Keds, Girl Scouts, Espionage Bill: Intellectual Property

Wolverine Worldwide Inc. (WWW)’s Keds unit filed an infringement suit against another sneaker maker over the blue rectangle heel-tag trademarks used on its sport shoes.

Vans, a unit of VF Corp. (VFC), is accused of using a similar blue rectangle, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Boston. Keds said in its lawsuit that it previously sued Vans in December 2011 for infringing the same marks, settling that dispute in August 2012.

Vans is selling at least 21 designs that infringe the marks, according to the complaint. The California-based company didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the suit.

The case is Keds LLC v. Vans Inc., 14-cv-12054, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

Girl Scouts Want ‘Thin Mint’ Removed From Nicotine Flavors

Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., General Mills Inc. (GIS) and Tootsie Roll Industries Inc. (TR) are among the organizations that sent cease-and-desist letters to the makers of liquid nicotine over the use of flavor names, the Associated Press reported.

The letters demand that the nicotine companies halt the unauthorized use of their trademarks in connection with the solutions used in electronic cigarettes, according to AP.

One of the names that has been used is “thin mint,” which is used for Girl Scout cookies, AP reported.

A Girl Scouts representative said the use of its mark to market e-cigarettes to youth was “deceitful and shameful, according to AP.

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Copyright

Porn Copyright Holder’s Bid for Internet IDs Tossed by Court

A company holding copyrights to adult movies was rebuffed by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington in its efforts to subpoena identifying information for Internet addresses tied to allegedly illegal downloads.

The court threw out a district judge’s ruling that had allowed AF Holdings LLC to subpoena Internet service providers including Verizon Communications Inc. (V) and Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) The company sought names and other information linked to 1,058 Internet addresses to which a film titled ‘‘Popular Demand” had been downloaded through the BitTorrent file-sharing service.

Few of the Internet companies’ subscribers whose information AF Holdings sought lived in the District of Columbia, where the case was filed, according the appeals court.

In a statement yesterday, the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation called the ruling a “crushing blow against a legal linchpin of the copyright troll business model.”

EFF, together with the American Civil Liberties Union, Public Citizen and Public Knowledge, urged the court to reject the copyright owner’s subpoenas for the identities of Internet users accused of illegal downloads.

The case is AF Holdings LLC v. Cox Communications, 12-7135, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (Washington).

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Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Levin Introduces Senate Bill Aimed at Combating Cyber Espionage

U.S. Senator Carl Levin introduced legislation that would require the Director of National Intelligence to keep a watch list of countries that engage in cyberspace-related industrial espionage against U.S. companies and individuals.

The bill also mandates the creation of a list of U.S. technologies and proprietary information that have been targeted for theft, and a list of items made or services provided that are based on stolen technologies and trade secrets.

Levin, a Michigan Democrat, said in a May 22 statement that his proposed Deter Cyber Theft Act is needed given the estimated $100 billion that cyber-theft costs U.S. companies each year. The bill would authorize the president to direct the Treasury Department to freeze the assets of foreign companies, including state-owned entities, that benefit from industrial espionage.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at vslindflor@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net Fred Strasser, Andrew Dunn

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