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Illinois Tool Works, Afterburner: Intellectual Property

July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Illinois Tool Works Inc., a maker of fasteners and components, said in a July 14 court filing that it was appealing a court ruling limiting enhanced damages it had sought in a successful patent infringement case against MOC Products Co. of Pacoima, California.

In July 2013, the Glenview, Illinois-based company requested a tripling of a jury’s damages award and the addition of $1.5 million in prejudgment interest for a total of $18,105,898.

The court rejected that request in an October 2013 order. U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino said that only a partial enhancement of the jury’s $5.5 million verdict, handed down in November 2012, was warranted. She awarded only an additional 25 percent of the verdict and also said that an award of attorney fees wasn’t justified.

Illinois Tool Works’ challenge is before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Washington-based court that hears appeals in patent cases.

The case is Illinois Tool Works Inc., v. MOC Products Co, 3:09-cv-01887, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego).

For more patent news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Conference Invites Hacking Attempts Against Tesla Car Security

Registrants for the Symposium on Security for Asia Network conference in Beijing this week have the opportunity of winning a $10,000 prize if they can successfully hack into the security system of Tesla Motors Inc.’s Model S car, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

Previously, hackers did manage to get into the system and run a web browser on the car’s screen. They received warnings from the Palo Alto, California-based automaker that any changes they made in the car’s security system would void the warranty, according to the Monitor.

Tesla isn’t involved in the contest, the newspaper reported.


Motivational Speakers in Dispute Over Wearing of Flight Suits

Two groups of motivational speakers are involved in a court battle over the wearing of military flight suits, the Air Force Times reported.

Atlanta-based Afterburner Inc. sued the Corps Group Inc. of Quaktertown, Pennsylvania in Georgia state court, claiming it infringed trademarks and the trade dress of its program, which included the use of pilots’ language and the wearing of flight suits for presentations, according to Air Force Times.

After a jury found that the Corps Group did infringe the trade dress, an official of the Pennsylvania company told Air Force Times that its use of flight suits is barred in combination with other program elements, such as pictures of jet fighters or music from the “Top Gun” movie.

Corps Groups is planning an appeal, according to the newspaper.

PVH’s Calvin Klein Unit Sues Internet Stores for Infringement

PVH Corp.’s Calvin Klein unit filed a trademark suit in an Illinois federal court against companies it says are selling counterfeit merchandise online.

The defendant companies created Internet stores that appear to be selling legitimate Calvin Klein merchandise, the apparel maker said in its complaint. The accused are named in a document that’s sealed, according to the complaint.

Calvin Klein said in its July 14 pleadings that the companies it’s suing appear to be based in China or other foreign jurisdictions. The defendant companies are shipping the counterfeit products in small quantities via international mail to avoid detection, the company said.

The case is Calvin Klein Trademark Trust v. Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations Identified on Schedule A, 1:14-cv-05337, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

For more trademark news, click here.


Copyright Suit Against School District Over Coupons Dismissed

A federal court in Tennessee has dismissed a copyright suit against a school district brought by a company that conducts fundraising programs for schools and school districts.

Feredonna Inc. of Knoxville, Kentucky sued the Knox County Board of Education in September 2011, claiming copyrights on the design of fundraising coupons were infringed by that school district.

In a July 9 ruling, U.S. District Judge Thomas A. Varlan dismissed the case, saying that Feredonna’s expert witness testified that there were too many differences, and not enough similarities, between Feredonna’s product and the district’s coupons to support a claim of infringement. The judge also dismissed Feredonna’s trademark infringement claims.

The case is Ward v. Knox County Board of Education, 3:11-cv-00438, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville).

For more copyright 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: David E. Rovella at Joe Schneider

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