Nortel, Ceres, Lend Lease, Alamo: Intellectual Property

Nortel Networks Corp.’s warring creditors aren’t the only ones focused on a trial to divide more than $7 billion remaining after the Canadian telecom giant was liquidated.

Microsoft Corp. has lawyers on alert to guard secrets surrounding more than 6,000 patents that it teamed up with Apple Inc. and Sony Corp. to buy for $4.5 billion.

In the trial, which started yesterday, U.S., Canadian and U.K. creditors are fighting over how to divide cash raised through a series of auctions after what was once North America’s largest telephone-equipment maker went bankrupt in 2009.

The case is Nortel Networks Inc., 09-bk-10138, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Ceres Gets New Corn-Derived Gene Patent, Will License Technology

Ceres Inc., an agricultural biotech company, received a patent on a corn-derived gene sequence and its use is research, product development and seed production.

The company said in a statement that it will offer its patent 8,710,201, issued April 29, to seed companies, and that licenses could cover exclusivity with respect to some crops.

Thousand Oaks, California-based Ceres applied for the patent in September 2012, with the assistance of Boston’s Fish & Richardson PC.

For more patent news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Lend Lease Can Keep Lid on Some Data for Elephant & Castle Area

Lend Lease Group, the Australian real estate developer, will be able to keep secret some of its financial calculations and projections in connection with a development project for London’s Elephant & Castle district, Haymarket Media Group’s Regeneration & Renewal news website reported.

The company’s data fell into the category of trade secrets, an information tribunal judge ruled, Regeneration & Renewal reported.

The tribunal judge said that while publication of the data might jeopardize Lend Lease Group’s ability to negotiate with other businesses, revealing information related to private sales would be less of a threat to the company and should take place, according to Regeneration & Renewal.

Ex-AlixPartners Consultants Barred From Using Trade Secrets

Two former AlixPartners LLP consultants who went to McKinsey & Co. were barred by a judge from enticing ex-colleagues to defect or using their old employer’s trade secrets.

Eric Thompson, formerly of AlixPartners’ Hong Kong office, and Ivo Naumann, who worked at its Shanghai branch, can’t pitch their services to any client they served in the 12 months before they left the turnaround firm in January, Delaware Chancery Judge Donald Parsons ruled, citing the terms of their employment agreement.

Thompson and Naumann are banned from “using or disclosing any AlixPartners trade secrets and other confidential and proprietary information,” Parsons said in a temporary restraining order issued May 9.

Yolande Daeninck, a McKinsey spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return a call for comment on Parsons’s ruling. McKinsey isn’t named as a defendant in the suit.

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


Texas Asks Permission to Enter Breweries’ ‘Alamo’ Trademark Suit

The State of Texas is seeking to intervene in a trademark fight between two Texas brewers.

Alamo Beer Co. sued Old 300 Brewing LLC in federal court in San Antonio March 28, complaining that Old 300, which does business as Texian Brewing Co., was infringing the “Alamo” trademark it registered in August 2012.

The state said in a May 9 filing that it needs to be in the case to protect its interest in its rights to the Alamo marks. The state also argued that rather than delaying or prejudicing the resolution of the breweries’ trademark dispute, the state’s participation would “save the parties from duplicative suits.”

The case is Alamo Beer Co. LLC v. Old 300 Brewing LLC, 5:14-cv-00285, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas (San Antonio).

For more trademark news, click here.


Cayman Music’s Suit Over Marley Copyrights to Be Heard Today

Cayman Music, the original publisher of reggae singer Bob Marley’s music, is to meet Blue Mountain Music Ltd. in the Chancery Division of the High Court in London today in a dispute over the copyrights to some of the late singer’s music, the Jamaica Observer reported.

Cayman is seeking to retrieve some of Marley’s songs, including “No Woman, No Cry,” “Rastaman Vibration” and “So Jah Seh,” according to the newspaper.

Blue Mountain is the publisher of some of Marley’s later titles, the Observer reported.

For more copyright news, click here.

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