Tuesday, January 28, 2014

(BN) Ericsson, J&J, Microsoft, Snowden: Intellectual Property

(Bloomberg ) Ericsson AB (ERICB) and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) settled their patent dispute and struck a new licensing deal over wireless technology in smartphones, televisions, tablets and Blu-ray disc players.

The decision ends cases at the U.S. International Trade Commission and came just as a judge was scheduled to release findings in one.

The two companies have used litigation before to get the upper hand in royalty talks over some of the most fundamental technologies in modern electronics. A 2007 agreement was reached after more than a year of lawsuits in the U.S. and Europe, with each getting access to the other's patents and Samsung making payments to Ericsson.

The ITC cases are In the Matter of Certain Electronic Devices, including Wireless Communication Devices, 337-862, and In the Matter of Certain Wireless Communication Equipment, 337-866, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).

J&J Escapes $482 Million Verdict as Court Rejects Patent Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to revive a $482 million jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) over disputed heart devices, rejecting an appeal by a doctor who said the company infringed his patent.

The justices yesterday left intact a federal appeals court decision that overturned the verdict. The appeals court said the judge overseeing the trial misinterpreted Bruce Saffran's patent and that, under the correct definition of key terms, J&J's Cordis unit wasn't using his invention.

The January 2011 jury award was the ninth-largest patent verdict in U.S. history, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. With more than $111 million in interest, the amount J&J was told to pay reached $593.4 million.

The case is Saffran v. Johnson & Johnson, 13-405.


Microsoft's Online Storage Gets Name Change After BSkyB Suit

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world's largest software company, changed the name of its online storage server from SkyDrive to OneDrive after settling a trademark suit brought in the U.K. by British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY), Computerworld reported.

The case was settled in July 2013, with Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft promising to come up with a new name for the service, according to Computerworld.

Shopping-Cart Race Changes Name from Idiotarod to Idiotarodorama

Organizers of a New York shopping-cart race known as the Idiotarod changed the name of the event in response to trademark complaints from Seattle's Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, counsel for the annual Iditarod dog-sled race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska.

In a posting on Facebook (FB), the cart-race organizers said they changed the name of the event to "Idiotarodorama NYC."

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Snowden Says U.S. Spy Agency Collects Economic Intelligence

There's "no doubt" the U.S. engages in industrial espionage, Edward Snowden said in an interview in which he also asserted that he worked alone in disclosing mass surveillance by the National Security Agency.

The former government contractor, now a fugitive in Russia, told a German television station that if a company such as Munich-based Siemens AG (SIE) were found to have information useful to the U.S., the NSA would use it, he said.

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