May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Canada’s Supreme Court dismissed Eli Lilly & Co.’s request to appeal a federal court decision that invalidated its Canadian patent for schizophrenia drug Zyprexa.
The country’s highest court said in a statement yesterday it decided not to look at the case after hearing from parties involved in the matter earlier this week. A Federal Court in 2011 ruled the patent was invalid because it didn’t meet “utility” requirements.
The Indianapolis-based firm has claimed recent decisions by Canadian courts invalidating 17 drug patents over “utility” requirements have made the country an outlier among major developed countries, prompting the company in December to notify Canada of its plans to file a trade complaint over its patent for its Strattera drug.
“Addressing Canada’s outlier status with respect to the interpretation of patent law is a priority for Lilly,” the company said in a statement. “We will continue to consider all our legal options to protect what we believe to be valid intellectual property rights protecting our patents in Canada.”
The case is Eli Lilly of Canada Inc. v. Novopharm Ltd. (F.C.) (Civil) (By Leave) (35067).
ThyssenKrupp Submarine Unit Wins Australia Bid Access in Accord
ThyssenKrupp AG secured the chance to help develop a submarine for Australia after the country signed an agreement with Sweden’s government clearing the way for the involvement of the company’s Kockums AB unit.
The accord gives Australia the right to use Swedish intellectual property for submarine design and technology, the Canberra-based Department of Defence said in a statement. The deal was necessary to begin working with Kockums, it said.
Australian authorities have been exploring replacement of six Collins Class submarines, which were based on a Kockums design. The government said on May 3 that it’s proceeding with the project, dubbed SEA 1000, to assemble 12 of the vessels domestically and narrowed options to a new design or building an evolved version of the Collins configuration, with an off-the-shelf purchase discarded.
“This agreement will pave the way for Swedish involvement in Australia’s future submarine program,” Defense Minister Stephen Smith said in yesterday’s statement. “The ability for Australia to utilize Swedish submarine technology is a critical element, not only of the work on the Future Submarine Program but also in addressing the continuing challenges with the maintenance and sustainment of the Collins Class fleet.”
HMAS Collins, the lead submarine, was commissioned in 1996. The last of the current six vessels isn’t scheduled to be retired until about 2031, after entering service in 2003.
ThyssenKrupp doesn’t break out figures for Kockums. A spokeswoman at the Essen, Germany-based parent company wasn’t immediately available to comment.
Kockums was part of ThyssenKrupp’s marine-systems business, which generated 3 percent of group sales at the steelmaker in the year through Sept. 30. The newly combined marine-systems and plant-technology division, dubbed industrial solutions, accounted for 15 percent of ThyssenKrupp’s revenue in the fiscal first half ended March 31.
IBM, U.S. Didn’t Infringe Uship Patents, Appeals Court Says
Neither International Business Machines Corp. nor the U.S. Postal Service infringe two patents covering automated shipping kiosks, a federal appeals court ruled.
Uship Intellectual Properties of West Suffield, Connecticut, filed the lawsuit in federal court in July 2008. Because the government was a defendant, the case was filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which handles private claims against the government.
At issue were patents 5,831,220 and 6,104,014. In March 2012 the court entered an agreed-upon judgment of non-infringement. Uship then asked the appeals court to decide whether the lower court property determined the reach of the patent.
The Washington-based Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said the lower court interpreted the reach of the patent correctly. It rejected the patent owner’s argument that some of the operations outlined in the patents were infringing, even if they were performed by a human rather than a machine.
The appeals court agreed with Armonk, New York-based IBM and the postal service that the “validating” step is limited to an automated shipping machine.
The lower court case is Uship Intellectual Properties v. U.S., 08-cv-0537, U.S. District Court, U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The appeal is Uship Intellectual Properties v. U.S., 12-5077, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
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X5’s Perekrestok Barred From Selling Look-Alike Adidas Shoes
X5 Retail Group NV, Russia’s largest food retailer, is barred from using a three-stripe mark on shoes it sells because the practice infringed Adidas AG’s trademarks, the Russian Legal Information Agency reported.
The federal Commercial Court of Moscow upheld a lower court’s decision that the sale of the shoes through X5 Retail’s Perekrestok unit violated the German sporting-goods maker’s rights, according to RAPSI.
Some of the offending shoes were even carrying a brand identical to Adidas’s, RAPSI reported.
The infringement began in 2011 and continued through January 2012, even after Perekrestok was put on notice that it was infringing, according to RAPSI.
Domestic Baby Formula Labeled as Import Under Trademark Loophole
Some Chinese manufacturers of baby formula are registering their trademarks in foreign countries as part of a strategy to dupe customers into thinking the products are imported, the Global Times reported.
If the trademark is registered overseas, the product can be labeled as a foreign brand, even if it’s produced domestically, the newspaper reported.
Chinese consumers have tried to shift to imported baby formula since the 2008 scandal in which the chemical melamine was used as a formula ingredient, according to Global Times.
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Nintendo Tells Game Front It Won’t Block YouTube Content Posts
Nintendo Co., the Japanese maker of video games and equipment, said that while it won’t take down fan-posted Nintendo content on Google Inc.’s YouTube video-sharing channel, it has registered its content in the company’s databases.
The Kyoto-based company wants its fans to enjoy sharing the content, according to a statement released to the Game Front website.
Nintendo’s registration of its content will enable it to insert advertisements at the beginning, middle or end of the posted clips, Game Front said.
U.K. Music-Licensing Group Pools Members on Licensed Websites
PPL, a U.K.-based music-licensing agency, sent a list of websites to its members asking if any have licensed their recorded music to any of the sites, the TorrentFreak website reported.
The sites include BitTorrent, file-hosting and MP3 search engine websites, and TorrentFreak said the content owners aim to go to court to have these sites blocked.
TorrentFreak, an anti-copyright news site, said PPL members are asked to let the licensing group know by May 21 if any licensing deals are in place, possibly to help the group avoid any potential embarrassment in court.
If the blocking request is made in court, it will be the third attempt to block allegedly infringing websites, according to TorrentFreak.
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Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage
Ex-AMD Workers at Nvidia Barred From Revealing Trade Secrets
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. won a court order barring ex-employees who went to competing chipmaker Nvidia Corp. from disclosing trade secrets or soliciting former colleagues to join them.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Hillman said in his order that AMD may win its lawsuit claiming misappropriation of confidential information, according to a filing May 15 in Worcester, Massachusetts.
AMD, based in Sunnyvale, California, accused ex-employees of taking sensitive company documents when they went to work for Nvidia. The former employees transferred more than 100,000 electronic files pertaining to AMD’s graphics-processor business in the days before their departure, AMD said in its complaint filed in January. The employees also allegedly recruited other AMD workers to leave the company.
The preliminary injunction replaces a temporary restraining order granted after the suit was filed.
“We are pleased that the court has issued a preliminary injunction against the four defendants,” Michael Silverman, a spokesman for AMD, said in an e-mail. “AMD will always protect its confidential, proprietary and trade secret information.”
Peter Mee, a lawyer for the defendants, declined to comment on the order.
AMD said that the transferred documents included confidential information, including licensing agreements with significant customers, proposed strategies concerning licensing, and technical information about new products and processes the company is developing.
Three of the former employees -- Robert Feldstein, Manoo Desai and Nicolas Kociuk -- transferred secret files to storage devices, according to the complaint. Feldstein, Desai and a fourth defendant, Richard Hagen, violated agreements to not solicit other employees for a period of time after leaving the company, AMD claims.
They all worked at AMD’s site in Boxborough, Massachusetts, according to the complaint.
Nvidia, based in Santa Clara, California, isn’t a defendant in the lawsuit.
The case is Advanced Micro Devices v. Feldstein, 13-cv-40007, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).
Miller Canfield Hires Chinese Expert for IP Practice Group
Miller Canfield Plc hired Jun Chen for its intellectual-property practice, the Detroit-based firm said in a statement.
Chen previously worked at the Illinois Appellate Court and at China’s Hefel Intermediate People’s Court, Capitol of Anhui Province, where she assisted the Intellectual Property Law Panel. She is bilingual in Chinese and English.
She has an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering and a bachelor’s degree in law from China’s Tianjin University, a law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law and a master’s degree in law from Indiana University.
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