Tencent, Nintendo, Sony, Givaudan: Intellectual Property

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s Riot Games online video-game unit, maker of “League of Legends,” said in a statement that it has no intention of using its patents offensively.

In the statement, the Santa Monica, California-based unit described the U.S. patent system as broken and in need of reform. Riot Games owns patent 8,636,589, which was issued Jan. 28 and covers systems and methods that enable a spectator’s experience for online active games, according to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Riot Games said in an earlier statement that fans can use intellectual property related to “League of Legends” as long as what is created is given away for free or only generates advertising revenue.

For more patent news, click here.


Nintendo Says It Wasn’t Planning to Sue Over ‘Flappy Bird’ Game

Nintendo Co. denied contemplating legal action against a Vietnamese game developer who removed his “Flappy Bird” game from Apple Inc.’s App Store and Google Inc.’s Play Store after many noted similarities to Nintendo’s Super Mario and Rovio Entertainment Oy’s Angry Birds games, Vietnam’s Tuoitrenews website reported.

The creator of the game, who was reportedly earning as much as $50,000 a day from embedded ads, said he took it down because he couldn’t deal with the intense media interest, according to Tuoitrenews.

Sony Files Infringement Suit Over Music Mixes for Cheerleading

Sony Corp.’s Sony Music Entertainment unit sued six defendants for copyright infringement relating to allegedly unauthorized compilations of music for cheerleading competitions.

The defendants are selling custom music mixes derived from Sony recordings for as much as $1,500 each, according to the complaint filed yesterday in New York federal court.

The case is Sony Music Entertainment v. Extreme Traxx Productions, 14-cv-00817, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

For more copyright news, click here.


T-Mobile Wins Order Barring AT&T Unit’s Use of Magenta Color

T-Mobile US Inc., the mobile-communications service, convinced a Texas federal court that a color used by AT&T Inc.’s Aio Wireless unit infringed a trademark.

U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal in Houston said that Aio’s use of the color, described as plum or magenta, was likely to confuse consumers and cost T-Mobile goodwill and potential customers. Even though Aio used different fonts and slogans from T-Mobile’s, the similar color was “visually dominant” and infringing, she said.

Noting that the two entities offered similar products and services, Rosenthal ordered Aio to stop using the color on its advertisements, websites and stores. A status conference in the case is set for March 5, according to court filings.

The case is T-Mobile USA v. Aio Wireless LLC, 13-cv-02478, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Givaudan’s Ex-Employee Didn’t Take Trade Secrets, Jury Finds

Trade-secrets claims brought by Givaudan SA’s Givaudan Fragrances unit against one of its former employees were rejected by a jury in a New Jersey federal court Feb. 6.

The Swiss fragrances and flavor company sued a former vice president for trade-secret misappropriation in September 2008, claiming he took formulas for more than 600 of the company’s fragrances with him when he went to work for Mane USA Inc., a New Jersey-based competitor.

The jury said the ex-employee didn’t breach his contract with Vernier, Switzerland’s Givaudan or take any of the company’s trade secrets.

The case is Givaudan Fragrances Corp. v. Krivda, 08-cv-04409, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Trenton).

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at vslindflor@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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