Medtronic, Google, Swift, Wal-Mart: Intellectual Property

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Medtronic Inc., the world’s biggest maker of heart-rhythm devices, will pay Edwards Lifesciences Corp. at least $1.1 billion to settle a patent dispute over its minimally invasive valves.

Edwards will receive $750 million upfront and royalties of at least $40 million a year through 2022, Minneapolis-based Medtronic said in a statement. The companies agreed to dismiss all pending litigation over the valves and refrain from filing additional lawsuits for the eight years of the agreement.

The settlement will give Medtronic free rein after months of litigation to develop the market for the valves that it estimates at $2 billion to $2.5 billion a year. A federal court last month had granted, then stayed, a preliminary injunction that would have prevented Medtronic from selling CoreValve, used to treat aortic stenosis, in the U.S. because it infringed a patent held by Irvine, California-based Edwards. Edwards sells the rival Sapien valve.

The case is Edwards Lifesciences AG v. Corevalve Inc., 1:09-cv-00091, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Patent Case Against Nintendo Dismissed After Claims Canceled

An infringement case against Nintendo Co. was dismissed following the cancellation of all claims of the disputed patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Patent owner Wall Wireless LLC of Plano, Texas, sued Nintendo in February 2009, claiming its patent 6,640,086 was infringed by games and WiFi devices made and sold by the Kyoto, Japan-based company. The patent covered a method of distributing interactive media content.

On May 15, Nintendo and Wall Wireless filed a joint request in federal court in Tyler, Texas, for dismissal of the case, saying a reexamination proceeding at the patent office resulted in the cancellation of the patent claims. A magistrate judge ordered the case dismissed the following day.

The case is Wall Wireless LLC v. Nintendo Co., 09-cv-00065, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Tyler).

Google Gets Patent on Notebook With Detachable Mobile Phone

Google Inc., creator of the world’s most-used Internet search engine, received a patent on a device that combines a detachable mobile phone and a notebook computer.

Patent 8,649,821 covers a notebook and mobile phone assembly. When the phone is detached, it can be used for private conversations. When it is attached to the notebook, it cam be used to enable video conferencing services.

For more patent news, click here.


‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Author Asks Reopening of Trademark Suit

Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” has asked an Alabama federal court to reinstate a suit she filed against a museum devoted to her work that tried to block her registration of her “To Kill a Mockingbird” trademark.

According to a May 19 court filing, Lee says additional issues have come up, halting the settlement. They were not disclosed in the filing.

The case is Lee v. Monroe County Heritage Museum Inc., 1:13-cv-00490, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama (Mobile).

Taylor Swift Sued For Infringement Over Lucky 13 T-shirts

Taylor Swift, the Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, was sued for trademark infringement by a California clothing company.

Blue Sphere Inc. of Costa Mesa, California, accuses Swift in its May 20 complaint of infringing its “Lucky 13” trademarks through the promotion and sale of t-shirts and other merchandise.

Swift’s merchandise entity, Swift Merchandising Inc., of Nashville, Tennessee, didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment.

The case is Blue Sphere Inc. v. Taylor A. Swift, 8:14-cv-00782, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana).

For more trademark news, click here.


Photographer’s Widow Responds to Walton Family’s Copyright Suit

The widow of the owner of a photo studio in Fayetteville, North Carolina, has responded to a copyright suit by the family of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. founder Sam Walton.

Helen Huff said in court papers that the photos and negatives sought by the Walton family belong to her as the successor in interest to her late husband. The photos of family members and Walton stores were taken by the studio, she said, claiming she has registered the copyright on almost 30 images.

The Waltons claim they have rights to the photos because they were made under the family’s “supervision.”

Huff said in her filing that the Walton family was, in fact, infringing her copyrights by reproducing the pictures without her permission.

The case is Crystal Lands LLC v. Huff, 4:14-cv-05113, U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas (Fayetteville).

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 Fred Strasser, David Glovin

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