Garmin, Apple, Dental Brasseler: Intellectual Property

Garmin Ltd., a maker of navigation devices using Global Positioning System technology, must pay a New York-based patent holder $500,000 in damages for patent infringement.

Ambato Media LLC sued Garmin in federal court in Marshall, Texas, in August 2009, claiming the Garmin International unit of the Schaffhausen, Switzerland-based company infringed patent 5,432,542. That patent, issued in July 1995, covers television receiver location identification.

Garmin products that were able to receive and display traffic, weather and points-of-interest identification infringed that patent, Ambato said.

The jury agreed, finding that Garmin infringed three claims in the patent, and awarded Ambato $500,000.

Garmin didn’t respond immediately to an e-mail seeking comment on the verdict.

The case is Ambato Media LLC v. Clarion Co., 09-cv-00242, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Marshall).

Apple’s Jobs Still Named as Inventor on New Patents

Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs, who died in October, continues to be listed as an inventor on newly issued patents, according to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The most recent Jobs patent is D662,935, which covers the design for a keyboard. That patent was issued July 3.

Jobs is a named inventor on 42 U.S. patents issued since he died Oct. 5 of pancreatic cancer. A total of 359 issued patents name him as an inventor. The patents are assigned to Cupertino, California-based Apple.

For more patent news, click here.


Dental Brasseler Sues Brasseler USA for Trademark Infringement

Dental Brasseler GmbH of Lemgo, Germany, sued a competitor for trademark infringement.

The lawsuit, filed July 16 in federal court in Delaware, accuses Brasseler USA Inc. of infringing a “blue spiral” design trademark used for specialty dental tools.

The German company said the defendant was once a unit and continued to use the trademark without authorization after it became a separate entity in 2008. The exclusive U.S. distributor of Brasseler dental tools is Komet USA LLC of Rock Hill, South Carolina, according to the complaint.

Dental Brasseler said customers may think that it provides the products with the design trademark sold by Brasseler USA.

In addition to a court order permanently barring Brasseler USA from using the mark, Dental Brasseler asked for the destruction of all infringing products and promotional materials, together with money damages, attorney fees and litigation costs.

Dental Brasseler asked that the damages comprise three times the profits Brasseler USA derived from its alleged infringement.

Brasseler USA, based in Savannah, Georgia, didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the lawsuit.

Dental Brasseler is represented by Steven L. Caponi, Laurence S. Shtasel and Susan B. Flohr of Philadelphia’s Blank Rome LLP.

The case is Gebr. Brasseler GmbH v. Brasseler USA Inc., 12-cv-00899, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Ex-Olympic Athlete Told Use of Rings to Promote Gym Is Barred

A gym owner who was a member of the U.K.’s 2004 Olympic team discovered his use of the Olympic rings in promotions for his business was barred, the U.K.’s Kent Online news website reported.

Karl Grant, who competed on the weightlifting team, said he hadn’t seen any kind of trademark notice attached to images of the rings, and that other local businesses are also at risk of being accused of infringement because of a lack of information about permitted uses, Kent Online reported.

Grant said he spent about 2,000 pounds ($3,128) on banners, leaflets and other media in his promotion featuring the Olympic rings, according to Kent Online.

Red Bull Successfully Challenges Sun Mark’s ‘Bullet’ Trademark

Red Bull GmbH, maker of the energy drink of the same name, won a trademark dispute in London, the U.K.’s Independent newspaper reported.

The Austrian company had challenged Sun Mark Ltd.’s Bullet brand energy drink and its associated ad slogan, “no bull in this can,” according to the Independent.

The dispute was heard in the High Court of Justice’s Chancery division, where the judge said the name “Bullet” infringed Red Bull’s “Bullit” mark, and that the “no bull” slogan was an attempt to trade on the fame of the Red Bull product, the newspaper reported.

Raminder Ranger, founder of Sun Mark’s parent company Sea Air & Land Forwarding, had claimed Red Bull used “bully-boy” tactics” against his product, according to the newspaper.

For more trademark news, click here.


Romney Campaign’s Video Using Al Green Song Removed From YouTube

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign had one of its videos removed from Google Inc.’s YouTube video-sharing site following a copyright-infringement complaint from BMG Rights Management, the Washington Post reported.

The video to which BMG objected made use of Al Green’s 1972 hit song, “Let’s Stay Together,” according to the Post.

A Romney spokesman told the Post that the campaign’s use of the song fell into copyright law’s “fair use” provision.

The video was removed because of a complaint made under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the campaign can file a counter-notification to YouTube in an effort to get the video put back online, according to the Post.

For more copyright news, click here.

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