April 29 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc., the largest U.S. maker of smartphones, won a court ruling that it doesn’t infringe patent claims brought by intellectual property licensing firm Golden Bridge Technology Inc.
U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson in Wilmington, Delaware, also canceled a jury trial that was scheduled to begin today over two patents for 3-G network communications held by Long Branch, New Jersey-based Golden Bridge.
“The record evidence remains consistent with the finding of non-infringement,” Robinson wrote in an order April 25 affirming earlier decisions on the patent descriptions.
Golden Bridge sued Apple in 2010 over patents for boosting connections in mobile networks.
“We respect the judge greatly, but justice wasn’t done and of course, we will appeal,” Michael P. Kelly, a lawyer representing Golden Bridge, said in a phone interview.
Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling.
The case is Golden Bridge Technology Inc. v. AT&T Inc., 10-cv-00428, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).
Google’s Motorola Royalty Demand to Microsoft Reduced by Judge
Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility unit isn’t entitled to the potentially billions of dollars it sought for its patents on technology used throughout the electronics community, a federal judge ruled in a victory for Microsoft Corp.
Microsoft should pay about a half-cent per unit for video-decoding technology and 3 1/2 cents for wireless technology, U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle said in a decision made public April 25. That equals about $1.8 million a year, Microsoft said, far less than the 2.25 percent of the retail price on Microsoft products Motorola Mobility initially demanded.
The ruling marks a rare instance in which a U.S. court has set guidelines on how patent owners should value inventions on industrywide standards developed so devices running on different platforms can work together. Participants in these groups promise to license patents on “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” terms, an issue that has prompted inquiries by antitrust regulators on three continents involving companies
Companies meet to develop standards so, for instance, data can be sent to any smartphone no matter the manufacturer, or a video sent from one type of device can be watched on another. Companies that help establish the criteria gain an advantage in having their technology included in standards.
The next step in the case is a trial in August to determine whether, based on the ranges set by Robart, Motorola Mobility met its contractual obligation to license its patents on fair terms.
Among the factors that must be considered, Robart decided, is what would be the total rate charged to manufacturers when added to amounts paid to other patent owners on the standard, and whether that would meet the goal of ensuring a standard gets wide acceptance.
The case is Microsoft Corp. v. Motorola Mobility Inc., 10-cv-1823, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington (Seattle).
Bayer Wins Bid to Block Norbrook’s Sale of Generic Baytril
Bayer AG won an agreement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to block sales of a generic version of its livestock antibiotic Baytril 100 made by Norbrook Laboratories Ltd.
The FDA on April 19 agreed to withhold its approval of Norbrook’s Enroflox 100 product to treat bovine respiratory disease. The decision came two days after a federal judge in Washington ruled that the agency offered no evidence it gave any consideration to Leverkusen, Germany-based Bayer’s concerns the generic would be used for a so-called off-label dosage.
“FDA itself acknowledges that its action has not been regular; it failed to respond to the citizen petition for years and failed to provide a reasoned basis for rejecting it before approving Enroflox,” U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer said in an opinion made public Friday.
The FDA approved Norbrook’s application for Enroflox on March 29. Norbrook, based in the U.K., sought FDA approval in 2008 to market a generic version of Baytril 100 that would be labeled as a multiday dosing regimen.
Bayer sued the FDA on April 10, alleging it told the agency in 2006 that the generic version of its product will be used in a single dose.
Jalil Isa, an FDA spokesman, declined to comment on the matter. A woman who answered the phone at Norbrook’s U.S. office in Lenexa, Kansas, and wouldn’t identify herself, said the company would have no comment on the case.
The case is Bayer Healthcare LLC v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 13-cv-00487, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).
United, Live Nation Win Appeal Over Seat Reservation Patents
United Continental Holdings Inc., Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and other airline and ticketing agencies won a U.S. appeals court victory that invalidated patents by a company that demanded royalties on a method to reserve specific seats for events.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, ruling Friday, upheld a jury verdict that the patents owned by closely held Ceats Inc. are invalid. The opinion was posted on the court’s website.
The case is Continental Airlines Inc. v. Airtran Airways Inc., 2012-1614, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The lower court case is Ceats Inc. v. Continental Airlines Inc., 10-cv-00120, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (Tyler).
Purdue Pharma Settles OxyContin Patent Suit Against Actavis
Purdue Pharma LP settled a patent-infringement lawsuit against Actavis Inc. over the pain medication OxyContin.
Purdue will grant Actavis a license to sell “defined quantities” of a generic version of the drug as early as next year, the companies said Friday in a statement. Actavis, based in Morristown, New Jersey, will acknowledge that its formulations infringed the Purdue patents, according to the statement.
The agreement “will promote competition and allow for availability of generic formulations of reformulated OxyContin,” John Stewart, chief executive officer of Purdue, said in the statement. “This resolution relieves us of the risks, distractions and costs of continued litigation.”
Purdue initially sued Actavis and other drug companies in 2010 for violations of three patents. Actavis had submitted a new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking approval to make tablets of oxycodone hydrochloride, the active chemical in OxyContin, before the patents expired.
The FDA said this month that generic drug companies will be barred from making older versions of OxyContin that aren’t resistant to tampering.
Purdue, based in Stamford, Connecticut, replaced an older version of OxyContin with a tamper-resistant formulation. The drug, obtained illegally on the black market, has been abused by addicts.
The original case is Purdue Pharma LP v. Ranbaxy Inc., 10-3734, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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Oregon Tells Iowa High School Its ‘O’ Logo Infringes Trademark
The University of Oregon has demanded that an Iowa high school change its logo because it too closely resembles the green and yellow “O” logo used by the Eugene, Oregon-based school, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Matt Dyste, the university’s director of brand management, told the newspaper it needed to protect the logo, which was designed by Nike Inc., based in Beaverton, Oregon.
Iowa’s Okoboji High School has asked the university for some time to come up with a new logo, the Times reported.
The university will be patient with the high school, Dyste said, and the newspaper reported.
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China’s State Radio Delivers Music-Use Report to Copyright Group
China National Radio, the country’s state radio station, delivered a report about its use of music in 2012 to the Music Copyright Society of China, the China.org news website reported.
The report lists all music played in more than 7,000 hours of programming, the compositions’ lyricists and composers, and the times and frequency the music is used, according to China.org.
This is the first time such a report has been issued, the website reported.
An official with the National Copyright Administration said making an exact count of their use of music is a difficult task for radio stations.
Fox Demands Takedown of Links to Book Unrelated to ‘Homeland’
Although Cory Doctorow’s “Homeland” novel has no connection to the television series by the same name, News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox Film unit has sent Google Inc., takedown notices for links to the book, the TorrentFreak anti-copyright news website reported.
Ironically, the novel is covered by a Creative Commons license that makes it available for sharing for free online, according to TorrentFreak.
Doctorow told TorrentFreak he was “incandescent” with rage at Fox.
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