Google, Samsung, Aereo, Monsanto: Intellectual Property

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc.’s stake in the outcome of a $2 billion trial over smartphones using its Android operating system was revealed by testimony that the company indemnified Samsung Electronics Co. against some of Apple Inc.’s patent claims.

Videotaped testimony of a Google patent lawyer describing terms of the search engine company’s agreement with Samsung was played for jurors April 22, immediately after Apple’s lawyer read aloud a statement from Samsung saying it wasn’t seeking indemnification from any third party.

Google’s Android operating system is used to run Samsung smartphones, and most of Apple’s claims in its second U.S. trial against the Suwon, South Korea-based maker of Galaxy phones relate to Android functions.

While Google isn’t a defendant in the case, Samsung’s lawyer characterized the case in his opening argument as “an attack on Android.”

The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., 12-cv-00630, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

Apple Patents System to Lock Out Drivers From Texting Function

Apple Inc., maker of the iPhone and iPad, patented a technology to keep people from texting while driving.

Patent 8,706,143, issued on April 22, covers a lock-out mechanism that’s activated through a combination of motion and scenery analyzers.

The motion analyzer determines whether the vehicle is exceeding a certain speed. The scenery analyzer ascertains whether the device is operating in a safe area of the vehicle or is too close to the driver.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, said in the patent that the temptation to text is the leading distraction for teenagers behind the wheel. Although laws are being passed to make texting while driving illegal, it’s difficult to catch offenders because the devices they use are easily kept out of sight.

Apple applied for the patent in December 2008 with the assistance of Van Court & Aldridge LLP of Emeryville, California.

For more patent news, click here.


Samsung Applies to Register ‘App Connect’’ as Australian Mark

Samsung Electronics Co. is seeking to register the words “plot,” “app connect,” “citron” and “diffuser” as Australian trademarks, CNET Australia reported.

The South Korean electronics company also applied to register “DTOC” as a mark, according to CNET Australia.

Samsung plans to use the marks to cover a wide rage of goods including computer software applications, MP3 players, smartphones, tablet computers, rechargeable batteries, 3D eyeglasses and downloadable electronic books, CNET Australia reported.

School’s Use of ‘ISEED’ Acronym Barred by Indian Court

An Indian court barred the International School of Entrepreneurship Education and Development from issuing “ISEED” as a name and acronym following a complaint from the head of the Indian School for Entrepreneurs and Enterprise Development, India’s Economic Times reported.

The second school, which uses “iSEED” as an acronym, claimed that the infringing name was deliberately chosen by some of its former partners who set up a rival school, according to the Economic Times.

For more trademark news, click here.


Aereo Arguments at Supreme Court Put Cloud Tech in Hot Seat

The U.S. Supreme Court, weighing the fate of Aereo Inc.’s online-TV service, is confronting a broader question that affects consumers and the technology providers they use, from Apple Inc. to Google Inc.

The debate: Who owns the stuff in the cloud?

The justices were weighing whether Aereo’s recording of broadcast programming from an off-site antenna and delivery via the Internet to a single customer violates federal copyright law.

The court will rule by early July in the case, American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo, 13-461.

For more, click here.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Suspect in Monsanto Corn Seed Trade-Secret Case Released on Bond

The only one of six suspects who was arrested in a trade-secret case involving seed corn was released after posting a $50,000 bond, the Associated Press reported.

Mo Hailong, also known as Robert Mo, was released April 22, according to the AP. He and five others were accused of stealing seed corn owned by Dupont Co.’s Pioneer and Monsanto Co., AP reported.

The other five suspects are still at large in China and Canada, according to the AP.

Massachusetts Looking at Non-Compete Employment Agreement Bar

Proposed legislation in Massachusetts would ban the use of non-compete employment agreements in the technology and life-sciences industries, the Boston Globe reported.

The legislation is modeled after California regulations that declare such agreements void, according to the Globe.

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, Charles Carter

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