Apex, Gazprom, Victoria’s Secret: Intellectual Property

(This is a daily report on global news about patents,

By Victoria Slind-Flor

July 30 (Bloomberg) -- Apex Medical Corp., a Taiwan-based maker of health-care products, said in a statement yesterday it will appeal a German court’s patent infringement ruling relating to headgear used with respiratory therapy masks.

The suit was brought by San Diego-based ResMed Inc., a maker of equipment used to treat sleep disorders. Apex said it challenged the validity of the European ResMed patent at issue before the European Patent Office in December.

Apex has also sought review of the validity of several ResMed patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the patent offices in Japan and China.

Microsoft Seeks Patent on Gesture-Triggered Keyboard Operations

Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software company, is seeking a patent on a technology for controlling a computer through gestures made near a keyboard.

According to application 20140208274, published in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office July 24, a user can make gestures in proximity to the keyboard or can use them in combination with touching the keyboard.

Microsoft said that while the boundaries of human computer interaction have been expanded through gestures-based interfaces, these systems “have not meant the end of traditional desktop computing using keyboard and mouse.”

Such traditional uses would include those requiring “extensive authoring, editing of fine manipulation such as document writing, coding, creating presentations or graphic design tasks.”

The aim of the invention is to simplify such operations as mode switches, windows and task management, menu selection and some types of navigation, according to the application.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft applied for the patent in January 2013.

For more patent news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Gazprom Commissions Specialized Tablet to Protect Secrets

Gazprom OAO, the Russian gas and oil company, bars the use of mobile devices for the processing of confidential company data, ITAR-TASS reported.

To prevent trade-secret theft and to enable mobile computing by company officials, Moscow-based Gazprom has commissioned a tablet PC to process confidential content, according to ITAR-TASS.

The tablet, designed for Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller, cost about $3 million to develop and can be used to analyze the company’s key performance indicators, ITAR-TASS said.

The device should have been designed for Apple Inc.’s iOS platform, according to ITAR-TASS. The tablet should be operate on 3G, GPRS and Wi-Fi networks, the news agency said.


Victoria’s Secret Settles Shirt Dispute With Spirit Clothing

L Brands Inc.’s Victoria’s Secret unit and Los Angeles-based Spirit Clothing Co. settled a trademark dispute involving shirts, according to a July 24 court filing.

Spirit filed the infringement suit in Los Angeles federal court May 16, accusing the specialty lingerie retailer of selling long-sleeved shirts that infringed its Spirit Jersey trademarks.

Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed.

The case is Spirit Clothing Co. v. Victoria’s Secret Stores LLC, 14-cv-03790, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

Comic-Con Organizers Tell Utah’s Comic Con to Quit Using Name

The organizers of Comic-Con, San Diego’s annual convention for comics and pop-culture fans, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Salt Lake City’s Salt Lake Comic Con, the Deseret News reported.

The California group demanded that Utah group remove “comic con” from its name and hand over its saltlakecomiccon.com website, the newspaper reported.

The Utah group attracted 100,000 attendees to its first conference in 2013, while the San Diego convention typically draws more than 130,000, according to the Deseret News.

Bryan Brandenburg, co-founder of the Utah event, told Deseret News he expects to prevail in the dispute with Comic-Con.

For more trademark news, click here.


City of London Police Notices Replace Ads on Pirate Websites

U.K. visitors to websites that let users download pirated content will start finding warning notices placed by the City of London police instead of advertisements, the Telegraph reported.

The notices will warn of criminal investigations being conducted against the site and suggest that the visitor leave, according to the newspaper.

The police are working with London’s Project Sunblock, which creates software that can replace ads with the police notices, the Telegraph said.

Government agencies have reported that in the U.K. more than 1.5 billion content files were downloaded without authorization in 2012, according to the newspaper.

For more copyright news, click here.

(An earlier version of this report corrected Gazprom CEO’s name.)

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