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Medicines, Paradise, Apple: Intellectual Property

Medicines Co. said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a one-year extension for the patent on its anticoagulant drug Angiomax, which accounts for almost all the company’s revenue.

The extension, until Aug. 13, 2011, was granted so the agency can process Medicines Co.’s application to extend the term until December 2014. The Parsippany, New Jersey-based company said it is entitled to an additional 1,728 days of protection after the original March 23 expiration to compensate for the time U.S. regulators took to consider whether the drug could enter the market.

The patent office had said Medicines Co. missed a deadline to seek the extension. On Aug. 3, U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton in Alexandria, Virginia, said the agency misinterpreted federal law in calculating the deadline and ordered the agency to consider the application to be timely filed.

U.S. sales of Angiomax, accounting for 95 percent of Medicines Co.’s revenue last year, helps fund research into five other products, Chief Executive Officer Clive Meanwell has said.

Patent 5,196,404 covers the composition of matter, meaning the drug’s active ingredient, and “is the one that’s considered unassailable” to blocking generic competition, Meanwell said in a March 22 interview. The patent was issued in March 1993.

The case is Medicines Co. v. Kappos, 10cv286, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

Paradise Entertainment Buys Director’s Patent for HK$280 Million

Paradise Entertainment Ltd. of Hong Kong said it will pay Jay Chun, one the company’s directors and a 5.1 percent shareholder, HK$280 million ($36 million) for a Macau patent on a betting terminal system for use in that Chinese city.

Paradise will pay HK$30 million in cash and issue a HK$250 million promissory note, the company said in a statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange. The stock, suspended since Aug. 2, was set to resume trading today.

The patent, which was issued in April 2010, is valid until Oct. 24, 2026, according to the company statement. The technology it covers increases the productivity of dealers, relieving what the company says is “the acute casino labor shortage in Macau.” It also reduces the risks of human errors and fraud, the company said.

The system covered by the patent has been installed in Macau’s Casino Kam Pek Paradise since 2009, and during that year contributed to a turnover of about HK$83 million, the company said.

Paradise entertainment said it expects that its existing casino customers both overseas and in Macau will be interested in installing the system “in order to serve for more players at the same time.”

British Telecom Sues Cable Companies Over Transmission Patents

British Telecommunications Plc, a global telecommunications unit of BT Group Plc, sued cable companies Cox Communications Inc., Coxcom Inc. and Cable One Inc. over patents for transmitting data over cable networks.

British Telecom seeks unspecified damages related to four patents it holds for “managing and organizing the flow of data over cable networks,” it said Aug. 5 in a federal court complaint in Wilmington, Delaware. The company claims Cox and Cable One infringed its technologies deliberately and “in reckless disregard of BT’s rights.”

“The extent of damage suffered by BT” is unknown, “but the damage is substantial and will be determined in the course of litigation,” lawyers for the London-based company said in court papers. British Telecom said it has operations in more than 170 countries.

In dispute are patents 5,142,532, 5,526,350, 6,538,989, and 6,665,264, issued from August 1992 to December 2003.

BT Group, the U.K.’s largest fixed-line phone company, reported in a July 29 statement that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and costs from job cuts rose to 1.4 billion pounds ($2.2 billion) in the three months ended June 30, from 1.33 billion pounds a year earlier.

Rima Calderon, a spokeswoman for the Washington Post Co., Cable One’s parent, said “the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.” David Grabert, a spokesman for Cox Communications, the third-largest U.S. cable TV company, said, “We have not been served and we have no comment about the complaint at this time.”

British Telecom is represented by Daniel A. Boehnen, Grantland G. Drutchas, George I. Lee and Robert J. Irvine III of McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP of Chicago, and Philip A. Rovner of Wilmington’s Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP.

The case is In re British Telecommunications Plc v. Coxcom Inc., 10-cv-00658,U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Apple Patent Filing Hints at Future iBike for Consumers, Racers

Apple Inc., the maker of the iPad and the iPhone, may have an iBike in the works, if a recently published patent application is any indication.

According to application 20100198453, published Aug. 5 in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple is seeking a patent on a system and method for integrating a portable electronic device with a bicycle.

The technology covered by the patent can be used with devices other than those made by the Cupertino-based company. According to the application, suitable electronic devices would include Research in Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry or T-Mobile USA Inc.’s Sidekick, in addition to Apple’s iPhone, or a video recorder, domestic appliance, or medical device.

Devices enabled with this technology can provide riders with operative data such as riding characteristics, or global positioning information. The devices could also display information received from other cyclists, such as members of a cycling team participating in a race, according to the patent. It could also be used to transmit voice, text or video messages.

The information is displayed on a device that can be attached to handlebars, coupled to the user’s wrist or arm or placed in a pouch or even permanently embedded in a bicycle.

Apple applied for the patent in February 2009, with the assistance of New York’s Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP.

For more patent news, click here.


News Corp’s Times Must Pay Hendrix Heirs for Promotional CD

News Corp.’s Times newspaper in the U.K. may have to pay as much as 150,000 British pounds ($240,000) to the copyright holders for the late Jimi Hendrix’s music.

The underlying case relates to a promotional project through which the Times was to give away more than 1.5 million copies of a CD of 10 Hendrix songs with an edition of the Sunday Times. Hendrix, a Seattle native who died in 1970 at the age of 27, had performed a concert in London’s Royal Albert Hall in 1969 from which many of the cuts on the CD were taken.

The Times failed to get proper copyright clearance for the project and was sued for infringement by two entities with various rights to the late performer’s work.

Court filings reveal that the U.K.’s Daily Mail and General Trust Plc’s Daily Mail was initially offered promotional CDs and turned them down.

The Mail’s head of promotions told the court that the rejection was based on her understanding that the Hendrix estate was “notoriously litigious” and the proffered recordings’ quality was poor. According to Bloomberg data, Seattle-based Experience Hendrix LLC is the plaintiff in more than 25 copyright-infringement cases filed in U.S. federal courts since the beginning of 2007.

High Court Judge Sir William Blackburne found that the copyright holders “use” of $5.8 million in revenue was delayed for a year by the Times action, and said in his 46-page ruling that the newspaper company should pay them interest on that amount.

The case is Experience Hendrix LLC v Times Newspapers, HC07C0647, High Court of Justice, Chancery Division.

Eric Dane, Gawker Settle ‘Naked Threesome’ Copyright Case

Eric Dane, the actor who is often identified as “Dr. McSteamy” on Walt Disney Co.’s ABA network’s “Grey’s Anatomy” settled a copyright suit he filed in September 2009.

He sued Gawker Media LLC for copyright infringement after a 12-minute video of himself, his wife, Rebecca Gayheart, and former beauty contest winner Kari Ann Peniche was posted on the website.

New York-based Gawker posted a segment from the video beginning Aug. 17, with the headline “Dane’s Anatomy: McSteamy, His Wife and a Fallen Beauty Queen’s Naked Threesome,” according to court papers.

Dane sent Gawker a take-down notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Gawker admitted in court papers that the company didn’t remove or block access to the video in response to Dane’s request. The media company said in its pleadings that its posting of the video was permissible under the law.

Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed in court filings. U.S. District Judge George H. Wu signed the order of dismissal July 27.

In February, Peniche, who wasn’t a plaintiff in the suit, released a recording titled “U and Me and Tiger Makes 3” that was “inspired by her experiences in the celebrity spotlight,” according to her website.

Dane and his wife were represented by Henry L. Self III, Martin D. Singer and Yael E. Holtkamp of Los Angeles-based Lavely & Singer APC. Gawker was represented by Alonzo B. Wickers IV and Karen A. Henry of Seattle’s Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

The case is Eric Dane v. Gawker Media LLC, 2:09-cv-06912-GW-SH, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

For more copyright news, click here.


Gufic Wins Right to Go Ahead with ‘Cliniq’ Mark for Lotion

Estee Lauder Inc., the maker of Clinique and Aramis cosmetic products, lost a trademark challenge against Mumbai’s Gufic Biosciences Ltd., India’s Economic Times reported Aug. 7.

The New York-based cosmetics company objected to Gufic’s use of “cliniq” in its “Skincliniq Stretch Nil” product used to prevent pregnancy’s stretch marks, according to the Economic Times.

The court said the use of ‘cliniq” on the Gufic was neither identical nor deceptive and that consumers were unlikely to confuse it with Estee Lauder’s Clinique because of a large price difference between the two companies’ products, according to the newspaper.

Officials for Estee Lauder weren’t available to discuss whether they’d appeal the judgment, the Economic Times reported.

Magniflex Says ‘Bellagio’ Chosen to Honor Italy, Not to Infringe

Grupo Magni’s Magniflex USA says it didn’t infringe MGM Resorts International’s trademarks when it chose the name for one of its new mattresses.

The name “Bellagio Lavender” was selected to pay homage to the city of Bellagio in Italy’s Lake Como region, Marco Magni, president of Magniflex USA, said in an e-mailed statement. He said the company’s pride in its Italian heritage has moved the company to name many of its mattresses “to pay homage to major cities and cultural centers in our country.”

When the company chose the name for its lavender-infused aromatherapy mattress, Magniflex was “unaware” the 4,000-room Las Vegas casino hotel by that name had a line of home products with that brand name, according to the statement.

MGM Resorts sued Magniflex for trademark infringement in federal court in Las Vegas on Aug. 4.

The case is Bellagio LLC v. Magniflex USA Ltd., 2:10-cv-01311-PMP-PAL, U.S. District Court, District of Nevada (Las Vegas).

For more trademark news, click here.

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