July 15 (Bloomberg) -- Incitec Pivot Ltd.’s Dyno Nobel unit is challenging a patent application related to a coal-mining technique, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported on its website.
The invention at issue is being used in coal mines in Australia’s Hunger Valley and involves a rock-blasting technique, according to ABC. The patent application was filed by Orica Ltd., an East Melbourne-based chemical and mining company, ABC said.
The Australian Patent Office granted an extension for the parties to file more evidence, according to the news service.
Airbus Seeks Patent on Space-Saving Passenger Seats
Airbus Group NV, the maker of the world’s largest passenger aircraft, applied for a patent aimed at increasing the number of passengers who can be seated on a plane.
Blagnac, France-based Airbus said in its application that the width of an airline seat and the distance between seats have already been reduced as much as possible, while airlines desire to put more passengers onto the planes “in order to maximize the return on the use of the aircraft.”
The only way this can be done is by reducing the space allotted to each passenger, Airbus said.
Application 2014/015884, published in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office June 12, describes a seat shaped somewhat like a bicycle seat that can tip downward when not in use, so passengers can pass by more easily. The backrest element of the seat can also be retracted.
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Treasure Wine Estates in China Dispute Over Ben Fu Name
Treasury Wine Estates Ltd., the Australian wine company, is embroiled in a battle over its Chinese trademarks, the South China Morning Post reported.
After a Chinese court awarded Treasury’s Penfolds unit the right to use its Chinese name -- Ben Fu -- for wines, holders of that mark for other categories of goods appealed, the newspaper said.
The dispute is with a trademark owner who previously won a similar battle with France’s Castel Freres SAS, ultimately forcing the French company to rename one of its brands in China, the Morning Post reported.
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Qantas Settles Dispute Over Song Use With Australian Pop Singer
Qantas Airways Ltd. and Australian pop singer Megan Washington settled a copyright dispute over what the musician said was unauthorized use of a recording of her performance of “I Still Call Australia Home,” NewsCorp’s News.com.au website reported.
Washington objected to the use of the recording at the airline’s 90th birthday party, on its website, for in-flight entertainment and on YouTube, according to News.com.au.
Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed, News.com.au the website reported.
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Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage
Florida Regulators Differ With Health Insurers Over Secrets
Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation disagreed with health insurers’ contention that their proposed rate increases for 2015 are a trade secret, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
A spokesman for the office told the newspaper that while it disagrees with the insurers that the rates are confidential, the companies can appeal this determination to a court.
The rates are related to the insurers’ participation in the Affordable Care Act marketplace, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Chinese Citizen Charged in Plot to Steal U.S. Military Data
A Chinese citizen was charged with plotting to steal data from U.S. defense contractors, including a successful hack of Boeing Co.’s computer system, amid an expanding crackdown on industrial espionage by China.
Su Bin, the owner of a Chinese aviation technology company with an office in Canada, conspired with two unidentified people in China to break into the computer networks of U.S. companies to get information related to military projects, according to charges unsealed July 10 in federal court in Los Angeles. Su advised the two others in China on what data to target, according to the charges.
Su’s alleged co-conspirators claimed to have stolen 65 gigabytes of data from Boeing related to the C-17 military cargo plane, according to the criminal complaint. They also allegedly sought data related to other aircraft, including Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-22 and F-35 fighter jets.
Boeing said in an e-mailed statement that safeguarding information and intellectual property is a “top priority” and the planemaker is cooperating with the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
Su was arrested in British Columbia on June 28, Lyse Cantin, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Department of Justice, said in a statement. A bail hearing is scheduled for July 18, Cantin said.
The case is U.S. v. Su Bin, 14-01318, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).
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