Liberty Ammunition, IBM, Coca-Cola: Intellectual Property

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(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government has been ordered to pay $15.6 million to a Florida munitions company in a patent infringement action.

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims found that the U.S. had infringed patent 7,748,325, which covers a lead-free bullet. The ammunition is used to replace the U.S. Army’s M855 bullets, which contained lead.

According to court papers, the bullets covered by the patent will increase the severity of soft-tissue damage to a human target rather than passing cleanly through the body.

Liberty Ammunition Inc., the Clearwater, Florida-based company to which the patent was assigned, sued the government in 2011, claiming that the U.S. Army technology used in its M855A1 and M80A1 bullets infringed the patent. The Washington-based Court of Federal Claims was the venue because it hears cases involving claims against the government.

In a Dec. 31 ruling, Judge Charles F. Lettow said the bullets in fact did infringe the patent.

In addition to the $15.6 million damages, the judge awarded Liberty of $0.014 per bullet, with the royalties running until the expiration of the patent in October 2027.

The case is Liberty Ammunition LLC v. U.S., 1:11-cv-00084, U.S. Court of Federal Claims (Washington).

IBM Gets Patent for Managing Electric Vehicle Charging Process

International Business Machines Corp., the world’s largest computer services company, received a patent aimed at managing transactions related to charging electric vehicles.

Patent 8,918,336, which was issued Dec. 31, covers a computer-implemented method, apparatus and program code for brokering an electric vehicle’s charging process.

The power that is stored in hybrid electric vehicles that comes from on-vehicle power generation mechanisms can be used to provide electricity back to the power grid.

Armonk, New York-based IBM said that to date, electric utility companies and makers of electric vehicles have planned and provided infrastructure and methods for “the most rudimentary charging scenario” in which the electric vehicle is plugged into a common electric outlet.

The patented invention covers a process that involves a set of payees participating in the charging process to whom payment is disbursed.

IBM applied for the patent in August 2008 with the assistance of Yee & Associates P.C. of Dallas.

For more patent news, click here.


Coca-Cola Seeks to Register Two Hashtags as U.S. Trademarks

Coca-Cola Co., the Atlanta-based soft drink producer, filed applications to register two hashtags used on Twitter Inc.’s short messaging service.

According to the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the company applied Dec. 15 to register “#smilewithacoke” and “#cokecanpics” as trademarks. Coca-Cola said in both applications it plans to use the marks with soft drinks.

Hashtags are words or phrases prefaced with the character known as the number sign or hash character. By including this in a Twitter posting, messages with the same tag can be grouped. A Twitter user can then search for all messages containing that same tag.

Bullitt Group Debuts Kodak Branded Smartphone at Trade Show

The Bullitt Group Ltd., a Reading, U.K.-based maker of mobile and audio products, has taken a license to Eastman Kodak Co.’s Kodak brand and is producing Android-powered mobile devices under that name, the companies said in a joint statement.

The device, a high-definition smartphone, is being shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The companies said it’s equipped with image-management software with which users can quickly edit photographs to display on the device, post on social media sites or print by using an application that is compatible with home printers.

Later in the year, Bullitt said, it will bring out additional products under the Kodak brand, including a handset, a tablet and a connected camera.

For more trademark news, click here.


MGM, NBCUniversal Settle Copyright Suit Over ‘Section 6’ Film

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and the producers of the James Bond franchise have settled a copyright suit against NBCUniversal Media LLC that claimed a screenplay for a movie in development, “Section 6,” infringed its copyright to the 007 character.

The Bond franchise is among Hollywood’s most enduring. Twenty-four films dating back to 1963’s “Dr. No” have grossed $1.91 billion in U.S. theaters, according to, an industry researcher. The most recent, 2012’s “Skyfall,” took in $304.4 million domestically.

The suit was filed in Los Angeles federal court in April. In a court filing, the parties agreed that all claims would be dismissed. No terms of settlement were disclosed.

The dismissal is without prejudice, which means that it could be refilled in the future.

The case is Danjaq LLC v. Universal City Studios LLC, 14-02527, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

New Website Created to Make End Run Around Torrent Sites Blocks

A new website has been created to help users get around blockades of file-sharing sites, TorrentFreak reported.

According to TorrentFreak, blockades are now so prevalent in Europe, especially the U.K., that it has become “almost impossible” to get on many sites that enable people to share files using the BitTorrent protocol.

Content owners say the sites enable infringement by letting people share music, films, television programs and computer games without authorization and without compensating the copyright owners.

The new site, says it lets users “circumvent censorship” in countries including Iran, North Korea, the U.K., the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Italy and Ireland.

PirateSnoop claims to be 100 percent open source, and TorrentFreak said it was created by the team at the public torrent site RARBG.

A search for “RARBG” on Google Inc.’s search engine brings up seven notices that some search results have been removed as result of a complaint made under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

For more copyright news, click here.

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