Novo Nordisk, Big Sky, Tudou: Intellectual Property

Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk A/S (NOVOB) quit the Innovative Pharmaceutical Association of South Africa amid disagreements over a proposed publicity campaign against new laws that favor cheaper generic drugs.

Ipasa had e-mailed members including global drugmakers Merck & Co. and Pfizer Inc. (PFE) to ask whether they supported a document prepared by Washington-based lobbying firm Public Affairs Engagement that said drug companies should support the campaign against South Africa’s overhaul of intellectual property laws.

“Novo said it didn’t support the PAE proposal and last week distanced itself from the association,” Ipasa Chief Operating Officer Val Beaumont said by phone yesterday.

The Bagsvaerd, Denmark-based company resigned from Ipasa on Jan. 17, company spokeswoman Shelley Harris said by e-mail.

Magna Case Against TRW Over Back-Up Camera Systems to Be Probed

The U.S. International Trade Commission said yesterday it would investigate a trade complaint filed Dec. 23 by Magna International (MG)’s Magna Electronics against TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (TRW)

The complaint is related to cameras used in automotive back-up cameras, with Magna, of Aurora, Ontario, claiming TRW’s cameras infringe two patents. Magna is asking the court to ban the importation of the allegedly infringing items.

In September, Livonia, Illinois-based TRW asked the trade commission to keep Magna backup-system cameras out of the country, claiming they infringed a patent for image-processing chips.

The Washington-based trade commission has the power to bar imports that infringe U.S. intellectual property rights.

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

Big Sky Brewing Drops ‘Hold My Beer’ Case Against Anheuser-Busch

A craft brewer dropped its trademark case against Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI), the world’s biggest brewery, according to a court filing.

Big Sky Brewing Co. of Missoula, Montana, filed the complaint in federal court Dec. 20, saying it objected to Leuven, Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch’s use of the phrase “Hold my beer and watch this” in promotional videos the company has uploaded to Google Inc. (GOOG)’s YouTube video-sharing website.

The Jan. 22 court filing says only that Big Sky dismissed the case before Anheuser-Busch had been served. The videos at issue are no longer available on YouTube.

The case is Big Sky Brewing Co. v. Anheuser Busch LLC, 13-cv-00307, U.S. District Court, District of Montana (Missoula).

Bunny in Ear of Mandela Statue is Trademark, Artists Claim

The artists who created a statue of Nelson Mandela claim the tiny rabbit figure in the ear of the late South African leader is a trademark and wasn’t intended as a sign of disrespect, the Guardian reported.

South African government officials are demanding the bunny be removed from the statue, which stands outside government buildings in Pretoria, according to the U.K. newspaper.

One critic said leaving the rabbit in Mandela’s ear would be like making a statue of Barack Obama with a bunny in his nose, the newspaper reported.

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

Tudou Unit Fined Almost $50,000 for Infringement in China

Tudou Holdings Ltd.’s video-sharing website Tudou.com was fined 370,000 yuan ($49,568) for copyright violations in China, the Global Times reported.

The plaintiffs were EDKO Film Co. and CNTV.cn, according to the newspaper.

A film and a television program are at issue, the newspaper reported.

IP Address Isn’t Enough to Bring Infringement Claim, Judge Says

A federal judge in Seattle dismissed a movie company’s copyright-infringement suit, saying that an alleged infringer’s Internet Protocol address alone isn’t enough information on which to state a claim.

U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said in his Jan. 17 ruling that simply identifying the account holder associated with an IP address “tells us very little” about who actually downloaded the film.

The case is Elf-Man LLC v. Cariveau, 13-cv-00507, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington (Seattle).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets

Freedom Industries Calls Spilled Chemical’s Ingredients Secret

Freedom Industries Inc., the chemical maker whose leaky storage tank polluted the Elk River in West Virginia, declined to reveal the exact components of one of the chemicals involved in the spill, the Charleston Daily News reported.

The company said that while the components of one of the chemicals are “polyglycol ethers,” their specific identity is a trade secret, according to the newspaper.

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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