Netflix, Champagne, Mayo Clinic: Intellectual Property

(Bloomberg) -- A Netherlands court has rejected a patent suit that Kudelski Group’s Open TV unit filed against Netflix Inc., Broadband TV News reported.

Cheseaux, Switzerland-based Open TV sued in the Hague in October, claiming its patents were infringed and seeking a court order barring Los Gatos, California-based Netflix from further infringement in the Netherlands, according to Broadband TV news.

The court rejected the claims, ruling that the disputed elements of the patent were invalid because they didn’t cover any new invention, according to the trade publication.

Netflix was awarded 234,475 Euros ($286,693) in litigation costs, Broadband TV news reported.

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

Diageo Wins Infringement Suit Over Crown Royal Marks, Packaging

Diageo plc, the London-based producer of Johnnie Walker Scotch and Bushmills Irish Whiskey, prevailed in a trademark suit against a Texas company that sells Canadian whiskey under a variety of trade names.

The U.K. company sued in Houston in March 2013, accusing Mexcor Inc. of selling products in packaging and under a name that infringed Diageo’s “Crown Royal” trademarks.

According to court papers, the names Mexcor was using to sell the allegedly infringing products included “Texas Crown Royal,” “Florida Crown Club,” “Tennessee Crown Club” and “South Carolina Crown Club.” The offending products were sold in fabric bags with drawstring tops that allegedly emulated the packaging Diageo uses with Crown Royal whiskey.

On Dec. 16, a federal jury said Diageo’s marks were infringed, as was the trade dress of its packaging. The jury didn’t find the infringement deliberate, so it awarded only $401,228 to Diageo.

The case is Diageo North America Inc. v. Mexcor Inc., 13-cv-00856, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).

‘Champagne Jayne’ Trademark Infringement Case Sent to Mediation

A trademark dispute between an Australian wine critic who wrote as “Champagne Jayne” and France’s Comite Champagne is on hold while the parties submit to mediation in March 2015, the beverage-industry trade publication Decanter reported.

The hiatus occurred three days into a trial, according to Decanter.

The Champagne-industry trade group objected to the use of “Champagne Jayne” as a trade name because the writer sometimes spoke about other sparkling wines while writing under the pen name, Decanter reported.

If mediation fails, the trial in an Australian federal court will resume on March 10, according to Decanter.

For more trademark news, click here.

Pirate Bay File-Sharing Site Once More Live After Police Raid

Two weeks after Swedish police raided the headquarters of Pirate Bay, operator of a file-sharing website accused of enabling copyright infringement, the site is once more accessible on the Internet, TorrentFreak reported.

Police seized computers, servers and other equipment Dec. 9, after which Pirate Bay disappeared offline, according to TorrentFreak.

According to TorrentFreak, the new Internet Protocol address associated with Pirate Bay appears to be a server hosted in Moldova.

The Pirate Bay site raided by police was in a data center within a mountain complex near Stockholm, according to TorrentFreak.

For copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Mayo Clinic Settles With Ex-Lab Chief Who Moved to Quest

A trade secrets misappropriation suit between the Mayo Clinic and one of its former executives has been settled, Rochester, Minnesota’s PostBulletin newspaper reported.

The clinic sued Franklin R. Cockerill III, the former chief executive of its Mayo Medical Labs unit, in Minnesota state court in October, claiming he moved to a new job with a Mayo competitor -- Quest Diagnostics Inc. of Madison, New Jersey -- taking memory sticks with company trade secrets, according to the newspaper.

Cockerill denied doing anything wrong, and his counsel told the newspaper that he settled to avoid “the distractions and expense of further litigation.”

The clinic said in a statement that it didn’t undertake the suit lightly, believing its actions were necessary to protect its confidential business information “against improper disclosure,” according to the PostBulletin.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victoria Slind-Flor in San Francisco at vslindflor@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net Charles Carter, Joe Schneider

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