Thursday, March 20, 2014

(BN) Microsoft, Theranos, Amazon, EMI: Intellectual Property

(Bloomberg ) A former Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) employee was charged with stealing the software maker's trade secrets, including code for a program to protect against copyright infringement, and leaking them to a blogger in France.

Alex Kibkalo, a Russian national, was arrested March 19 and ordered held without bail, according to federal court filings in Seattle. He admitted to Microsoft's investigators that he provided the confidential information to the blogger, according to the criminal complaint filed by U.S. prosecutors.

Russell Leonard, a federal public defender representing Kibkalo, didn't immediately respond to a phone message after regular business hours seeking comment on the case.

The case is U.S. v. Kibkalo, 14-mj-00114, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington (Seattle.)

Patents

Theranos Settles Dispute Over Medical-Testing Patent

Theranos Inc. settled a dispute with a former McDermott Will & Emery lawyer over a patent the medical-device company claimed was based on information stolen from the firm after it was hired to pursue a patent on Theranos's behalf.

According to court filings, the parties agreed that all claims of the disputed patent -- 7,824,612 -- are to be found invalid and each party is to pay its litigation costs. The McDermott firm wasn't a party to the suit.

The case is Theranos Inc. v. Fuisz Pharma LLC, 11-cv-05236, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

Trademark

Amazon China Unit Closes Vendor After Report of Fake Cosmetics

The China unit of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), the world's largest e-commerce company, closed a third-party online store after state media reported that fake cosmetics were being sold.

The shutdown came in response to customer complaints and the company will immediately close any stores selling fakes, Amazon's China unit said in a posting on its verified microblog.

Amazon and rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. have adopted tougher management of fake products on their websites in China as the government pledges to crack down on breaches of intellectual property rights.

The world's most populous nation accounts for more than half of international trade in counterfeit goods, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates.

Copyright

MP3tunes Found Liable by Jury for Infringement in EMI Case

EMI Group Ltd. won most of its claims in a copyright trial against the music storage site MP3tunes LLC and Michael Robertson, its founder and chief executive officer.

A jury in Manhattan found MP3tunes and Robertson liable for infringing EMI's copyrights in music and album cover art.

EMI sued in 2007, claiming that MP3Tunes set up its service so that copyrighted songs stored in a user's online "personal music locker" could be copied and sent to other computers, "enabling multiple unauthorized copies to be made and distributed."

The case is Capitol Records v. MP3tunes LLC, 07-cv-09931, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Copyright Office Asks Public for Comment on Music Licensing

The U.S. Copyright Office is seeking public comment on the effectiveness of current copyright law with respect to the licensing of music.

According to a notice posted on the copyright office's website, the office is asking for input on the licensing of music delivered through new methods such as downloading and streaming.

Comments are to be submitted by May 16, according to the notice.

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