Apple, Hershey, Duck Dynasty: Intellectual Property

Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc., maker of the iPhone and the iPad, is seeking patents on a system that will automatically help users locate where they’ve parked their cars.

Applications 20140232569 and 20140232570, published in the database of the U.S. Patent office Aug. 21, cover the use of a mobile tracking device that can be used even in areas where location signals are weak or GPS technology is unavailable.

The system uses Bluetooth technology that can track from the point at which the user exits the vehicle. According to Cupertino, California-based Apple, the technology can be used in multi-level covered parking structures and the like in which it’s difficult to pick up signals from a satellite-based GPS system.

The system can locate vehicles other than automobiles, including boats, watercraft, aircraft or even snowmobiles or lawnmowers, Apple said.

Apple filed the patent applications in February 2013.

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Hershey Sues Food Importer for Infringing Candy Bar Trademarks

The Hershey Co., maker of chocolate bars and other candies, sued a New Jersey-based specialty food importer for trademark infringement.

The suit, filed Aug. 25 in federal court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, alleged that LBB Imports LLC of Secaucus, New Jersey, is importing food products that infringe Hershey’s Reese’s, York, Maltesers, Cadbury, Rolo and Kit Kat trademarks.

Hershey said in its complaint that the alleged infringement has continued since 2012, despite an agreement by LBB to stop importation of infringing products.

LBB did not respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment. Hershey asked the court to halt the sale of the infringing products, and for awards of money damages, attorney fees and litigation costs.

The case is Hershey Co. v. LBB Imports LLC, 1:14-cv-01655, U.S. District Court, Central District of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg).

A&E Networks Sued by T-shirt Maker Over ‘Duck Dynasty’ Clothing

A&E Television Networks LLC hasn’t yet responded to a trademark suit filed by a Florida t-shirt designer.

Hajn LLC of Ft. Pierce, Florida, sued A&E in a Florida federal court July 22, claiming that A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” reality program infringed the “My favorite color’s camo” trademark. According to court papers, Hajn registered the phrase as a U.S. trademark in November 2011 and operates the website.

The t-shirt company objects to the sale of Duck Dynasty clothing bearing that phrase, which was uttered on air by Si Robertson, a member of the “Duck Dynasty” family.

Counsel for A&E didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the suit.

The case is Hajn LLC v. A&E Television Networks LLC, 2:14-cv-14291, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Ft. Pierce).

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Linda Lovelace Film Didn’t Infringe ‘Deep Throat,’ Court Says

Weinstein Co.’s movie about Linda Lovelace didn’t infringe the copyrights or trademarks belonging to the producers of “Deep Throat,” the 1972 pornographic film in which she starred.

Arrow Productions Ltd. of Las Vegas filed the infringement suit in federal court in New York in August 2013, claiming that Weinstein’s 2013 “Lovelace” infringed its movie. Arrow objected to the copying of three scenes from its film and to the use of its “Deep Throat” and “Linda Lovelace” trademarks.

U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa, in an Aug. 25 ruling, rejected all of Arrow’s claims. He said, after viewing both movies, that New York-based Weinstein’s use of the scenes from “Deep Throat” was sufficiently transformative to fall within copyright law’s “fair use” provisions and that there was no trademark infringement.

He said Arrow failed to demonstrate any reason to demonstrate that consumers would mistakenly think that Arrow was involved in the production of “Lovelace” or that Weinstein’s use of the marks would tarnish them.

Weinstein’s request for attorney fees was rejected, with Griesa saying that Arrow’s copyright claims weren’t sufficiently unreasonable to warrant such an award. He dismissed all of Arrow’s claims.

The case is Arrow Productions Ltd. v. The Weinstein Co, 1:13-cv-05488, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

CafePress Settles Infringement Suit Brought by Tiki Artist

CafePress Inc., the online company that prints and distributes items on demand for customers, settled a copyright suit brought by an artist from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, according to a court filing.

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker sued in federal court in Hawaii in October 2013, claiming CafePress made unauthorized reproductions of one of his “Hawaiian kitsch” Tiki art paintings.

Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed in the Aug. 20 court filing.

In an earlier filing, counsel for CafePress asked the court to change locations for depositions, alerting the court to purportedly violent threats received by the company to deal with the case in “the old Hawaiian way.” On Aug. 21 CafePress’ counsel withdrew the request, which was then granted by the court Aug. 26.

The case is Tiki Shark Art Inc. v. CafePress Inc., 13-cv-00577, U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii (Hawaii).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Eavesdropping Concern Delays Canada Defense Department Move

Canadian taxpayers are being hit with millions of dollars in added costs because of a delayed move into the former Nortel Networks Corp. buildings by the Department of National Defence, the Ottawa Citizen newspaper reported.

One reason for the delay is concern about the possible presence of listening devices that may be embedded in the building, related to past electronic espionage attempts against the Canadian company, according to the newspaper.

At a press briefing last year, government officials acknowledged that they hadn’t yet fully searched the former headquarters for listening devices, the Citizen reported.

The Department of National Defence was to have moved into the buildings beginning in January 2014. It won’t start bringing in staff until the end of the year, according to the Citizen.

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 David Glovin, Peter Blumberg

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