Microsoft, Theranos, Amazon, EMI: Intellectual Property

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- A former Microsoft Corp. employee was charged with stealing the software maker’s trade secrets, including code for a program to protect against copyright infringement, and leaking them to a blogger in France.

Alex Kibkalo, a Russian national, was arrested March 19 and ordered held without bail, according to federal court filings in Seattle. He admitted to Microsoft’s investigators that he provided the confidential information to the blogger, according to the criminal complaint filed by U.S. prosecutors.

Russell Leonard, a federal public defender representing Kibkalo, didn’t immediately respond to a phone message after regular business hours seeking comment on the case.

The case is U.S. v. Kibkalo, 14-mj-00114, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington (Seattle.)


Theranos Settles Dispute Over Medical-Testing Patent

Theranos Inc. settled a dispute with two inventors over a patent the medical-device company claimed was based on information stolen from McDermott Will & Emery after the Chicago-based firm was hired to pursue a patent on Theranos’s behalf.

According to court filings, the parties agreed that all claims of the disputed patent -- 7,824,612 -- are to be found invalid and each party is to pay its litigation costs. The McDermott firm wasn’t a party to the suit.

The case is Theranos Inc. v. Fuisz Pharma LLC, 11-cv-05236, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

For more patent news, click here.


Amazon China Unit Closes Vendor After Report of Fake Cosmetics

The China unit of Inc., the world’s largest e-commerce company, closed a third-party online store after state media reported that fake cosmetics were being sold.

The shutdown came in response to customer complaints and the company will immediately close any stores selling fakes, Amazon’s China unit said in a posting on its verified microblog.

Amazon and rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. have adopted tougher management of fake products on their websites in China as the government pledges to crack down on breaches of intellectual property rights.

The world’s most populous nation accounts for more than half of international trade in counterfeit goods, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates.

Diageo Sued by Explorers Club Over Scotch Whisky Promotion

Diageo Plc, the world’s largest distiller, was sued by the Explorers Club, a nonprofit organization, over the use of the group’s name on a line of Scotch whisky.

The public will probably assume falsely that an affiliation exists between the London-based distiller’s “Explorers’ Club” Scotch and the New York-based group, according to the complaint filed in state court in Manhattan yesterday.

The suit was filed under a section of New York law that bars the unauthorized use of the name of a “benevolent, humane or charitable corporation with the intent of obtaining a business benefit.”

The club, which has numbered Charles Lindbergh, Sir Edmund Hillary, Thor Heyerdahl and Neil Armstrong among its members, said sales representatives at airport duty-free shops where the Diageo products are sold have claimed a connection exists between the group and the drink.

Diageo is also accused of setting up displays in airports that replicate the look of the club’s New York headquarters.

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

The case is Explorers Club Inc. v. Diageo Plc, 152524/2014, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).

For more trademark news, click here.


MP3tunes Found Liable by Jury for Infringement in EMI Case

EMI Group Ltd. won most of its claims in a copyright trial against the music storage site MP3tunes LLC and Michael Robertson, its founder and chief executive officer.

A jury in Manhattan found MP3tunes and Robertson liable for infringing EMI’s copyrights in music and album cover art.

EMI sued in 2007, claiming that MP3Tunes set up its service so that copyrighted songs stored in a user’s online “personal music locker” could be copied and sent to other computers, “enabling multiple unauthorized copies to be made and distributed.”

The case is Capitol Records v. MP3tunes LLC, 07-cv-09931, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Copyright Office Asks Public for Comment on Music Licensing

The U.S. Copyright Office is seeking public comment on the effectiveness of current copyright law with respect to the licensing of music.

According to a notice posted on the copyright office’s website, the office is asking for input on the licensing of music delivered through new methods such as downloading and streaming.

Comments are to be submitted by May 16, according to the notice.

For more copyright news, click here.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at; Stephen Farr at; Andrew Dunn at Peter Blumberg

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