Apple, Abbott, L.A. Rams, Mondrian: Intellectual Property

Updated on

(Bloomberg) -- A newly issued patent awarded to Apple Inc. shows the company may come out with a mobile phone that can be folded and put into a pocket.

Patent 8,929,085, issued yesterday, covers what the Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker says is a flexible electronic device with internal components that allow it to be deformed, even to the extent of folding it. Apple said such flexibility might be extended to batteries, printer circuits, the housing itself and other components.

Flex features might be used to allow deformations of the device to provide inputs, Apple said. A user could turn a device on and off by twisting it, according to the patent.

A flexible device is also much less likely than a rigid one to break when dropped, Apple said.

The company applied for the patent in September 2011 with the assistance of the Treyz Law Group of San Francisco.

Abbott’s Humira Patent Is Canceled by Authorities in India

India’s patent office rescinded a patent granted to Abbott Biotechnology Ltd. that covered its rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira, following opposition was filed by the Mumbai-based generic-drug maker Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc., India’s Business Standard reported.

Hamilton, Bermuda-based Abbott was granted the patent in June 2009, despite Glenmark’s having filed opposing papers in September 2008, according to the Business Standard.

After Glenmark’s opposition came to the patent office’s notice, it sent Abbott a cancellation letter, which was then stayed by the Delhi Court, the newspaper reported.

The court issued an order specifying that Glenmark’s letter should be treated as a petition seeking review, after which the senior joint controller of patents and designs rescinded the patent, saying the invention was obvious and the patent’s description of the process was insufficient, according to the Business Standard.

For more patent news, click here.


Rams Franchise Still Owns Some ‘Los Angles Rams’ Trademarks

The St. Louis Rams of the National Football League still own several trademarks for “Los Angeles Rams,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Despite the team’s moves, first to Anaheim, California, in 1980 and then to St. Louis before the 1995 season, the Los Angeles registrations were renewed in 2013, the Times reported.

The Oakland Raiders also have registrations for “Los Angeles Raiders,” one from 1985 and the other from 1995, according to the Times. The Raiders were based in Los Angeles in the 1980s and 1990s.

Stan Kroenke, owner of the Rams, said Jan. 5 that he plans to build an NFL stadium in Los Angeles, the newspaper reported.

For more trademark news, click here.


Mondrian Copyright Term Divides U.S. Trust, Dutch Publishers

Dutch painter Piet Mondrian died in February 1944, and under European law, the copyright on his work has now expired, the DutchNews website reported.

The U.S.-based Mondrian Trust, however, is insisting that under American law, while everything produced by the artist before 1923 is now copyright-free, his later work is covered by a rule specifying the copyright extends 95 years, rather than 70, after the artist’s death, according to the news website.

The Dutch newspaper Trouw said that after discussions with the trust it now understands it can publish all of his work in the paper itself, but can post online only images not covered by the longer copyright term. U.S. residents might view the website, and having images still under copyright available to them would constitute infringement, DutchNews reported.

The Gemeentemuseum in the Hague, which has an extensive Mondrian collection, said its use of the images will be governed by European copyright law because “Mondrian was a Dutch national and Dutch laws apply,” according to DutchNews.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets

Uber’s Trip Data Trade-Secrets Claim Is Rejected by NY Tribunal

San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc., a provider of on-demand hired cars, has had five of its bases in New York City suspended for failing to provide electronic trip information for rides dispatched through the bases.

In a ruling handed down yesterday and obtained by New York Business Journal, the City of New York’s Taxi and Limousine Tribunal rejected Uber’s claims that such data is confidential, proprietary and protected as trade secrets. The rule requiring such disclosures is “longstanding and the practice is necessary to ensure adequate protection and public safety,” the commission said.

Uber argued that the demand for the records violates the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, according to the ruling.

The tribunal said that Uber failed to submit evidence which supported its defense, not calling witnesses or introduce documents supporting its claim that the information sought is proprietary or confidential.

The tribunal said it’s not seeking every business document from Uber and “certainly nothing related to its training and retention process.” The fact that in the past Uber did produce trip records “seriously undercuts any present argument that this same information should be protected from disclosure as a trade secret.”

Uber’s licenses are suspended until the company comes into compliance with the tribunal’s demands, according to the ruling.

In South Africa, Capetown police impounded 33 Uber cars over the past weekend for not having the proper permits.

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 Andrew Dunn, Joe Schneider