Lawson Software, Texas A&M: Intellectual Property

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Lawson Software Ltd., a British maker of business planning software, won an appeal of a patent infringement case it lost in a lower court.

A Washington-based federal appeals court dismissed the 2009 patent suit brought by Herndon, Virginia-based EPlus Inc., saying the trial court judge was mistaken in finding Lawson violated a court order barring it from infringing a patent claim and sanctioning the London-based software company.

The patent at issue was reexamined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which found the contested patent element to be invalid and canceled the claim. The appeals court then said because the lower court’s order and sanctions were based on that particular claim, they had to be canceled.

The appeals court sent the case back to the lower court, ordering it to modify its order.

The lower court case is EPlus Inc. v. Lawson Software Inc., 3:09-cv-00620, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond). The appeal is EPlus Inc. v Lawson Software Inc., 13-1506, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington).

Samsung to Create Round-Faced Smartwatches, Patent Indicates

Samsung Electronics Co., Apple Inc.’s chief smartphone rival, may be coming out with a round-faced smartwatch, a recently issued patent indicates.

The design patent D709,875, which was issued July 29, shows a drawing of a wearable device with a watchband and a circular raised face. According to the patent, the design was created by one China- and two California-based inventors.

Samsung smartwatches currently on the market have either a square or rectangular face.

Seocho-gu, South Korea-based Samsung applied for the patent in March 2013, according to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

For more patent news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Toshiba Seeks Paul Hastings’s Ouster in Hynix Trade Secrets Case

Toshiba Corp., the Japanese maker of consumer electronics, asked a California state court to disqualify Paul Hastings LLP from representing SK Hynix Inc. in a trade secrets dispute.

In its petition to Santa Clara County Superior Court, Toshiba said Paul Hastings has represented the Japanese company for 15 years and spent “thousands of hours” on Toshiba matters related to the flash-memory technology at issue in the trade secrets case.

Toshiba claims that Paul Hastings representation of South Korea’s SK Hynix violates its duty of loyalty to Toshiba.

Arielle Lapiano, a spokeswoman for the law firm, said in an e-mail its representation of Hynix is not adverse to Toshiba.

“We are confident that the court will support this view,” she said.

The case is Toshiba v. Paul Hastings LLP, 1-14-cv-267609, California Superior Court, Santa Clara County. The trade secrets case is Sandisk Corp. v. SK Hynix Inc, 1-14-cv-262078, California Superior Court, Santa Clara County.


Texas Aggies, Buffalo Bills Fans Settle ‘12th Man’ Dispute

Texas A&M University has settled a dispute with an organization of fans of the Buffalo Bills football team, the college’s radio station website reported.

The school had objected to Bills Fan Thunder’s use of the “12th man” trademark, according to the university’s website.

The fan group, which is working to retain the Bills’ National Football League franchise in Buffalo, New York, has agreed to quit using the mark and to transfer all infringing domain names and social media accounts to the school, reported.

U.K.’s Home Office Rejects ‘Skywalker’ Passport Application

A U.K. resident who is a fan of the “Star Wars” film series was refused a passport renewal because she uses “Skywalker” as a middle name, the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper reported.

Laura Skywalker Matthews added the middle name legally in 2008, and the U.K.’s Home Office rejected her application for a new passport, telling her it wouldn’t recognize a name change that could infringe a trademark or copyright, according to the newspaper.

Matthews said her driver’s license and credit cards had all accepted her new signature, and the only holdout was the passport office, the Guardian reported.

The newspaper said the passport office is working to craft a compromise with Matthews so she can receive a passport.

For more trademark news, click here.


‘Dallas Buyer’s Club’ Makers Sue 42 for Infringement in Hawaii

Makers of the Academy Award-winning “Dallas Buyers Club” film brought two copyright infringement suits against unidentified defendants in Hawaii.

The lawsuits, filed in federal court in Honolulu, accuse 42 people of downloading the film without authorization through the use of the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol.

Woodlands, Texas-based Dallas Buyers’ Club LLC says it has identified the Internet protocol addresses of the alleged infringers. According to court papers, it plans to subpoena the infringers’ Internet service providers to learn the identities of the users who have those addresses so they can be “proper defendants” in the suits.

The cases are Dallas Buyers Club LLC v. Does, 1:14-cv-03331 and 1:14-cv-00330, U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii (Honolulu).

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 Fred Strasser, Charles Carter