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Mapp, Hartz Mountain, Cisco: Intellectual Property

Aug. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., the closely held San Diego company whose Ebola drug was used to treat two infected Americans, has a pending application to patent antibodies used to treat that disease as well as cancer, influenza, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer Disease.

According to application 20130149300, published in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in June 2013, the antibodies are made from a member of the tobacco family, Nicotiana benthamiana. The U.S. National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health describes this plant as “the most widely used host in plant virology.”

This particular plant is used because it can be genetically transformed and regenerated with good efficiency and is particularly amenable to being infected with a wide range of viruses. Little is known about the origins, genetic variations or ecology of the plant other than its origin in Australia, according to the NIH.

The patent application indicates that the research for this invention was funded by grants from the NIH, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. In an August 2013 statement, the U.S. Army’s Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases said the compound successfully treated primates infected with Ebola.

Presently, a number of claims in the patent have been rejected by the patent office, according to a June 17 communication sent to counsel for Mapp. These rejections are non-final.

The drug is manufactured in Owensboro, Kentucky, by Kentucky Bioprocessing LLC, which was acquired by Reynolds American Inc. on Dec. 31, 2013.

Since October 2001, 44 U.S. patents containing the word “Ebola” in their description have been issued, according to the patent office database. Additionally, there are 5,430 published applications containing the word. Some are related specifically to the disease while others are peripheral, such as application 201401099, which covers a method of continuing students’ education when a “socially distancing event” occurs, such as a natural disaster or pandemic.

QualiQode’s Latest Filings Bring Total Infringement Cases to 40

QualiQode LLC, a patent owner based in Marshall, Texas, filed 13 patent-infringement suits yesterday.

This batch of filings means the company has filed 40 infringement suits since Feb. 14, all in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas, a venue seen by lawyers as particularly hospitable to plaintiffs’ claims in patent cases.

Among the defendants sued in the most recent filings are EMC Corp., Lanner Group Ltd. and Talend Inc.

The patents at issue relate to business processes. To date, at least 18 of the cases have been dismissed at QualiQode’s request, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In dispute in the various cases are patents 6,073,109, 6,058,413, 5,734,837, and 5,630,069. According to the patent office database, the patents were acquired by QualiQode Feb. 5, nine days before the first group of cases were filed.

For more patent news, click here.


Hartz Mountain Sued for Infringement Over ‘Angry Bird’ Pet Toys

Hartz Mountain Corp., a New Jersey-based maker of pet-care products, was sued for trademark infringement by a Seattle artist over her Angry Birds pet toys.

Juli Adams said in her complaint that she was approached by Hartz Mountain in 2006 to design a pet-toy line, and that under her contract with Hartz she retained the rights to her intellectual property.

She said Hartz made an unauthorized deal with Rovio Entertainment Oy, creator of the Angry Birds video game, and that the pet-toy company has “improperly reaped millions of dollars in profits” from her intellectual property. Hartz Mountain didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment.

Rovio is not a party to the suit.

The case is Adams v. Hartz Mountain Corp., 2:14-cv-01174, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington (Seattle).

For more trademark news, click here.


CallPlus Unit’s Ads Are Rejected by N.Z. Pay Television Service

Sky Network Television Ltd., a New Zealand provider of pay television satellite service, rejected advertisements from an Internet service provider in that country on the ground that its “Global Mode” service facilitated copyright piracy, the TorrentFreak anti-copyright news website reported.

A spokeswoman for Sky said the rejection of CallPlus Communications Ltd.’s Slingshot was made because the television service was against “the undermining of intellectual property rights,” according to TorrentFreak.

Slingshot General Manager Taryn Hamilton called the ad rejection “unjustified and petty,” saying that Global Mode, which gave users access to a number of content providers, wouldn’t be needed if the content were available at what she called a “fair price,” TorrentFreak reported.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Pharma, Chemical Industries’ Cyber Threats Increase, Cisco Says

The pharmaceutical and chemical industries received the greatest increase in cyber threats in the first half of 2014, according to the National Defense, a magazine produced by the National Industrial Association.

The targeted industries were identified in a midyear security report issued by Cisco Systems Inc., according to the magazine.

Other industries showing an increase in cyber threats are publishing and media as well as agriculture, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, the magazine reported.

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 David Glovin, Joe Schneider

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