Eminem Publishers Sue N.Z. Party: Intellectual Property

Eminem’s publishers are suing New Zealand’s ruling National Party alleging the unauthorized use of the U.S. rapper’s music in an election-campaign commercial.

The Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s copyrights, Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated, are seeking damages for copyright infringement in the Wellington High Court, they said in a statement yesterday. They said the party used Eminem’s hit “Lose Yourself” in a television advertisement before the Sept. 20 election without permission. Auckland barrister Garry Williams confirmed he’s acting for the complainants.

Prime Minister John Key’s National Party, which is leading in opinion polls, rejected the allegation, saying the music it used was bought from the Beatbox library and it will defend itself in court. While the ad uses music that sounds similar to “Lose Yourself,” it isn’t identical and doesn’t include any vocals, they said.

The National Party stopped using the track when Eminem’s publishers complained two weeks ago, it said in a statement.

“‘Lose Yourself’ is one of the most iconic copyrights in the world, and the song’s publishers have rarely authorized its use to advertise products and have said that they would never allow it to be used in connection with any political campaign,” Eminem’s publishers said.

The party said the music it used has been licensed multiple times in Australia and New Zealand without complaint.

“It appears though that the National Party is the only organization that has used this material that is being legally targeted,” it said. “As the matter is now before the courts we will not be making any further public comment.”

Patents

VirnetX’s $368 Million Patent Verdict Over Apple Will Be Cut

VirnetX Holding Corp. fell 44 percent after an appeals court threw out a $368.2 million patent-infringement damage award the company won against Apple Inc. over virtual private networks.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington ordered a review of whether Apple’s FaceTime feature infringed two patents and threw out the damage award, saying it was based on faulty jury instructions. The court did agree that Apple’s VPN on Demand features infringed two other patents.

VirnetX, which gets all its revenue from patent licensing, had been seeking to collect its damage award since a jury in 2012 found Apple’s products infringed the four patents related to secure communications. VirnetX reported $2.2 million in revenue last year and an operating loss of $28.6 million, with much of its expenses for legal bills, its annual report shows.

The dispute is over secure networks, known as virtual private networks, through which a website owner can interact with customers or an employee can work at home and access company files.

The two patents asserted against Apple’s FaceTime video-calling program involve translating domain names to determine if a secure link can be made. The Federal Circuit said the trial judge erred in saying the VirnetX patents didn’t require anonymity, and sent the case back for reconsideration on whether Apple infringed those two patents.

The finding that VPN on Demand infringed two other patents related to ways the domain names can trigger the communications link “was supported by substantial evidence,” the court ruled. The panel also upheld the jury’s finding that all four patents are valid.

“While we are disappointed that the Federal Circuit has vacated portions of the judgment for further proceedings, we are bolstered by the fact that the patents were again found valid and that it was confirmed that Apple’s VPN on Demand functionality infringes,” VirnetX Chief Executive Officer Kendall Larsen said in statement. “We look forward to readdressing the FaceTime infringement and damages issues as soon as possible.”

Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, said the company had no comment.

The appeal is VirnetX Inc. v. Cisco Systems Inc., 13-1489, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington). The lower court case is VirnetX Inc. v. Cisco Systems Inc., 10-cv-417, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (Tyler).

Spectrum Pharma Gets New U.S. Patent for Lymphoma Drug Beleodaq

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. said its new U.S. patent has a term adjustment from May 2026 to October 2027 and covers the formulation of Beleodaq.

The drug was introduced in July for treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma.

TopoTarget A/S is the development partner.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on July 3 approved Beleodaq, also called belinostat, for treating peripheral T-cell lymphoma, a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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Trademark

McDonald’s Applies for ‘McBrunch’ Mark to Promote Early Meals

McDonald’s Corp., the global fast-foot restaurant company, applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a service mark for the word “McBrunch,” according to a July 23 filing.

“The company plans to continue to focus on breakfast opportunities,” McDonald’s Chief Financial Officer Peter Benson said on an earnings call, the Guardian reported. The filing indicates an interest in promoting its early-day food service, according to the Guardian.

This isn’t the first time a McBrunch mark application has been made. An application was made Feb. 27, 2001, by Scott Eckert of Boca Raton, Florida. The application was abandoned, according to PTO records.

“We got a cease-and-desist letter from McDonald’s,” said Julianne Bochinski, Eckert’s lawyer at the time. “They police their mark very strongly and my client decided not to pursue it.”

Eckert’s mark was for “an all-in-one kind of sandwich,” Bochinski said. After abandoning the mark, “Eckert directed his interest in another area,” said Bochinski, who is now intellectual property counsel at Conair Corp.

An e-mail seeking comment from McDonald’s on Eckert’s 2001 McBrunch filing didn’t receive an immediate response.

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Copyright

Harper Collins Plans to Use Digimarc to Prevent E-Book Piracy

Harper Collins Publishers Ltd. will work with Digimarc Corp., a provider of digital watermarking technologies, to provide the program known as Guardian Watermarking to its e-book U.S. catalog, Digital Trends reported.

Watermarking is expected to protect the e-book content from piracy during distribution to retailers, according to Digital Trends.

Digimarc’s service, which is cloud-based, provides embedded watermarks throughout the work and is designed to enable leaks to be traced to transactions, “so publishers can check records and find the source,” according to Digital Trends. This will be especially helpful in preventing leaks of high-profile books before their release, according to the online magazine.

For more copyright news, click here.

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