Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Straight Path Communications Inc.’s Straight Path IP Group unit persuaded the U.S. International Trade Commission to begin an investigation of a range of communications devices.
The Glen Allen, Virginia-based company has said devices made by LG Electronics, Panasonic Corp., Sharp Corp., Sony Corp, Toshiba Corp., Vizio Inc., and AmTran Technology Corp. infringe its patents.
The Washington-based trade commission, which has the power to exclude the entry of products that infringe U.S. patents, said in a statement posted on its website yesterday that it will investigate the products.
In August, Straight Path filed patent infringement suits in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, against Panasonic, Toshiba, Atlanta-based Vocalcity Inc., Telesphere Networks Ltd. and Sharp Corp. The disputed patents are related to point-to-point Internet communication, according to court filings.
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Brewery Vivant Demands Pennsylvania Brewery Drop ‘FarmHands’
Brewery Vivant, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based brewery, persuaded a Pennsylvania brewery to change the name one of its beers.
According to a statement posted on its website, Tired Hands Brewing Co. of Ardmore, Pennsylvania, is retiring its “FarmHands” label. Brewery Vivant had claimed this infringed the “Farmhand” trademark it uses for its French farmhouse-style beer.
Jean Broillet IV, owner of Tired Hands, said the name change is being made reluctantly.
“Marketplace confusion sucks, but we have never had that problem in our industry because what we sell is necessarily unique to the producer,” Broillet said in a statement on the website. “We’re not making widgets here, we are crafting an organic product that has inherent value beyond ‘branding.’”
“As an industry, we are heading down a gnarled and paranoiac path that will only serve to isolate our customers by truncating the creativity of fellow beer producers; effectively losing sight of what made this industry so great when I entered into it nearly a decade ago,” he said.
The brewery will hold a celebration Sept. 26 to mark the end of the FarmHands label, according to the statement.
Mosque Opponent Files Appeal of Trademark Application Rejection
The American Freedom Defense Initiative, a conservative organization opposed to the building of a mosque near the site of the World Trade Center destroyed on 9/11, has said that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected one of its trademark applications.
The New York-based organization said it applied to register “Stop Islamisation of America” and that an appeal board at the patent office affirmed the trademark examiner’s denial of the application. According to court filings, the examiner said the requested trademark “consists of or included matter that may disparage or bring into contempt or disrepute persons, institutions, beliefs or national symbols.”
David Yerushalmi, whose American Freedom Law Center is representing the group, said in a statement on his organization’s website that the rejection was “based on the political correct narrative about anything Islam,” according to Family News Network.
Yerushalmi has filed an appeal of the board’s ruling Aug. 30 with the Washington-based U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
In his filing, he argued that “Islamisation” in the context of the trademark does not apply to “all things Islamic but rather a very dangerous politicization of Islam where Islamic law supplants secular constitutional law and civil liberties in political society.”
The case is In re: Pamela Geller, 12-1412, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington).
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Ministry of Sound Label Sues Spotify Over Music Playlists
Record label Ministry of Sound Ltd. said it sued Spotify Ltd. for copying its dance music albums.
Spotify, an online music provider, made playlists available to its users that mirrored Ministry of Sound compilation albums, the label said in a statement. The company said a lawsuit was filed in London on Sept. 2.
“We aim to ensure that our creativity is protected and respected,” said Lohan Presencer, Ministry of Sound’s chief executive officer, in the statement.
Angela Watts, a spokeswoman for Spotify in London, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Jeremy Scott to Destroy Clothing Infringing Skateboard Designs
Fashion designer Jeremy Scott, whose edgy clothing is worn by Madonna, Lady Gaga and Beyonce, has acknowledged he copied designs from a Santa Cruz, California-based skateboard manufacturer for a clothing collection he showed at New York Fashion Week in February, the Santa Cruz Sentinel newspaper reported.
Scott said that the offending items -- shirts, handbags and other apparel -- won’t be manufactured, and the garments he showed at fashion week will be destroyed in front of a witness from the skateboard company, according to the Sentinel.
Bob Denike, chief executive of NHS/Santa Cruz Skateboards, told the newspaper his company is dealing with infringement “on a weekly basis” and that the negative publicity generated by the dispute was “actually quite damaging to us.”
No financial terms of the agreement were disclosed, according to the Sentinel.
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Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage
Sun Corp. Unit’s Trade Secrets Case Set for Pretrial Conference
Japan-based Sun Corp.’s Cellebrite unit’s trade secrets case against Micro Systemation AB is set for a pretrial conference Sept. 18, according to a court filing.
Cellebrite sued Micro Systemation in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, Aug. 16, accusing the Swedish company of extracting trade secrets from Cellebrite’s products and integrating them into its own software. Micro Systemation is also accused of infringing Cellebrite’s copyrights and trademarks.
The suit is related to Cellebrite’s UFED product, which is sold to law enforcement, and used to extract, decode and analyze data from mobile devices. Cellebrite said that the product, which specifically decodes data from Samsung and BlackBerry devices, is infringed by Micro Systemation products that also work against Samsung and BlackBerry devices.
The suit alleges that Micro Systemation accessed, extracted and decrypted Cellebrite products and copied and integrated them into Micro Systemation’s Samsung Solution and BlackBerry Solution products.
The company said it is harmed by Micro Systemation’s actions and asked the court for money damages, including extra damages to punish the Swedish company for its actions. Additionally, it asked for awards of litigation costs and attorney fees.
The case is Cellebrite Mobile Synchronization Ltd. v. Micro Systemation AB, 1:13-cv-01014-TSE-TRJ, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).
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