SAP, Pfizer-Teva, FIFA, Agilent: Intellectual Property

SAP AG (SAP) won a U.S. patent office
ruling that could help it avoid paying a $345 million jury
verdict over a way to customize pricing, in the first challenge
under a new rule for reconsidering business methods patents.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said June 11 that the
patent claims owned by closely held Versata Software Inc. should
be canceled because they seek to cover a mental process rather
than an actual invention. In May, an appeals court upheld the
infringement verdict and damage award while the validity of the
patent wasn’t an issue.

The decision by the PTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board
could give SAP more ammunition in its petition asking for a
reconsideration of the May decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Federal Circuit in Washington, which specializes in
patent law.

With modifications and interest, the jury award has grown
to more than $400 million, Versata lawyers have said. SAP, the
largest maker of business-management software, reported $11.8
billion in gross profit on sales of $16.2 billion last year,
according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The patent office review was the first of its kind under a
new proceeding created by Congress to reconsider issued patents
for finance-related business methods.

SAP successfully asked to have the review expedited, so the
decision came six months after the process was instituted, said
Steve Baughman of Ropes Gray in Washington, who also
represented SAP. The law sets a one-year timeline, while a
typical review under old rules could take years.

In a lawsuit filed in March against the patent office,
Versata said its patent isn’t for a financial product or service
so shouldn’t be subject to the new proceeding.

The case is Versata Software Inc. v. SAP America Inc., 12-1029, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
(Washington). The lower court case is Versata Software Inc. v.
SAP America Inc., 07cv153, U.S. District Court, Eastern District
of Texas (Marshall).

Pfizer Receives $2.15 Billion From Teva, Sun Over Protonix

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) and Sun Pharmaceutical
Industries Ltd. (SUNP)
will pay $2.15 billion to Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and a
partner to settle litigation over unauthorized sales of the
heartburn drug Protonix.

Pfizer, the world’s largest drugmaker, will receive 64
percent of the settlement while partner Takeda Pharmaceutical
Co. will get the rest, New York-based Pfizer said in a statement
yesterday. Teva will pay $1.6 billion, including $800 million
this year and the rest in 2014, according to a company
statement. Sun said it will pay $550 million.

“We are pleased with today’s settlement, which recognizes
the validity and value of the innovation that led to Protonix,”
Amy Schulman, Pfizer’s general counsel, said in the statement.

Teva and Sun began selling generic versions in 2008 only to
lose a challenge to a patent on the medicine two years later.
Pfizer’s Wyeth unit was seeking $2.7 billion from Teva and Sun,
saying it was entitled to a share of the revenue from those
generic versions, as well as compensation for sales it lost to
the copycat.

A trial over Pfizer’s claims began June 3 in federal court
in Newark, New Jersey.

“We are pleased to put this matter behind us as we
continue to focus on delivering safe and affordable medicines to
patients around the world,” Richard Egosi, Teva’s chief legal
officer, said in the statement.

The case marked a rare instance in which a brand-drug
company was seeking compensation for the early release of a copy
of its medicines. Typically, generic-drug makers wait until the
patents expire or they get a court ruling that clears the way.
Teva has undertaken more than a dozen such at-risk market
entries, betting that it would eventually win the case. It
usually did.

At the trial in Newark, Pfizer attorney William Lee told
jurors that Teva and Sun were unwilling to wait until the patent
expired on Protonix before they began selling their cheaper
copies.

“They decided to take a risk,” said Lee in his opening
statement on June 4. By starting generic sales, the market for
branded versions of the drug was “destroyed,” he said. “

The case is Altana Pharma AG v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA
Inc., 04-cv-02355, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
(Newark).

Barnes Noble Defeats Alexsam’s Patent Infringement Claim

Barnes Noble Inc. (BKS), the New York-based bookstore chain,
didn’t infringe a patent related to gift-card processing, a jury
found.

The company and other retailers were sued in federal court
in Marshall, Texas, in 2010 by Alexsam Inc., a Texas-based
patent holder. Alexsam had sought money damages and court orders
barring further unauthorized use of its technology.

In May a jury rejected Barnes Noble’s claims that the
patents were invalid because the technology it covered wasn’t
new. The trial on Barnes Noble’s alleged infringement of
patent 6,189,787 followed.

After a five-day trial, the jury on June 7 said the
bookstore chain didn’t infringe the patent.

Alexsam’s claims against other remaining retailers will be
heard later this month.

The case is Alexsam Inc. v. Barnes Noble Inc., 2:13-cv-00003-MHS-CMC, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
(Marshall).

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

FIFA Says Brazil World Cup Soccer Trademark Abuse More Than 2010

Soccer’s governing body FIFA said it found more cases of
intellectual property infringement related to next year’s World
Cup
in Brazil than it did a year before South Africa hosted
sports’ most-watched event in 2010.

Auke-Jan Bossenbroek, FIFA’s legal counsel responsible for
protecting the Zurich-based organization’s trademarks, said
action has been taken in the past six months against about 100
companies that don’t have permission to use protected words or
logos related to the World Cup, which kicks off in Rio de
Janeiro June 12, 2014.

FIFA and the local organizing committee have sold
sponsorship rights to the monthlong event to 20 companies whose
combined involvement is $1.4 billion through a mixture of direct
cash payments and services. Coca Cola Co. (KO), one of FIFA’s
longest-tenured sponsors, is providing 5 million beverages for
the tournament and Hyundai Motor Co. (005380) will deliver 1,400 vehicles
to transport officials and teams in 12 host cities.

FIFA has been accused by small-business owners of being
heavy-handed in its protection of rights at its flagship
competition, which is responsible for about 90 percent of its
income. Marketing Director Thierry Weil said FIFA has a
responsibility to partners who have “invested quite a
significant amount of money to be part of the event.”

FIFA has registered slogans including Brazil 2014 and Copa
2014 as trademarks, and also the image of its current gold
trophy.

While the majority of cases have been solved “by a phone
call,” Bossenbroek said, there have been instances of large
corporations trying to use the popularity of the World Cup in
marketing material and promotional activity.

During the 2010 tournament in South Africa, FIFA filed
charges against organizers of an ambush marketing campaign for a
Dutch beer brand during a match between the Netherlands and
Denmark. FIFA’s reaction to the incident, which featured about
30 women wearing identical orange dresses, meant that Lieshout,
Netherlands-based Bavaria, the company behind the stunt, got
publicity for several days.

Many of the cases in Brazil have been the result of local
businesses not understanding the rules related to using World
Cup logos, Bossenbroek said.

University of Kansas Claums ‘KUBoobs’ Infringes Trademarks

The University of Kansas told the operator of an account
with Twitter Inc.’s short-messaging service that products it
promotes and its domain name infringe the school’s trademarks,
the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

The school was objecting to the use of its “KU” trademark
with the @KUBoobs Twitter account, the www.kuboobs.com domain
name, and the sale of “I heart KU Boobs” wristbands, according
to the newspaper.

The Twitter account solicited photographs of women’s chests
with something with a KU logo, saying these photos were a good
luck ritual, the newspaper reported.

The school said the KUBoobs activities could potentially
create unfair competition, and cause the public to believe,
mistakenly, that some affiliation existed between the entities,
according to the Capital-Journal.

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

Chinese National Gets 12 Years in Prison for Pirated Software

A Chinese national was ordered to serve 12 years in a U.S.
prison for selling more than $100 million worth of software
pirated from American companies, including Agilent Technologies
Inc. (A)
, from his home in China.

Xiang Li, 36, was sentenced June 11 in federal court in
Wilmington, Delaware, after pleading guilty to copyright and
wire fraud conspiracy charges in connection with software sales
from his China-based website, prosecutors said in a release.

Li and his wife, of Chengdu, China, were accused of running
a website called “Crack 99” that sold copies of software for
which “access-control mechanisms” had been circumvented, the
U.S. said in an unsealed 46-count indictment. The pair was
charged with distributing more than 500 copyrighted works to
more than 300 buyers in the U.S. and overseas from April 2008 to
June 2011.

Li is the first Chinese citizen to be “apprehended and
prosecuted in the U.S. for cybercrimes he engaged in entirely
from China,” prosecutors said in court filings.

“It was hard for me to accept that Mr. Li deserved” a 12-year sentence for his actions, Mingli Chen, Li’s lawyer, said in
a telephone interview.

According to court filings, Li was arrested by federal
agents in June 2011 in Saipan, an island about 120 miles (193
kilometers) northeast of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean.

Li agreed to travel there from his home in southwest China
to deliver pirated software and 20 gigabytes of proprietary data
from a U.S. software company to undercover agents posing as
businessmen, according court filings.

The pirated software included programs made by Santa Clara,
California-based Agilent and Canonsburg, Pennsylvania-based
Ansys (ANSS) Inc., prosecutors said.

Prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark in
to sentence Li to more than 17 years in prison over the illegal
software sales. Li will be deported to China once he serves his
prison term, the government said in a statement.

The case is U.S. v. Li, 10-cr-112, U.S. District Court,
District of Delaware (Wilmington).

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

N.J. Tech Council Head Says Don’t Halt Immigration Reforms

The arrest June 5 of a foreign-born worker in a trade
secrets case involving Becton Dickinson Co. (BDX) medical technology
is no reason to derail immigration reform, the head of New
Jersey’s technology business trade group said, NJBiz reported.

Maxine Ballen, president and chief executive officer of the
New Jersey Technology Council said such incidents are too rare
to derail industry’s need for foreign talent and the easing of
restrictions on visas for skilled workers, according to NJ Biz.

She told NJBiz that companies can’t afford to do without
skilled workers from abroad.

Ballen said that while she was “appalled” at the recent
arrest of an ex-BD employee, it is still important to increase
rather than constrict the immigration pool, according to NJBiz.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Victoria Slind-Flor in Oakland, California, at vslindflor@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-13/sap-pfizer-teva-fifa-agilent-intellectual-property.html

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