inc. (ESPH) of Stuart, Florida, received a patent on a portable solar-powered self-sustaining power station.

Patent 8,593,102, issued Nov. 26, covers a system with solar panel arrays that can be moved by land, air or sea to an area that has no utilities. Power generated by the station can be used to operate such things as a water-filtration system, a water-distribution system or a communications center.

The station could be used to power military field hospitals or to provide electricity in the event of a disaster.

Ecosphere filed the patent application in February 2011, with assistance from McHale & Slavin PA of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, according to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

FindTheBest Didn’t Infringe Since Patent Invalid, Court Rules

FindTheBest.com Inc. didn’t infringe a patent held by Lumen View Technology, a federal court in New York ruled.

Lumen View, a Delaware-based patent holder, in May sued FindTheBest of Santa Barbara, California, for infringing patent 8,069,073. FindtheBest responded in September by filing a lawsuit accusing Lumen View of trying to extort a settlement.

On Nov. 22, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said the patent was invalid because it claimed an “abstract idea of computer assisted matchmaking.”

In its complaint, FindtheBest said counsel for Lumen View accused its chief executive officer of committing a “hate crime” for calling a Lumen View investor a “patent troll,” a pejorative term sometimes applied to patent owners who don’t make goods or provide services covered by the patents they are attempting to enforce.

The patent case is Lumen View Technology LLC v. FindTheBest.com Inc., 13-cv-03599-DLC, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). The other case is FindTheBest.com Inc. v. Lumen View Technology LLC, 13-cv-06521, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Purdue Patent Case Can’t Be Split Into Two Phases, Judge Rules

Depomed Inc. (DEPO)’s patent-infringement case against Purdue Pharma LP can’t be split into two phases, a federal judge in Trenton, New Jersey, ruled.

Depomed, based in Newark, California, sued Jan. 29 accusing Purdue of infringing three patents with its OxyContin painkiller: 6,340,475, 6,635,280, and 6,723,340.

Purdue, based in Stamford, Connecticut, had argued that the case was so complex that it needed to be split into two phases, one covering the liability and the second relating to damages. The jury would be confused by the “highly technical” evidence presented, according to the complaint.

The court disagreed, saying there is nothing unique about the case that would make it any more complex than the average patent dispute. Purdue “has not presented any arguments that distinguish the complexity of this case from the typical patent infringement matter,” the court said.

The case is Depomed Inc. v. Purdue Pharma LP, 13-cv-00571, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Trenton).

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

FIFA Objects to Name of Canadian Campaign For Equality in Soccer

Federation Internationale de Football Association, the governing body of professional soccer commonly known as FIFA, told a Vancouver campaign for equality in the sport that it is infringing FIFA trademarks, British Columbia’s Tyee online magazine reported.

FIFA sent a letter Nov. 15 to Why the Women’s World Cup Matters, a campaign to raise money for a First Nations girls’ soccer program and make it possible for more women to earn a living playing soccer, according to Tyee.

Carrie Serwetnyk, who is the first woman in the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame, said she would make some changes, but refused to alter the campaign’s name, Tyee reported.

FIFA complained that the campaign’s name “could generate the impression” that an affiliation existed between it and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, according to Tyee.

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

Pandora Moves to Lobbying Copyright Royalty Board Over Rates

Pandora Media Inc. (P), a provider of radio services over the Internet, abandoned a quest for legislation to reduce the royalties paid to rights holders, Billboard reported.

The company will shift its energy to lobbying the Copyright Royalty Board, which has the power to set rates, according to Billboard.

Pandora founder Tim Westergren has also said it wouldn’t be adverse to making deals with music labels, Billboard reported.

Oakland, California-based Pandora had been the prime mover behind the Internet Radio Fairness Act, whose abandonment by Pandora and its resulting failure to move forward was hailed by the chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America as “a historic moment,” according to Billboard.

GoldieBlox Takes Down Parody Video, Will Dismiss Copyright Case

GoldieBlox Inc., a toy company founded to inspire girls to go into engineering and science, said it will no longer pursue a lawsuit against the Beastie Boys.

The Oakland, California-based company sued the band Nov. 21, seeking a judicial determination that one of its promotional videos didn’t infringe the copyright for “Girls,” a 1987 song by the Beastie Boys.

The suit is related to a video that has received more than 8 million hits on Google Inc.’s YouTube video-sharing website.

The video is set to a new recording of the song with new lyrics, GoldieBlox said, claiming the ad is a parody created “specifically to comment on the Beastie Boys song.”

Lyrics for the two versions are printed side by side in the complaint. In the Beastie Boys’ version, girls are said to be good for doing dishes, cleaning house and doing the laundry.

In the GoldieBlox version, girls are “more than princess maids” and they can build spaceships, “code the new app” and “grow up knowing that they can engineer that.”

The parody was created “to further the company’s goal to break down gender stereotypes and to encourage young girls to engage in activities that challenge their intellect,” GoldieBlox said.

GoldieBlox founder Debbie Stern said in a Nov. 27 blog post that her company removed the video from YouTube and “we are ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.”

She said she had didn’t know the late Beastie Boy member Adam Yauch “had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys songs never be used in advertising. Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his wishes and yours.”

The case is GoldieBlox Inc. v. Island Def Jam Music Group, 13-cv-05428, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Oakland).

For more 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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