Rovio, Ikea, Paltrow, Sirius: Intellectual Property

Aug. 26 (Bloomberg) -- The Walt Disney Co., operator of the Disneyland and Walt Disney World amusement parks, is seeking patents on the use of drones in its parks for entertainment purposes.

According to three patent applications published Aug. 21 in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the company would use unmanned aerial vehicles to project streams of colored light, to support flexible projection screens, or to support and manipulate articulated marionettes in the air.

The drones would follow predetermined flight paths and would have a local controller operating them through a series of points defined by the flight plan.

The applications are 20140231590, 20140233099 and 20140236388. Burbank, California’s Disney applied for all three in February 2013.

For more patent news, click here.


Rovio Fails to Derail ‘Angry Bite’ Trademarks in Singapore

Rovio Entertainment Oy, maker of the Angry Birds video game, failed in its challenge to a trademark used in Singapore by a Malaysian maker of snack food, MediaCorp’s ChannelNewsAsia website reported.

The Espoo, Finland-based game creator claimed that Kimanis Food Industries SDN BHD’s “Angry Bite” mark was too similar to Angry Birds and would confuse the public, according to ChannelNewsAsia.

Singapore’s registrar of trademarks said that in addition to the absence of visual or conceptual similarity between the marks, purchasers of Angry Bite products are self-selected and likely to exercise care as they select the items they are buying, ChannelNewsAsia reported.

Ikea Wins Dismissal of Trademark Suit by Website Operators

Ikea of Sweden AB, the Swedish home-furnishings company, persuaded a federal court in Virginia to dismiss a trademark case brought by the operators of a website at which people can comment about Ikea products.

Ikeafans Inc. of Colonial Beach, Virginia, brought the suit May 20, seeking a declaration it wasn’t infringing the Swedish company’s trademarks. The Virginia company said it has operated the website since 2005, and over the years enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with the giant home furnishings company.

After what Ikeafans said was “years of collaboration and cross-marketing” Ikea said in January 2012 it couldn’t continue to use the name, according to court papers. Ikeafans then sued in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga dismissed Ikea on Aug. 22 as the defendant in the case. He noted that the Ikeafans website does carry ads for home furnishing companies that compete with Ikea.

The case is Ikeafans Inc. v. Ikea U.S. Inc., 1:14-cv-00584, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Sued for Infringing ‘Diet Detective’ Mark

Goop Inc., the website promoting a high-end lifestyle and owned by actress Gwyneth Paltrow, was sued for trademark infringement by the author of a work on diets and fitness.

In the New York federal court suit, Charles Platkin of New York claims that Goop has infringed his trademark “The Diet Detective”, which he registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2007. He said Goop used “Diet Detective” without license or permission beginning July 18.

Goop didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment.

The case is Platkin v. Goop Inc., 1:14-cv-06676, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

For more trademark news, click here.


Sirius Says It Didn’t Infringe Marketing Firm’s Flyer Design

Sirius XM Holdings Inc., the satellite radio broadcaster, denied claims in a copyright suit brought by a direct marketing agency.

Chapman Cubine Adams & Hussy Inc. filed the suit in Alexandria, Virginia, June 25, claiming that the New York-based broadcast company infringed a design the agency used for direct-mail marketing.

In its response, Sirius denied it had misappropriated the Arlington, Virginia-based marketing company’s “UrgentGram” design and said it was investigating allegations it had access to the design. The broadcaster said the allegedly infringed design was functional, not original and in the public domain.

The case is Chapman Cubine Adams & Hussy Inc. v. Sirius XM Holdings Inc., 1:14-cv-00807, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets

Ozburn-Hessey Logistics Trade Secrets Case Against 721 Fails

Ozburn-Hessey Logistics LLC’s trade-secret misappropriation claims against 10 former employees and the rival shipping logistics company they started was dismissed by a federal judge in Philadelphia.

The company filed the suit in February 2012, claiming that the ex-employees who left to form 721 Logistics LLC in Lester, Pennsylvania, took trade secrets and were conspiring to compete unfairly with their former employer.

Ozburn-Hessey, based in Brentwood, Tennessee, said the purloined proprietary information included client names, product and service marketing techniques, customer pricing and discount structures, and sales volumes and purchase patterns of the company’s customers.

U.S. District Judge Felipe Restrepo dismissed the case, saying Ozburn-Hessey’s trade-secret claims didn’t qualify as such under Pennsylvania law.

“There is no basis in Pennsylvania law for affording trade-secret protection to a ‘compilation’ that exists only in the collective consciousness,” he wrote.

He also dismissed the unfair-competition, breach-of-contract and conspiracy claims. The judge did reject the defendants’ bid for attorney fees, saying they failed to state a cause for which they could be claimed.

The case is Ozburn-Hessey Logistics LLC v. 721 Logistics LLC, 12-cv-00864, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).

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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