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Apple, Danisco, Cypress, Google: Intellectual Property

Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. filed a lawsuit in Germany seeking to ban sales of Samsung Electronics Co.’s smartphone models, including the Galaxy S Plus and the S II.

The suit targeting 10 smartphones was filed in the Dusseldorf Regional Court and is based on Apple design rights in Europe, court spokesman Peter Schuetz said by telephone yesterday. Apple also started a separate suit against five Samsung tablet computer models related to a September ruling banning the Galaxy 10.1, he said.

Last month, the Dusseldorf court said it is unlikely to grant an injunction against the Galaxy 10.1N, a modified version of the Galaxy 10.1 tablet, and an appeals court also voiced doubts about the reach of Apple’s European Union design right that won the company the injunction against the 10.1. The new suits aren’t filed under emergency proceedings and allow Apple a new procedure against both models.

Since winning the September injunction, Cupertino, California-based Apple has faced setbacks in its battle against its closest rival in tablet computers. The iPad maker failed to persuade an Australian court on Dec. 9 to reinstate a ban in that country. Both companies also filed patent suits against each other in several European countries.

A spokesman for Samsung, who declined to be identified, said the company had received both suits.

The new cases are LG Dusseldorf, 14c O 293/11 and 14c O 294/11.

Danisco Loses Bid to Delay Novozymes Trial on Animal Feed Patent

Danisco A/S lost a bid to delay a U.K. trial in its patent battle with Novozymes A/S over a type of enzyme that aids digestion of animal feed.

Danisco, a unit of DuPont Co. that makes food additives, sought to pause the case until the European Patent Office ruled on the dispute.

Novozymes, the world’s largest maker of industrial enzymes, is fighting to defend its animal feed patent in Denmark, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands. The U.K. Court of Appeal yesterday rejected Danisco’s second application to push back the trial, and for permission to use documents from the U.K. case in the European proceedings.

The European Patent Office, which isn’t part of the European Union but offers the closest protection available to an EU-wide patent, revoked Bagsvaerd, Denmark-based Novozymes’ patent in July. The decision was appealed by Novozymes and will be heard by the EPO later this year.

Danisco’s lawyer Christopher Stothers and Novozymes’ lawyer Morag Macdonald declined to comment after yesterday’s hearing.

European Patent Office Says Patent Filings Increased in 2011

The European Patent Office said patent filings increased by 3 percent last year compared with 2010.

The office received 243,000 patent applications and granted 62,115 patents, Munich-based EPO said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. About 62 percent of all filings last year came from outside Europe, with U.S. applications at 24 percent, Japanese applications at 19 percent and Chinese applications at 7 percent.

The EPO isn’t part of the European Union and has 38 member countries. The EPO offers the closest thing presently available to an EU-wide patent.

Cinven Said to Seek $660 Million of Loans to Fund CPA Buyout

Cinven Ltd., the London-based buyout firm, is seeking about 430 million pounds ($660 million) of financing for its leveraged buyout of patent business CPA Global, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction.

The owner of the Pizza Express restaurant chain hired HSBC Holdings Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to arrange the funding, which includes 310 million pounds of senior loans and 120 million pounds of mezzanine debt, said the person, who declined to be identified because the information is private.

Cinven is buying CPA from Intermediate Capital Group Plc for about 950 million pounds, the Daily Telegraph reported without saying where it got the information. CPA, which ICG started acquiring in 2010, provides management services for intellectual property rights, patents, designs and trademarks, according to its website.

For more patent news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Cypress Drops Trade-Secrets Case Against Maxim Integrated

Cypress Semiconductor Corp., a San Jose, California-based chipmaker, said it dropped a trade-secrets case against Maxim Integrated Products Inc.

The case can be refiled if necessary, Cypress said in a Jan. 13 statement. The San Jose, California-based company sued Sunnyvale, California-based Maxim in June in California state court over trade secrets covering touchscreen technology.

Cypress Chief Executive Officer T.J. Rogers said in his company statement that the suit alleged that Maxim went after Cypress’s intellectual property by trying to hire some of his company’s key employees. “Maxim has been unsuccessful” in its hiring attempts, he said.

Maxim declined to comment on the Cypress statement, company spokeswoman LuAnn Jenkins Walden said in an e-mail.

The case is Cypress Semiconductor Corp. v. Maxim Integrated Products Inc., 1-11-cv-202605, California Superior Court, Santa Clara County.


Google Plans Home Page Protest Against U.S. Piracy Measures

Google Inc. said it would place a link on its home page today protesting anti-piracy measures in the U.S. Congress, joining other Internet companies demonstrating against the Hollywood-backed legislation.

Google, owner of the world’s most popular search engine, and Facebook Inc. are among companies opposing House and Senate bills they say they will hurt the growth of the U.S. technology industry. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia where users contribute entries, said it planned to shut the English version of its website for 24 hours today to protest the measures.

“We oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet,” Samantha Smith, a Google spokeswoman, said in an e-mail yesterday.

The Stop Online Piracy Act in the House and the Protect IP Act in the Senate are backed by the movie and music industries as a means to crack down on the sale of counterfeit goods by non-U.S. websites. Hollywood studios want lawmakers to ensure that Internet companies such as Google share responsibility for curbing the distribution of pirated material.

A legislative push led by the Washington-based Motion Picture Association of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest business lobbying group, has run into a backlash from Web companies that say the bills would saddle them with new liabilities and technology mandates.

Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, called the decision to shut the website an “extraordinary” action in response to the proposed laws, which “endanger free speech both in the United States and abroad, and set a frightening precedent of Internet censorship for the world.”

The administration of President Barack Obama said in a blog post on Jan. 14 that it wouldn’t support legislation that encourages censorship, undermines cybersecurity or disrupts the structure of the Internet.

Smith, the Google spokeswoman, said the company respects copyright. “Last year we took down 5 million infringing Web pages from our search results and invested more than $60 million in the fight against bad ads,” she said in an e-mail.

‘Mein Kampf’ to Be Republished in Germany Without Authorization

Albertas Press plans to publish a book containing excerpts from Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” in Germany without permission of the Bavarian state, which owns the copyright, Spiegel online reported.

The London-based publishing house previously published reprints of Nazi-era newspapers, creating a furor in Germany, according to Spiegel.

Peter McGee, who owns Albertas, said that while “Mein Kampf” is poorly written, one can’t recognize its insanity without confronting the text, Spiegel reported.

Although the copyright on Hitler’s work won’t expire until 2015, Albertas made no effort to contact the copyright holder for approval before publication, according to Spiegel.

For copyright news, click here.


Ghana’s New Patriotic Party Protects IP by Registering Symbol

Ghana’s New Patriotic Party registered its symbol to protect its intellectual property, the Accra Daily Mail reported.

As a result of the registration, permission from the party will be required for use of the symbol, according to the newspaper.

Those who use the mark without authorization face potential legal action, according to the Daily Mail.

The symbol features a blue elephant in a white circle that is enclosed in two rectangles, one white and one blue, the newspaper reported.

For more trademark news, click here.

IP Moves

Latham Hires Wilson Sonsoni Biotech Litigator Daniel G. Brown

Latham & Watkins LLP hired Daniel G. Brown for its IP practice, the Los Angeles-based firm said in a statement yesterday.

Brown, a patent litigator, joins from Palo Alto, California’s Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC. He has represented pharmaceutical and life-sciences companies in disputes, including patent cases triggered under provisions of the Hatch-Waxman Act.

He has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Houston and a law degree from the University of Cincinnati.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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