Huawei, Mahou, Savannah Tobacco: Intellectual Property


Huawei Technologies Co., a Chinese provider of telecommunications and networking technology, was the leading applicant for international patents under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, according to a newly-released report from the World Intellectual Property Organization.

According to WIPO, a United Nations agency, 215,000 applications under the treaty were filed in 2014, a 4.5 percent increase over the previous year. Treaty applications enable applicants to seek patent protection in 148 countries with one single application.

Huawei filed 3,442 treaty applications in 2014, followed by San Diego, California’s Qualcomm Inc., which filed 2,409. China’s ZTE Corp. came in third, with 2,179 applications. The other two top-five filers were both Japanese companies, with Panasonic Corp. in fourth place, with 1,1682 applications, followed by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. with 1583.

Among educational institutions, the top nine filers were all from the U.S., with the University of California leading, followed in order by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Texas System, Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. Tenth-place Seoul National University was one of seven Korean schools among the top 50 applicants.

The leading subject-matter areas for applications under the patent treaty included computer technology, digital communications, electrical engineering, and medical technology.

Glenmark Anti-Diabetes Drugs Barred In India Under Patent Ruling

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a Mumbai-based maker of generic drugs, won’t be able to make two anti-diabetes drugs because of an adverse patent ruing from the Delhi High Court, India’s Business Today website reported.

The court ruled March 20 that the drugs infringed a patent held by Merck & Co., according to Business Today.

The price difference between Kenilworth, New Jersey-based Merck’s drugs Januvia and Janume and Glenmark’s Zita and Zita-Met was not significant enough for the court to determine that permitting the Glenmark’s drugs on the market would increase consumer access, the website reported.

Glenmark may continue to sell its drugs that are already on the market and must provide the court with an inventory of all its anti-diabetes drugs in its factory, Business Today reported.

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Mahou Prevails in Trademark Fight With Spanish Mosque/Cathedral

Mahou SA, a Spanish brewery, has prevailed in a trademark dispute against the historic mosque/cathedral of Cordoba, Spain, the country’s English language newspaper, the Olive Press reported.

Authorities for the cathedral, known in Spanish as Mezquita–catedral de Córdoba, registered “Mezquita” for a wide range of goods, according to the newspaper.

Mahou, which produces Mezquita beer, sued for infringement and was awarded 1,500 Euros ($1,670) in costs by the Supreme Court in Madrid, according to the Olive Press.

Jose Jimenez Giieto, a spokesman for cathedral, which is listed as a World Heritage Site, told the Olive Press that trademark applications were filed only to protect the name against unapproved use and that there was no economic motive behind the filings.

Portland to Issue Guidelines, Fees for Use of Leaping Deer Sign

In the wake of a dispute with C. Dean Metropoulos & Co.’s Pabst Brewing unit over Portland’s neon sign featuring a white leaping deer, the city has decided to take another look at how it licenses use of the sign, the Oregonian reported.

Portland, which registered the sign as a trademark, is seeking to formalize the licensing process after increased requests for its use, the newspaper reported on its website.

The city’s Bureau of Internal Business Services, which will have the power to approve licensing applications, will create a range of fees, with small and local businesses receiving priority consideration, according to the website.

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Parties Agree ‘Ted’ Didn’t Infringe ‘Charlie’ Bear Copyright

The producers of a web series about a vulgar talking teddy bear have settled a copyright suit against actor and writer Seth MacFarlane for his 2012 film “Ted.”

In a March 23 court filing, the parties agreed that the character Ted -- also a vulgar talking teddy bear -- was independently created by MacFarlane and not a copy of Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear.

In the copyright suit filed in Los Angeles federal court in July, Bengal Mangle Productions LLC of North Hollywood claimed that MacFarlane’s Ted character was an unlawful copy of Charlie.

Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures was a co-defendant with MacFarlane. The production company said that both characters spend a “significant amount of time sitting on a living room couch with a beer and/or cigarette in hand.” The two characters had a “substantially similar persona, verbal tone, verbal delivery, dialogue and attitude,” Bengal Mangle claimed in its court filings.

The production company, which released its “Charlie the Abusive Teddy Bear” web series on YouTube and other sites beginning in February 2009, sought monetary damages as well as a court order for the recall and destruction of all infringing works.

Bengal Mangle said because of its discovery that MacFarlane’s Ted was created independently, it could not proceed with the suit, according to the filing on Monday. Each side will pay its own legal fees and litigation costs.

The case is Bengal Mangle Productions LLC v. Seth MacFarlane, 14-cv-05498, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Zimbabwe Official Says Tobacco Industry Hit by Espionage

Zimbabwe’s Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa blames losses to indigenous cigarette companies on international cartels he accused of using industrial espionage, NewZimbabwe.com, a news website, reported.

Mnangagwa claims industrial espionage is hampering local tobacco companies from their goal of producing 10 billion cigarettes annually, according to NewZimbabwe.com

He made his comments after a tour at Harare, Zimbabwe’s Savanna Tobacco Co. where Executive Chairman Adam Molai said economic espionage has cost his company more than $15 million in revenue since 2010, the news website reported.

Mnangagwa said that the government must intervene “to save local industry” because the country needs to reap maximum benefits from its resources, NewZimbabwe.com reported.

(Corrects company name in Patent Cooperation Treaty item of report published March 25)
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