Myriad, Stone Brewing, Thorntons: Intellectual Property

April 15 (Bloomberg) -- Myriad Genetics Inc., the biggest maker of genetic tests for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, was denied a request for expedited review of an adverse patent decision.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit turned down the request, saying that if the parties wanted the appeal heard sooner, they could “self-expedite” by filing their court papers in accordance with the schedule they proposed in their request.

The case is University of Utah Research v. Ambry Genetics Corp., 12-1361, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington).

Sony Seeks Patent on Robot to Aid the Elderly and Disabled

Sony Corp. applied for a patent on a robot to assist the disabled and elderly perform everyday tasks.

According to patent application 20140074292, published in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Minato-ku, Japan-based Sony’s invention, can perform tasks such as grasping an object and could carry out housework and nursing care for people.

The application also covers a technology that would enable the robot device to detect the difference between dirt or a scratch on its camera lens. This same ability would extend to what it sees on humans, allowing it to distinguish between a dirty hand and a hand that has been scratched.

Sony applied for the patent in April 2012.

For more patent news, click here.


Stone Brewing Persuades Kettle & Stone Brewing to Change Name

Stone Brewing Co., an Escondido, California-based maker of beer and nonalcoholic beverages, persuaded a Boulder, Colorado-based craft brewery to change its name, the Boulder Daily Camera reported.

Owners of 10-month-old Kettle & Stone Brewing Co. told the newspaper they aren’t ready to announce the new name and that it took three months of hard work to find unused words.

Lindt Chocolate Bear Didn’t Infringe Haribo Mark, Court Says

The resemblance of Lindt & Spruengli AG’s gold foil-wrapped chocolate bears to chocolate rabbits it sells during the Easter season is one reason a German appeals court said the product doesn’t infringe trademarks belonging to Haribo GmbH, Deutsche Welle reported.

Bonn-based Haribo claimed the chocolate bears were a three-dimensional representation of the mark it uses for its Gummi candies, according to the newspaper.

The court said the foil wrap on Kilchberg, Switzerland-based Lindt’s bears was clearly marked with the company’s logo and “Lindt Teddy,” reducing any possibility of consumer confusion, according to Deutsche Welle.

For more trademark news, click here.


Thorntons Employee Wouldn’t Write Rooney’s Name on Easter Egg

An employee of Thorntons Plc, the U.K. candy retailer, refused to write a 4-year-old child’s name on a chocolate Easter egg, claiming copyright law barred using a name shared with a well-known soccer player, the Manchester Evening News reported.

The child is named for Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, according to the newspaper.

The child’s mother said Rooney is her favorite member of the team and called the store’s decision “a bit silly, really,” according to the Evening News.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Ex-W.L. Gore Chemical Engineer Accused of Trade Secret Theft

An ex-employee of W.L. Gore & Co. has been accused of misappropriating trade secrets related to multispectral concealment fabric used for camouflage purposes, the U.S. said in a court filing.

Kwang Seoung Jeon is accused of downloading confidential company information without authorization. His fellow employees also observed him printing out “book sized” documents shortly after his resignation, “behavior unusual for the daily work” he performed, the government said.

The chemical engineer was arrested at an airport where he was preparing to board a flight that would have connected with one to Korea, according to court papers.

He is being represented by the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Wilmington, Delaware, which didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment on the charges.

The case is U.S. v. Seoung Jeon, 1:14-mj-00054, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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 Andrew Dunn, Charles Carter

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