AlixPartners, Best Buy, Polish TV: Intellectual Property

AlixPartners LLP, the turnaround firm whose consultants seek to revive bankrupt or foundering companies, sued two former partners for allegedly stealing confidential files when they left for rival McKinsey & Co.

The New York-based company said the two former directors, Eric Thompson in its Hong Kong office and Ivo Naumann in Shanghai, misappropriated business forecasts, marketing materials and contact lists when they left to join McKinsey’s restructuring unit, according to a lawsuit filed April 10 in Delaware Chancery Court.

AlixPartners wants the consultants banned from competing with their former colleagues for a year and forced to hand over the allegedly purloined files.

Yolande Daeninck, a McKinsey spokeswoman, declined to comment on the lawsuit. McKinsey wasn’t named as a defendant in the case.

The consulting firm wants a judge to order Thompson and Naumann to “return all hard copies of AlixPartners trade secrets and other confidential and proprietary information in their possession,” according to the complaint.

The case is AlixPartners LLP v. Thompson, CA No. 9523, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).


Ultimate Metals Barred From Selling Tungsten Carbide Rings

A California patent owner persuaded a federal court to bar a Los Angeles company from making and selling rings made from tungsten carbide.

According to a statement from the patent owner, Trent West, tungsten carbide rings now command almost a third of the market for men’s wedding rings. West sued Ultimate Metals Co. in August 2013, saying the company was selling rings that infringed three patents.

The court order bars Ultimate from making and selling infringing jewelry through September 2018.

The case is West v. Ultimate Metals Co., 13-cv-03651, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

Roche Loses Appeals Court Bid to Revive Patents on Boniva

Two Roche Holding AG patents related to its Boniva osteoporosis treatment were properly found invalid by a lower court, a Washington-based appeals court ruled.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said April 11 that the patented method for administering the drug was obvious and therefore not entitled to patent protection.

The case is Hoffman-La Roche Inc. v. Apotex Inc., 12-1128, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington).

For more patent news, click here.


Best Buy Wins Case Over French-Language Sign Mandate in Canada

Best Buy Co., six other retailers and a chain of exercise salons persuaded a Canadian court to lift a requirement to add French language to their outdoor signs, the National Post reported.

Quebec’s Office Quebecois de la Langue was attempting to require even those companies with well-known trademarks to include a generic French term describing their businesses, according to the National Post.

The Quebec Superior Court said April 9 that because the office had tolerated English for the past 20 years, it had no legal basis to change its policy.

For more trademark news, click here.


Telewizja Polska Sued by Canada-Based Television Distributor

Telewizja Polska SA, Poland’s state-owned television company, was sued over a contract with a Canadian distributor over the right to broadcast Polish-language programming.

Spanski Enterprises Inc., claiming to be the exclusive licensee for some Polish-language content in North America, said in court papers that Telewizja Polska is infringing its copyrights by setting up channels to offer the same content.

Disputes between the two companies date back to 2006, with Mississauga, Ontario-based Spanski repeatedly suing the Polish company over alleged violations of their contract. The April 11 suit was trigged by the Polish company’s Feb. 26 announcement that it would start a new international channel in what Spanski claims is its exclusive territory.

The case is Spanski Enterprises Inc. v. Telewizja Polska SA, 14-cv-02570, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

For more copyright news, click here.

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