Momenta, Samsung, Zynga, Netflix: Intellectual Property
By Victoria Slind-Flor – Aug 6, 2012 7:00 AM ET.
Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc. (MNTA) is unlikely to win its patent-infringement case over copies of the blood-thinner Lovenox, so Watson Pharmaceutics Inc. can sell its version until a trial is held, a U.S. appeals court ruled.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Aug. 3 vacated an order that would have prevented Watson partner Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc. from selling the copy until an infringement trial can be held and sent the case back to the lower court for further proceedings.
“Momenta has not established a likelihood of success on its claim on infringement,” the court ruled in a 2-1 decision posted on its website. The panel said the trial judge might want to consider whether to issue a ruling of non-infringement.
Momenta owns a patent related to enoxaparin, the active ingredient in Lovenox, and gets a share of the profit earned from generic Lovenox sold by partner Novartis AG (NOVN)’s Sandoz unit. Charlie Mayr, a spokesman for Parsippany, New Jersey-based Watson, said the company was pleased with the ruling. Officials with Momenta, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.
Sanofi (SAN), the Paris-based maker of the branded medicine, reported 2.1 billion euros ($2.6 billion) in Lovenox sales last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Copying the drug is difficult because it is made by cleaving raw heparin, an anticoagulant, with a type of sugar chain, according to court filings. Momenta’s patent is for a process to ensure the generic version of enoxaparin contains a certain percentage of the sugars, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration listed as a requirement to get approval.
Momenta’s version, the first copy of Lovenox on the market, was getting $260 million a quarter of its version, the Federal Circuit said, relying on court submissions.
Amphastar argued that its use of the patented method was allowable because it was related to submitting information to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prove its version was an equivalent of Lovenox.
The case is Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc., 12-1062, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington). The lower court case is Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc., 11cv11681, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Samsung Defeats Apple Bid for Sanction in IPhone Patent Case
Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) defeated a bid for judicial sanctions sought by Apple Inc. (AAPL) over a release of evidence in the iPhone patent dispute now on trial in San Jose federal court in California.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh dismissed Apple’s request Aug 3. Aimed at punishing a Samsung lawyer’s public disclosure of evidence excluded from trial. Koh polled jurors on the matter and concluded they could remain in place, saying she was “satisfied” the jury could remain “fair and impartial.”
Apple, in an Aug. 1 filing with Koh, said a July 31 statement authorized by Samsung’s lawyer was designed to convey to jurors, through the media, arguments contesting Apple’s central allegations that Samsung copied the iPhone and iPad. The move was “bad faith litigation misconduct” meant to prejudice the jury, Apple said.
Koh said Aug. 3 that Samsung and its lawyers at Quinn Emmanuel Uquhart & Sullivan LLP chose to “highlight evidence that they both knew was excluded,” and she reserved the right to investigate the release further. She interviewed each juror separately, asking if they had read or heard anything about the case since testimony ended July 31.
Apple had said that if Koh doesn’t decide the case in its favor outright, she should tell the jury that Samsung engaged in “serious misconduct.” Apple proposed that Koh tell jurors Samsung copied the designs and features from Apple products, and preclude Samsung from any further mention of evidence regarding a pre-existing design.
Samsung, in an Aug. 2 filing, said Apple’s request should be rejected because it’s “frivolous at every level,” and because Samsung’s statement was protected free speech.
John Quinn, the Samsung attorney who approved the release of the information, said a statement to the court that it was done in response to a request from members of the media and that the information was already in public court filings made by Samsung or Apple and wasn’t intended to prejudice the jury.
In the statement that Quinn approved for the media, Samsung said that Koh’s ruling means the company “was not allowed to tell the jury the full story and show the pre-iPhone design for that and other phones that were in development at Samsung in 2006, before the iPhone.”
The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 11- cv-01846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose). Neology to Ask Delaware Federal Court for Infringement Finding
Neology Inc., a company that makes radio frequency identification products, said it will ask a federal court to enter an order finding a competitor has infringed a patent on a technology used on toll bridges and roads.
The Poway, California-based company filed suit in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, in July 2011, accusing Federal Signal Corp. (FSS) of patent infringement. In dispute were six patents related to RFID and secure identification systems.
In a report filed with the court June 18, U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Pat Thynge said that Neology had demonstrated a likelihood of success on the infringement claim for patent 7,081,819, and that Federal Signal failed to raise any substantial questions of infringement or validity. She did recommend denial of Neology’s request for an expedited order barring Federal Signal’s use of the patented technology.
Judge Leonard P. Stark, to whom the case is assigned, issued an order Aug. 2 accepting the report and the magistrate judge’s recommendations, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Neology said in an Aug. 3 statement that in the wake of the court’s acceptance of the report, it will enter a request that the court find the patent infringed on this and the five other parents.
The California company also has two other patent suits against Oak Brook, Illinois-based Federal Signal, both filed May 21 in federal court in Los Angeles.
The Delaware case is Neology Inc. v. Federal Signal Corp., 1:11-cv-00672-LPS-MPT, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware. The California cases are Neology Inc., v. Federal Signal Corp., 8:12-cv-00817, and 2:12-cv-04422-JAK-JPR, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).
Nike’s End Run Around Olympics Policy Features Many Londons
Nike Inc. (NKE), the Oregon-based maker of athletic gear, has gone to London in efforts to step around the restrictions on the use of Olympics trademarks in its ads, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported.
The company is running an ad that’s part of its “Find Your Greatness” campaign that features athletes training and competing in various non-U.K. Londons around the world, the newspaper reported.
The ad features athletes in London, Nigeria; London, Ohio; London, Jamaica; and runners competing in a marathon that runs through London, Ontario, according to the newspaper.
A second Nike ad features a runner costumed as a flower running in the Ontario marathon, the Globe and Mail reported.
Dr. Dre’s Beats Headphones Seen on Athletes’ Heads Despite Rules
Dr. Dre, the rapper and music entrepreneur, may have made a successful side step around the London Olympics committee’s rules against so-called “ambush marketing” by companies that aren’t official sponsors of the 2012 games, the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper reported.
Dre’s company Beats Electronics LLC has given its Beats headphones to the British Olympics team branded with U.K. flag colors, according to the Guardian.
Other nation’s athletes, including U.S. Olympian Michael Phelps, have been seen wearing the Beats headphones to block out background noise before their competitions, the newspaper reported.
Japan’s Panasonic Corp. (6752), which also makes headphones, is an official sponsor of the games, according to the Guardian.
Electronic Arts Sues Zynga for Infringement Over ‘The Ville’
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), the second largest U.S. video-game maker, sued Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) claiming the company’s “The Ville” video game infringed copyrights for “The Sims Social,” a game that runs on social media site Facebook Inc. (FB)
Zynga’s Facebook game “The Ville” copies original elements of The Sims Social, lawyers for Electronic Arts said in a complaint the company said was filed in federal court in San Francisco. The filing couldn’t immediately be confirmed from court records.
“The Sims Social” was released in August 2011 and has tens of millions of users, and a current user base of several million active players on Facebook, Redwood City, California- based Electronic Arts said in an e-mail.
Electronic Arts seeks a court order barring copyright infringement and unspecified damages.
Reggie Davis, Zynga’s general counsel, said in an e-mail statement that The Ville builds on the San Francisco-based company’s earlier games.
“It’s unfortunate that EA thought that this was an appropriate response to our game, and clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic copyright principles,” Davis said. “It’s also ironic that EA brings this suit shortly after launching SimCity Social, which bears an uncanny resemblance to Zynga’s “CityVille game.”
The case is Electronic Arts v. Zynga, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
Netflix Turns to Crowdsourcing for Aid in Creating Subtitles
Netflix Inc. (NFLX), the world’s largest video-subscription service, has set up a crowdsourced subtitling community on the video-captioning service Amara, the TechDirt tech news website reported.
The aim of the project is to provide greater access to content for the disabled and hard-of-hearing by outsourcing the creation of the subtitles to a group of people, according to TechDirt.
The provision of subtitles will aid Los Gatos, California- based Netflix in complying with accessibility requirements mandated by the Americans With Disabilities Act, according to TechDirt.
The TechDirt website noted that earlier, a student in Norway who provided downloadable crowd-sourced subtitles for films was found guilty of copyright infringement in Norway.
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