Google, Angelina Jolie, MediaTek: Intellectual Property
Google Inc. (GOOG) won its bid to overturn a $30.5 million patent-infringement verdict won by Vringo Inc., a reversal that sent the patent licensing firm’s shares down as much as 79 percent.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington held Aug. 15 that the Vringo patents in the case were invalid. Vringo, which reported $1.1 million in revenue last year, claimed that its filtering technology for determining advertisement placement in search results was being used in Google’s AdWords and AdSense for Search products. It won a November 2012 trial against Google and some of its customers over infringement of the patents, which had belonged to defunct search-engine company Lycos.
Google argued that the patents combined well-known filtering methods without coming up with a new invention.
“We agree and hold that no reasonable jury could conclude otherwise,” the court said in a 2-1 decision.
The case is I/P Engine Inc. v. AOL Inc., 13-1307, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington). The earlier case is I/P Engine Inc. v. AOL Inc., 11cv512, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Norfolk).
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Jolie Calls Non-Infringement Appeal Unfounded and ‘Emotional’
In a lawsuit he filed in June 2012, James J. Braddock had claimed Jolie’s film contains “similarities so substantial” to his Croatian-language book “The Soul Shattering” that his copyrights were infringed. The court disagreed and in March 2013 dismissed the infringement claims.
Braddock then filed an appeal claiming the court found no infringement because it wasn’t using a correct translation of his work from the Croatian language. Jolie filed her response Aug. 13, saying that Braddock’s “emotional” appeal contained “virtually no analysis” of the lower court’s infringement standard.
The lower court case is Braddock. v. Jolie, 2:12-cv-05883-DMG-VBK, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles). The appeal is James Braddock v. Angeline Jolie, 12-55703, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
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Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage
Chinese National Indicted in Boeing Trade-Secret Theft Case
A Chinese national already charged with hacking into Boeing Co. (BA)’s computer system to steal information on military jets was indicted on additional trade-secret theft and illegal-export counts as part of a U.S. investigation into industrial espionage by China.
Su Bin, 49, owner of a Chinese aviation technology company with an office in Canada, conspired with two unidentified individuals in China staring in 2008 and continuing until as recently as May to hack into computers, download defense-related trade secrets and export data on military jets, according to an Aug. 14 indictment in Santa Ana, California.
Su is in custody in British Columbia, Canada, where he is being held under a provisional arrest warrant submitted by the U.S., prosecutors said in an Aug. 15 statement.
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 a criminal complaint filed in June. They also allegedly sought data related to other aircraft, including Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-22 and F-35 fighter jets.
Su owns an aviation technology company called Lode-Tech and is in contact with Chinese military and commercial aerospace entities, according to the complaint. The two unidentified Chinese individuals are “affiliated with multiple organizations and entities” in China, according to U.S. prosecutors.
The case is U.S. v. Su Bin, 8:14-cr-00131, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Sana Ana).
Ex-MediaTek Worker Questioned, Released in Trade Secret Probe
Mediatek had filed a report with Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau claiming 10 of its ex-employees took the company’s trade secrets with them when they left the company for new jobs, according to WantChina Times.
Eight other ex-employees have also been questioned in connection with the alleged theft, WantChina Times reported.
Cognizant Awarded Attorney Fees in McAfee Trademark Suit
Internet entrepreneur John McAfee was ordered to pay $130,341 attorney fees in a trademark infringement case brought by Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., a business and software consulting firm.
Cognizant sued in March, claiming McAfee was offering an application for mobile devices and tablets named Cognizant.
McAfee is the founder of McAfee Associates, creator of anti-virus software. That company was acquired by Intel Corp. (INTC) in 2010 and has since been rebranded.
According to the fee-award order, Teaneck, New Jersey-based Cognizant made repeated efforts to serve McAfee with the complaint and he failed to appear in court. In June, the court issued a default judgment against him.
Cognizant sought attorney fees and costs of $158,678. U.S. District Judge William Orrick cut that award to $124,906 and $5,435 in costs. He said Cognizant’s counsel did good work and achieved desired results, and the premium rates they charged were “justified by their education, experience and the quality of work performed.”
He made cuts because some of the requests failed to describe the work performed and because some of the work done by partners could have been handled by a junior attorney or non-attorney.
To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at email@example.com