RealD, Ferarri, Liberty Global: Intellectual Property

RealD Inc., which licenses three-dimensional projection technologies used in the movie industry, sued two competitors for patent infringement.

RealD is the developer of a technology used for projecting films in stereoscopic 3-D using circularly polarized light. According to complaints filed yesterday in federal court in Los Angeles, the Valfoni SAS Valfoni Diamond product and MasterImage 3D Inc.’s MI-Horizon3D system infringe four RealD patents.

The Beverly Hills, California-based company asked the court to bar further infringement and is seeking money damages, litigation costs and attorney fees.

Neither Valfoni nor MasterImage 3D responded immediately to e-mailed requests for comment on the lawsuits.

The Valfoni case is RealD Inc. v. Valfoni Inc., 13-cv-02303, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles). The MasterImage case is RealD v. Masterimage 3D Inc., 14-cv-02304, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

Lundin Must Respond to Water-Treatment Complaint by April 1

Lundin Mining Corp., a $2.5 billion Canadian metals producer, has until April 1 to respond to an infringement lawsuit brought by a California patent holder.

Debasish Mukhopadhyay of Palo Alto sued the mining company in federal court in San Francisco Feb. 28. He said the Eagle Mine on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, acquired by Lundin from Rio Tinto in July, uses a water-treatment process that infringes two of his patents.

Mukhopadhyay said his patented technology, which employs reverse osmosis, is used in industries including microelectronics, power generation and petrochemicals. The technology, high-efficiency reverse osmosis, is known as the “HERO method” of water treatment for short.

The Eagle Mine, which produces both nickel and copper, operates a water-treatment facility that uses methods covered by Muhkhopdhyay’s patents, according to the complaint.

Lundin, based in Toronto, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment on the suit.

The case is Mukhopadhyay v. Lundin Mining Corp., 14-cv-00927, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

For more patent news, click here.


Ferrari Fights 21-Year-Old Racer for Facebook Page Control

Sammy Wasem was 15 when he started a Ferrari fan page that would become one of the most popular car sites on Facebook. Six years later, he’s in a legal battle with the Italian sports-car maker in a case that may help define freedom of expression rights in social media.

Wasem, an amateur race-car driver, and his father Olivier have filed a complaint against Ferrari SpA, claiming copyright infringement after they lost control of their site.

Ferrari, meanwhile, has sued the Wasems, arguing they misused the company’s trademark to advertise non-Ferrari merchandise and for personal messages such as invitations for Wasem’s 18th birthday.

Black-and-White Marks May Get Separate Treatment, OHIM Says

The Office for the Harmonization of the Internal Market, the European Union’s trademark authority, said black, white and gray-scale trademarks are to be treated as separate from the same marks in color if the color differences are significant, the Financial Post reported.

For more trademark news, click here.


Liberty Global Unit Can Be Forced to Block Illegal Websites

Liberty Global Plc’s UPC Austrian unit and other Internet service providers can be forced to block access to websites that post copyright-infringing material, the European Union’s highest court ruled.

“An ISP, such as UPC Telekabel, which allows its customers to access protected subject-matter made available to the public on the Internet by a third party, is an intermediary whose services are used to infringe a copyright,” the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg said yesterday.

“We believe that the decision to block websites or other Internet content is properly one for courts and for lawmakers,” Liberty Global said in an e-mailed statement.

The case is C-314/12, UPC Telekabel Wien GmbH v. Constantin Film Verleih GmbH, Munich (Germany), Wega Filmproduktionsgesellschaft mbH.

Oxford Student Files DMCA Complaint Over Use of Facebook Posting

A political blog that was hit with a takedown order under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act said the infringement claim raised to justify removing the content was merely an attempt at censorship, Oxford University’s student newspaper reported.

A remark about the late Nelson Mandela made by Jeff Vinal, the former director of the Oxford University Conservative Association, and posted on Facebook Inc.’s social-media site was removed from the Political Scrapbook blog after Vinal filed the DMCA takedown request, the Oxford Student reported.

The editor of Political Scrapbook accused Vinal of “an absolutely textbook case of DMCA abuse,” according to the newspaper.

For more copyright news, click here.

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