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Cubs, Dirtball, Protest, Bally: Intellectual Property

Major League Baseball’s Cubs sued two Chicago residents, accusing them of trademark infringement for appearing in fake mascot suits near the team’s hometown stadium.

The team said in a complaint filed in federal court July 18 that the two men appear in public as a costumed bear character, wearing Cubs caps and jerseys and lurking around the Wrigley Field. They interact with fans, engaging in mascot-like behavior as a way of getting tips, according to the ball club.

They are also accused of making rude and profane gestures, and getting in a bar fight while costumed, all of which the team said caused disparagement to its marks.

The Cubs are seeking a court order barring the defendants from unauthorized use of the marks, together with money damages and attorney fees.

The defendants couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The case is Chicago Cubs Baseball Club LLC v. Weier, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

Quiksilver Accused of Infringing Dirtball Fashion’s Trademark

Quiksilver Inc. (ZQK), a maker of clothing for outdoor sports, was sued for trademark infringement by a North Carolina company that creates clothing made with recycled content.

In a complaint filed in federal court in Statesville, North Carolina, Quiksilver is accused of infringing the “Dirtball” trademark used by Dirtball Fashion LLC.

Quiksilver, based in Huntington Beach, California, didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the suit.

The case is Fox v. DC Shoes Inc., 14-cv-00097, U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina (Statesville).

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

U.S. Indicts Six People in Android App Piracy Crackdown

Six members of what the U.S. Justice Department said are three different piracy groups were indicted for criminal copyright infringement related to mobile applications for Android devices.

The three groups -- Appbucket, Applanet and Snappzmarket -- are accused of making unauthorized copies of apps and distributing them through online markets, the U.S. said in a July 21 statement. The apps had a total retail value of $1.7 million, the Justice Department said.

The defendants are from Massachusetts, Texas, Ohio, Mississippi and California, according to the U.S.

The government said three Internet domain names related to the enterprise have been seized in the first such case involving illegal copies of mobile device apps.

Law Firm Gets Anti-Eviction Protest Video Pulled, TechDirt Says

Bornstein & Bornstein, a San Francisco law firm specializing in landlord-tenant law, invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to have video of a protest shot at one of its seminars removed from YouTube, TechDirt reported.

The two-minute video, which shows protesters disrupting the seminar and shouting “no more evictions,” can still be seen at the Vimeo website, TechDirt said.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Hedge Fund Reports Are Confidential, Rhode Island AG Says

Rhode Island’s attorney general’s office rejected a request from a newspaper for unredacted due-diligence reports on three hedge funds in which the state pension system has invested.

In a July 16 letter to the Providence Journal, Assistant Attorney General Michael W. Field said the information is confidential. The request covers reports from Cliffwater LLC, the state’s investment adviser, and “Cliffwater and the funds want to keep this information private,” Field said in the letter.

While the newspaper had argued that the documents were subject to disclosure laws because they were submitted at a public meeting of a public body, the attorney general’s office said the reports weren’t submitted in the course of a public meeting.

Patents

Bally Gaming Sues App Developer for Infringing Gambling Patents

Bally Gaming Inc., a maker of casino equipment and technologies, sued a developer of software applications for infringing patents covering card playing.

In a complaint filed July 21 in federal court in Los Angeles, Bally said the developer has created apps that infringe patents 6,698,759 and 6,237,916.

The patents, which cover a three-card poker game and a method and apparatus for playing card games, are infringed by simulated casino gambling table card-game apps that the developer sells through Apple Inc.’s iTunes store and through its own website. Apple isn’t a party to the suit.

Bally, based in Las Vegas, said the apps at issue also infringe its copyrights and trademarks. The developer declined to comment on the suit.

The case is Bally Gaming Inc., v. Carey Richardson, 2:14-cv-05634, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

For more patent news, click here.

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, Peter Blumberg

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