Marvell, iiNet, Rightscorp, Zumba: Intellectual Property

Updated on

(Bloomberg) -- Marvell Technology Group Ltd. told a U.S. appeals court that the $1.17 billion patent-infringement verdict it lost to Carnegie Mellon University threatens to alter how all technology is licensed.

“This would have sweeping consequences” if upheld because the damage award included sales outside the U.S., Marvell’s lawyer, Kathleen Sullivan, told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington on Tuesday.

The patent verdict -- the fourth biggest in U.S. history -- won by the Pittsburgh school was over university-designed technology to detect data on disk drives as the amount of information grew and chip size got smaller. Carnegie Mellon claimed that chipmaker Marvell, in danger of losing business in the 1990s, copied the school’s inventions in its chips for computers and mobile phones without paying royalties for more than a decade.

“You almost never see copying as blatant or as reckless as this,” Josh Rosenkranz, arguing for Carnegie Mellon, told the three-judge panel.

The verdict has since climbed to more than $1.54 billion after the trial judge tacked on $287.2 million for willful infringement plus interest.

The appeal is Carnegie Mellon University v. Marvell Technology Group Ltd., 14-1492, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington). The lower court case is Carnegie Mellon University v. Marvell Technology Group Ltd., 09-cv-290, U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh).

For more patent news, click here.


iiNet Ordered to Reveal Information About Suspected Pirates

Australian Internet service provider iiNet Ltd. was ordered by a judge to turn over information about subscribers accused of illegally sharing copies of the film “Dallas Buyer’s Club.”

Federal Court of Australia Justice Nye Perram also ordered the copyright owners to first submit any letters demanding compensation to him for approval, to avoid “speculative invoicing” which may not be legal in Australia.

Dallas Buyers Club LLC had asked the court to order the release of details to identify 4,762 subscribers of iiNet and five other Internet providers. The subscribers allegedly used the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol to obtain unauthorized copies of the 2013 film.

iiNet had said it wouldn’t disclose customers details to any third party without a court order.

Warner Bros., Rightscorp Claim Constitutional Rights Infringed

A movie studio and a company that assists the studio in the enforcement of its copyrights asked a Los Angeles federal court to dismiss a claim by accused infringers that the studio is abusing the federal litigation process.

A group of individuals sued in November 2014 claiming Rightscorp Inc. of Santa Monica used invalid subpoenas to get information about alleged infringers. They also accused Rightscorp of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, misrepresenting the nature of its business and abusing the process of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

In response, Rightscorp and Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc. claim in a March 30 filing that the accused infringers are impermissibly challenging their conduct, which is protected under California’s anti-SLAPP statute. They say that the accused infringers are trying to prevent lawsuits that are within their constitutional right to bring.

The case is Reif v. Rightscorp., 1:14-cv-09032, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets

Russia Partial State-Run Company Directors Pay Now Trade Secrets

Russia has changed its position on a requirement that the salaries of directors of companies partially run by the state must be made public, Newsweek reported.

The regulation, established last year, required online publication of income figures from directors, according to Newsweek.

Natalia Timakova, a spokeswoman for Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, told Newsweek that directors are “in a strict sense not civil servants” and as representatives of commercial businesses can claim their salaries are a trade secret.

Among those whose salaries now qualify for trade-secret protection are directors of Rosneft Oil Co., Gazprom OAO and Russian Railways JSC, according to Newsweek.


Steve Madden, Zumba Fitness Settle 2014 Trademark Dispute

Steve Madden Ltd., a Long Island City, New York-based footwear maker, and Zumba Fitness LLC have settled a trademark dispute over a shoe, according to a court filing.

Zumba, of Hallandale Beach, Florida, is a dance-oriented fitness program. The company sued Steve Madden in federal court in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in October 2014, claiming that Madden’s “Madden Girl Zumba Wedge Bootie” shoe line infringed the fitness company’s trademarks.

In addition to seeking money damages, Zumba asked the court for recall and destruction of all allegedly infringing products and promotional materials, and a court order barring further infringement.

Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed in the court filing other than that each party agreed to pay its own litigation costs and attorney fees. The parties did ask the court to retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the settlement.

The case is Zumba Fitness LLC v. Steven Madden Ltd., 0:14-cv-62293, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Fort Lauderdale).

Sun’s Challenge to Stadmed’s ‘Zolam’ Use Can Proceed, Board Says

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. can go ahead with a challenge to Calcutta, India-based Stadmed Pvt., India’s Intellectual Property Appellate Board ruled, the Times of India reported.

Stadmed had argued that Sun’s “Zolam” trademark was non-distinctive and shouldn’t have been registered, according to the newspaper.

Sun, of Mumbai, India, had earlier sued Stadmed for trademark infringement in the Calcutta high court, saying the company was using a mark that was deceptively similar, the Times of India reported.

Resolution of the dispute, which dated back to 2003, had been delayed by a number of proceedings “on unjustifiable grounds,” the IPAB board said, setting aside an order staying Sun’s challenge to Stadmed, according to the Times of India.

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 Joe Schneider, David Glovin

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE