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EADS, EBAY, University of Texas: Intellectual Property

Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) -- A unit of European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co., the European aerospace company known as EADS, has lost a patent-infringement case it brought against Telecommunications Systems Inc.’s MicroData GIS unit.

A federal court jury in Marshall, Texas, found that MicroData GIS didn’t infringe a patent belonging to EADS unit Cassidian Communications. Cassidian filed the suit in March 2012, claiming MicroData infringed patent 6,774,858, which was issued in June 2004.

The disputed patent covers a method and system of routing incoming calls through the use of a central data manager.

According to court documents, on Dec. 20 the jury found no infringement of any claim of the patent. Additionally, the jury found 10 claims of the patent to be invalid.

Mediator David Folson of Texarkana’s Jackson Walker LLP said in a court filing that he had conducted a mediation session between the parties earlier in December, and that the session ended in an impasse.

The case is Cassidian Communications Inc., v. MicroData GIS Inc., 2:12-cv-00162, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Marshall).

EBay Sued by Paid Inc. Over Online Shipping Calculator Patents

EBay Inc., the operator of the online auction system, was sued for patent infringement by a company from Westborough, Massachusetts.

Paid Inc. claims that the automated online shipping calculator used by EBay infringes three patents, according to the complaint filed Dec. 20 in federal court in Worcester, Massachusetts.

In dispute are patents 8,352,357, 7,930,237 and 8,521,642. All cover what Paid says is a method and system for improved online auctions.

Paid claims that in the late 1990s it began offering its own online auctions, including specialty auctions for sports memorabilia. In 2000, the company began developing its automated online shipping calculator, which is covered by the disputed patents.

The company said it discussed the invention with EBay and was told the development of such a system was a high priority for the San Jose, California-based company. Paid demonstrated the system to EBay, which declined to take a license for the technology, the company said in its pleadings.

In 2003 EBay’s PayPal unit filed an application for its own online shipping calculator, which was rejected in view of Paid’s earlier application covering that same technology, according to court papers.

Paid said EBay’s system infringes the patents and induces customers and vendors to do so also, through the EBay system.

Paid asked the court to find that all three patents are valid and enforceable and infringed by EBay. The company asked for orders barring further infringement and for awards of money damages, “no less than a reasonable royalty,” together with attorney fees and litigation costs.

Ebay didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the suit.

The case is Paid Inc. v. EBay Inc., 4:13-cv-40151, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Worcester).

For more patent news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

BASF Manager Won’t Identify Chemical Found in Savannah Dust

A BASF SE site manager in Savannah, Georgia, has declined to identify a chemical found in dust that has been falling in a Savannah neighborhood in recent months, the Savannah Morning News reported.

Dusty Allen, site manager for the Ludwigshafen, Germany-based chemical company, said the dust contained a “fingerprint” chemical his company used and told the newspaper its identity is a trade secret.

When BASF found the chemical in the dust, an investigation at the plant turned up a hole in a small transfer pipe, which has been repaired, the newspaper reported.

State environmental regulators said they wouldn’t release all documents related to the dust until they complete their investigation, according to the Morning News.

Florida Newspaper Challenges Negotiation Trade Secret Claims

The Palm Beach Daily News is asking a court to force the president of the Palm Beach council to disclose documents related to a lease negotiation over a theater even though he says they contain trade secrets and that he was negotiating as a private citizen.

Council President David Rosow said that because he wasn’t acting in his elected capacity, the documents that were related to lease negotiations for the Royal Poinciana Playhouse should be private because they contain trade secrets, Palm Beach Daily News reported.

The Daily News said it’s challenging this assertion, saying that e-mails between the facility’s manager and Rosow should be part of the public record.

Items that should be protected from public view, the parties claim, include financial terms, allocation of economic responsibility between landlord and tenant, and details of the negotiation process, according to the Daily News.


Iskon Claims Ahmedabad Shopping Mall Infringes Temple Trademarks

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness filed a trademark infringement suit against a real-estate developer in Ahmedabad, India, the Times of India reported.

The organization claims that JP Infrastructure Pvt Ltd.’s use of the name “Iscon Mega Mall” on a shopping mall next door to the society’s temple infringes the religious organization’s “Iskon” trademarks, according to the newspaper.

The temple asked the court to order the mall’s ownership to stop using the name, claiming the public will falsely believe the mall is affiliated with the temple, the Times reported.

The real-estate firm responded in a court filing that the case should be dismissed because the visual appearance of the marks are slightly different, according to the newspaper.

University of Texas to Expand Student Groups’ Use of Trademarks

The University of Texas is changing its trademark policy to enable more student organizations to use the university’s marks, the Daily Texan university newspaper reported.

Kathleen Mabley, director of the school’s brand marketing and creative services, told the Daily Texan the new guidelines for trademark use will be made final in the coming months, with their aim of making the marks “accessible” to the school community while protecting their brand value.

While religions and political student organizations will not be permitted to use the mark, they will be available to other registered student groups, the Daily Texan reported.

The changes are being made after a series of meetings that took place over the past two years with Mabley, the school’s dean of students and student government, according to the newspaper.

For more trademark news, click here.


FBI’s Interrogation Guidelines Found at Library of Congress

A version of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s secret interrogation tactics was released in 2012 with large sections blacked out after a legal battle with the American Civil Liberties Union, according to Mother Jones.

A reporter for Mother Jones has found a version in the Library of Congress with no redactions, according to the magazine.

A copy of the guidelines had been deposited at the Library of Congress in January 2010 as part of an attempt by its author, an FBI agent, to register its copyright, Mother Jones reported.

Steven Aftergood, a government-secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists, said that because government documents can’t be copyrighted, the attempt to register the document was “a comedy of errors,” according to Mother Jones.

For more copyright news, click here.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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