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Power-One, 3M, Apple, ‘Avatar’: Intellectual Property

CardioMEMS Inc., a cardiac device maker, was sued in U.S. federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, by the Netherlands’ Leiden University Medical Centre for infringing a patent for an implanted wireless arterial blood-pressure sensor.

In dispute is patent 6,159,156, which was issued in December 2000.

The university asked the court to bar further infringement of the patent, and for awards of money damages, attorney fees and litigation costs. Alleging the infringement was “willful and deliberate,” the school asked the court to triple the damages.

Atlanta-based CardioMEMS didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

The university is represented by John W. Shaw and Monte Terrell Squire of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP of Wilmington.

The case is Academisch Ziekenhuis Leiden v. CardioMEMS Inc., 1:10-cv-01127-UNA, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Power-One Says Jury Awards SynQor $25.6 Million for Infringement

Power-One Inc., a maker of power-conversion products, said a jury found two of its product families infringed patents held by SynQor and awarded the Roxborough, Massachusetts-based company $25.6 million in damages.

Camarillo, California-based Power-One was one of 11 defendants SynQor sued in federal court in Marshall, Texas, in November 2007. SynQor claimed the companies each infringed one or more of three patents relating to power converters.

Power-One said in a Dec. 22 statement that it believed it had “strong grounds” for appeal.

The case is SynQor Inc. v. Artesyn Technologies Inc., 2:07-cv-00497-TJW-CE, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Marshall).

3M Claims Andover Healthcare Infringes Newly Issued Patent

3M Co., the maker of Scotch Tape and Scotchgard fabric finish, sued a Massachusetts maker of health-care products for patent infringement.

Andover Healthcare Inc. is accused of infringing patent 7,854,716, which is licensed to 3M on an exclusive basis, according to the complaint filed Dec. 21 in federal court in Minnesota. The complaint was filed the day the patent was issued.

St. Paul, Minnesota-based 3M sells the Coban two-layer compression bandage covered by the patent. The product is used to treat venous hypertension and venous ulcers.

Andover’s CoFlex TLC and CoFlex TLC Lite compression systems are accused of infringing the patent, causing 3M “irreparable injury and damage,” according to court papers.

3M asked the court to order Andover to quit infringing the patent, and for awards of attorney fees, litigation costs and money damages. Claiming the infringement is deliberate, 3M asked the court to triple the damages award.

Andover didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment.

3M is represented by Felicia J. Boyd and Nial A. MacLeod of Barnes & Thornburg LLP of Indianapolis.

The case is 3M Co. v. Andover Healthcare Inc., 0:01-cv-04941-MJD-JSM, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota (Minneapolis).

For more patent news, click here.


Apple Applies to Register ‘Voicepass’ as U.S. Trademark

Apple Inc., maker of the iPhone and the iPad, applied to register “Voicepass” as a trademark, according to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Three separate applications were filed on Dec. 17. According to the applications, the mark will be used for technical services and support provided online and over computer networks.

Other uses include computer-assisted training services, interactive products and online services, telecommunications apparatus, troubleshooting of problems related to computer hardware, computer peripherals, and updating and maintenance of computer software.

On all three applications Cupertino, California-based Apple claims it first used the marks in June 2010.

Two Indian Geographic Indicator Tags Are Challenged

India’s Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks was asked to reconsider two geographic indication tags, the Hindu Business Line reported.

One mark is for Darjeeling tea and the other is for Tirupathi Laddu, which is a type of sweet pastry, according to Hindu Business Line.

The objection relating to Darjeeling tea is that the applicant -- the Tea Board -- can’t own the mark as the board is neither a producer nor part of its value chain, the newspaper reported.

The issue with the Tirupathi Laddu is that it’s made by workers of a temple, and the question is whether the applicant -- the temple where the pastries are produced -- represents the interests of the producers, according to Hindu Business Line.

Apollo Group Sued Over Use of ‘Finish Strong’ for Scholarships

Apollo Group Inc., the operator of the University of Phoenix, was sued for trademark infringement by the owner of a trademark, “Finish Strong,” used as a team mantra by the New Orleans Saints football team.

Finish Strong LLC of Naperville, Illinois, registered the mark in 1997 and has used it for a variety of goods and services, according to the complaint filed Dec. 21 in federal court in Chicago. The company licensed the mark to a foundation established by New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees, and it was used on one of the team’s Super Bowl T-shirts, the company said in its complaint.

The company objected to the Apollo Group’s creation of a Finish Strong scholarship, and the advertising of that scholarship on television.

Finish Strong also complained to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when the Apollo Group filed an application to register “Finish Strong” as a mark for use with financial services providing educational scholarships on the post-secondary level. The company persuaded the USPTO not to issue the trademark.

Despite having its trademark application rejected, the Apollo Group continues to use the phrase to promote its services, according to court papers. This may cause consumers to assume, falsely, that a connection or affiliation exists between the two entities, Finish Strong said in its court papers.

Finish Strong asked the court for an order barring future use of its trademark by the defendants, and awards of profits the defendants derived from their alleged infringement.

The company also asked for attorney fees, litigation costs and money damages and, alleging the infringement is deliberate, asked that damages be tripled.

In an e-mailed statement, Apollo Group spokesman Chad Christian said the school hadn’t yet been served with a copy of the complaint “and, as such, it would be premature for us to comment at this time.”

In February, Finish Strong sued Adidas AG’s Reebok unit for creating a “Finish Strong” T-shirt “directed toward the New Orleans Market” based on “Brees’ interest in the Finish Strong mantra.” That case was settled for undisclosed terms in March.

That case was Finish Strong LLC v. Reebok International Ltd., 1:10-cv-01312, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

Finish Strong is represented by Joseph Michael Vanek and Jeffrey Robert Moran Jr. of Chicago’s Vanek Vickers & Masini PC.

The case against the Apollo Group is Finish Strong LLC v. Apollo Group Inc., 1:10-cv-08091, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

For more trademark news, click here.


‘Avatar’ Most Downloaded Film of 2020, TorrentFreak Says

News Corp’s Fox Filmed Entertainment’s “Avatar” led the list of most-pirated movies in 2010, according to the TorrentFreak website.

TorrentFreak, which covers news related to content downloading, says there were more than 16,580,000 downloads of Avatar using BitTorrent file-sharing technology. Director James Cameron said in October that he would make two more films continuing the mythology created in “Avatar.”

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.’s “Kick-Ass” came in second, with 11.4 million unauthorized downloads, and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Brothers “Inception” was downloaded 9.7 million times, according to TorrentFreak. Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures’ “Shutter Island” was downloaded 9.5 million times, followed by Walt Disney Co.’s “Iron Man 2,” with 8.8 million downloads.

For more copyright news, click here.

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