PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 14 declined to reconsider or to certify for interlocutory appeal his ruling declining to dismiss allegations by a developer of technology used to locate mobile handsets that three corporate members of a standard-setting organization (SSO) engaged in a conspiracy to exclude the developer's technology from the SSO's standard (TruePosition, Inc. v. LM Ericsson Telephone Company, et al., No. 11-4574, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131453).
SAN FRANCISCO - Toshiba Corp. and direct purchasers of film transistor-liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCD) on Sept. 10 agreed to a $30 million settlement following a federal jury in California's awarding $87 million in damages to the purchasers on their claims that Toshiba engaged in a conspiracy with other manufacturers to raise and fix the price of TFT-LCD panels and certain products containing those panels imported into the United States for more than 10 years, resulting in overcharges to the purchasers, in violation of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1 et seq., (In re: TFT-LCD [Flat Panel] Antitrust Litigation [All Direct Purchaser Actions], MDL No. 3:07-md-1827 SI, N.D. Calif.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124793.
WILMINGTON, Del. - The Supreme Court of Delaware on Sept. 7 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an excess insurer has no duty to reimburse its insured for defense costs or indemnity claims related to the insured's defense of underlying antitrust lawsuits (Intel Corporation v. American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Co., et al., No. 692, 2011, Del. Sup.; 2012 Del. LEXIS 480).
BOSTON - A First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 7 affirmed the dismissal of a Medicare fee reimbursement suit, saying that the health maintenance organization defendants could compensate the plaintiff doctors in a manner of their choosing and that no antitrust violations occurred (Carlos P. Gonzalez-Maldonado, et al. v. MMM Healthcare Inc., et al., No. 11-1880, 1st. Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18913).
NEW YORK - A federal judge on Sept. 5 approved a settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and electronic book publishers Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC and Simon & Schuster Inc. on the government's claims that e-book publishers and Apple Inc. conspired to fix prices of digital books in violation of federal antitrust laws (United States of America v. Apple, Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 2826, S.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
SAN FRANCISCO - A company adequately discloses the possibility of purchasing invalid tickets through its website and the terms of its guarantee, a judge held Sept. 4 in dismissing California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (Celina Z. Porras, et al. v. Stubhub Inc. And DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, , No. 12-1225, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126111).
NEW YORK - Attorneys general of 55 U.S. states, districts and territories on Aug. 29 moved for preliminary approval of settlements worth $69 million with HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Hachette Book Group Inc., Simon & Schuster Inc. and Simon & Schuster Digital Sales Inc. related to allegations that the publishers engaged in a conspiracy to fix prices of digital books in violation of federal antitrust laws (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-md-02293, S.D. N.Y. [ State of Texas, et al. v. Hachette Book Group, Inc., et al., No. 12-civ-6625, S.D. N.Y.]). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90190.
SAN FRANCISCO - No reasonable consumer assumes that a credit card comes without an annual fee simply because advertising fails to disclose it, and consumers can avoid any injury by canceling the card, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 31 in dismissing unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) claims (Gary Davis, et al. v. HSBC Bank Nevada N.A. et al., No. 10-56488, U.S. App., 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18503).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Aug. 28 dismissed without prejudice claims that PayPal Inc. violated federal antitrust law by permanently suspending the accounts of certain dating Websites for violation of its Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) while not suspending the accounts of other similar Websites, but the judge allowed unfair competition and common-law breach claims to continue (Infostream Group, Inc., et al. v. PayPal, Inc., No. C 12-748 SI, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122255).
SAN FRANCISCO - Consumers in an unfair competition law (UCL) Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 class action allege that a cat litter maker made falsifiable claims regarding the odor absorption abilities of the carbon it uses; however, claims that cats prefer it are puffery and not actionable, a California federal judge held Aug. 24 (In re: Clorox Consumer Litigation, Nos. 12-280, 12-764, 12-356, 12-649, 12-1051, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120697).
ATHENS, Ga. - A Georgia federal judge on Aug. 28 refused to dismiss allegations that a Georgia furniture company infringed on the Humphrey Bogart name, or to exclude the plaintiff's expert in celebrity licensing (Bogart LLC vs. Ashley Furniture Industries Inc., et al., No. 3:10-CV-39 (CDL), M.D. Ga., Athens Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121787).
SAN FRANCISCO - After three days of deliberations, a California federal jury on Aug. 24 awarded Apple Inc. $1,049,343,540 in its high-stakes lawsuit with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., deeming the software giant's patents both valid and infringed (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., No. 11-1846, N.D. Calif.).
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PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Aug. 22 certified a class of direct purchasers of blood reagents on their claims that producers of blood reagents conspired to raise prices and allocate customers in violation of federal antitrust laws (In re: Blood Reagents Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 09-2081, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118727).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in ruling that although a merger between two Georgia hospitals would substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly, the state-action doctrine immunized the conduct from a challenge by the Federal Trade Commission, the FTC told the U.S. Supreme Court on Aug. 20 in the FTC's merits brief (Federal Trade Commission v. Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc., et al., No. 11-1160, U.S. Sup.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. LEXIS 4852.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in affirming the certification of a class of approximately 2 million non-basic cable television customers in the Philadelphia market on its claims that Comcast Corp. worked to establish a monopoly in the Philadelphia market and then increased prices once it had eliminated competition, Comcast argues in its merits brief filed Aug. 17 in the U.S. Supreme Court (Comcast Corporation, et al. v. Caroline Behrend, et al., No. 11-864, U.S. Sup.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. LEXIS 4754.
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 17 denied drug makers' motion to stay the mandate pending the filing of a petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case in which the appeals court ruled that settlements involving a reverse payment from a name-brand manufacturer to a generic challenger to delay the entry date for marketing a generic drug are subject to the rule-of-reason test and not the scope-of-the-patent test trade (In Re: K-Dur Antitrust Litigation $(Appeals of Louisiana Wholesale Drug Co., Inc., et al., No. 10-2077; CVS Pharmacy Inc., et al., No. 2078; Walgreen Co., et al., No. 10-2079; Merck & Co., Inc., et al., No. 10-4571$), 3rd Cir.). View related prior history 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 14527.
NEW YORK - A federal magistrate judge in New York on Aug. 16 granted summary judgment in favor of five manufacturers of brand name prescription drugs (BNPDs) on pharmacies' claims that the manufacturers offered discounts and rebates to the pharmacies' competitors but not to the pharmacies in violation of the Robinson-Patman Act 15 U.S.C.S. § 13, finding that the pharmacies failed to demonstrate competitive injury (Drug Mart Pharmacy Corp., et al. v. American Home Products Corp., et al., No. 93-CV-5148, E.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115882).
LOS ANGELES - The California Supreme Court on Aug. 15 granted a petition for review in a district attorneys' case against a paper maker and stayed briefing pending resolution of whether delayed discovery applies in California unfair competition law (UCL) Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 cases, according to the docket (The People of the State of California v. E*Poly Star Inc., et al., No. S203477, Calif. Sup.).
HAMMOND, Ind. - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBS) cannot compel a nonparty hospital to produce documents in an antitrust action brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Michigan seeking to enjoin BCBS from including "most favored nation" (MFN) clauses in its contracts with hospitals in Michigan, a federal judge in Indiana ruled Aug. 15 (United States of America and the State of Michigan v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, No. 2:12-mc-00039, N.D. Ind.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115023).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California unfair competition law (UCL) action against nursing homes over staffing claims merely asks the court to decide whether misrepresentations exist; it would not force courts to regulate the health care industry, the First District California Court of Appeal held Aug. 15 (Cameron Shuts, et al. v. Covenant Holdco LLC, et al., No. A132805, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota federal judge has dismissed a putative consumer fraud class action alleging that defective home plumbing leached lead into drinking water, saying Aug. 14 that although the company had engaged in a "bait and switch" regarding pipe it submitted for testing, the plaintiffs did not offer any evidence that defective pipe was installed in their home (Steven and Cecilia Thunander, et al. v. Uponor, Inc., et al., No. 11-2322 $(SRN/SER$), D. Minn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113939).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 10 affirmed the denial of attorney fees to class counsel who were successful in achieving a $49 million antitrust settlement between law students and providers of preparation courses for state bar examinations because the class counsel's entering into incentive agreements with the class representatives created conflicting interests between the class representatives and the rest of the class (Ryan Rodriguez, et al. v. Sandra Disner, et al., Nos. 10-55309, 10-55342, 10-56730, 10-56700, 10-56703, 10-56724, 10-56737, 10-56803, 10-57037, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 16698).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 8 denied interlocutory appeal of a federal district court's denial of class certification of premium cable subscribers who claim that Cox Enterprises Inc. unlawfully tied access to its premium services with mandatory rentals of its cable boxes (Bradley Gelder, et al. v. CoxCom Inc., et al., No. 12-706, 10th Circ.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 16536).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal magistrate judge in California on Aug. 7 awarded $67,384.64 in sanctions against former college athletes for failing to take reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue discovery burdens on three nonparties in the athletes' lawsuit accusing video game manufacturer Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) of conspiring with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Collegiate Licensing Co. (CLC) to use the former athletes' names and likenesses in products without compensation in violation of the Sherman Act (In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, No. 09-cv-01967, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110824).
RICHMOND, Va. - A putative synthetic marijuana product marketed as "Newprot" infringes on the manufacturer of Newport brand menthol cigarettes, a Virginia federal judge said Aug. 7 in an opinion that awarded the tobacco company attorney fees (Lorillard Tobacco Company, et al. v. California Imports, LLC, et al., No. 3:10cv817-JAG, E.D. Va., Richmond Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110871)