Food Stamps, Faberge, Brunswick: Intellectual Property

Aug. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has asked the grocery industry to comment on whether data related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a trade secret.

The notice was published in the Federal Register, and respondents have until Sept. 8 to submit their comments.

The department said that in the wake of a federal appeals court decision related to the availability of such data, it needs to know if the retailers consider this information to be confidential and protectable under the trade secret exemption to the Freedom of Information Act.

“ Any movement in this arena needs to be done carefully, after considering potential consequences and the views of the variety of stakeholders,” the department said in its notice.

The court case in question was brought by a South Dakota newspaper after its request under the Freedom of Information Act for retailer’s food stamp sales data was rejected.

The lower court case is Argus Leader Media V. U.S. DA, 4:11-cv-04121, U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota (Sioux Falls). The appeal is Argus Leader Media v. USDA, 12-3765, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (St. Louis).


Faberge Wins Order Barring Use of Name by Brooklyn Restaurant

Gemfields PLC’s Faberge unit has prevailed in a trademark suit against the operators of a restaurant in Brooklyn, New York.

The luxury jeweler, with roots leading back to Czarist Russia, filed the suit June 14, claiming that the Faberge restaurant infringed the jeweler’s trademarks and attempted to hitchhike on its fame.

A federal court in Brooklyn ordered Vladislav Yusufov and Diana Yusufova to pay Faberge $25,000, and to quit using the Faberge name, and the jeweler’s storefront design on their restaurant’s facade. They were also required to remove any Internet and social media posting incorporating the Faberge name, and are required to bring photos to the court in 90 days to show they’ve altered their restaurant facade.

The case is Faberge Ltd. v. Yusufov, 1:14-cv-03519, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

For more trademark news, click here.


VMI Requests Chinese Police Raid of Tire Rim Manufacturer

TKH Group NV’s VMI unit, the world’s largest maker of tire-building machinery, triggered a police raid on a Chinese factory the company claimed infringed its patents, the Tire Business trade journal reported.

VMI asked Chinese law enforcement to inspect the factory where allegedly infringing tire-building drums were manufactured, according to Tire Business.

The company didn’t identify the factory or its owner, the trade journal reported.

Netherlands-based VMI said it will pursue legal action against any infringers, according to Tire Business.

Brunswick, Bass Pro Settle Patent Suit With Parallel Networks

Brunswick Corp. of Lake Forest, Illinois, and Cincinnati, Ohio’s Bass Pro Inc. have settled the infringement suit brought against them and 28 other defendants in federal court in Texas in March 2010.

The two sporting goods companies and the other defendants were accused of infringing patent 6,446,111, which related to client-server communications. The suit was filed by Parallel Networks LLC., a company with an address in Tyler, Texas, where the case was filed.

No financial terms were disclosed in the settlement filings.

The case is Parallel Networks LLC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Co., 6:10-cv-00111, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Tyler).

For more patent news, click here.


U.K. Police Arrest Internet Server Operator Over Copyrights

City of London police arrested the 20-year-old operator of a proxy Internet server that enabled U.K. users to reach websites blocked because of copyright issues, the BBC reported.

Additionally, the police took down several such sites without saying whether the arrest was related to any of them, according to the BBC.

The arrest was conducted by the police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit, with the support of the Federation Against Copyright Theft, a U.K. content-industry trade group, the BBC 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, Peter Blumberg

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