Teva, Starbucks, Malibu Media: Intellectual Property

May 16 (Bloomberg) -- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. lost a bid to block approval of a generic form of Copaxone, a multiple sclerosis drug that may account for half the company’s profit, 10 days before the patent on the medication expires.

Teva’s lawsuit, accusing the Food and Drug Administration of improperly dismissing its calls for more testing of generic forms of Copaxone before they go on the U.S. market, was thrown out yesterday by a federal judge in Washington. Copaxone, the company’s bestselling drug, contributes more than 50 percent of earnings, according to analysts.

The May 10 suit was Teva’s latest move in a campaign to block rivals including Mylan Inc. and Novartis AG’s Sandoz unit from making a less-expensive generic drug. Last month, a U.S. Supreme Court justice rejected Teva’s bid for an injunction to prevent the sale of generic competitors’ products.

The case is Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. v. Sebelius, 14-cv-00786, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

Lilly Loses Patent Dispute With Actavis Over Treatment

Eli Lilly & Co. lost a U.K. lawsuit over its Alimta cancer treatment when a judge ruled that a generic version planned by Actavis Plc doesn’t breach European patents.

Judge Richard Arnold in London rejected Lilly’s argument that Actavis’s planned pemetrexed disodium product infringed patents registered in the U.K., France, Italy and Spain. Lilly said it would appeal yesterday’s ruling, part of which relates to the use of vitamins.

“The significant scientific research that Lilly performed in support of those vitamin dosage regimen patents deserves intellectual-property protection,” Michael J. Harrington, Indianapolis-based Lilly’s general counsel, said in an e-mailed statement. “We plan to seek permission to appeal this ruling.”

Lilly said in its statement that it had won an Alimta patent case in Germany earlier this year. The company said it expected European patents related to vitamin dosage to remain in force until 2021.

Actavis said it was the first time an English High Court had ruled in a case involving foreign designations of a European patent.

For more patent news, click here.


Ichitan Acquires Birely’s Trademark for Asia, Canada, U.S.

Ichitan Group Plc, a Thai beverage company, agreed to acquire Bireley’s California Orange Thailand Co.’s Bireley’s brand, used with orange-flavored soda, the Bangkok Post reported.

According to Ichitan’s founder and president, Tan Passakornnatee, the purchase covers use of the Birely’s trademark in other Asian countries as well as Thailand, Canada and the U.S., the newspaper reported.

Ichitan, known for its green-tea products, said it will pay 240 million baht ($7.4 million) to acquire both the trademark and the manufacturing formula for the beverage, according to the Bangkok Post.

The Birely’s brand, which originated in California, has been known in Thailand for more than 50 years, according to the Bangkok Post.

Scotiabank Settles Festival Name Dispute With Arts Group

Scotiabank and the founders of a Toronto arts festival settled a dispute over the bank’s allegedly unauthorized use of the festival’s name, the Toronto Star reported.

The suit was filed in 2011 against the bank and the Festival Management Group by Caribana Arts Group, which objected to the use of “Scotiabank Caribana Festival” as the name for the 47-year-old event, despite the arts group’s “Caribana” trademark, the newspaper reported.

Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed, the Star said.

For more trademark news, click here.


Top Copyright Suit Filer Malibu Media Profits From Litigation

Malibu Media LLC, a maker of adult film content that filed one-third of all copyright cases brought in U.S. courts last year, realizes less than 5 percent of its profit from its copyright suits, the New Yorker reported.

The California-based company brings an average of three suits a day, accusing defendants of using the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol to download copies of its films without permission, according to the New Yorker.

Keith Lipscomb, counsel for Malibu Media, told the New Yorker that most defendants settle before trial, paying $2,000 to $30,000 dollars.

Lipscomb denied allegations that plaintiffs are forced into settlements for fear of having their names made public in association with adult films, saying the company would never oppose a defendant’s wish to be anonymous, the New Yorker reported.

For more copyright news, click here.

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, David Glovin

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