Teva, Lafarge, Hyundai, Australia: Intellectual Property

The U.S. Supreme Court deferred a decision on whether to hear an appeal by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. that aims to delay generic competition to its top-selling Copaxone multiple-sclerosis drug.

The justices took no action yesterday on Teva’s bid for a hearing and are now scheduled to consider the case at their March 21 private conference, according to the court’s public docket.

A ruling last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld four Teva patents that expire in May while invalidating a separate patent that would have blocked generic competition until September 2015.

The case is Teva v. Sandoz, 13-854.

Apotex Must Face Genentech Patent Claim Over Valcyte Generic

Apotex Inc. must face a Roche Holding AG lawsuit claiming its generic version of Valcyte, which treats a virus that afflicts transplant patients and people with AIDS, infringes a Roche patent that expires in 2015.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco yesterday denied Apotex’s request in for a ruling in its favor without trial, according to a court filing. Roche’s Genentech unit alleged the generic would infringe its patents because the product is, at least in part, in crystalline form.

Elie Betito, a spokesman for Apotex, didn’t immediately respond to a voice-mail message seeking comment on the ruling.

The case is Genentech Inc. v. Apotex Inc., 11-cv-02410, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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Lafarge Unit Bests Ang in Philippines ‘Eagle’ Dispute

Lafarge SA’s cement unit in the Philippines won a trademark battle with a company owned by the president of San Miguel Corp., the InterAksyon news website reported.

The Philippines Intellectual Property Office said Ramon S. Ang’s Eagle Cement can’t continue to use the “Eagle” name and logo on its product because a unit of Paris-based Lafarge has been selling Eagle brand cement since 1992 in the Philippines, according to InterAksyon.

Ang has several opportunities to appeal the trademark rejection, the website reported.

Brazil Soccer Federation Complains About Hyundai World Cup Ad

Brazil’s soccer federation said an advertising campaign by Hyundai Motor Co., which promises new car buyers an extra year of warranty if the national team wins the World Cup, breaches its intellectual property rights.

A Hyundai advertisement playing on the word “hexa,” meaning “sixth” in Portuguese, promises the company will increase its usual five-year guarantee to six on new cars sold between Jan. 1 and July 13 if the host nation wins the competition this year for a record-extending sixth time.

Carlos Eugenio, the legal director of Brazilian soccer’s ruling body, asked the carmaker to pull the campaign, arguing that it’s using intellectual property that belongs to the federation. The soccer body’s official car partner is Volkswagen AG.

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Australia’s AG Says Proposed ‘Fair Use’ Change May Harm Artists

Australia Attorney General George Brandis said that despite a recommendation from the Australian Law Reform Commission that his country’s copyright law needs a “fair use” provision, he’s concerned such a change will negatively affect the creative industries, the U.K.’s Guardian reported.

Brandis told a copyright forum he wasn’t impressed with a proposed test for fair use and feared content creators could be “cheated of fair compensation,” according to the newspaper.

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Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Israel Defense Industry Says Spy Fears Triggered Visa Refusal

U.S. visa applications for at least 25 Israeli army officers and members of Israeli intelligence agencies have been refused, and members of Israel’s defense industries have suggested a U.S. fear of industrial espionage may be behind the refusals, the IsraelDefense news website reported.

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