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Google, Tiffany, Chobani, Ziggo: Intellectual Property

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility unit is seeking a patent on a technology that would help drivers pass information about road hazards to drivers behind them.

Application 20140022108, published Jan. 23 in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, covers an inter-vehicle alert system, with a video camera in the front vehicle and a transmitter than sends a signal to those following.

Motorola Mobility filed the application in July 2012, two months after it was acquired by Mountain View, California-based Google. Lenovo Group Ltd. agreed to acquire Motorola Mobility for $2.91 billion, Google said yesterday.

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

J&J Wins Reversal of $257 Million Louisiana Risperdal Verdict

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) persuaded a Louisiana appeals court to throw out a $257.7 million verdict holding the drugmaker liable for deceptively marketing the antipsychotic medicine Risperdal to doctors across the state.

Louisiana officials didn’t present enough evidence to show J&J violated state medical-assistance law with an advertising campaign touting Risperdal’s performance and safety, the state Supreme Court ruled Jan 28. The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company is appealing larger judgments in similar cases in two other states.

The Louisiana case was carved out of a $2.2 billion settlement of U.S. criminal and civil probes of J&J’s Risperdal marketing campaign announced in November. The company’s Janssen unit pleaded guilty to misbranding the antipsychotic medicine. The plea was tied to the company’s effort to market the drug to elderly dementia patients without U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.

The case is Caldwell v. Janssen Pharmaceutical Inc., Civil Action 2012-C-2466, Supreme Court of Louisiana (Baton Rouge).

Tiffany Sues Almost 200 Defendants Over Sale of Fake Merchandise

Tiffany & Co. (TIF), the New York-based luxury jeweler, sued more than 90 named and 100 unnamed defendants for trademark infringement.

According to a complaint filed Jan. 28 in a Florida federal court, the defendants are selling merchandise online that is falsely marked with Tiffany trademarks. The jewelry company is seeking money damages and court orders barring further infringement.

The case is Tiffany (NJ) LLC v. Tiffanysilveruk.co.uk, 0:14-cv-60210, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Ft. Lauderdale).

Chobani Use of ‘Greek Yogurt’ Properly Barred, U.K. Court Says

Chobani Inc., the Norwich, New York-based dairy company, was told Jan. 28 by a U.K. appellate court that it can’t call one of its products “Greek Yogurt” because it’s not made in Greece, DairyReporter.com reported.

The dairy was appealing an adverse lower-court ruling and argued that most consumers understand that the term refers to a type of thick, creamy, strained yogurt that isn’t necessarily a product of Greece, according to DairyReporter.com.

Greece’s FAGE Dairy Industry SA successfully sought the ban on Chobani’s use of the term, according to the dairy-industry news website.

Chobani has said it will appeal the Jan. 28 decision to the U.K. Supreme Court, according to DairyReporter.

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

Ziggo Wins Lifting of Dutch Court’s Ban on Pirate Bay Access

Dutch Internet providers Ziggo BV and XS4ALL persuaded a Dutch court to lift a blockade that denied their users’ access to the Pirate Bay file-sharing site.

The Court of The Hague overturned a January 2012 ruling in a case brought by the Dutch entertainment industry association BREIN, saying the ban was ineffective.

‘American Cowslip’ Producers Ask for $860,500 Default Judgment

Claiming “American Cowslip,” a 2009 independent film starring Val Kilmer, Peter Falk, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern, lost $869,500 to piracy by a Virgin Islands-based file-hosting service, the film’s producers asked a California federal court for a default judgment for that amount.

The defendant, Fileserve Holdings Ltd., as of yesterday hadn’t responded to court filings in the copyright infringement case filed in May 2013, according to the electronic case docket.

The case is Cowslip Film Partners LLC v. Fileserve Holdings Ltd., 2:13-cv-02190, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

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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