Samsung-Microsoft, Chobani ‘How’: Intellectual Property

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Oct. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. will go to international arbitration in a dispute with Microsoft Corp. over the calculation of credits, according to a court filing.

Samsung disclosed the request for arbitration in Hong Kong yesterday in Manhattan federal court, in a filing in Microsoft’s lawsuit over a disputed 2011 licensing agreement. The arbitration concerns the calculation of “success credits” under a “confidential business collaboration agreement,” Samsung said.

In its lawsuit, Microsoft claims Samsung breached an agreement to share patents. The seven-year accord required Samsung to pay Microsoft royalties for phones and tablets that use the software maker’s patented technology, according to Microsoft.

Samsung has refused to pay $6.9 million in interest owed under the agreement, Microsoft said.

Microsoft claims Samsung is using Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia Oyj’s phone business as an excuse to stop complying with the contract. The license agreement contains explicit provisions that grant a patent license to both companies’ subsidiaries, including Nokia, Microsoft said in its complaint.

The case is Microsoft Corp. v. Samsung Electronics Co., 14-cv-06039, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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Rock Revival Jeans Maker Says Counterfeit Pants Sold Online

RCRV Inv., a Los Angeles company that does business as Rock Revival, sued two named defendants, one named company and multiple unnamed individuals and companies for trademark infringement,

The suit, filed Oct. 3 in Los Angeles federal court, is related to Rock Revival jeans the company sells for as much as $169 a pair. RCRV said its trademarks are featured on every pair of its jeans, and that they are worn by celebrities including Halle Berry, Teri Hatcher and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.

The company said counterfeit versions of its jeans are being sold through the various defendants’ EBay stores. The various fake jeans bear marks that are either identical or substantially similar to the authentic Rock Revival marks, the company said.

RCRV asked the court for damages of as much as $2 million per infringed trademark, as well as awards of attorney fees and litigation costs. The company also asked the court to order the recall and destruction of all infringing products and promotional materials.

EBay Inc. is not a party to the suit.

The case is RCRV Inc. v. Ojeda, 14-cv-07688, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

Chobani, Dov Seidman in Trademark Battle Over ‘How’ Trademark

The use of the word “how” is at issue in a battle between a yogurt-maker and a business-management consultant.

Dov Seidman sued Chobani LLC and its ad agency in federal court in New York in June, saying the company’s “how matters” ad campaign infringed his trademarks related to the word “how.”

Chobani, of Norwich, New York, responded by saying that Seidman, author of “How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything,” is making overbroad claims and that his trademark registration is invalid.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can validly issue trademark registrations for specific goods and services, and Chobani argues that Seidman’s registration of “how” purports to cover the impermissible category of abstract concepts.

The parties are to appear for a pretrial conference Nov. 11, according to court papers. Further proceedings in the dispute are set for 2015.

The case is Seidman v. Chobani LLC, 1:14-cv-04050, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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John Wiley & Sons Accused of Infringing Stock-Photo Copyrights

John Wiley & Sons Inc., a New Jersey-based publisher of technical and scientific works, was sued for copyright infringement by a Connecticut stock-photo agency.

According to a complaint filed in New York federal court Oct. 3, Wiley is accused of using Palmer/Kane LLC images in various publications without permission and without a license.

In some cases, Palmer/Kane claims, Wiley has used the same image in multiple publications and formats.

In the past month, Palmer/Kane has filed similar suits against Microsoft Corp., Scholastic Corp. and Pearson Education Inc., according to court dockets.

Palmer/Kane asked for a court order barring the sale and distribution of any Wiley product containing an allegedly infringing image, as well as awards of money damages, attorney fees and litigation costs.

Wiley spokeswoman Fabienne Alexis said the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

The case is Palmer/Kane LLC v. John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1:14-cv-07994, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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Trade Secrets/ Industrial Espionage

Court Says Trade-Secret Claim Over LinkedIn Contacts Can Remain

In a dispute between a seller of mobile-phone accessories and an ex-employee, a federal court in Los Angeles said that LinkedIn contacts might be a trade secret.

In August 2012, Cellular Accessories for Less Inc., of Manhattan Beach, California, sued former employee David Oaks and the new company he founded in Texas, claiming that he took his former employer’s customer list, a trade secret.

The complaint also contained allegations of copyright infringement, contract violation, breach of confidentiality and unfair competition.

U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson dismissed the breach of contract and related unfair competition claims, saying the trade-secrets claim could go forward. The parties failed to make sufficiently clear whether Oakes’ contacts listed through LinkedIn Corp.’s website were made public or were a trade secret, he said, so that issue can be litigated.

The case is Cellular Accessories for Less Inc., v. Trinitas LLC, 2:12-cv-06736, U.s. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

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, Joe Schneider