Google, Pandora, Kanye, SanDisk: Intellectual Property

Google Inc., owner of the most-used search engine, must face revived claims that its Street View mapping system infringed a California company’s patents for creating images for visually navigating a geographic area.

The judge in the case erred in his interpretation of what four Vederi LLC patents covered, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington said March 14.

Closely held Vederi claimed Street View incorporated its inventions dating back to 2000 for methods of creating images that, when combined, can be used to view an area from different angles. Google argued that Vederi’s patents result in flat images rather than the spherical ones of Street View.

The case is Vederi LLC v. Google Inc., 13-1057, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington). The lower-court case is Vederi LLC v. Google Inc., 10-cv-07747, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

Idenix Files Hepatitis C Treatment Lawsuits in Europe

Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. said it filed three patent lawsuits against Gilead Sciences Inc. related to a European patent covering a compound used to treat hepatitis C.

The suits were filed in France, Germany and the U.K., the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said in a statement March

14. The filings couldn’t be immediately confirmed in court records and Idenix said they weren’t publicly available.

Gilead and Idenix are involved in a number of disputes over drugs used against the virus that causes hepatitis C, including proceedings before the Chinese Patent Office and in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. There are active lawsuits in the U.S., Canada, Norway and Australia, Idenix said.

Gilead, based in Foster City, California, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail to its press office seeking comment on the lawsuits.

Gilead’s Sovaldi, used to treat hepatitis C, was approved in December by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The drug costs $1,000 a pill, with the typical 84-week treatment course costing $84,000.

For more patent news, click here.


Pandora-Ascap License Rate Dispute Subject of Sealed Court Order

Pandora Media Inc.’s license rate for the repertory of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for 2011 to 2015 was decided by a U.S. judge in New York who temporarily sealed the order to give the parties advance notice of her decision. The parties will have a chance to propose that parts of the ruling not be made public.

Oakland, California-based Pandora provides radio services over the Internet, providing music that can be streamed to computers and mobile devices.

The company sued in November 2012, seeking the court’s help in determining a reasonable licensing rate.

The case is Pandora Inc. v. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, 12-cv-08035, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Kanye West’s ‘Candy’ Copyright Case Ordered to Settlement Talks

A copyright dispute between performer Kanye West and a New Jersey “candy” artist will go before a federal magistrate judge for settlement discussions, according to a March 12 court order. The parties have declined to have the case heard by a magistrate judge if it goes to trial.

Fabio Massimo Gammacurta sued West in federal court in New York Jan. 14, claiming that West made unauthorized use of the artist’s stylized Gucci brand symbol made from candy.

The case is Gammacurta v. IBN Jasper, 13-cv-02372, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

SanDisk Files Trade-Secret Complaint in California Against Hynix

SanDisk Corp., a Milpitas, California-based maker of data storage devices, said in a statement that it filed a trade-secrets misappropriation case against Korea’s SK Hynix Inc. in California state court.

The suit is related to a criminal complaint SanDisk filed in Japan against a former employee who worked at the SanDisk/Toshiba Corp. joint venture facility in Japan. He allegedly took some of the California company’s proprietary information with him when he went to work at Hynix.

Hynix didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the case.

The case is SanDisk Corp. v. SK Hynix Inc., 1-14-cv-262078, California Superior Court, Santa Clara County.


Russian Company Asks for Olympic Rings, Snowflake Trademark

Mirovye Shedevry, a Russian company, filed an application to register a trademark comprising the four Olympic rings and a snowflake that were a feature of the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony, the Russian Legal Information Agency reported.

The ring-and-snowflake configuration, which resulted from the failure of the fifth Olympic ring to open, has already been featured on Chinese-made T-shirts, Rapsi reported.

For more trademark news, click here.