Ebola, Malaysia Airline, Disney: Intellectual Property

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is seeking a patent on the Ebola virus.

According to the application EP 2350270 A2, which was filed in 2010, the CDC is claiming the rights to a strain of the virus that was isolated from a patient in the Ivory Coast. It was deposited with the center in November 2007, and the CDC says one of its proposed uses is screening for an antibody that can be used to treat infected patients.

The present outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has infected more than 1,400 people and killed upward of 825 since March 1, according to the World Health Organization.

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Virginia Governor Declines to Address Redskins Trademark Debate

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said he won’t weigh in on the trademark controversy surrounding the name of the Washington Redskins National Football League team, ESPN reported. The team trains in his state.

The governor said all of the team’s players live in Virginia, with residents of the state holding the majority of the team’s season tickets, ESPN reported.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, spoke at a visit to the team’s training camp. He said he’s “not in the business of telling private businesses what to do,” and that what’s important about the team is the economic activity it creates for Virginia, according to ESPN.

Last week Hillary Clinton said she opposed the team name, which is the subject of proceedings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office brought by native Americans who contend the team name is racist, according to ESPN.

Australian Trademark Sought for Downed Malaysia Flight Number

A Malaysian company has applied in Australia to register MH17 as a trademark, the Design & Trend news website reported.

MH17 is the number of the Malaysia Airline System Bhd’s flight that crashed in the Ukraine July 17, killing all aboard, according to the website.

Remit Now International of Kuala Lumpur applied for the mark in a category that can cover game shows, video games, gallery services, film production and online games, according to Design & Trend.

Australia operates a first-come, first-served trademark registration system. Even though Malaysia Airline also submitted an application, Remit Now’s request is more likely to be granted because it was in first, according to Design & Trend.

New York Restaurant Changes Name After Infringement Suit Filed

Blood & Sand LLC, a Buffalo, New York-based cocktail bar and restaurant chain, is changing its name one day after the filing of a trademark suit by a Missouri-based members-only bar and restaurant with the same name.

In an Aug. 1 posting on its Facebook page, the Buffalo establishment said that because of “an unfortunate series of legal complications,” the restaurant’s name would be changed. The restaurant, which is due to open Aug. 15, said it is soliciting suggestions from the public for a new name.

Blood & Sand, LLC of St. Louis filed the infringement suit July 30, claiming the New York property’s name infringed and caused the public to be confused. According to court papers, the Missouri restaurant registered its name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The case is Blood & Sand, LLC v. Blood & Sand LLC, 4:14-cv-01334, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis).

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Disney Must Face Infringement Claims Over ‘Frozen’ Trailer

The Walt Disney Co. failed to persuade a federal court in San Francisco to dismiss a copyright infringement suit filed by a California resident who claims a trailer for the movie “Frozen” infringes his computer-animated film “The Snowman.”

Kelly Wilson of Mill Valley, California, sued Disney March 28, claiming that the “Frozen” snowman character Olaf as shown in the trailer too strongly resembled the snowman in his film, and that the lot, themes, dialogue, setting, pace, characters and sequence of events in the Disney film trailer were “substantially similar” to his film.

In his July 30 order, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said the plot and sequence of events in the Burbank, California-based Disney’s trailer and the Wilson film “have too much in common” for a court to decide that no reasonable juror would find “substantial similarity” of ideas and expression. He did dismiss Wilson’s claim that the entire “Frozen” film infringed his “The Snowman.”

The case is Wilson v. The Walt Disney Co., 3:14-cv-01441, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Grifols’s Trade Secret Case Can Go Forward, State Judge Says

Grifols S.A’s trade secrets case against three former executives can go ahead, a North Carolina state court judge ruled, according to the Triangle Business Journal.

The Spanish blood-products company accused three ex-employees of plotting to bring the company’s trade secrets, customers and key employees to a competing venture, according to Triangle Business Journal.

The court ordered the former Grifols executives to quit soliciting the company’s employees, and barred them from using any Grifols’s confidential data, according to the publication.

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