Par, LG, Samsung, Motorola, Claiborne: Intellectual Property

Par Pharmaceutical Cos. and units of Actavis Group HF were sued in federal court in Delaware by Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. for patent infringement related to plans to market generic versions of a drug used to control emotional outbursts.

Avanir contends its rivals are violating two patents for Nuedexta, a treatment for pseudobulbar affect, or uncontrolled laughing or crying in patients with neurological disorders, according to court papers filed Aug. 10 in Wilmington.

In dispute are patents RE38,115 and 7,659,282.

Avanir, based in Aliso Viejo, California, “will be substantially and irreparably damaged and harmed” if the infringement by Par and Iceland’s Actavis isn’t stopped by a judge, the company said in two separate complaints.

Avanir officials said in a July 1 statement it “intends to vigorously enforce its intellectual property rights to Nuedexta.” The most recent of the patents expires in 2026, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration records.

Allison Wey, a spokeswoman for Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based Par, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the lawsuit.

“It is Actavis’s policy to not comment on pending patent litigation,” Actavis spokesman Gerard Farrell said in an e-mailed statement. The case against Par is Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Par Pharmaceutical Inc., 1:11-cv-00705-UNA, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington). The case against Actavis is Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Actavis South Atlantic LLC, 1:11-cv-00704-UNA, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

LG Accused of Infringing Taiwanese Researchers’ LCD Patents

LG Electronics Inc., the world’s second-biggest maker of televisions, was accused of infringing a patent related to liquid-crystal displays owned by a Taiwanese research group.

Industrial Technology Research Institute, based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and supervised by the nation’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, filed a patent-infringement complaint yesterday against LG with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, seeking to block imports of LG televisions and monitors.

The Taiwan group’s U.S. patent 6,883,932 covers a backlight module used in LCDs to improve the uniformity of light so they have the correct brightness. ITRI said it licenses the technology to LG’s larger rival, Samsung Electronics Co.

ITRI, founded in 1973 “to strengthen the technological competitiveness of Taiwan” through research and development of new companies, last year filed four lawsuits against LG, accusing it of infringing patents related to mobile phones, air conditioners, Blu-ray disc players and LCD televisions.

LG has filed court papers seeking to have those cases transferred from a federal court in Tyler, Texas, to one in New Jersey.

The case is In the Matter of Certain Devices for Improving Uniformity Used in a Backlight Module and Products Containing the Same, Complaint No. 337-2839, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).

Samsung Files Motion to Halt Ban on Galaxy Tablet Device

Samsung Electronics Co. filed a motion seeking to lift a temporary court order won by Apple Inc. that would bar sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer in most European Union countries. The Dusseldorf Regional Court will schedule a hearing in the case, the tribunal’s spokeswoman Petra Gundlach said in an interview yesterday.

For more patent news, click here.


Motorola Seeks ‘Kore’ Trademark for Fitness-Monitoring Device

Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., maker of the Droid smartphone, applied to register “Motorola Kore” as a trademark, according to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The Libertyville, Illinois-based company said in the application, filed Aug. 3, that it plans to use the term for an electronic, non-medical “portable physical activity monitor and fitness device.”

The Android Community website reported Aug. 5 that Motorola acquired five Internet domain names related to the term. In Greek mythology, Kore is another name for Persephone, a deity associated with the return of springtime and youthful beauty.

Liz Claiborne Sells ‘Curve’ Trademarks to Elizabeth Arden

Liz Claiborne Inc., which produces clothing under the Kate Spade, Liz, Juicy Couture and Crazy Horse brands, is selling its Curve trademarks to Elizabeth Arden Inc., the company said in a statement.

The transaction included a lowered royalty rate with some licensed fragrance brands, including Juicy Couture and Lucky Brand. Claiborne, based in New York, said Elizabeth Arden paid $58.4 million, including pre-payment of some royalties.

‘Redneck Olympics’ Organizer Threatened With Suit From USOC

The organizer of an athletic event that includes such games as toilet-seat horseshoes, lawnmower races and mudpit belly flops has run afoul of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Washington Post reported.

Harold Brooks, who organized the Redneck Olympics in Hebron, Maine, told the Washington Post he was contacted by the USOC’s legal office and threatened with an infringement suit if he didn’t change the name of the event.

He won’t comply, Brooks told the Post, adding that he based the name on the Olympics of Ancient Greece. Other than the Special Olympics, the USOC hasn’t permitted any use of the name other than with its own sanctioned events, the Post reported.

Czech Republic Accused of Infringing ‘Czech Point’ Trademark

The government of the Czech Republic is facing a trademark-infringement lawsuit from the Czech Point 101 real estate company, the Czech Position English-language news website reported.

The real estate company registered “Czech Point” in the Czech Republic in 2006, a year before the government registered a similar mark, according to Czech Position.

The government uses the mark with its efforts to simplify bureaucracy, Czech Position reported.

The Office for the Harmonization for the Internal Market, which registered trademarks on the European Union level, has refused to register “‘Czech Point” for the government, according to Czech Position.

For more trademark news, click here.


Zediva Closes Streaming-Video Site in Response to Order

Zediva, the Santa Clara, California-based company that was targeted in a copyright-infringement lawsuit, said in a statement it suspended operations.

A federal judge had granted a request by movie studios to order Zediva to quit making films available through a streaming service on its website.

Zediva illegally streamed movies to customers without obtaining required licenses from the movie studios, the Motion Picture Association of America said in April.

The closely held company offered 14 rentals of new-release DVDs for $2 a movie, or $1 when ordering 10 films. That undercut what cable companies charge for on-demand and was less than the $3 that Time Warner Inc. charged in a test of 24-hour rentals on Facebook Inc.’s social media website.

In its statement, Zediva said it was “disappointed” by the court’s ruling “and that were are not permitted to serve you.”

The case is Warner Bros. Entertainment v. WTV Systems, 11-2817, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles.)

UBC Joins Canadian Schools Ending Access Copyright Contract

The University of British Columbia is ending its relationship with Access Copyright because of increases in fees and the group’s demands it be permitted to monitor copyright activities on campus, the Vancouver Sun reported.

Access Copyright, a Canadian organization established to help authors and publishers be compensated for use of their work, wanted fees from UBC that would have cost $45 per student, according to the newspaper.

Among Canada’s 15 largest universities also ending contracts with Access Copyright are York University, Queen’s University and the University of Alberta, the Sun Reported.

Paul Smith, a vice provost at UBC, told the Sun his school is buying licenses directly from publishers rather than using Access Copyright.

Copyright Alliance Names 14 Firms to Legal Advisory Board

The Copyright Alliance, an advocacy organization of content owners, established a legal advisory board made up of law firms that represent its members and other rights holders, the Washington-based group said in a statement.

Firms named to the board are Loeb & Loeb LLP; Jenner & Block LLP; Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP; Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP; Covington & Burling LLP; Crowell & Moring LLP; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Proskauer Rose LLP; Kendall Brill & Klieger LLP; Arnold & Porter LLP; Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP; Shearman & Sterling LLP; Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; and Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP.

The firms will work with the alliance to “advance copyright strategy,” host educational events, expand work with law schools and young lawyers, and contribute writing and research, the alliance said in its statement.

Members of the Alliance include advocacy groups for content owners such as the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America, as well as some individual companies.

India’s Cabinet Authorizes Changes to Copyright Law

India’s cabinet approved changes to that nation’s copyright legislation, India’s Economic Times reported.

Under the changes, authors and lyricists whose content is used in films or music recordings won’t assign or waive rights to receive royalties from the use of that content in other media, according to the newspaper.

The changes follow recommendations from the Parliamentary Standing Committee to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Economic Times reported.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Gundlach Defends Against TCW Claims in Video Shown to Jury

DoubleLine Capital LP’s Jeffrey Gundlach, in a videotaped deposition shown to a jury, defended himself against claims that he used proprietary information from former employer TCW Group Inc. when he started his new firm.

“In the things I was involved with, I don’t think TCW had any proprietary information,” Gundlach said in the deposition that TCW’s lawyers showed yesterday in California state court in Los Angeles. He said it was “experience and thinking” that was making money for clients rather than TCW’s analytical systems, which were “just data.”

TCW, the Los Angeles-based unit of Societe Generale SA, sued Gundlach, 51, and three other ex-employees in January 2010, a month after he was fired and more than half of TCW’s fixed-income professionals had joined his new firm. TCW seeks $375 million in damages, claiming Gundlach stole its trade secrets, including client portfolio data, to start DoubleLine.

Gundlach, who had worked at TCW for 25 years and who was named Morningstar’s Fixed Income Manager of the Year in 2006, countersued, saying that TCW fired him to avoid having to pay management and performance fees for the distressed-asset funds his group managed and that went “through the roof.” Gundlach seeks about $500 million.

The case is Trust Co. of the West v. Gundlach, BC429385, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County.

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