News - June 2009

Johnson & Johnson wins $1.7 billion Humira patent lawsuit – June 30, 2009

The U.S. District Court in Marshall, Texas held that Abbot Laboratories should pay nearly $1.7 billion in damages to Johnson & Johnson. This decision is one of the largest patent verdicts in U.S. history. Johnson & Johnson claimed that Abbot Laboratories used its technology to make Humira – a rheumatoid arthritic drug. Abbot had argued that Humira, which generated $4 billion in annual sales last year, was the first of its kind and was fully derived from human DNA; while Johnson & Johnson’s similar drug Remicade, was derived partially from mouse DNA. Richard Sayles, an attorney who represented J&J, told Bloomberg News, "We're elated with the result" of the verdict. "It was one we hoped for and we are very pleased with," though "there is work yet to be done."

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RIAA wins copyright infringement case against – June 30, 2009

U.S. District Judge Harold Baer of the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the Recording Industry Association of America on its main allegations against was held guilty of direct, contributory, and vicarious infringement. Judge Baer held that could not claim protection under the Sony Betamax decision which held that companies cant be held liable for contributory infringement if the device they create is “capable of significant non-infringing uses.”

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Nepal Pashmina Industries Association wants to trademark its logo – June 26

Nepal Pashmina Industries Association (NPIA) wants to register its Pashmina brand logo in Australia, Japan and Norway. The president of NPIA, Shankar Prasad Pandey stated “We have already received the confirmation from Norway about approval of the logo. Similarly, we are expecting the approval from Australia and Japan.”

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President Obama announces his intention of nominating David Kappos as Patent and Trademark Director – June 20,2009

President Obama announced his intention to nominate David Kappos as the new Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Kappos is an experienced patent professional with more than 20 years of experience. He is currently the vice president and assistant general counsel for intellectual property at IBM. Kappos has gained deep knowledge and respect from professionals in fields such as biotech, life sciences and high tech sectors. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke stated that “The United States Patent and Trademark Office faces significant challenges, and it needs an experienced leader like David at the helm. He will be a strong voice for patent reform and I have asked him to reduce dramatically the unacceptably long time the office takes to review patent applications.”

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Jammie Thomas-Rasset fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading music – June 18,2009

In the first copyright infringement case to go to trial in the United States, Jammie Thomas- Rasset was fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading 24 songs. A fine of $8,000 was placed on each of the songs that were downloaded. Spokeswoman for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Cara Duckworth, stated that the Association “was pleased that the jury agreed with the evidence and found the defendant liable.”

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California-The undisputed leader in the number of Patents awarded in 2008 –June 17, 2009

Business Success Through Innovation released the top ten patent rankings. These rankings are classified by State, Technology and Company. California seems to be the undisputed leader with 22,202 patents granted in 2008. Texas and New York hold the second and the third positions with 6,184 and 5,905 patents granted respectively. In technology, the category of Drug Bio – Affecting and Body Treatment Compositions is in the lead with 4,779 patents issued in 2008. IBM was awarded 4,186 patents in the year 2008 making it the company that has been granted the most number of patents for the 16th consecutive year. Samsung Electronics comes in at second place with 3,515 patents awarded.

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Second attempt by music recording companies to prove illegal file sharing – June 16, 2009

Record companies are trying to prove that Jammie Thomas-Rasset was involved illegal file sharing on the Kazaa network. The trial began in the federal court of Minneapolis. Kiwi Camara, the attorney for Jammie Thomas-Rasset said that the recording industry could prove that her IP address was used in the alleged illegal file-sharing, but they could not prove that Jammie herself swapped the music. The first trial was conducted in 2007 which Thomas-Rasset lost and the record companies were awarded a whopping $222,0000. U.S. District Judge Michael Davis however ordered a retrial after he concluded that he had made a mistake in his jury instructions.

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Nice Classification of Goods and Services now effective in Uganda – June 15, 2009

The Nice Classification of Goods and Services is effective in the Republic of Uganda from June 2009. A press release by the Abu-Ghazleh Intellectual Property stated that trademarks could be registered in service classes 35-45. Since Service marks are being accepted by the Ugandan Registry, it is urged that proprietors of service marks should file their applications to secure their rights in Uganda.

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Timex Group now owns the Marck Ecko trademark – June 11, 2009

The Marck Ecko trademark was bought by the Timex Group for the design, manufacturing, marketing and sale of Ecko watches.The CEO of the Timex Group stated "A key strategy of Timex Group is to have a balanced portfolio of brands and to increase our share of owned versus licensed brands. The purchase of the Marc Ecko trademark in the watch category helps us advance that goal and, importantly, aligns with our strategy to build brands that represent global growth.”

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LG sued by Vizio – June 8, 2009

LG is being sued by Vizio for patent infringement in the District Court of Maryland. Vizio is alleging that LG has infringed a number of patents relating to the “manufacturing, importation and distribution” of high-definition televisions.

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“Catcher in the Rye” - “Rip-off” faces lawsuit –June 8, 2009

J.D. Salinger, the author of the classic “Catcher in the Rye” has emerged to defend Holden Caulfield, the hero of the book as being depicted as an old man in a novel written by J.D.California titled “60 Years Later: Coming through the Rye.” The defendants named in the current lawsuit are Swedish publisher Nicotext, Windupbird Publishing Ltd. and California-based SCB Distributors. "The Sequel infringes Salinger's copyright rights in both his novel and the character Holden Caulfield, who is the narrator and essence of that novel," said the suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in New York.Salinger seeks to stop the publication, sale and advertisement of the novel which is already on the stands in Europe and the United Kingdom. The lawsuit seeks that the books that are already distributed be recalled and destroyed. The novel is slated for release in the United Stated in September

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Patent Infringement Suit filed by LML Patent Corp June 5, 2009

JLML Patent Corp. filed a Patent infringement suit against 6 defendants and is seeking damages, injunctive and other relief. The 6 defendants named in this law suit are National Bank of Daingerfield, PlainsCapital Bank, Southside Bank, First Bank, The American National Bank of Texas and American Bank of Texas. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of Texas. The defendants named in the current law suit provide equipment, systems and services that convert paper checks into electronic transactions.

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