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DuPont, Unilever, Modern Times: Intellectual Property

Kolon Industries Inc. said it will fight criminal charges in the U.S. that it stole trade secrets from DuPont Co., the Korea Herald reported.

The U.S. Justice Department accused the company and five of its executives of stealing secrets related to the production of Kevlar, an anti-ballistic fiber used in police and military gear.

Jeff Randal, counsel for the Gyeonggi, Korea-based company, said the charges filed by government prosecutors “effectively assist DuPont in extending its monopoly,” the Korea Herald reported.

The company claims it has developed its own version of the disputed technology, with research dating back to 1979, Korea Times reported.

Jobs Is Gone, But Patents in His Name Continue to Come Forth

While it’s been more than a year since his death, Steve Jobs continues to be listed as an inventor on some Apple Inc. patents.

The newest Apple patent on which Jobs is named is a design patent for a portable display device that looks like a smaller iPad. Patent D669,069 was issued Oct. 16. Jobs, the co-founder and former chief executive officer at Cupertino, California-based Apple, was one of 15 inventors named on the patent.

According to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Steve Jobs is listed as the inventor on 290 U.S. patents. As “Steven Jobs,” he is named as inventor on another 78 patents.

Jobs died Oct. 5, 2011, from the complications of pancreatic cancer. He was 56.

For patent news, click here.


Unilever Traces Fake Detergent Imported to Australia

Unilever Plc says the way Australian consumers can tell if the versions of the OMO laundry detergent they buy are fake is if they are labeled “made in China” rather than “made in New Zealand,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

More than 40 tons of fake OMO were seized in a single raid at a customs depot in Botany, Australia, last week, according to the newspaper.

Police officials said the fakes were intended for convenience stores and market stalls in Sydney, according to the newspaper.

Fake versions of the products may contain dangerous ingredients such as acetone, Ken Taylor of Australia’s Trademark Investigation Services said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Fake Heinz Ketchup Bottles Explode in New Jersey Warehouse

H.J. Heinz Co. reported that bottles of fake versions of one of its products exploded and covered a warehouse in Dover, New Jersey, with ketchup, United Press International reported.

Bulk quantities of the product -- Heinz Ketchup -- were illegally transferred to bottles labeled with the name of the company’s premium brand, “Simply Heinz,” company officials said, according to UPI.

The explosions resulted from a combination of the acids in the tomatoes and vinegar combined with fermenting sugars, according to UPI.

Michael Mullin, a spokesman for the Pittsburgh-based company, said Heinz is cooperating with an query conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigation and that “Heinz will not tolerate illegal repackaging of our products,” UPI reported.

Hotel Cipriani Forces Belfast Pizza Parlor to Change Name

Hotel Cipriani Srl, the luxury hotel in Venice that is a celebrity favorite, convinced a U.K. high court that a Belfast, Northern Ireland, pizzeria infringed its trademark, UTV news reported.

The Cipriani pizzeria will change its name, possibly to Sipriano, according to UTV news.

The pizza restaurant will also transfer over to the hotel an Internet domain name the hotel said was infringing, UTV News reported.

Salvatore Liberante, owner of the restaurant, said he hadn’t intended to make any connection to the Venetian restaurant and that the name was chosen instead to honor rugby star Danny Cipriani, according to the news service.

Seller of Fake Nintendo Cartridges Pleads Guilty, Faces Jail

A U.K. resident who is estimated to have earned 600,000 British pounds ($961,000) from the sale of fake versions of Nintendo Co. game cartridges faces a jail sentence, the Croydon Guardian reported.

Justin Success Brooks, who pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud, is estimated to have cost the Kyoto, Japan-based company $12 million in lost sales, according to the newspaper.

While a single game cartridge cost 30 to 40 British pounds, Brooks -- who is to receive his sentence Nov. 9 -- sold cartridges containing as many as 200 games for prices ranging from 40 to 90 British pounds, the Guardian reported.

Both Nintendo and a trade association -- the U.K. Interactive Entertainment Association -- bought some of the fake items Brooks was selling through a number of different websites, according to the newspaper.

For more trademark news, click here.


Modern Times’ Viasat Unit in Ukraine Copyright Royalty Dispute

Modern Times Group AB’s Viasat unit is the target of a copyright infringement action in the Ukraine, Broadband TV News reported.

A Ukrainian rights group claims Viasat owes royalties in excess of 267,000 euros ($347,000) for four years of broadcast clips and movies, according to Broadband TV News.

The rights group -- ARMA-Ukraine -- has also asked that Viasat’s license be withdrawn and that a suit be filed by the Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Broadband TV News.

Yvacheslav Yakubenko, a lawyer representing the Stockholm-based company’s Viasat unit, told Broadband TV News that while his client is willing to pay the royalties, it is a complex issue, and the method of calculating the correct payment “is not clear to us.”

‘Copyright Troll’ Says Business Chasing Infringers Is Very Good

Chasing those who infringe the copyrights to adult films has been very good for John Steele of Chicago’s Steel Hansmeier PLLC, Forbes reported.

Steele, who has filed more than 350 suits against those who are accused of downloading and sharing his clients’ films without permission, told Forbes he made “more than a few million” dollars in settling suits against about 5,000 defendants before trial. He works with about two dozen adult entertainment clients, according to Forbes.

Formerly a family-law specialist, Steele who now claims the title of “original copyright troll,” told Forbes that when he reads descriptions of himself on anti-copyright blogs and websites, he says to himself, “Who is this jerk?”

Most of the defendants Steele sues turn out to be males aged 20 to 40, and those who settle typically pay $3,000, according to Forbes.

For more copyright news, click here.

IP Moves

Holland Hart Adds Connor McCune to IP Practice Group in Nevada

Holland & Hart LLP hired Connor McCune for its IP practice, the Denver-based firm said in a statement.

McCune will be doing patent-related work in the electrical and mechanical disciplines at the firm’s Reno, Nevada, office. He has handled matters involving communication systems, 4G technology, antenna and microwave design, electronics, computing technology, hybrid vehicle technology, cleantech, optical systems, smart appliances, power systems, mountain bikes and snow skis.

He has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Nevada at Reno, and a law degree from the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce Law School.

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