Google, Zillow, Magic City: Intellectual Property

March 19 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc. and Viacom Inc. settled Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit over claims YouTube violated copyrights by allowing unauthorized posts of video clips of television after a U.S. judge threw out the allegations twice.

Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed.

“This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together,” the companies said yesterday in a joint statement.

The case is Viacom v. YouTube, 07-cv-02103, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). The appeal case is Viacom International v. YouTube, 10-03270, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Manhattan).

GoldieBlox, Beastie Boys Settle ‘Girls’ Copyright Dispute

GoldieBlox Inc., a toy company founded to inspire girls to go into engineering and science, settled a copyright suit with the Beastie Boys band over the toy company’s use of the 1987 song “Girls” in a commercial.

No terms of the settlement were disclosed in the March 17 court filing. In its November 2013 complaint, GoldieBlox asked the court to declare it didn’t infringe the copyright.

The case is GoldieBlox Inc. v. Island Def Jam Music Group, 13-cv-05428, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Oakland).

For more copyright news, click here.


Regeneron Sues Pfizer-Funded Company Over Modified Mouse

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. sued Ablexis LLC for patent infringement over a patent covering the use of genetically engineered animals in drug-development studies.

Ablexis is accused in the lawsuit, filed March 11 in federal court in White Plains, New York, of closely following Regeneron research and building its business on willful infringement of Regeneron’s patent 8,502,018.

Ablexis, based in San Francisco, is funded by Pfizer Inc. and three other unidentified pharmaceutical companies that “have chosen to conceal their relationship with Ablexis,” according to court papers.

Regeneron, based in Tarrytown, New York, asked for money damages and an order barring further infringement of the patent. Ablexis didn’t respond immediately to e-mailed messages requesting comment on the lawsuit.

The case is Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Ablexis LLC, 14-cv-01651, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (White Plains).

For more patent news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Move Sues Zillow Over Hiring of Former Chief Strategy Officer

Move Inc., the San Jose, California-based operator of a network of real estate websites, sued Zillow Inc. for trade secret misappropriation.

The suit, filed March 17 in state court in Seattle, is related to Zillow’s hiring of a former Move executive. Move alleges that its former chief strategy officer’s “vast knowledge” of its trade secrets and strategies will make it “impossible” to function in his new job at Zillow without divulging Move’s trade secrets.

Dawn Lyon, a spokeswoman for Seattle-based Zillow, which also operates real estate websites, said the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

The case is Move Inc., v. Zillow Inc., Superior Court for the State of Washington, King County (Seattle).


Atlanta’s Magic City Wins Order Barring Name Use in Chicago

-M- Entertainment & Consultant Service Inc., operators of the Magic City nightclub in Atlanta known for performances by hip-hop artists, won a court order barring an Illinois company from using “Magic City” for a club that was set to open this month.

-M- Entertainment, based in Decatur, Georgia, filed the trademark infringement suit in federal court in Chicago on March. 7. On March 12, the court ordered 17100 Inc. to halt its use of “Magic City,” to post ads disavowing any affiliation with the Atlanta club, and to assign ownership of any websites or social media accounts containing either “magic” or “city.”

The case is -M- Entertainment & Consultant Service Inc. v. 17100 Inc., 1:14-cv-01610, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

Pelosi Calls for Patent Office to Rescind ‘Redskins’ Marks

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, called for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to revoke “Redskins” trademarks for Washington’s National Football League team, the Washington Post reported.

Speaking at the National Congress of American Indians last week, Pelosi said that the patent office had rejected other trademarks for terms that were considered offensive and that “it’s time to choose another name” for the team, according to the Post.

For more trademark news, click here.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at Fred Strasser, Charles Carter

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