Roche, Marijuana, Bakken, MakeMyTrip: Intellectual Property

(Bloomberg) -- Roche Holding AG’s Indian patent for the osteoporosis drug known as Boniva in the U.S. and Bonviva in Asia has been revoked by that nation’s patent office, India’s Business Standard reported.

The Swiss company’s patent for the drug was granted in 2007 and then challenged by Mumbai-based Cipla Ltd. in September 2008, according to the newspaper.

Although the patent office initially upheld Roche’s patent 208718, Cipla went to India’s Intellectual Property Appellate Board, which set aside the patent office’s rejection of Cipla’s opposition, the newspaper reported.

The patent office then took another look at the patent and issued an order revoking it on Dec. 19, according to the Business Standard.

Colorado Marijuana Seed Producer Will Seek Pot Plant Patent

Centennial Seeds, a Colorado-based producer of marijuana seeds, plans to apply for the first U.S. plant patent for marijuana, the Denver Post reported.

Ben Holmes, who operates the company, said he will file an application sometime in January to protect his Otto II seed strain, despite the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s policy of rejecting applications to patent “immoral and scandalous” inventions because the use of marijuana is still prohibited by federal law, according to the Post.

Taylor West, deputy director of the Denver-based National Cannabis Industry Association trade group, said that the patent office is “still trying to pretend that this industry does not exist” and that intellectual-property issues relating to marijuana fall into “that stagnant area between state and federal law,” the newspaper reported. Recreational use of Marijuana has been permitted under Colorado law since January 2014.

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Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Burlington Northern Won’t Reveal Details on Bakken Oil Trains

While Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad has informed a California county’s Office of Emergency Services that the number of trains carrying Bakken crude oil from North Dakota through the county will increase at least 25 percent, the railroad has refused to give other details to officials, KCBS Radio reported.

The railroad declined to say how many more trains and when they would move through the county, a San Francisco suburb, because the information is a trade secret, according to KCBS.

Lena Kent, a spokeswoman for the railroad, told KCBS Radio that Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s track record with moving hazardous materials should be enough information for county officials.

Congressman John Garamendi, whose district includes part of the county, and Mark Ross, a member of the city council of Martinez in Contra Costa County, both disagree, saying it’s essential that local emergency-response agencies have the information, according to KCBS.


Fleetmanager Sweden Hit with Demands for Music License Fees

Fleetmanager Sweden AB, a Malmo, Sweden-based car rental company, is involved in a copyright dispute with Svenska Tonsattares Internationella Musikbyra, the Swedish music-rights collecting group known as STIM, the TorrentFreak anti-copyright news website reported.

STIM is claiming that because the cars rented through Fleetmanager have stereo radios and CD players, the car rental company needs to pay a fee to the rights group and get a license for the “public performance” of music inside a rental car, according to TorrentFreak.

Fleetmanager is arguing that no license is necessary because only a limited number of people can hear the music played inside the car, a contention with which the rights group disagrees, TorrentFreak reported.

Other car rental companies in Sweden have agreed to pay a fee for each car radio, according to TorrentFreak.

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MakeMyTrip Wins Temporary Order Barring Infringement of Marks

MakeMyTrip Ltd., an India-based travel service, prevailed in a copyright dispute with Make My Tours Pvt. Ltd., the news website reported.

The Delhi High Court found that Make My Tours’ marks were a “colorable imitation” of those used by MakeMyTrip, according to

MakeMyTrip’s request for an order barring further infringement was granted on an interim basis, with a hearing set for Feb. 13 to consider arguments by both sides, reported.

MakeMyTrip told the court it discovered the offending website in October and learned that the company was offering similar travel services, according to

Canadian Church Seeks to Shut Down Mail-Order Ordination Company

The United Church of Canada, the country’s largest Protestant Church, says it will seek a court order against an organization that is offering mail-order credentials under the name “First United Church of Canada,” the Toronto Sun newspaper reported.

The Canadian church also objects to the use of its 1940 Statement of Faith and says the use of modified form of its crest by the non-affiliated organization constitutes trademark infringement, according to the Sun.

One of the reasons for the church’s concern is that people are paying C$140 ($119) for an “ultimate ordination” package that falsely gives them the impression this provides authority to conduct weddings in the province of Ontario, a right that can be granted only by the province, according to the newspaper.

The United Church says the road to a legitimate ordination in the denomination includes an undergraduate degree, a master’s degree in divinity, evaluation by a regional church body and a year in supervised ministry, the Sun reported.

For more trademark news, click here.

(An earlier version of this story corrected spelling of Bakken in headline.)

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

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