Acura, Inthinc, Boston Beer, Opera: Intellectual Property

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Acura Pharmaceuticals Inc., whose technology helps deter drug abuse, sued Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., India’s largest drugmaker, over its plan to market a generic version of the painkiller Oxecta.

Acura, based in Palatine, Illinois, claimed New Delhi-based Ranbaxy wrongly plans to market a copy of the short-acting oxycodone pill before Acura’s patent expires in 2025, according to papers filed April 29 in federal court in Delaware.

“Acura will be substantially and irreparably harmed by Ranbaxy’s infringing activities” unless stopped by a judge, according to the complaint.

Ranbaxy reported about $2.2 billion in sales for fiscal 2012. Acura listed about $20 million in fiscal 2011 sales and a net loss last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Charles M. Caprariello, a U.S. spokesman for Ranbaxy, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the lawsuit.

In dispute is patent 7,510,726, issued in March 2009.

The case is Acura v. Ranbaxy, 13-cv-00750, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Inthinc Settles Suit With SpeedGauge Over Fleet Management

Inthinc Inc., a Utah company whose technology centers on fleet management, and San Francisco’s SpeedGauge Inc. settled their patent dispute, according to an April 25 court filing.

SpeedGauge sued Inthinc in federal court in San Diego in April 2011, claiming its patent 7,356,392 was infringed by Inthinc’s waySmart and tiwi products and services. The patent, issued in April 2008, covers a system and method for evaluating vehicle and operator performance.

The San Francisco company had sought an order barring uncompensated use of its patented technology and awards of money damages, attorney fees and litigation costs, in addition to a “reasonable royalty.”

The court filing doesn’t list terms of the settlement, other than saying that each party will pay its own legal fees and litigation costs. Inthinc said in a statement that while the settlement is confidential, the company wasn’t required to make any payment to SpeedGauge for dismissal of the suit.

The case is SpeedGauge Inc., v. Inthinc Technology Solutions Inc., 11-cv-00809, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego).

For more patent news, click here.


Samuel Adams Brewer Seeks ‘Boston Strong’ Trademark for Beer

Boston Beer Co., the maker of Samuel Adams beers, filed an application to register “Boston strong,” according to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The April 22 application specifies that the mark will be used for beer. The phrase has become a slogan for the city’s response to the April 15 bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The brewery, a longtime sponsor of the race, already makes a seasonal “Boston 26.2 Brew” in honor of the event.

By yesterday, eight U.S. applications had been filed to register “Boston strong.”

One application is for “Boston Strong Coffee,” filed April 22 by Meahuna Coffee Co. of Tewksbury, Massachusetts. In a statement on its website, the company said it will be known as “Boston Strong Coffee,” and that from April 15 forward, 6.17 percent of all of its sales will go to, a charity set up to assist those affected by the bombing and related events.

For more trademark news, click here.


Craigslist Can Sue App Developer Over Data Use, Judge Says

Craigslist, the free online classified-ad service, can sue application platform developer 3Taps Inc. under a federal computer-fraud law for gaining unauthorized access to its website, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco yesterday denied 3Taps’ bid to throw out that and other claims by Craigslist. He did dismiss copyright claims against 3Taps involving some user-created posts and granted defendant PadMapper’s request to dismiss Craigslist’s civil-conspiracy claims.

On its website, 3Taps calls itself a “data harvesting platform dedicated to keeping public facts publicly accessible.” The company collects, organizes and distributes data for developer use.

Craigslist, based in San Francisco, sued 3Taps last year, alleging it copied content posted on the website in real time in violation of computer fraud, copyright and trademark law.

The case is Craigslist Inc. v. 3Taps Inc., 12-cv-03816, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

Belgian Copyright Agency Sues for Fees From Internet Providers

Sabam, the Belgian Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers, filed a copyright lawsuit against the country’s principal Internet service providers over fees for content, Telecompaper News reported.

The suit was filed after Sabam unsuccessfully tried to negotiate fees with Belgacom SA, Telenet NV and Voo, according to Telecompaper.

Sabam is asking for 3.4 percent of the fees subscribers pay for Internet access, Telecompaper reported.

The suit, filed in Brussels, is part of what Sabam said is a movement toward the inclusion of Internet service providers as part of the copyright-use system in Europe, according to the news service.

Kenya to Set Up Academy Aimed at IP Promotion, Official Says

The head of Kenya’s Industrial Property Institute said his nation needs to put more resources into the promotion and protection of intellectual property, Nairobi’s Daily Nation reported.

Paul Lilan, who heads the institute, was speaking at an event to mark World Intellectual Property Day, according to the newspaper.

He said that even though IP is important to Kenya’s development, the country devoted virtually no resources to promote it, the newspaper reported.

His agency, with the support of Kenya’s Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development, will set up an academy devoted to intellectual property, Lilan said, according to the Daily Nation.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Opera Software Sues Ex-Employee Over Trade Secrets, CNet Says

Norway’s Opera Software ASA sued a former employee, claiming he gave some of its trade secrets to Mozilla Corp., CNet News reported.

The company is seeking damages of 20 million kroner ($3.5 million), claiming the ex-employee violated contractual agreements, according to CNet.

Trond Werner Hansen, the former employee, said in a blog post that he disagreed with Opera and can prove his case, CNet reported.

Mozilla, the Mountain View, California-based creator of the Firefox Web browser, said in a statement that it’s not being sued and that Hansen -- an independent contractor -- is no longer affiliated with entity, according to CNet News.

U.S. Urged by Fiorina to Press China Over Cyber, IP Protections

The U.S. should press China to improve protections for intellectual property rights and block cyber intrusions by its nationals, former Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina said.

“There is no question that the massive amount of hacking that’s going on in this country is state-sponsored,” Fiorina said yesterday at the Bloomberg Link Washington Summit. “I say that as someone with clearances.”

The U.S. should also encourage China to increase its participation in dealing with worldwide challenges, including global warming, said Fiorina, now chairman of Good360, an Alexandria, Virginia-based philanthropic organization.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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