Qualcomm, Russell, U.K., Fatwa: Intellectual Property

June 24 (Bloomberg) -- Qualcomm Inc., the world’s largest maker of mobile phone chips, persuaded a U.S. judge to throw out a $173 million patent-infringement verdict won by ParkerVision Inc. over wireless-network technology.

The key witness presented by ParkerVision, a wireless-chip designer with no reported revenue, provided speculation that “is an insufficient evidentiary basis for the jury’s infringement verdict in this action,” U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton in Jacksonville, Florida, ruled on June 20.

“While we are pleased that the court upheld the jury’s decision that the patents are valid, we are obviously disappointed with the district court’s ruling that judgment be entered for Qualcomm on non-infringement,” ParkerVision Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Parker said in a statement.

The case is ParkerVision v. Qualcomm, 11-cv-00719, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida (Orlando).

Drugmaker Deals Blocking Generics Face New Probes by U.S

U.S. regulators, armed with a year-old Supreme Court decision, are stepping up probes of pharmaceutical deals that delay the sale of generic drugs, arrangements they view as illegally hurting competition.

The Federal Trade Commission has opened new investigations into agreements between generic and brand-name drugmakers that may lead the agency to sue for disgorgement of revenues, said Markus Meier, head of the agency’s health-care division. Companies under scrutiny include Forest Laboratories Inc. and Endo International Plc, according to regulatory filings this year.

“Our goal is to bring an end to this practice by whatever means are available to us,” Meier said in an interview.

For more patent news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Russell Investments Says Alleged Secrets Were Actually Public

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.’s Russell Investments Ltd. responded to a trade secrets case brought by San Diego, California’s Freeman Investment Management Co.

In May the London Stock Exchange Group Plc said in a statement it was in discussions with Northwestern over the possible purchase of Russell.

In a filing in San Diego federal court, Russell said Freeman had failed to identify any trade secrets that were allegedly misappropriated. Nor did Freeman explain how the alleged secrets are “materially different from the abundant information” in the public domain, the Russell said in the complaint.

Freeman sued Russell in December 2013, claiming its indexes emphasizing securities’ volatility are being used without permission and that this violates confidentiality agreements between the two companies. The case was sealed and unfiled last month.

The case is Freeman Investment Management Co. v. Frank Russell Co., 13-cv-02856, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego).

U.K. Considers Boosting Punishment for Hacking, Espionage

Cyberhackers whose actions result in serious damage to individuals or the U.K.’s security face potential life sentences, the Guardian newspaper reported.

The proposed legislation, announced in Queen Elizabeth’s speech at the opening of Parliament, would update the U.K.’s Computer Misuse Act of 1990 and also address industrial espionage, according to the newspaper.

Some in the security industry have claimed that the U.K.’s current computer-crime law effectively criminalizes actions by so-called penetration testers who, as part of security companies’ research, scan computer systems for possible vulnerabilities, the Guardian reported.

Such actions, regardless of their motivation, presently carry criminal penalties, according to the Guardian.


Mormons Sue Canadian Polygamous Sect for Trademark Infringement

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints filed a trademark suit in Canada, attempting to halt the use of its trademarks by a polygamous sect based in Bountiful, British Columbia, the B.C. newspaper Province reported.

In the suit, filed in British Columbia Supreme Court, the Salt Lake City-based church alleged it was thwarted in its attempt to register its corporate name in Canada because the polygamous sect had already registered Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Inc., according to the Province.

The church claims the Canadian group is attempting to suggest through its name registration that it is sanctioned by the official Mormon church, the newspaper reported.

For more trademark news, click here.


Dubai Muslim Leader Issues Fatwa Against Copyright Infringement

A religious leader in Dubai has issued an edict known as a fatwa declaring that copyright infringement and other IP violations are “haram,” or forbidden, under Islamic law, Dubai Media Inc.’s Emirates 24/7 reported.

Ali Ahmed Mashael, grand mufti at Dubai’s Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities, said infringement was forbidden because works protected by IP law are the “fruit of human efforts” and using them without permission would constitute theft, according to Emirates 24/7.

This ruling extends to computer programs, Mashael said, Emirates 24/7 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 Charles Carter, Fred Strasser

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE