Nebraska investigating Texas patent law firm

LINCOLN, Neb. — LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Authorities are investigating a Texas firm that has been accusing Nebraska businesses of infringing on patents.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning says Texas law firm Farney Daniels has sent multiple threatening letters to Nebraska businesses.

Bruning says he has ordered Farney Daniels to stop sending letters while his office investigates whether they are deceptive.

Bruning says the law firm appears to represent companies that bought up patents just so they could threaten lawsuits and collect settlements.

A spokesman for the law firm didn’t immediately return a call Friday from The Associated Press. The firm is based in Georgetown, Texas, a suburb north of Austin.

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Patent and Trademark Office GC to Join McDermott

McDermott Will & Emery announced Tuesday that it will welcome Bernard Knight Jr., currently serving as general counsel of the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), as a new partner.

Knight will bring his years of intellectual property law experience to the firm’s IP Litigation Practice Group, operating out of Washington, D.C.

“I’m really honored to be joining their ranks,” Knight told

Knight will join the firm September 16. He said that he was drawn to McDermott in large part because it is “one of the pre-eminent firms in intellectual property,” and would provide a “great platform” to do IP work for clients.

In his position at the PTO, Knight played a significant role in designing the America Invents Act, passed in 2012, which dramatically changed the system in which patents are issued. As one of the law’s main architects, Knight will bring a first-hand knowledge of its regulations and the changes it has brought to the U.S. patent system.

“No firm today really has experts on this law because it’s just brand new,” said Knight.

Knight was the agency’s deputy general counsel from 2001-2006, then left to work in the Department of the Treasury as assistant general counsel. He stepped in as acting general counsel, from February to September 2009, in the midst of the financial crisis. He represented the U.S. government as a lead negotiating lawyer during this tumultuous time, and in recognition of his efforts was presented with Distinguished Service Awards by former Treasury Secretaries Timothy Geithner and Henry Paulson.

He returned to the PTO as general counsel in April 2010.

Although he has spent many years working in the public sector, Knight, who holds a law degree from the University of Southern California Law School and a bachelor’s in Business Administration from Drake University, is no stranger to big firm work. He began his law career at Vinson & Elkins in Houston and then moved to Hopkins & Sutter in Chicago.

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Greyson International Inc. Receives Industry Expert Validation Regarding Pharmaceutical Patent Cliff Panic

COCONUT CREEK, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 22, 2013--

Greyson International Inc. (OTC Pink Sheets: GYSN), developer of an innovative patented topical delivery technology targeting the multi-billion dollar cosmetics and OTC pharmaceutical industries, today announced that talks with patent law firm Lerner Greenberg Stemer LLP resulted in across the board agreement with Greyson’s plan to help save and stave the potential $90+ billion loss in the pharmaceutical market.

Large pharmaceutical companies are facing a so-called “patent cliff”, whereby brand names drugs, once having delivered steady sales and profits are losing, or have already lost, their patent protection. Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has had three blockbuster drug patents expire in the last two years, Eli Lilly’s (NYSE:LLY) Cymbalta loses its patent at the end of 2013, and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) recently attained a short extension on multibillion-dollar Celebrex which expires in Dec. 2015.

Lerner Greenberg Stemer LLP patent law firm for the world’s largest multinational corporations concur with Greyson’s plan to utilize their patented Trilexon(R) trans-dermal topical delivery system in several ways. “Leveraging our technology, large pharmaceutical companies can potentially reformulate their drugs to be delivered topically instead of orally, extend patent lives, and/or create new patents quickly under the Greyson umbrella” said Harvey Tauman, CEO of Greyson International Inc. “Greyson International, in addition to being debt free, has invested millions over a period of about 20 years culminating to the point whereby preparation is meeting opportunity.”

Currently Greyson International has anchored a large manufacturer, added two prominent physicians as consultants, and recruited top industry beauty consultants for Greyson Skincare(R) with Trilexon(R) technology. Their new spokesperson and brand manager, Tia Castle is preparing to launch Greyson Skincare line on network shopping television toward the fourth quarter of 2013. Greyson is open to adding new talent to the managerial team as it rapidly expands to meet market demands. All inquiries may contact Harvey Tauman.

Greyson International’s revolutionary patented Trilexon(R) delivery system allows the finest ingredients to be released topically over an extended period of time, while maintaining the skin’s natural intracellular barrier to promote natural moisture and lipid levels, providing a comfortable and durable experience that’s unlike anything else in the market.

About Greyson International, Inc.

Greyson’s primary focus is on its recently patented Trilexon(R) delivery system. In addition to cosmetic applications, Trilexon(R) may also have benefits in the medical field where it is important to deliver active ingredients. Trilexon(R) is a registered trademark of Greyson International Inc. For more information, visit our website; and join the Greyson International’s Facebook page

This release contains information about management’s view of our future expectations, plans and prospects that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from historical results or those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors including, but not limited to, risks and uncertainties associated with our financial condition, our ability to sell our products and our ability to compete with competitors. We encourage you to review other factors that may affect our future results on any current or future documents we file periodically with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

SHFL, Vivid, Sony, Nigeria: Intellectual Property

SHFL Entertainment Inc. (SHFL), a Las Vegas-based supplier of casino equipment, said in a statement that a court in Macau has found it didn’t infringe a patent related to terminal betting on live baccarat.

The company’s Rapid Baccarat electronic table configuration — now known as SHFL Fusion Hybrid — was accused of infringing a patent belonging to Hong Kong Resident Jay Chun.

The Macau First Instance Court found no violation of the patent, SHFL said in its statement.


Adult-Film Producer Vivid Sues Florida Cabaret Over ‘Vivid’ Mark

Vivid Entertainment Inc., one of the makers of adult films who are challenging a Los Angeles ordinance requiring actors in pornographic films to use condoms, sued a Florida nightclub for trademark infringement.

According to the complaint filed July 15 in federal court in Fort Myers, Florida, J&B PB LLC and its owner Jose Baserva of Fort Myers are accused of using Vivid’s marks without authorization.

Vivid, which claims in court papers it has “established wide recognition and goodwill with the general consuming public as one of the world’s largest producers of high quality erotic and adult entertainment,” said it had a previous dispute with Baserva over the Vivid marks.

In May, Vivid said, Baserva’s business agreed to quit using the Vivid marks for its Vivid Cabaret Nightclub. It also said it would quit using an Internet domain name to which Vivid objected,

Vivid accused Baserva of filing an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office April 23 to register “Vivid Cabaret” for adult-entertainment nightclubs. Baserva is planning to open other nightclubs beyond the Ft. Myers site, also using the “Vivid Cabaret” name, Vivid claimed in its pleadings.

The Los Angeles-based film company asked the court to bar any use of its marks by the defendant, and for an award of money damages, attorney fees, litigation costs and profits the defendants derived from their alleged infringement.

Vivid, which is known for its marketing of the Kim Kardashian and Tila Tequila sex tapes, also requested that it be transferred the domain name to which it objects, and that the court order the destruction of all infringing promotional material.

Baserva didn’t respond immediately to a message seeking comment sent through Vivid Cabaret’s page on Facebook Inc. (FB)’s social media site.

The case is Vivid Entertainment LLC v. J&B PB LLC, 2:13-cv-00524-JES-DNF, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida (Fort Myers).


Sony Gets Dismissal of Suit by Faulkner Copyright Holder

Sony Pictures Classics Inc. has persuaded a federal judge in Mississippi to dismiss a copyright suit brought by the holders of the copyrights to the works of Mississippian William Faulkner.

Nobel laureate Faulkner, a novelist who wrote about his native Mississippi, died in 1962. He was also the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes.

Faulkner Literary Rights LLC filed the suit in October 2012, claiming lines from Faulkner’s “Requiem for a Nun” were used incorrectly and without authorization in “Midnight in Paris,” a 2011 Sony film directed by Woody Allen.

According to court papers, a character played by Owen Wilson is transported from the present to the 1920s, where he has conversations with Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. In describing his experiences, the character says “The past is not dead! Actually, it’s not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner.”

The correct quote, the Faulkner rights holder said, is “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

According to the complaint, Sony didn’t seek or receive permission to use the lines in the film. Faulkner Literary Rights LLC, which is based in Charlottesville, Virginia, said it was harmed by Sony’s actions, and that the use of the quote was likely to cause the public to assume falsely that a connection exists between Faulkner and Sony.

U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills was not convinced and issued an order July 18 dismissing the case. He said the amount of text that was used in the film is minimal and was sufficiently transformed as to fall into copyright law’s “fair use” exception.

He also rejected any argument that the Faulkner literary estate’s future market was harmed by the use of the phrase in the movie. He said he was “highly doubtful that any relevant markets have been harmed” by the film. “How Hollywood’s flattering and artful use of literary allusion is a point of litigation not celebration is beyond this court’s comprehension,” Judge Mills wrote.

He said that he was more likely to believe that the film helped the estate and that the market value of “Requiem for a Nun” was enhanced by the movie.

The estate’s argument that the film would cause viewers to believe falsely that an affiliation existed with Faulkner and his works is “without merit,” he said, noting that the literary allusion to Faulkner “is not synonymous with affiliation, nor with appropriation.”

Judge Mills’ opinion started with his literary allusion to another of Faulkner’s works and a present-day pop culture phenomenon. He said he had viewed Allen’s movie and read “Requiem for a Nun” and was “thankful that the parties did not ask the court to compare ‘The Sound and the Fury’ with ‘Sharknado.’”

The case is Faulkner Literary Rights LLC v. Sony Pictures Classics Inc., 3:12-cv-00100-MPM-SSA, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Mississippi.

Faulkner Literary Rights had filed a second copyright suit at the same time. It sued Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC) and the Washington Post Co. over the use of a Faulkner quote in an advertisement that ran in the newspaper July 4, 2011.

That quote, “We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it,” is taken from a 1956 Faulkner essay, “On Fear: The South in Labor,” according to court papers. The Faulkner rights holder claims that quote is also used without permission.

That case settled in December. No terms were disclosed and all parties had to bear their own costs, according to court papers.

That case was Faulkner Literary Rights LLC v. Northrop Grumman Corp., 12-cv-00732, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi (Jackson).

Nigeria Joins Copyright Treaty to Improve Access for the Blind

Nigeria has signed on to a treaty aimed at improving access to published works by the visually impaired, the news website reported.

The treaty will benefit approximately 300 million people, 90 percent of whom live in developing nations, with 27 million in Africa, according to

The treaty was signed at a conference convened in Marrakesh, Morocco, by the World Intellectual Property Organization, a United Nations Agency, reported.

Yandex Gets Rid of Some of Perfect 10’s Infringement Claims

Yandex NV, the Dutch operator of a Russian Internet search engine, persuaded a federal court in California to dismiss elements of a copyright infringement suit brought by a publisher of adult-content photos.

In his July 12 order, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said that claims Perfect 10 Inc. made against Yandex with respect to direct copyright infringement aren’t supported by evidence.

Perfect 10, which has also sued Inc. and Google Inc. (GOOG) for copyright infringement, said that Yandex hosts copies of user-uploaded images belonging to the publisher without authorization. The company argued that even though the allegedly infringing content is hosted on servers located in Russia, Yandex still infringed under U.S. copyright law because residents of this country could potentially download them.

Judge Alsup said he rejected this theory of liability. He said that in previous rulings, nowhere “did our court of appeals endorse the idea that display of a copyrighted image anywhere in the world creates direct copyright liability in the United States merely because the image could be downloaded from a server abroad by someone in the United States.”

If this theory were to be allowed to go forward, Judge Alsup said, this would “destroy the concept of territoriality inherent in the Copyright Act for works on the Internet.”

Although the judge dismissed the claims of direct infringement, he let stand Perfect 10’s claims that Yandex contributed to others’ infringement and was vicariously liable.

The case is Perfect 10 Inc. v. Yandex NV (YNDX), 3:12-cv-01521-WHA, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Wins International Trademark Infringement Lawsuit


 The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and its exclusive licensing agent Global Icons announced today that they have won a lawsuit filed in Germany against Mensing department store, in Dorsten, Germany, and Schleifenbaum Design & Project over unauthorized use of the Chamber’s licensed trademark properties, the world famous Hollywood Sign and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The court in Bochum, Germany ruled on June 19, 2013 in favor of the Chamber’s claim.

“The court’s determination that these companies violated the Chamber’s rights sends a message that companies outside the U.S. cannot violate our trademark and other rights,” said Hollywood Chamber President & CEO Leron Gubler. “This is the first time in more than 35 years of owning these trademarks we have been forced to take legal action internationally to protect them.”

 Global Icons office in Munich discovered the department store’s illegal usage of the Chamber’sinternational trademark rights. “Mensing had created a ‘Hollywood’ themed shop and environment with a large wall dedicated to the iconic Hollywood sign and also recreated over a dozen ‘Walk of Fame’ stars on the store floor,” stated Jeff Lotman, CEO of Global Icons. “We vigorously pursued Mensing and its design agent Schleifenbaum, and the court agreed with our position that the use of the Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame trademarks constituted infringement.”

 While Mensing and Schleifenbaum were offered the opportunity to license the marks, both claimed that the Chamber had no valid enforceable trademark rights to the Hollywood sign and further asserted that neither the sign nor the Walk of Fame had global recognition. Attorney Christine Sovich of Sovich Minch LLP who represents the Chamber and Global Icons in infringement cases commented, “It is always our preference to reach an amicable resolution. However, the defendants in this instance left us with no choice but to litigate these issues. The Chamber is very serious about the protection of its intellectual property throughout the world. Together, with German counsel Nikolaus Reber of Dr. Roth & Kollegen we were able to deliver this important international victory for the Chamber.”

Claims for injunctive relief, information, damages and costs were based on German law against unfair competition as it pertained to the use of the Chamber’s protected marks. This law prohibits unfair imitation practices combined with an exploitation of reputation.

Castel hit with $5m fine over Chinese trademark infringement

Castel hit with $5m fine over Chinese trademark infringementA French wine producing company has been ordered to pay a Chinese company $5 million following a lengthy trademark dispute.

Castel has been ordered to pay Shanghai-based wine company Shanghai Banti Wine and its owner Li Dao Zhi after a court upheld a ruling which deemed it had unlawfully used the trademark ‘Ka Si Te.’

The fine, issued at the Zhejiang Provincial High Court on July 16, upheld an initial decision from the Wenzhou Intermediate Court in April.

It is thought to be one of the largest compensation rulings seen in an IP case in China.

Luke Minford, chief executive of Rouse LLP, who spent 14 years working on IP matters in China, said it was an “unusual level of damages” and that a trademark infringement fine would normally be closer to $15,000.

Highlighting similarities with a patent ruling at the same court involving French electrics company Schneider Electric, Minford said: “The issue here is not so much with the Chinese court’s interpretation of the law, because in both the Schneider case and in this instance the criticism is more that they interpreted the law narrowly rather than incorrectly.”

In 2007, Schneider Electric was ordered to pay the equivalent of $48m in damages for infringing the patent of a Chinese company. Schneider appealed against the fine but later agreed to pay around $23m.

Minford continued: “The real issue is how to prove the profits obtained from infringement. Most Chinese infringers do not keep records at all of what income they gained from their activity, so the plaintiff is forced to rely on a limited claim of statutory damages.

“However, when a foreign company is sued for infringement, not surprisingly the court will discover very well kept accounting records that show actual income and margin. The result is that they are able to make an award based on profits gained from the infringing activity, which unlike statutory damages, can be unlimited.”

Castel, which was established in 1949, began using the words Ka Si Te, a Chinese transliteration of Castel, for its marketing in China.

However, it failed to register it as a trademark allowing Li, who had spotted its popularity, to register the mark himself.

Upon discovering it was being used for Li’s secondary company Shanghai Ka Si Te Wine Co, Castel attempted to get it revoked.

But Li sued for unlawful use and, after a ruling which deemed Li the rightful owner, Castel was ordered to pay the fine.

Castel appealed, but the decision was upheld and, in turn, Castel has now been ordered to make a public apology to Li.

According to DLA Piper LLP, the case should stand as a warning for foreign companies to protect their brand.

“If a trademark pirate registers the equivalent Chinese brand first, the brand owner faces the threat of losing the Chinese brand and, worse still, being sued by the pirate for using it,” it said in a document written by its Chinese representatives.

“The primary lesson therefore is regardless of how famous and well-known a brand is elsewhere around the world, time should be taken to devise a Chinese language equivalent of a brand and brand owners should invest time and money in registering the Chinese language brand as well as the Western brand.”

Surprise, Nintendo Trademarks Herald Revival of the Bizarre Seaman


Seaman was a really, really odd game. This title launched back in 1999 for the Sega Dreamcast, and it tasked players with raising a fishman from birth. They’d talk to the creature with their microphone, included with the game, and the voice of Leonard Nimoy would eventually talk back.

Nintendo seems to be nearing some sort of Seaman revival.

Siliconera has translated a trademark find from Japanese gaming blog esuteru. That site scooped up two fresh trademarks for Nintendo that point directly at the Seaman brand.

  • Mysterious Pet: Legend of the Fish With A Human Face
  • Mysterious Partner: Legend of the Fish With A Human Face

We reported on the potential rebirth of Seaman for the Nintendo 3DS way back in February of 2012. Here’s a blurb from that story:

Nikkei reports, without much detail, that Seaman will be heading to the Nintendo 3DS in the future. Specifically, the story from Nikkei is that Nintendo is working to revive brands from older competitors and that Seaman is part of this effort for the Nintendo 3DS.

Nearly a year and a half later, the aforementioned two brand new Nintendo trademarks absolutely point towards more from Seaman.

Let’s hope two things, folks: these games eventually make the jump abroad, and Leonard Nimoy returns to voice the odd fish person pet.