Microsoft, Lacoste, Malibu Media: Intellectual Property

April 9 (Bloomberg) -- China’s Ministry of Commerce approved Microsoft Corp.’s bid to take over Nokia Oyj’s phone business after winning pledges from both that the transaction won’t mean higher fees for the nation’s smartphone makers.

Microsoft pledged not to raise fees for its patents after the deal is complete, according to a statement posted on the ministry’s website. Nokia pledged no large changes in its current compensation structure for standard-essential patents. Didn’t Infringe Rovi TV Guide Patents, Court Rules

Rovi Corp., a provider of data and technology for on-screen television listings, lost a patent-infringement case against Inc. over interactive programming.’s Instant Video and IMDB Video didn’t infringe two patents owned by Rovi’s TV Guide for electronic program guides, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington said in an opinion posted on its website.

Rovi, which licenses data for television guides, has agreements with companies such as Sony Corp. and Google Inc. The Santa Clara, California-based company has had mixed results when companies balk at paying royalties on its technology. In November, it lost a lawsuit over Netflix Inc’s software-development kits after a U.S. trade agency said other Rovi patents weren’t infringed.

Rovi pledged to pursue other claims against the online retailer.

The case is United Video Properties Inc. v. Inc., 2013-1396, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington). The lower court case is 11-cv-00003, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

For more patent news, click here.


Lacoste’s L.12.12 Trademark Registered for Use in Singapore

Lacoste SA, the French polo-shirt manufacturer, was given authorization to register “L.12.12” as a trademark in Singapore over the objections of Carolina Herrera Ltd., the Straits Times reported.

New York-based Herrera tried to block the registration, saying the mark was too similar to its “212” marks used with fragrances, according to the newspaper.

Although Lacoste uses “L.12.12” with a fragrance, Singapore authorities said there was “no visual, aural or conceptual similarity” between the marks, the Times said.

DHX Objects to Event With Same Name as Children’s TV Program

After receiving a cease-and-desist notice from counsel for Canada’s DHX Media Ltd., a U.K. promoter dropped “The Night Garden” as the name for an event set in a London cafe, the Hackney Gazette reported.

DHX produces “In the Night Garden,” a children’s television program airing on the U.K.’s child-oriented CBBC network, and didn’t want the name to be associated with an event where alcohol would be sold, according to the newspaper.

Alistair Siddons, the event promoter, told the Gazette he hadn’t intended any association with the TV program and felt bullied into changing the name of the event to Star Garden.

For more trademark news, click here.


Malibu Media Says No Defendant Passed Polygraph Examination

Malibu Media LLC, a producer of adult films, said in an April 16 court filing that in the first three months of 2014, at least 175,000 U.S. residents infringed its copyrights through the use of the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol.

In that same filing, the company said it has been using polygraph examinations and has agreed to dismiss infringement cases against any defendants who pass such a test. So far, Malibu Media said, no defendant has passed a test and all polygraph examinations have led to a settlement.

The filing was made in one of 268 cases Malibu has filed in federal court in Chicago. Malibu claims that each defendant infringed, on average, 17.9 copyrighted works.

The case is Malibu Media LLC v. Doe, 14-cv-00693, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

FBI Warns About Russian Venture-Capital Companies

The Federal Bureau of Investigation told Boston-area technology companies to be wary of joint ventures with Russian venture-capital firms.

In an opinion piece published in the Boston Business Journal, Lucia Ziobro, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division, said the agency believes the true motive of some venture-capital firms funded by the Russian government is industrial espionage.

The warning was also directed toward research facilities and Boston-area universities, the FBI said.

Officials from two Russian venture-capital firms -- Russian Venture Co. and Rusnano OAO’s Rusnano USA -- said they were doing nothing wrong and the FBI’s allegations were unfounded, the Boston Globe reported.

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, Fred Strasser

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.