Cubist, Apple, Lottery, Lime Wire: Intellectual Property

Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. agreed to license its antibiotic Cubicin to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., resolving a patent dispute.

Teva can start selling its generic version in June 2018 if Cubist is granted a six-month extension of marketing protection for pediatric use, Lexington, Massachusetts-based Cubist said yesterday in a statement. The patent is due to expire in September 2019. Without pediatric clearance, Teva may sell Cubicin starting in December 2017.

“We believe shares will reflect the removal of a major overhang and could trade higher over time, especially as Cubicin sales begin growing again and the Street begins credit to its pipeline,” Jason Kantor, an analyst with RBC Capitol Markets in San Francisco, said in a note to clients.

Cubicin is Cubist’s only approved product, with $600 million in U.S. sales last year. Chief Executive Officer Mike Bonney anticipates the medicine will generate $1 billion in U.S. revenue before Teva’s version goes on sale, he said March 4 in a phone interview.

Bonney said in a conference call following the announcement that the settlement would better allow the company to work with others to develop its business.

“We’ve eliminated for them the uncertainty about what sort of runway Cubist has,” Bonney said.

Cubist’s intravenous antibiotic is used to treat skin infections caused by drug-resistant microorganisms. Under the agreement, Teva will buy its U.S. requirements of active ingredient daptomycin from Cubist for the period of the license.

Cubist will also get a percentage of Teva’s gross profits from sales of the drug under the agreement. Bonney, in a conference call, wouldn’t disclose the details of either the gross sales or materials-supply agreements.

If another generic maker successfully sues Cubist and enters the market, Teva could start selling the drug as soon as the other generic maker did, according to the agreement between Cubist and Teva, Bonney said.

Denise Bradley, a spokeswoman for Teva, declined to comment.

The case is Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc., v. Teva Parenteral Medicines Inc., 1:09-cv-00189-GMS, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Apple Patent Case Against Unlicensed Accessory Makers Goes Ahead

Apple Inc.’s patent infringement suit against makers of unlicensed accessories for the company’s iPod, iPhone and iPad devices can proceed, a federal judge ruled yesterday.

The iPad maker sued eForCity Corp. and six other companies in federal court in San Jose, California, in July 2010 for infringing nine patents. Most defendant companies are related and are located in El Monte, California, according to court papers.

Apple said in its complaint that the companies weren’t participants in its “Made for iPod” program, and were producing products of “inferior quality and reliability, raising significant concerns over compatibility with and damage to Apple’s products.”

EForCity and its related companies argued that the court needed to strike allegations that were “redundant, immaterial, impertinent or scandalous.” Apple included in its complaint negative remarks a consumer made about one of the allegedly infringing products.

Those remarks had no essential relationship to Apple’s claims, eForCity argued. The court agreed and said they should be removed.

The infringement case stands, despite eForCity’s argument that it was procedurally improper. U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel said Apple properly stated its claims in its complaint.

The case is Apple Inc. v. eForCity Corp., 10-3216, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

Smokefree Gets European Patent on Electronic Cigarette Device

Smokefree Innotec Inc., a maker of electronic cigarettes, received a European patent for its smokeless cigarettes, the Las Vegas-based company said in a statement.

The patent covers a smoking device, a means of charging the device and a method of using it.

Smokefree also has a published and pending U.S. patent application covering the same technology. According to that application, this invention is a “smoking product that would considerably reduce the negative effects of the so called second-hand smoking.”

The technology is aimed at providing an alternative means for smoking, which significantly reduces the negative side effects of smoking like second-hand smoking and ash.

Smokefree anticipates that this invention will eliminate smoke resulting from the act of consuming the smoking device.

This will “yield a wider acceptance from the nonsmoking population, thus allowing smokers to consume such smoking devices even in areas where smoking in the classical meaning is forbidden,” Smokefree said in its patent application, 20100307518.

The company applied for the U.S. patent in November 2009, according to the application. The Speckman Law Group of Seattle is assisting with the application process.

In an April 4 statement, Smokefree said its product is in the final production stage and will be released to the public within weeks.”

For more patent news, click here.


Georgia High Court Hears State Lottery Trademark Case

Georgia’s Supreme Court heard oral arguments Aug. 4 in a trademark case involving the state lottery.

The case was brought in Fulton County, Georgia, in February 2008 by two men who claimed they had the right to the name “MoneyBag$” used by the lottery and sought $4.5 million in compensation. They had registered the mark and used it with a game they created.

The lower court kicked out the case on the grounds that the state can’t be sued and determined that the Georgia Lottery Corp. was a state agency, according to Associated Press. The men asked the high court to reconsider the issue.

The two men -- George Kyle Jr. and Frank Mankovitch -- are represented by Angelo Todd Merolla of Atlanta’s Merolla & Gold LLP.

The state is represented by William Wright Banks Jr., Sherreen M. Walls, R.O. Lerer and Samuel S. Olens of the Georgia Department of Law, and Bradley James Harrison and Mark. S. VanderBroek of Atlanta’s Troutman Sanders LLP.

The lower court case is Kyle v. Georgia Lottery Corp., 20008-cv-147029, Georgia Superior Court, Fulton County (Atlanta). The Supreme Court case is Kyle v. Georgia Lottery Corp., S10G1808, Supreme Court of Georgia (Atlanta).

Bollywood’s Salman Khan Rejects Product-Placement Uniform

Although Bollywood actor Salman Khan was offered 70 million rupees ($1.75 million) to wear the uniform of a particular security firm in his upcoming film “Bodyguard,” he refused all offers out of loyalty to one of his employees, IC Tech News reported.

He received offers from as many as five firms and has said he will go with none of them, and will instead wear the same uniform worn by his bodyguard from the Shera agency, according to IC Tech News.

The film is a Hindi-language remake of a film with a similar name that was made in the Malayam language, according to IC Tech News.

For more trademark news, click here.


Ford, Microsoft, Volvo Pay for Customer Access to Web Content

Ford Motor Co., Microsoft Corp. and Volvo AB are among companies paying for customers to have access to digital content, such as the New York Times, Advertising Age reported.

Ford offered a free route over the Times’ newly established paywall to 200,000 people; Volvo is picking up the cost of one month of access to Major League Baseball’s live game video; and Microsoft is paying for a month of the Hulu Plus video service to those who’ve downloaded the latest version of Internet Explorer, according to the magazine.

These are pricey deals, given that each user is worth between $25 and $150, Ad Age said.

Ken Doctor, a media analyst for Outsell Inc., told Ad Age the sponsorship agreements help lure customers into the new pay environments.

Lime Wire Judge Limits Copyright Damages Labels Can Seek

A federal judge limited the number of recordings for which music labels can seek monetary damages in the copyright infringement case against website Lime Wire LLC.

U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood said that the record labels can’t demand statutory damages for each individual song that appears on an album, according to a filing yesterday in Manhattan. A trial for damages is to begin May 2.

Wood found Lime Wire and its founder, Mark Gorton, liable for inducing copyright infringement last year. The Lime Wire website allowed users, without authorization from copyright owners, to download recordings and share them with others on their computers. As the case has moved into the damages phase, each side is trying to increase or limit the number of recordings liable for monetary awards.

Total damages could reach hundreds of millions of dollars, according to court papers.

Music labels, including Sony Corp.’s Arista Records and Warner Music Group Corp.’s Atlantic Records, have identified 11,205 recordings that they say Lime Wire users infringed, and said they’ll seek statutory damages for 9,715. Copyright law allows statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringed work, which meant a possible liability of more than $1 billion.

Wood said that an album constitutes one infringed work. The exception to that is a track from the album released as a single recording to be sold through Apple Inc.’s iTunes or some other retailer.

Wood ruled in March that the labels were entitled to only one statutory damage award for each work infringed, regardless of how many people downloaded the recording. The labels’ demands could have meant damages of trillions of dollars, which she said was an “absurdity.”

Wood ordered the labels to submit their final list of recordings by April 15.

Lime Wire was ordered last year to shut down its music file-sharing site.

The case is Arista Records LLC v. Lime Wire LLC, 06-05936, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

For more copyright news, click here.

IP Moves

McGlinchey Stafford Hires Patent Specialist Robert Pippenger

McGlinchey Stafford PLLC hired Robert S. Pippenger for its Baton Rouge, Louisiana, IP practice, the New Orleans-based firm said in an e-mailed statement.

Pippenger, who previously practiced at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP of Toledo, Ohio, does patent-application work. He has represented clients in the chemical, biotechnical, solid-state and mechanical industries. He has prepared plant patent applications for clients in the nursery and ornamental horticulture industries. He has also done patent-portfolio development work for universities and corporations.

He has an undergraduate degree in chemistry/biological sciences from Cornell University, a master’s degree in physical chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Vanderbilt University.

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