Philips, Google, AB InBev, News: Intellectual Property

Royal Philips NV (PHIA) won a U.K. court ruling in a global battle over patents for recognizing hand gestures and motion on Nintendo Co. (7974)’s Wii computer-gaming devices.

In a June 20 ruling, Judge Colin Birss said a Nintendo unit infringed two Philips patents. Nintendo, the world’s largest maker of video games, didn’t violate a third patent pertaining to modeling a body in a virtual environment, Birss said.

Nintendo said the two patents are invalid and it will seek to appeal the decision. The company has been selling the device in the U.K. since 2006.

“We believe Nintendo infringed the patents and have tried to settle since 2011, but as that hasn’t worked out we had to take this step,” said Bjorn Teuwsen, a spokesman for Philips.

The case is Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV v Nintendo of Europe GmbH, case no. HC12E04759, U.K. High Court of Justice, Chancery Division.

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Trademark

Google Complaints Shouldn’t Derail Planned EU Pact, Almunia Says

More complaints targeting Google Inc. (GOOGL) shouldn’t derail the European Union’s plans to clinch a settlement with the world’s largest search-engine company, the EU’s antitrust chief said in a letter to colleagues.

Joaquin Almunia defended his plans to settle a 3 1/2-year probe into Google in a letter to fellow commissioners seen by Bloomberg News.

He told them the current investigation into Google’s search engine couldn’t look into issues such as net neutrality and copyright infringement, which are outside the scope of his powers to police antitrust violations, or other products such as Google Plus and YouTube.

Complaints filed in recent months by French and German publishers, Deutsche Telekom AG, an images industry group and an advertising platform “either came too late” to be added to the current probe “or raise concerns on practices and markets that lie beyond” the scope of antitrust regulators, Almunia said in the letter.

Anheuser-Busch InBev Says ‘Natty Greene’s’ Would Infringe

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI) is trying to block registration of a U.S. trademark by Natty Greene’s Brewing Co. of Greensboro, North Carolina.

According to a June 18 filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Anheuser-Busch said a Natty Greene’s trademark would infringe its NattyLight, Fatty Natty and Natty Daddy trademarks, and confuse consumers.

The North Carolina brewery has until July 28 to respond.

Tanzanian Coffee Need Better IP Protection, Industry Figure Says

The absence of adequate intellectual-property protection for Tanzanian coffee has led to the country losing much of its crop to smuggling, the head of the Tanzania Coffee Board said, Tanzania’s Daily News reported.

Adolph Kumburu, the board director general, told a coffee industry meeting June 18 that smuggled Tanzanian coffee is sold on international markets, according to the Daily News.

He said the Tanzanian government needs to improve protection so that coffee exports will bring in high enough prices to motivate farmers to increase production, the newspaper reported.

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Copyright

Daily Mail, News Corp Wage Copyright Battle in Australia

The U.K.’s Daily Mail & General Trust Plc (DMGT)’s Daily Mail Australia accused Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Australia (NWS) of using its stories without authorization on at least 10 occasions, the Guardian reported.

The Daily Mail was responding to legal action in Australia by News Corp.’s Australian newspaper, which accused the Mail of copyright infringement and plagiarism, according to the Guardian.

The hostility has become so intense that a media-business reporter for the Australian has been barred from any of the Mail’s social functions for advertisers during the Cannes Lions advertising festival, the Guardian said.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Google Ordered to Remove Defendant’s Domain Worldwide

Google Inc. (GOOG), which isn’t a party to a Canadian trade-secret suit, was ordered to remove the defendant’s entire domain from all search results worldwide.

The underlying suit involved a maker of industrial equipment who claimed one of its former distributors has used the company’s trade secrets to make and sell a competing product.

Google earlier removed some specific Web pages and Web addresses from searches originating in Canada. The plaintiffs said that wasn’t enough to halt the sale of infringing products, and British Columbia’s Supreme Court agreed.

The case is Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack, 2014 BCSC 1063, Supreme Court of British Columbia.

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; Andrew Dunn at adunn8@bloomberg.net; Peter Blumberg at pblumberg1@bloomberg.net Andrew Dunn, Peter Blumberg

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