News & Notes: Volume 1

Not all press releases are created equally. Some range from being written as an article, as is commonly the case when the FTC issues a press release, to those containing only vague and hardly useful information for those who are at all serious about an issue. For example, a recent press release I read wrote:

eBay Inc., Skype, Inc., Skype Technologies SA, Skype Communications, S.A.R.L., IDT Corporation, Net2Phone, Inc., IDT Telecom, Inc., and Union Telecard Alliance, LLC, have settled all outstanding disputes among the parties, including two patent infringement lawsuits pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas.”

And another wrote:

Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) today issued the following statement related to the Bright Response Patent Case filed in Eastern District Texas.

“We are pleased with the outcome of the case and the jury’s decision. We believed we did not infringe and that the patent was invalid, and we are delighted that the jury found in Yahoo!’s favor on both accounts. Yahoo! respects intellectual property and will continue to protect its freedom to operate by defending itself against meritless claims.”

It is great to know that settlement has been achieved, and incredibly newsworthy to learn that the victorious party was “pleased with the outcome.” But really, sometimes I do stumble across rather interesting press releases that are newsworthy.  Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to write about everything I would like to.  So I thought I might start a News & Notes column that collects some interesting news items that could be of interest, but which probably don’t warrant detailed treatment or analysis.  With that in mind… here goes…


Application to exhibit at the 2010 National Trademark Expo

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host a showcase for trademarks at its Alexandria, Virginia headquarters on October 15-16, 2010. The two-day event is designed to engage the public’s interest and educate consumers about the vital role trademarks play in the global economy. Any owner of a registered trademark may apply to exhibit.

Application deadline is August 16, 2010. Space is limited so apply now.  The application is available online at:


Philip Morris Sues Retailers Across NY City to Combat Counterfeit Cigarette Sales

Philip Morris USA (PM USA) filed lawsuits today in federal court against eight retailers selling counterfeit versions of the company’s Marlboro® brand cigarettes in the New York City area.

“The New York metropolitan area is the most lucrative market in the U.S. for counterfeit and contraband cigarette smugglers,” said Joe Murillo, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Altria Client Services, speaking on behalf of PM USA. “The highest cigarette excise taxes in the nation ($6.86 per pack in federal, state and city taxes), fuel this illicit trade, making New York the largest market for counterfeit and contraband cigarettes in the country. New York State’s lack of effective enforcement on cigarettes sold to Native American retailers, makes the already significant problems in the New York area worse,” added Murillo.

These lawsuits are the latest in a series of filings by Philip Morris USA aimed at combating the sale of counterfeit cigarettes in New York. Since May 2009, Philip Morris has filed lawsuits against 47 retailers in New York for selling counterfeit Marlboro® brand cigarettes.


DIRECTV and Google Enter into Ad Sales Partnership

DIRECTV, the world’s most popular video service, and Google announced today a strategic partnership in which Google will become the sales representative for a broad selection of advertising inventory on several cable networks carried on DIRECTV.

As a result of this partnership with DIRECTV national satellite inventory on Bloomberg, Fox Business, Centric, Fuel, G4, Current, Ovation, Fit, Sleuth, Chiller and TV Guide will be available through the Google TV Ads system across all dayparts, including primetime. Google TV Ads customers will now be able to reach up to 30 million satellite households through both DIRECTV and existing partnerships.

“We are delighted to partner with Google and embark on this initiative together,” said Bob Riordan, Senior Vice President, DIRECTV Advertising Sales. “Google TV Ads is an excellent advertising tool and will be a tremendous complement to DIRECTV’s existing suite of innovative assets.”


HARTING Takes Action against Chinese Patent Infringers – Wins Court Case

Patent infringements and plagiarism represent major problems in China, especially for the manufacturers of brand products. The HARTING Technology Group has taken resolute action against a Chinese company that had copied its connectors.

Following in-depth investigations, HARTING, the Espelkamp, Germany headquartered company took recourse to the Shanghai Second Intermediate Court and initiated legal proceedings for damage and injunction in connection with patent infringements. After proceedings of only four months the Shanghai court passed a judgment confirming the patent infringement and sentencing the respective manufacturer to discontinue the production and sales of the counterfeit products, as well as imposing the payment of damages.


VOSSCHEMIE and 3M Settle Patent Infringement Suit Regarding Paint Cup System

3M and VOSSCHEMIE GmbH, the German distributor of the GPS disposable paint cup system manufactured by U.S. based Louis M. Gerson Co., Inc., have come to an amicable settlement concerning a patent infringement action filed by 3M in November 2009. The action was based on a 3M patent relating to and covering 3M’s Paint Preparation System products. 3M manufactures and sells a disposable cup paint mixing system under its PPS™ brand.

Under the terms of the agreement the specifics of which are confidential, VOSSCHEMIE has acknowledged the validity and enforceability of 3M’s patent relating to its PPS brand product on a worldwide basis. VOSSCHEMIE furthermore agreed to immediately cease and desist from selling the Gerson GPS disposable paint cup system.


Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of

Join the Discussion

2 comments so far.

  • [Avatar for IANAE]
    August 13, 2010 10:00 am

    H.R. 5980 “Bring Jobs Back to America: Strategic Manufacturing & Job Repatriation Act”.

    I am curious as to your thought son this

    As with most laws, it looks like they got the hard part out of the way in the title. It’s a really great title, one I think everybody can agree with.

    I’m still trying to figure out how repealing any meaningful publication of patent applications and provisional rights is supposed to bring jobs back to America. It’s not like people can get jobs freely copying the inventions in patent applications mired in the PTO backlog, because their enabling disclosures won’t be published.

  • [Avatar for Blind Dogma]
    Blind Dogma
    August 13, 2010 08:43 am

    There is a post this morning on “the other blog” that had an interesting hint to H.R. 5980 “Bring Jobs Back to America: Strategic Manufacturing & Job Repatriation Act”.

    I am curious as to your thought son this (as well as the thoughts of Henry Noththaft, David Kline, Dale Halling, IANAE, and the Mad Hatter, amongst others, that made the Thomas Edison thread so lively.

    By the way Gene, I do like the paging mechanism at the bottom of the blog home page. Nice addition.