ZTE, AB InBev, Bollywood, Red Cross: Intellectual Property

Jun 27, 2014 6:53 am ET

(This is a daily report on global news about patents, trademarks, copyright and other intellectual property topics. Adds Stratasys item in top section. To be sent this column daily, click SALT IPREPORT <GO>.)

June 27 (Bloomberg) -- ZTE Corp., a Chinese maker of telecommunications equipment and systems, said it asked China’s State Intellectual Property Office to review 32 patents owned by Vringo Inc. and its subsidiaries.

The Shenzhen-based company also filed patent suits against Vringo in Germany, Australia and the U.K. and filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission about Vringo’s licensing practices, according to a statement.

In May, Google Inc. asked a U.S. appeals court to overturn a $30.5 million infringement verdict won by Vringo, a New York patent-licensing company.

Stratasys Unit Seeks Patent on Bigger 3D Object Printing Method

Stratasys Ltd.’s MakerBot Industries unit applied for a patent on a technology to enable the printing of objects larger than present-day three-dimensional printers’ build capacity.

According to the 3Dprint.com website, present-day 3D printers can build objects no larger than a basketball.

Application describes the processing of a model of an object whose volume is greater than the printer can build, then separating that into suitably sized sub-objects. The technology then enables the creation of features such as extrusion and openings that will allow the sub-objects to be assembled. The subsections can be printed sequentially on one printer or routed variously to multiple printers at one time.

This invention also enables the creation of snap-in replacement parts should one portion of the object be broken, according to the application.

For more patent news, click here.

Trademark

AB InBev Can’t Use ‘Budweiser’ in Portugal, Court Rules

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the Belgian brewer, is barred from registering the Budweiser trademark in Portugal, the U.K.’s Times newspaper reported.

Because Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar NP had already registered the Budweiser mark in the country, a Lisbon-based appeals court said, allowing AB InBev to register and use the mark as well would lead to confusion, according to the newspaper.

The two brewers have been battling for more than a century in various venues over rights to use the Budweiser mark, according to the Times.

University of Kentucky Signs with Boutique Licensing Agency

The University of Kentucky turned to a boutique trademark agency for its licensing activities.

Atlanta-based Fermata Partners entered into a five-year agreement, effectively ending the university’s arrangement with Forstman Little & Co.’s Collegiate Licensing Co., the school said in a June 25 statement.

The school is the first to form a partnership with Fermata, according to the statement. Fermata was founded by four Collegiate Licensing alumni.

For more trademark news, click here.

Copyright

India to Buy Rights to Bollywood Films for Embassy Screenings

India’s foreign ministry is buying rights for 25 Bollywood films it has been screening at embassies and consulates, Kolkata’s Telegraph newspaper reported.

The rights purchase stems from concerns raised by Indian officials that unlicensed screenings of the films at India’s diplomatic outposts may have been illegal under copyright law, according to the Telegraph.

Indian consulates and embassies have hosted screenings of the Bollywood films under the assumption that they fell within Indian copyright law’s “fair use” provisions, the Telegraph reported.

Closer readings of the law led diplomats to warn of possible infringement and the government to approach companies already holding licenses to broadcast the films for noncommercial purposes, according to the Telegraph.

For more copyright news, click here.

Trade Secrets/Industrial Espionage

Red Cross Claims Trade Secret Protection for Post-Sandy Funds

The American Red Cross, in response to a records request from New York’s Pro Publica over the use of $300 million it raised following Hurricane Sandy, claimed the information is a trade secret.

In a letter to the office of New York’s attorney general, counsel for the charity said revealing the information would cause it to suffer “competitive harm” and enable rivals to “mimic” its business model for a competitive advantage.

The attorney general’s office responded June 23 to grant the Red Cross request in part, saying that some information should be disclosed because the charity “had not sufficiently explained” why it would suffer economic injury from making the data public.

Pro Publica is a nonprofit entity conducting public- interest investigative journalism.