Tesla, Domingo, Schlumberger: Intellectual Property

June 13 (Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk, Tesla Motors Inc.’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said the manufacturer of Model S electric sedans is making all its patents public in a bid to expand drivers’ adoption of battery-powered autos.

The carmaker won’t initiate patent suits against “anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology,” Musk said yesterday on the Palo Alto, California-based company’s website.

“Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport,” he said. “If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal.”

Tesla has already collaborated with major carmakers on electric cars, supplying battery packs and motors for Toyota Motor Corp. and Daimler AG vehicles. Both companies also hold stakes in Tesla.

The automaker has more than 160 issued patents for things such as a system to protect battery packs from overcharging and an improved rotor construction in an electric motor, according to the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

For more patent news, click here.


Qualcomm Faces Lawsuit Over Chinese Characters

Qualcomm Inc., the San Diego-based maker of digital wireless communications equipment, was sued for trademark infringement by a maker of Chinese-character cards in a Chinese court, the ZDNet website reported.

Shanghai Gao Tong Semiconductor Co. filed suit, objecting to the California company’s use of Chinese characters for “Gao Tong” to describe some of its products and services, according to ZDNet. In Chinese, the two companies’ names are identical, ZDNet reported.

The Chinese company is asking for $16 million in compensation, according to the news website.

Chinese Wine Trade Group Registers ‘Estate Wine’ Trademark

A Chinese wine-industry trade group registered “Estate Wine” as a Chinese trademark, the Decanter trade publication reported.

To qualify for the trademark, wineries must produce and bottle their products on site, Decanter reported.

Additionally, they must meet specific benchmarks related to vineyard yields, age of vines and the nature of their storage facilities, according to the trade publication.

The aim of the mark, held by the China Alcoholic Drinks Association, is a quality guarantee for wine produced in the country, Decanter reported.

For more trademark news, click here.


Placido Domingo Asks for Stronger European Copyright Legislation

Placido Domingo, the opera star who heads the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, urged European lawmakers to strengthen copyright laws, the trade journal Music Week reported.

The singer was speaking at the International IP Enforcement Summit meeting in London this week, according to Music Week.

Domingo said many mistakenly think that copyright is less important in the digital world than in the material world, Music Week reported.

He said copyrights need more vigorous protecting on the Internet, according to Music Week.

Hong Kong Lawmakers Look at Changes in Copyright Legislation

Hong Kong is considering changes in copyright law that would exempt parodies from infringement, Hong Kong’s Standard newspaper reported.

Other changes under consideration include the establishment of a safety zone for Internet service providers, limiting their liability for users’ infringement, according to the Standard.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Schlumberger Sues Ex-Operations Manager for Taking Trade Secrets

Schlumberger Ltd., the oil-field services company, sued a former operations manager in Texas state court for trade-secret misappropriation.

The Houston-based company said Humair Shaikh downloaded company data onto a USB device without permission and before moving to a new job with Baker Hughes Inc., a Schlumberger rival.

Shaikh allegedly tried to cover his tracks before he left by running a program that permanently deleted and eradicated files from his Schlumberger computer.

Schlumberger said that despite Shaikh’s use of the program, forensic analysts were able to determine that “thousands” of files were copied to the USB device.

The complaint was filed June 10. The same day, the court issued a temporary order barring the unauthorized use of Schlumberger data. A hearing was set for June 20.

Shaikh didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the suit. Baker Hughes isn’t a party to the suit.

The case is Schlumberger Technology Corp. v. Shaikh, 2014-33251, Judicial District of Harris County.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at vslindflor@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net Charles Carter, Andrew Dunn

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