Aereo, Shire, Lenovo, Tilted Kilt: Intellectual Property

June 26 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court, dealing what is likely to be a fatal blow to Aereo Inc. and its plans for transforming the television industry, ruled yesterday that the Barry Diller-backed Internet startup violates broadcasters’ copyrights.

“It’s not a big (financial) loss for us, but I do believe blocking this technology is a big loss for consumers,” Diller said in an e-mailed statement.

The 6-3 ruling is a triumph for broadcast companies including Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, 21st Century Fox Inc., Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal and CBS Corp. They said Aereo was threatening the underpinnings of the industry by selling programming online without paying licensing fees.

The ruling is also a win for the National Football League and Major League Baseball, which said Aereo is exploiting their copyrighted telecasts.

The case is American Broadcasting Companies Inc. v. Aereo Inc., 13-461, Supreme Court of the U.S. (Washington).

Sohu Sues Byte Dance Technologies Saying App Infringes Copyright Inc., a Beijing-based web-portal operator, is suing the developer of a news application for smartphones for copyright infringement, Shanghai Daily newspaper reported.

The company sued in Haidian District People’s Court in Bejing, seeking 11 million yuan ($1.8 million) in compensation, according to Shanghai Daily.

The Today’s Headlines app created by Byte Dance Technologies Co. allegedly copies the content of Sohu’s website and displays the portal’s articles, Shanghai Daily reported.

Byte Dance, which earlier this month said it raised $100 million in third-round financing, said it isn’t infringing and that it’s willing to collaborate with media producers, the newspaper reported.

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Shire Wins Court Ruling Upholding Patents on Vyvanse Medication

Shire Plc won a U.S. court ruling blocking generic versions of its best-selling product, the Vyvanse treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler in Newark, New Jersey, ruled June 23 that Shire’s patents on the drug are valid.

Unless the generic companies win an appeal, they will be blocked from introducing a copy of the drug until the patents expire in 2023, Dublin-based Shire said.

The generic companies sued by Shire are Actavis Plc, Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC, Mylan Inc., Roxane Laboratories Inc., and Novartis AG’s Sandoz Inc.

The case is Shire LLC v. Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC, 2:11-cv-03781, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).

Lenovo Seeks Patent on Wearable Device with Invisible Microphone

Lenovo Group Ltd., the Beijing-based maker of personal computers, is seeking a patent on technology for a product that may be comparable to Google Inc.’s wearable Glass device.

Application 20140161287, published in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office June 12, covers what Lenovo describes as an “electronic device and sound-capturing method.” It contains two bone-conduction units to transmit and capture sound.

Because the device contains no visible microphone “the voice input content of the user to the electronic device may be prevented from being known by others,” according to the application. It contains both a video and sound communication application.

Lenovo filed the application in December 2013.

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Tilted Kilt Sues Golf Club with Kilted Caddies for Infringement

Tilted Kilt Franchise Ltd., which has franchised 90 restaurants featuring female servers wearing scanty kilts, sued a South Carolina golf course operator for trademark infringement.

The Kilted Caddy Club of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, feature what it calls “sexy caddy girls” who wear brief plaid kilts. In a June 20 complaint in Florence, South Carolina, federal court, Tempe, Arizona-based Tilted Kilt said this confuses the public and infringed its marks.

The South Carolina golf club didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the suit.

The case is Tilted Kilt Franchise Ltd. v. Kilted Caddy Club LLC, 4:14-cv-02524, U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina (Florence).

For more trademark news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Two Chinese Men Charged With Planning to Smuggle U.S. Sensors

Two Chinese nationals were arrested and accused of trying to smuggle military sensors to a company in Nanjing, China, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.

According to court filings, the two men sought to take angular rate sensors made by Applied Technology Associates of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and smuggle them concealed inside consumer electronic devices they would hand carry to China.

The case is U.S. v. Cai, 1:13-cr-04044, U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico (Albuquerque).

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

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