Travelers Victory, IMS Health: Intellectual Property

Aug. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Travelers Companies Inc.’s U.S. Fidelity & Guaranty doesn’t have to pay a $30 million judgment in a trademark infringement case against one of its insured.

The insurance company filed suit in federal court against New York’s Ashley Reed Trading Inc., which had been found liable for selling counterfeit products that infringed the trademarks of the Italian luxury fashion house Fendi SpA. Ashley Reed claimed that the insurer should pay the damages under the “advertising injury” section of the company’s liability policies.

U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman in New York rejected that claim, saying the section of the policy doesn’t apply because Ashley Reed’s liability was based on the sale of counterfeit items rather than advertising them.

The case is U.S. Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Ashlem Reed Trading Inc., 1:11-cv-04782, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Topps Claims Infringement of Jewel-Shaped Candy Ring Design

Topps Co., distributor of bubble gum, trading cards and candy, sued a candy and stationery distributor for trademark infringement.

The suit, filed Aug. 21 in federal court in New York, is related to a Topps’ Ring Top lollipop, a candy shaped like an oversized jewel mounted on a ring base. Topps claims that Primary Colors Design Corp. of Ashland, Ohio, displayed its Valentine Ring Lollipops at the National Confectioners Association’s Candy and Snack Show in May that featured a candy jewel mounted on a plastic base in the shape of the ring.

Topps seeks a court order barring the production and sale of the Valentine Ring Lollipop and money damages.

Primary Colors did not respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment.

The case is Topps Co v. Primary Colors Design Corp., 1:14-cv-06782, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Toronto Blue Jays Oppose College’s Bird-Head Trademark Request

Toronto’s Major League Baseball team is opposing a trademark application filed by a small college in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Toronto Blue Jays object to Creighton University’s application to register a bird’s head logo for use on athletic apparel, including team uniforms.

According to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Creighton filed the application in September 2013.

At that same time, the school filed a second application to register the term “Bluejays,” also to be used for uniform and other athletic apparel. The school abandoned that application on June 29.

In its notice of opposition, the Canadian baseball team said it has long used various designs of a blue jay bird head, and that it has registered numerous U.S. trademarks incorporating this logo.

Creighton’s bird-head design is too similar, the team said, and is likely to confuse the public.

For more trademark news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Court Permits IMS Trade Secret Claims Against Symphony to Stand

Some of IMS Health Inc.’s counterclaims over trade secrets misappropriation can go forward against Symphony Health Solutions Corp., a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled.

In the suit, filed in Philadelphia in July 2013, Symphony accused IMS Health of antitrust violations. IMS of Danbury, Connecticut, responded, claiming Symphony went after its trade secrets by poaching its employees.

U.S. District Judge Gerald Austin McHugh rejected Symphony’s request to dismiss all of those counterclaims. He said that the issue of whether the company employed “wrongful means” in inducing IMS employees to quit can be addresses at trial, as can the allegations of trade-secret misappropriation. He did dismiss a claim related to Symphony’s conduct with a vendor who also served IMS.

The case is Symphony Health Solutions Corp., v. IMS Health Inc., 2:13-cv-04290, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).


Portugal Weighs Taxing Digital Devices to Compensate Artists

Portugal is considering a measure that would add a tax on the sale of digital devices as a means of compensating copyright owners, the EuroNews website reported.

The tax would be based on the storage capacity of the device, according to EuroNews.

Jorge Barreto Xavier, Portugal’s culture minister, seeks to have revenues from that tax to the nation’s copyright organizations, which would then pay the creators of the copyrighted content, EuroNews reported.

While the Portuguese Society of Authors supports the measure under consideration by that nation’s parliament, telecom operators in the country do not support it, according to EuroNews.

For more copyright news, click here.

For patent 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, David E. Rovella

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.