22 Aug, 2018

Trilogy Insurance Group Knowledgebase

In this section you will find articles and references related to insurance topics that you may find helpful.

Case Study-To Sue or Not to Sue

The rival: enormous. Its product: disturbingly similar. The question: Should Mixed Chicks get into a legal battle with a multibillion-dollar giant?

 

Despite need for protection, insurers struggle to underwrite IP risks for TTOs

Should your TTO’s intellectual property be insured, much like university buildings and other assets? Learn more about the struggles with providing IP Insurance for technology transfer offices.

 

Workers' Compensation Insurance Overview

Small business owners are understandably confused by the myriad of options available for Workers' Compensation Insurance. Thankfully, The Hartford has put together a great primer for new business owners, or business owners wanting to learn more about the various options. To learn more, check out their interactive Workers' Compensation Tutorial.

 

Intellectual Property Coverage: Are you Naked?

The cost of intellectual property litigation can be astronomical, and continues to increase each year. In certain cases, the high stakes of intellectual property litigation can pose a very real threat to the company itself. Learn About the Exposure and How to Properly Cover Yourself

 

Toyota Builds Thicket of Patents Around Hybrid To Block Competitors

JOHN MURPHY

The Obama administration's tough new fuel-efficiency standards could pose problems for some car makers, but Toyota Motor Corp. is hoping to benefit.

The Japanese company is betting the rules will give an advantage to its expanding lineup of hybrid vehicles, and it alsoaims to boost revenue by licensing to other car makers the patents that protect its fuel-saving technologies. Since it started developing the gas-electric Prius more than a decade ago, Toyota has kept its attorneys just as busy as its engineers, meticulously filing for patents on more than 2,000 systems and components for its best-selling hybrid. Its third-generation Prius, which hit showrooms in May, accounts for about half of those patents alone.

Toyota's goal: to make it difficult for other auto makers to develop their own hybrids without seeking licensing from Toyota, as Ford Motor Co. already did to make its Escape hybrid and Nissan Motor Co. has for its Altima hybrid. "Our system is the best technology for hybrids to get the best carbon dioxide emissions and best fuel economy. [Rivals] will not be able to compete," said Gouichiro Kuriyama, a manager in Toyota's product planning division.

Whether Toyota's strategy will pay off is unclear. While the Prius has won a strong following among environmentalminded consumers, it will face stiffer competition to win mass-market appeal. Almost all car companies are working on more fuel-efficient gasoline engines that could boost miles-per-gallon ratings enough to damp interest in hybrids. Makers also have diesel vehicles coming to the U.S. that deliver nearly the same fuel economy as the Prius.

Car makers for decades have sought patents on their innovations, and Toyota's strategy to seek revenue from its technology is hardly new. But its early work on hybrids may give it a leg up in the current rush to create more fuel-efficient vehicles. The Obama administration plans to require fuel economy of cars be 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. To hit these new targets, many car makers need to quickly develop highly fuel-efficient vehicles and technologies.

"Toyota's patent-filing strategy has made it far too risky to copy the Prius without Toyota's blessing," said Justin Blows, a patent attorney with Griffith Hack Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys in Australia. In a recent study of intellectual property for hybrid vehicles, Mr. Blows found that Topota has about 2,100 patents, nearly double that of its closest rival, Flontla Motor Co. It is a fact that Toyota hasn't been shy about promoting, as it did in its launch of the new Prius at the Detroit auto show in January.

Toyota, which isn't known as a particularly litigious company, declined to say how many attorneys it uses to file and defend its hybrid patents. No lawsuits involving the patents have become public. Toyota also won't say how much revenue it has received from licensing its patents, if any. Patent cross-licensing may involve no exchange of money. Once ridiculed as impractical and a gimmick, Toyota's hybrid system, which the car maker plans to make available in all of its vehicles by 2020, has slowly won industry acceptance. "Clearly in the arena of the hybrid Toyota is far ahead of the others. Their years of endeavor are now being rewarded," said Tatsuo Yoshida, an analyst at UBS Investment Research in Tokyo. To be sure, there are other ways to design hybrids without infringing on Toyota's patents, as Honda proved.

Toyota's "full hybrid" system weds battery-powered electric motors with a gasoline engine, allowing it to shift seamlessly between either electric or gas power as driving conditions and battery charging require.

Honda's simpler, lower-cost system, called a "mild hybrid," relies mainly on a highly efficient, lightweight gasoline engine to move the vehicle, but it is assisted b :, battery-powered motors. The new Prius gets 51 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The Insight is rated at 40 mpg city, 43 mpg highway.

A Honda spokeswoman said that while Honda's current hybrid technology doesn't conflict with Toyota's patents, Honda may encounter the issue as it develops new technologies, such as hybrid systems for larger vehicles. "Patent conflicts happen in every development as auto manufacturers compete with each other for a new technology,"
she said.

Instead of trying to catch up to Toyota in hybrid vehicles, Nissan has chosen to pour its resources into developing a
mass-produced electric car starting in 2010. " That's what competition is about. Everybody makes a bet on a different technology and then let the consumer choose," said Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn.

Ford, meantime, said it developed its own hybrid technology but agreed to cross-license patents with Toyota to prevent any legal issues. No money changed hands, Ford said. "Our hybrids are 100% Ford-developed and engineered," said spokeswoman Jennifer Moore by e-mail. Although conceptually the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid are described in similar ways, Ford officials said the execution and architecture are different.

-Matthew Dolan contributed to this article
Write to John Murphy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones 8 Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

RIM Settles Patent Battle With Visto

SARA SILVER and STUART WEINBERG

BlackBerry maker ficcearch in Motion Ltd. agreed to pay $267.5 million to settle a three-year patent dispute with mobile email provider Visto Corp., adding to a costly series of intellectual-property purchases.

RIM, of Waterloo, Ontario, is a frequent target of patent lawsuits, as the spread of cellphones makes the wireless industry among the most active battlegrounds for intellectual-property disputes. The company has spent more than $1 billion in the past two years on intangible assets. such as patents. It plans to book part of the cost of the Visto settlement, which gives RIM a lifetime license to some Visto patents and legal possession of others. as an acquisition of intangible assets. Visto, of Redwood City, Calif., first sued RIM for patent infringement in May 2006 in U.S. federal court in the eastern district of Texas, and a subsequent series of lawsuits and countersuits reached courtrooms in Italy, Canada, Britain and Germany.

"Even if the patent portfolios were of equal strength, RIM is a successful company with a growing business and had a lot more to lose," said Gene W. Lee, a partner in intellectual-property litigation at the law firm Ropes Gray LLP. RIM didn't respond to a request for comment. Visto officials declined to comment. Investors largely shrugged off the settlement, which is equivalent to 15% of RIM'S cash holdings. The company's shares were up $2.08, or 3%, at $72.23 in 4 p.m. trading Thursday on the Nasdaq Stock Market. "This isn't overwhelming, but it is important. since RIM has posted undenvhelniing cash flow over the prior few quarters, due to their patent purchases and investments in their data center." said Jeff Kvaal, a telecomequipment analyst at Barclays Capital.

Barry Richards, of Paradigm Capital, said the settlement removes the biggest legal risk to the company's business. Mr. Richards said RIM could have ended up paying as much as $1 billion had Visto prevailed at trial. Still, while RIM may have eliminated the risk of a bigger payment down the road, its willingness to pay could open the company up to more patent-infrin, oenlent suits. RIM faces at least five such actions. One case involves a dispute with \lotorola Inc., which earlier this year sold its mobile-email provider, Good Technology, to Visto. At least two other cases pit RIM
against so-called non-practicing entities, or NPEs. NPEs are companies that generate revenue solely by licensing and litigating patents. In 2006, RIM paid $61 2.5 million to settle a dispute with NTP Inc., a closely held Virginia NPE. The case garnered world-wide attention because, before the settlement, a court-ordered injunction on U.S. sales of the BlackBerry appeared imminent.

Write to Sara Silver at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and Stuart Weinberg at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones 8 Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

TiVo Goes to Battle With Verizon, AT&T

ROGER CHENG and JAY MILLER

TiVo Inc. launched legal battles with Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. alleging infringement of itspatented TV "time-warping" technology. The Alviso, Calif.-based company has sought technology arrangements with others, including Comcast corp. and Direct TV Group Inc in a bid to diversify its revenue. Verizon and AT&T offer television service with digital videorecorders.

Chief Executive Tom Rogers said TiVo tried unsuccessfully to strike deals with both companies. "We figured we had to stop the irreparable harm," he said. AT&T declined to comment on the suit. Verizon wouldn't comment because it said it hadn't reviewed the lawsuit yet.

TiVo is involved in a nearly five-year-long battle over the technology with Dish Network Corp. and EchoStar TiVo posted a loss Wednesday for the fiscal second quarter ended July 31 of $2.9 million, compared with a profit of $2.9 million in the same quarter last year. Revenue dropped 12% to $57.4 million. Service and technology revenue, which excludes hardware sales, fell 8.8% to $48.8 million. TiVo-owned subscription additions were 31,000 in the quarter, down 14%. At the end of the quarter, there were 1.6 million TiVo-owned subscribers and 3 million total subscribers. Its shares were up 1% to $10.60 in late trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Write to Roger Cheng at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and Jay Miller at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones 8 Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

Abbott Told To Pay J&J $1.67 Billion Over Patent

JONATHAN D ROCKOFF

A federal jury in Texas Monday upheld the patent on Johnson and Johnsons' arthritis treatment Remicade and ordered Abbot Laboratories to pay its' rival $1.67 billion for infringing on the patent.

New Brunswick, N.J.-based J&J had alleged that Abbott's rheumatoid arthritis therapy Humira infringed a patent that JSrJ's Centocor Ortho Biotech unit held for rival treatment Remicade. The patent is co-owned with Nelv York University. The two companies have been engaged in patent disputes over the competing therapies and a newer product, which belong to a class called anti-tumor necrosis factor, or anti-TNF, all drugs with billions of dollars in yearly sales.

Kim Taylor, president of Centocor Ortho Biotech, said in a statement that the company was "particularly gratified that the jury recognized our valuable intellectual property, finding our patent both valid and infringed" and will continue asserting its patent rights for its rheumatoid arthritis therapies.

Humira is Abbott's biggest seller, accounting for $4.5 billion in sales, or 15% of the company's revenues last year.

The company, based in Abbott Park, Ill., said it would appeal.

"We are disappointed in this verdict, and we are confident in the merits of our case and that we will prevail on appeal," the company said in a statement. Abbott will now count on a judge to overturn the jury's award, as a federal judge did in 2007 when voiding one of the previous largest patent verdicts, a $1.52 billion verdict that a jury said Microsoft Corp. should pay Alcate-Lucent SA for violating digital music technology patents.

Last year, a federal appeals court upheld the judge's ruling overturning the verdict. The judge issued its verdict after a week-long trial in U.S. District Court in Marshall, Texas, where many patent infringement lawsuits are filed because of the court's expertise in patent law.

Write to Jonathan D. Rockoff at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones 8 Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved

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