Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc., the microblogging service that went public last year, agreed to buy 900 patents from International Business Machines Corp. to gain access to new technology and build a defense against infringement suits.
The agreement, signed in December and announced Jan. 31, also resolves a dispute that prompted IBM to write to San Francisco-based Twitter last year about possible infringement of at least three patents.
Twitter had nine patents and 95 pending applications before its initial public offering in November, far fewer than other leading technology companies.
IBM, which has received the most U.S. patents of any company for 21 straight years, has made deals with patent-light technology firms before.
The Armonk, New York-based company has sold patents to Google Inc. to aid the Android software maker’s battle with rivals over smartphone technology. A sale of 750 patents to Facebook Inc. helped the social-networking company settle a lawsuit with Yahoo! Inc.
Lilly Says Insulin Glargine Doesn’t Violate Valid Sanofi Patents
Eli Lilly & Co. responded to a patent-infringement lawsuit filed by Sanofi-Aventus U.S. LLC over the experimental insulin glargine, saying in a statement that its application for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t infringe any claim of any of the patents at issue.
Lilly issued the statement Jan. 31, one day after Sanofi filed the patent suit in federal court in Delaware.
The case is Sanofi-Aventis US LLC v. Eli Lilly & Co, 14-cv-00113, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).
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Jack Wills’s Pheasant Trumps House of Frasier’s Pigeon Trademark
Jack Wills Ltd., a U.K. clothing company that targets college-age customers, prevailed in a trademark lawsuit against Iceland-based Mundur ehf’s House of Frasier, the U.K.’s Express newspaper reported.
The dispute was over marks featuring fancifully attired birds: a pheasant in a top hat for Jack Wills and a bike-riding pigeon in a bowler for House of Fraser, according to the newspaper.
London’s High Court ruled that the public was likely to confuse the two, the Express reported.
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Six Super Bowl Champion Bears Sue Over Rights to Song, Video
Six members of the Chicago Bears squad that won the National Football League’s 1986 championship sued Renaissance Marketing Corp., claiming the company failed to give needy families the royalties collected for the team’s “Super Bowl Shuffle” song and video.
In a complaint filed in Illinois state court Jan. 31, the players allege that the song was always intended to be used to raise funds for charity.
The case is Dent v. Renaissance Marketing Corp., 2014-L-001003, Illinois Cook County Law Division.
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Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage
BP Defeats Trade Secret Claim Over Gulf Oil-Spill Well Cap
BP Plc fended off a trade-secrets claim brought by a Florida resident who said he submitted an idea on how to cap the Gulf of Mexico well that blew up in April 2010, triggering the biggest U.S. offshore oil spill.
U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday in Tampa, Florida, said in a Jan. 23 order dismissing the case that John Laing failed to demonstrate that he made reasonable efforts to protect the secrecy of his idea or that there was anything in writing to show a contract had been made between him and the London-based oil company.
The judge gave Laing until Feb. 10 to amend his complaint.
The case is Laing v. BP Exploration & Production Inc., 13-cv-01041, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida (Tampa).
Cosmetics Makers Seek to Avoid Chemical Disclosures, Group Says
Women’s Voices for the Earth, a Montana-based environmental advocacy group, released a list of cosmetics companies it says are using trade-secrets claims to avoid listing the chemical constituents of 1,500 products in California’s Safe Cosmetics Program Database.
Among the 22 companies seeking trade-secret status are Japan’s Shiseido Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co. and Henkel AG’s Dial Corp., according to the group’s statement.
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