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Knowles, Boise State, Aereo: Intellectual Property

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April 3 (Bloomberg) -- Knowles Corp., a maker of hearing-aid components and microphones for smartphones, said a Chinese court barred it from a trial where it’s the defendant in a patent dispute with Apple Inc. supplier Goertek Inc.

The decision is the latest in a series of “highly irregular actions” that have denied the company a fair trial in Weifang, Goertek’s hometown, Knowles said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

An official at the court’s communications department, who only gave his last name, Wang, said when reached by phone the court couldn’t comment on the case. A woman who answered the phone at Goertek’s headquarters in Weifang, in eastern China, declined to comment and hang up.

The Weifang dispute is one of three that Knowles and Goertek are waging against each other in the U.S. and China over patents for microphone technology.

ViiV Healthcare Licenses AIDS Drug With Tiered Royalty Structure

ViiV Healthcare, an HIV-focused specialty pharmaceutical company, set up a license agreement through the Medicines Patent Pool to increase access to a newly approved AIDS drug.

A royalty-free voluntary license will be given to least-developed, low-income and sub-Saharan African countries, the company said in an April 1 statement. For specific middle-income countries, including India, a tiered royalty structure will be used, with a small percentage of the selling price to be based on the country’s gross domestic product.

This is the first Medicines Patent Pool license with a tiered royalty structure, according to the statement. The drug was approved by the European Medicines Agency two months ago and by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration eight months ago.

ViiV was formed by London-based GlaxoSmithKline Plc and New York-based Pfizer Inc. in November 2009, with Osaka’s Shionogi & Co. joining as a 10 percent shareholder in October 2012.

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

Boise State Says No Blue Field for North Carolina High School

Brevard High School in western North Carolina won’t be able to install its artificial turf field in the school’s colors, NBC Sports reported.

The school’s request was denied by Idaho’s Boise State University, holder of a trademark for any non-green field, according to NBC Sports.

To protect its brand, Boise State has refused to license a blue field for any other college team, NBC Sports reported. The high school’s field is also used by a college, according to the report.

One other college besides Boise State has a blue playing field, installed before the Idaho school registered its trademark, according to NBC Sports.

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

Diller Sees Aereo in Every Big U.S. City If Backed by Court

Barry Diller plans to expand Aereo Inc.’s streaming-TV service into every major U.S. city if the startup prevails in its fight with broadcasters before the nation’s highest court.

The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing the legality of the service, which takes over-the-air TV signals and redistributes them through the Internet without paying fees for the programming.

The odds of the court supporting Aereo are 50-50 at best, Diller said. The company, which is backed by Diller, is facing off this month in arguments against the biggest broadcasters, including CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co.’s ABC.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Beckett Sues Check Out My LLC Over Trading-Card Pricing Data

A trade-secrets dispute between a company that provides pricing information on sports trading cards and a consignment platform for the sale of such cards has been moved from state court in Washington state into federal court.

The suit stems from a licensing dispute between Beckett Media LLC of Dallas and Redmond, Washington-based Check Out My LLC, known as COMC. Beckett previously licensed its data to COMC, which terminated the agreement in January, according to court papers.

The suit, initially filed in King County Superior Court Feb. 26, was moved to federal court in Seattle March 28.

Beckett said it sued to prevent COMC’s use of its database to develop a competing product. COMC didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the complaint.

The case is Beckett Media LLC v. Check Out My LLC, 14-cv-00462, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington (Seattle).

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at vslindflor@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net Stephen Farr, Andrew Dunn

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