Rader, Ikea, Bible, CrowdStrike: Intellectual Property

Randall R. Rader of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, who said May 23 that he was stepping down as chief judge, announced his retirement from the court, effective June 30.

In an e-mail on the website of Intellectual Asset Management magazine, he said he was “not happy” after leaving the court’s top post and has decided to spend time teaching. He said he already had teaching assignments over the next year in Asia and Europe.

In his May open letter on the court’s website, Rader said he had sent an e-mail to an attorney who appeared in the court that “constituted a breach of the ethical obligation not to lend the prestige of the judicial office to advance the private interests of others.”

The e-mail “may have led to the perception that the attorney in question was in a position to influence me in my performance of judicial duties,” he said. At that time, he indicated he would remain on the bench, saying he would “work diligently with my colleagues to ensure and protect our court’s standing.”

Rader was appointed to the court, which specializes in patent cases, in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush and became its chief judge in 2010. U.S. Circuit Judge Sharon Prost has succeeded Rader in that post. She was appointed to the court in 2001 by President George W. Bush.

Solazyme Receives Patent on Algae-Derived Diabetes Treatment

Solazyme Inc., a company that makes algae-derived fuels, chemicals and health-sciences products, received a patent on the use of an algae product to treat diabetes.

Patent 8,747,834, which was issued to the South San Francisco, California-based company June 10, covers methods of treating impaired glucose metabolism through the administration of algal biomass.

According to the patent, biomass derived from the Chlorella protothecoides strain of green algae is used to reduce blood glucose or body fat in a subject, or to increase the relative abundance of a subject’s beneficial gut microflora.

The biomass is administered in the form of a tablet, capsule or food product. It can be taken daily for a week, a month, a year, or for life, Solazyme said in the patent.

The patent belongs jointly to Solazyme and the University of Manitoba, according to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The application for the patent was filed in March 2010 with the assistance of Alston & Bird LLP of Atlanta.

For more patent news, click here.


Ikea Settles Dispute With IkeaHacker.net Over Website Name

After receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Ikea of Sweden AB, the operator of the website Ikeahacker.net entered into negotiations with the Swedish retailer.

Ikea said the site, which gives users suggestions about how to transform some of the company’s furniture products to new uses, infringed its trademarks.

In a notice posted June 14, IkeaHacker said the two sides will agree to permit its continued use of the Ikea name at the price of removing advertising from the site.

The site operator said that it has been in operation for eight years and that the ad revenue is what has kept the site -- and the operator -- afloat economically. The IkeaHacker.net will be moved to a new, as-yet-unnamed domain, according to the website notice, because “I don’t have deep enough pockets to fight a mammoth company in court.”

For more trademark news, click here.


LDS Church Accused of Infringing Bible Recording Copyrights

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was sued for copyright infringement by a Florida-based provider of recordings of readings of the King James Bible.

In a complaint filed in Florida federal court June 10, Litchfield Associates Ltd. of Tampa accused the church of making unauthorized use of recordings of the late Alexander Scourby reading the Bible aloud. Litchfield says on its website that Scourby is “the greatest voice ever recorded.”

The dispute is related to use of the content beyond the terms of Litchfield’s license. Litchfield objected to the church’s alleged sale of compact discs and smartphone apps containing the content, as well as the enabling of free downloads from a church-run website.

The Salt Lake City-based church didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the suit.

The case is Litchfield Associates v. Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 14-cv-01387, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida (Tampa).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

CrowdStrike Says It Identified Chinese Army Unit Spying on U.S.

CrowdStrike Inc., a cyber-security company based in Laguna Niguel, California, released a report identifying what it said is a unit of the Chinese army that operates a cyber-espionage program.

According to the report, the organization, which it calls “Panda Putter,” operates in Shanghai and targets government, defense and research-and-technology sectors in the U.S., with an emphasis on space, aerospace and communications.

This unit has been operating since 2007 and is sending malware through targeted e-mail attacks that enter through such applications as Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader, according to the report.

One of the founders of CrowdStrike is Dmitri Alperovitch, the former vice president of threat research at McAfee Inc., the security software company.

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