Thyssenkrupp, Budweiser, Henckels: Intellectual Property

Elevators at the World Trade Center and Times Square made by Thyssenkrupp AG contain technology that a Schindler Holding AG unit said infringes one of its patents.

Schindler’s Inventio, based in Switzerland, said the patent for elevator installation was issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1997 and reconfirmed last month, according to a Nov. 6 filing in federal court in New York.

“Locations where such infringement has occurred include at least the elevator installations at 1 World Trade Center and 11 Times Square,” according to the complaint. Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corp. has been aware that the Patent Office confirmed the patent claims, Inventio said.

Inventio said it seeks an injunction to stop the elevator unit from infringing the patent and a jury trial. One World Trade Center is a skyscraper under construction in Lower Manhattan at the site of the twin towers that were destroyed in the September 2001 terrorist attacks.

The complaint also alleges that Thyssenkrupp willfully infringed its patent and encouraged infringement by other parties, including the general contractors for the buildings’ construction and the providers of the security systems.

Essen, Germany-based Thyssenkrupp AG is the country’s largest steelmaker. The company produces flat-rolled and cast steel, elevators and escalators, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Its press office didn’t immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment on the lawsuit.

The case is Inventio v. Thyssenkrupp Elevator Americas, 12-8072, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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Budweiser Labels Should Be Obscured in Film, Brewer Requests

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV has asked Paramount Pictures Corp. to find a way to obscure the label of the beer the character played by Denzel Washington is drinking in the film “Flight,” the Associated Press reported.

The brewer told AP in a statement that it hadn’t been contacted in advance about the beer label and that it would “never condone the misuse of our products.”

William Grant & Sons Inc., the U.S. distributor of Stokichnaya vodka, told AP it also was unhappy with seeing its product in the film and hadn’t authorized its use.

Professor Jay Dougherty, who heads Loyola Law School’s Entertainment & Media Law Institute, said companies objecting to their products in films hasn’t generally found sympathy with courts, according to AP.

Henckels Fails to Block Issuance of Chinese Company’s Trademark

Zwilling JA Henckels AG, the German maker of Henckels kitchen knives, has lost its attempt to block a trademark for a stationery and porcelain company from Zibo City in Shandong, China, China Daily reported.

Yu Weiping’s trademark application for his Ju Wang Sports Culture Co. was challenged by the German company, which claimed it was a deliberate copy of its mark, according to China Daily.

The sports company’s mark was based on a pattern of two athletes playing cuju -- an ancient ball game -- on a 2,000-year-old Han Dynasty seal Yu said he saw on exhibit at the Imperial Palace in Beijing, according to the newspaper.

Yu, who was notified by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce that his mark was approved, told China Daily that this represented the triumph of a small Chinese company over a large multinational company.

Court Refused to Chill Company’s Participation in Ice Cream Show

A Mexican company that produces and distributes the frozen fruit bars known as “paletas” has failed in its attempt to have a competitor with a similar-looking trademark barred from an ice cream industry trade show.

Productos Lacteos Tocumbo SA had asked the court to order Paleteria La Michoacana Inc. not to show products at the International Association of Ice Cream Distributors and Vendors annual meeting held in Miami this week.

The two companies both use the image of a little girl in Mexican dress as trademarks. Modesto, California-based Paleteria La Michoacana’s trademark was registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in February 2007, according to court papers.

The Mexican company’s mark was registered in April 2004, and that company filed a successful petition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to have that mark canceled. The mark was canceled in May 2011, according to court papers.

Following this cancellation, Paleteria La Michoacana filed a trademark suit in federal court in Washington, seeking to overturn the decision by the patent office.

With the convention coming up, the Mexican company then asked the court for the order barring Paleteria La Michoacana from exhibiting goods at the show using the disputed trademark.

In his Nov. 1 ruling, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras said that the Mexican company failed to represent it would suffer irreparable harm from Paleteria La Michoacana’s presence at the trade show. He noted that the public isn’t invited to the show, and that the Mexican company hadn’t complained at the previous year’s show about Paleteria La Michoacana’s exhibiting goods with the disputed mark.

He said he hadn’t reached a decision on the merits of the underlying case.

The case is Paleteria La Michoacana Inc. v. Productos Lacteous Tocumba SA, 1:11-cv-01623-RC, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington D.C.).

Canada Goose Wins One Trademark Dispute, Settles Second Claim

Canada Goose Inc., a Toronto-based maker of extreme weather outerware, has won one trademark case and settled another, the company said.

Sweden’s District Court of Stockholm found five Swedish citizens guilty of trademark infringement, customs offenses and felony fraud, the company said in a statement. The court also awarded Canada Goose damages of 701,000 Swedish krona ($105,000).

The defendants had operated a business from Thailand and sold counterfeit Canada Goose jackets between 2009 and 2012 in Sweden.

The fakes were of inferior quality and used raccoon dog fur instead of coyote around the jacket hoods. They also used feather mulch and other fillers instead of down.

The second case was against Toronto-based Fairweather Ltd.’s International Clothiers unit. This suit, filed in Canadian federal court in January, had accused International Clothiers of selling knock-off copies of the Canada Goose jackets.

Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed, Canada Goose spokeswoman Carrie Baker said in an e-mail yesterday.

Earlier this year Fairweather settled a trademark dispute with Target Corp. over the use of the “Target” name with retail stores in Canada. Terms of that settlement weren’t disclosed.

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Balaji Wins Temporary Ban on ‘Dirty Picture: Silk’ Issuance

Balaji Telefilms Ltd., a Mumbai-based entertainment company, persuaded the Bombay High Court to order a temporary block to the issuance of a film by Akshaya Productions, the Times of India reported.

The court said that copyrights for “The Dirty Picture” belonging to Balaji would be infringed by Akshaya’s “Dirty Picture: Silk Sakkath Maga,” the newspaper reported.

Balaji had sought a ban on the use of “Dirty Picture” in the title, saying its copyrights to the film and the underlying literary work would be infringed if the film could be issued, the Times reported.

“Silk” is also the name of the leading character in the Balaji film, the newspaper reported.

Canada’s Society for the Reproduction Rights of Authors

Composers and publishers said in a statement that Canada’s Copyright Board has approved a model the group developed for royalties for the use of its members’ content by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and most of Astral Media Inc.’s channels, with the exception of MusiquePlus.

The board certified SODRAC’s tariff for the 2009-2012 period and established the royalties to be collected for reproductions of musical works embedded in films for the purpose of distributing the content.

Under this tariff, a per-minute rate will apply, SODRAC said.

SODRAC, established in 1985, is a 6,000-member group that represents rights holders and collects royalties in Canada.

Anti-Islam Filmmaker Sent to Prison for Violating Probation

The California man linked to the “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube video that sparked riots in the Middle East and North Africa was sent to prison for one year for violating the terms of his probation.

U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder in Los Angeles yesterday sentenced Mark Basseley Youssef after he admitted to using a name other than his true legal one, which violated the terms of his supervised release following a 2010 conviction for bank fraud.

Youssef, as part of an agreement with prosecutors, admitted to four allegations, including falsely telling his probation officer that he hadn’t used the name Sam Bacile, the name attached to the YouTube account that posted the video. Snyder denied a request by Youssef’s lawyer, Steven Seiden, to sentence him to home confinement.

The video shows a fictional attack by Muslims on a Christian family, followed by an account of the origins of Islam depicting the prophet Muhammad as a womanizer.

Youssef is also the target of a civil copyright infringement suit filed Sept. 26 by an actress who claims she owns the copyright to her performance in the film.

The actress said in her pleadings that she has applied to register the copyright for her performance with the U.S. Copyright Office and requested expedited handling of her application.

Google Inc.’s YouTube blocked access to the clip in Egypt and Libya following protests at the U.S. embassy in Cairo and an attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three U.S. personnel.

The criminal case is USA v. Youssef, 09-cr-00617, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles). The civil case is Garcia V. Nakoula, 2:12-cv-08135, U.S. District Court, Central District of California.

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