Pharma Patents, Apple, Korn/Ferry: Intellectual Property

June 9 (Bloomberg) -- A November rule announced by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission mandating the reporting of drug industry patent transfers followed proper procedures, a federal judge in Washington said.

Under the rule, several kinds of pharmaceutical patent transfers must be reported to both the FTC and the U.S. Justice Department.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said the process of developing the rule, made under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, gave the public and the industry ample opportunity to comment.

She said the rule is neither arbitrary nor capricious and rejected arguments by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America that the industry was unfairly singled out for enforcement.

The case is Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America v. Federal Trade Commission, 13-cv-01974, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

Viggle Gets Patent on Content-Viewing Loyalty Reward Program

Viggle Inc., a New York-based company that operates a loyalty program, received a patent on a method of rewarding people who watch specific television programming.

Patent 8,732,739, issued May 20, covers a technology that involves a downloadable program for the user’s mobile phones, tablets or laptop computers that can convey information about the programming that is being viewed. Depending on what they choose to see, users will receive loyalty points that can be redeemed for cash equivalents, prizes or entertainment-related incentives.

The system provide “various revenue generation opportunities” according to the patent, including media and sponsorship sales, marketing partnerships and direct marketing and promotional offers.

The patent specifies that the technology also captures “useful data” about the media consumption habits of the users.

Viggle applied for the patent in July 2012 with help from New York’s Loeb & Loeb LLP.

For more patent news, click here.


Apple Can Use IPhone Mark in Mexico, Carriers Can’t, Court Says

While a May 5 trademark ruling will permit Apple Inc. to sell and market its phones in Mexico, telecom companies won’t be allowed to use the term “iPhone,” the International Business Times reported.

The Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property made the ruling in a trademark dispute between Cupertino, California-based Apple and Mexico’s iFone SA, a provider of telecom services to call centers, according to the newspaper.

The institute previously said Apple didn’t infringe iFone’s marks because the California technology company didn’t provide telecom services, the International Business Times said.

The institute did impose fines of an undisclosed amount on carriers and ordered the removal of all references to the iPhone in ads and promotional materials, according to the newspaper.

For more trademark news, click here.


China Considering Courts Devoted to IP Issues, Xinhua Reports

Among the changes proposed by China’s Leading Group for Overall Reform is the establishment of specialty courts to deal with intellectual-property disputes, Xinhua news agency reported.

The group, which met June 6, also was considering changes to China’s finance, household registration and taxation systems, according to Xinhua.

Xunlei, MPAA Reach Agreement Over Access to Films, TV Content

Xunlei Ltd., a Chinese provider of online video, reached an agreement with the Motion Picture Association of America over access to film and television content, Variety reported.

Under terms of the agreement, Shenzhen-based Xunlei will employ content-recognition technology to make sure the film-industry group’s content isn’t used without authorization, according to Variety.

The Chinese company also will put in place a copyright-related educational initiative aimed at students that focuses on the consequences of infringement, the entertainment industry trade newspaper reported.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Korn/Ferry Awarded Restitution in Nosal Trade Secret Case

The former Korn/Ferry International employee convicted in April 2013 of computer fraud must pay his ex-employer $827,983 in restitution, a San Francisco federal court said.

Of the restitution David Nosal must pay, almost $600,000 is for attorney fees incurred by Los Angeles-based Korn/Ferry, U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen said in his May 20 order. The company also is due almost $205,000 for employee time spent pursuing the case, plus $27,000 in response costs.

Nosal was sentenced to a year and a day in prison in January, fined $60,000 and ordered to pay a then-undetermined amount of restitution. Chen said in his order that in the months that followed, the parties were unable to reach a significant agreement on how much restitution should be paid.

Nosal filed a notice with the court June 5 that he would appeal the judgment.

The case is U.S. v. Nosal, 08-cv-00237, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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, Andrew Dunn

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