Microsoft, AB InBev, Destiny Media: Intellectual Property

Microsoft Corp. and Seoul-based LG Electronics Inc. signed a licensing agreement covering patents for technology used in a range of LG products.

According to a statement from Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, the agreement provides coverage for LG tablets, mobile phones and devices running Android or Chrome operating system.

Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed. In the Microsoft statement, Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Microsoft’s intellectual property group, said the agreement means 70 percent of Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are now covered by licenses to the company’s patent portfolio.

EU Nations Near Agreement on Common Patent System, Barroso Says

European Commission President Jose Barroso said the European Union is near agreement on the EU’s first region-wide patent system.

“Frankly, we are almost there,” Barroso told reporters yesterday in Copenhagen. “There are now some divisions between France, Germany and Britain on things that are not so difficult.”

While governments from all but two of the 27 EU nations have agreed on the basic structure of the patent system, discord remains “on all points” concerning the creation of a patent court, Pierre Delsaux, deputy director general in EU Internal Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier’s department, said on Dec. 7. Last March, 25 EU nations agreed to move ahead with a common patent system; Italy and Spain opted out of the plans because they objected to the language proposals.

“We can finalize this community patent that we have been discussing for 30 years,” Barroso said yesterday. “So it’s about time to come to a solution.”

For more patent news, click here.


AB InBev Buys Budweiser Trademark in Budejovice, HN Reports

Anheuser Busch InBev NV bought parts of Budweiser beer trademarks from Harvestor, a company that operates a brewery in Ceske Budejovice, the Czech city that is home to rival brewer Budejovicky Budvar NP, Hospodarske Noviny reported, citing Michal Donath, a Harvestor spokesman.

Harvestor, which spun off the trademarks from its other beer assets in Ceske Budejovice before the sale, will continue to produce beer in its Samson brewery in the Czech city, Hospodarske added.

Corbis’ GreenLight Unit Will Represent Martin Luther King Jr.

Corbis Corp.’s GreenLight unit has been selected to manage advertising, promotion and merchandise related to the late Martin Luther King Jr. Seattle-based Corbis is owned by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates.

The agreement marks the first time the estate of the late civil rights leader has worked with an external agency, according to a GreenLight statement.

In the years since King’s death in 1968, members of his family have clashed over intellectual property rights.

In October 2008, his daughter Bernice King refused to hand over the love letters her mother received from her father. The estate had signed a $1.4 million contract with Pearson Plc’s Penguin Group for a biography of King’s widow, the late Coretta Scott King.

Bernice and her brother Martin Luther King III said they hadn’t been included in negotiations with Steven Speilberg’s DreamWorks SKG over the use of their father’s story in a proposed film. That deal was put together by their brother, Dexter King, on behalf of the estate.

Destiny, Envirosight Settle ‘Clipstream’ Trademark Dispute

Destiny Media Technologies Inc. settled a trademark infringement suit related to its “clipstream” trademark.

Destiny, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, sued a New Jersey maker of digital video software and hardware for trademark infringement in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, in January 2011.

The company claimed that Randolph, New Jersey-based Envirosight was trying to trade on goodwill associated with the mark by using it in connection with Envirosight products. Destiny sued after a cease-and-desist letter had no effect, according to court papers.

The settlement agreement mandated that Envirosight quit using “clipstream” with any of its products and services.

Destiny, which offers content companies a secure distribution system for their music, had sought money damages and attorney fees.

According to court documents, Envirosight was ordered to pay Destiny $3,000, and to remove a press release to which Destiny had objected. Destiny was given permission to issue a statement about the dispute’s settlement, containing no reference to the monetary component of dispute or disparagement of Envirosight.

The case is Destiny Software Productions Inc. v. Envirosight LLC, 2:11-cv-00210-PGS-ES, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).

For more trademark news, click here.


Leahy Proposes Change to Hollywood-Backed Anti-Piracy Measure

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee proposed changing a Hollywood-backed anti-piracy bill that has drawn objections from Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and other Internet companies.

Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, said yesterday he would submit an amendment requiring further study on a provision requiring Internet-service providers, when served with a court order, to block websites selling pirated content or counterfeit goods. The full Senate is scheduled to hold a procedural vote on the measure, the Protect IP Act, on Jan. 24.

Leahy has “continued to hear concerns about the Domain Name provision from engineers, human rights groups and others,” the senator said in an e-mailed statement, adding that he’s “‘prepared to recommend we give it more study before implementing it.’’

The bill, which has more than 40 Senate co-sponsors and was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in May, would still let the Justice Department seek court orders requiring search engines, payment services and advertising networks to block or cease business with non-U.S. sites linked to piracy.

The Senate measure and a similar House bill are backed by the movie and music industries as a way to crack down on sales of illegally copied content. Internet companies are waging a campaign to block the legislation, saying it will spur online censorship and threaten the growth of the technology industry.

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to resume consideration of the House version of the bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act, when Congress returns from its recess. The committee hasn’t set a date.

Taiwan Museum Employees Indicted Over Unauthorized Copying

Two employees of Taipei’s National Palace Museum were indicted for making unauthorized copies of images belonging to the museum, the China Post reported.

They were accused of making unauthorized copies of almost 3,000 images of the earliest and largest Chinese Encyclopedia, the Yongle Canon, which was compiled in 1408, according to the China Post.

They were also found in possession of almost 4,000 digitized images of cultural works and publications, the newspaper reported.

In addition to the copyright charges, the two ex-employees were accused of taking bribes from a printing company that won a bid to print ancient Buddhist texts, according to the China Post.

Persian Carpet Wins Default Judgment Over ‘Ginkgo’ Rug Design

Persian Carpet Co., a carpet wholesaler and manufacturer based in Durham, North Carolina, won a copyright infringement case against a New York-based carpet importer.

The suit, filed in federal court in North Carolina in August 2010, was related to ‘‘The Ginkgo,” a rug design created in 1997 by Persian Carpet. The company claimed that Tashi Dhan Galaicha Udhyog had made and sold “hundreds” of copies of the Ginkgo design.

According to one website through which Persian Carpet’s products are sold, “The Ginkgo” is a carpet containing botanical elements of a ginkgo leaf, using the symmetrical patterns of the Prairie Style. Rugs from Persian Carpet sell for $35 per square foot.

In an order signed by U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder, Persian Carpet was awarded damages in excess of $302,000 and another $6,000 for attorney fees and litigation costs. The defendants were ordered to quit selling copies of the Ginkgo carpet and to destroy all infringing rugs in their possession.

Tashi Dhan Galaicha Udhyog didn’t respond to the complaint and the court entered a default judgment against the rug importer.

Persian Carpet was represented by Larry L. Coats of Coats & Bennett PLLC of Cary, North Carolina.

The case is The Persian Carpet Inc. v. Tashi Dhan Galaicha Udhyog, 1:1-cv-00604-TDS-LPW, U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina.

For copyright news, click here.

IP Moves

Drinker Biddle Hires USPTO Veteran Robert C. Stoll for IP Group

Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP hired Robert C. Stoll for its IP practice, the Philadelphia-based firm said in a statement.

Stoll is the former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Commissioner for Patents, and spent 29 years with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. There he directed the office’s federal legislative priorities, led many U.S. delegations to foreign meetings, and helped improve the speed and quality of the patent-review process. He also worked as a patent examiner.

Stoll has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland and a law degree from Catholic University of America.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE