Ford, BrahMos, Spotify, Raytheon: Intellectual Property

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker, was sued over claims it infringed a patent on technology for an automatic turn signal.

Ford’s three-blink lane change technology infringes a 2008 patent held by Richard Ponziani, a former automotive design engineer for companies including General Motors Co. and Valeo SA, according to a complaint made public yesterday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Ford pitched the turn signal as the solution to one of the top 10 driving pet peeves when it announced the technology in 2009. The turn indicator is designed to blink three times and automatically shut off.

Kristina Adamski, a spokeswoman for Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford, declined to comment on the complaint. The case is Ponziani v. Ford Motor Co., 14-cv-00266, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Bose Seeks to Block U.S. Imports of Monster’s Sports Earbuds

Bose Corp., the maker of electronic products including sound systems, filed a complaint with U.S. International Trade Commission against Monster Technology International Ltd.

Bose, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, claims Monster’s iSport Intensity and similar in-ear made-in-China headphones infringe a patent for earpieces that are both stable and comfortable to use.

The Washington-based trade commission has the power to exclude imports of products that infringe U.S. intellectual property rights.

For more patent news, click here.


BrahMos Aerospace Mark’s Use by Coaching Center Barred by Court

BrahMos Aerospace Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture between India’s Defense Research and Development Organization and Russia’s Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia, persuaded an Indian court to bar the use of the term “BrahMos” by several academic coaching centers, India’s Zee News website reported.

The joint venture company, also known as BAPL, told the high court its name was created by combining the names of two rivers, the Brahmputra in India and Moskva in Russia, according to Zee News.

The coaching centers argued unsuccessfully that their services were unrelated to the aerospace center so their use of “BrahMos” should be permitted, Zee News reported.

For more trademark news, click here.


Spotify, Ministry of Sound Settle Playlist Copyright Dispute

Ministry of Sound Ltd., a U.K.-based entertainment company, and digital music-services provider Spotify Ltd. have settled a copyright dispute related to user-generated playlists on undisclosed terms, the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper reported.

Because of the settlement, the court won’t have to address the question of whether music compilations’ track listings are covered by U.K. copyright law, according to the Guardian.

Walgreen Says It Will Print Image of Scripture Verse After All

Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore chain, backed down on the refusal of the photo department of one of its stores in Mississippi to print images of scriptural texts on copyright grounds, WorldNetDaily reported.

After the customer complained, the Deerfield, Illinois-based chain said that it would fill the Mississippi resident’s request and explained that the clerk who refused to do so may have been concerned about copyright issues related to the graphic design of stars and clouds in which the text was embedded, according to WorldNetDaily.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Raytheon Prevails in Trade-Secrets Case Brought by Ordnance

Raytheon Co., the Waltham, Massachusetts-based defense contractor, persuaded a federal judge in Arizona to dismiss trade-secret claims brought by Ordnance Technologies (North America) Inc. relating to the Tomahawk warhead design.

In a Feb. 25 order, U.S. District Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson said that nine of the 10 claims of La Jolla, California’s Ordnance Technologies weren’t made in a timely fashion. Counsel for the parties have said they’re interested in a settlement conference, she said.

The case is Ordnance Technologies (North American) Inc. v. Raytheon, 12-cv-00386, U.S. District Court, District of Arizona (Tucson).

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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