9th Circuit: No Cause Of Action In ACPA For Contributory Cybersquatting

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly held that the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) does not provide a cause of action for contributory cybersquatting, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Dec. 4 (Petronas Nasional Berhad v. GoDaddy.com Inc., No. 12-15584, 9th Cir.).

An Insurer Has A Duty To Settle Without A Formal Settlement Demand, Judge Finds

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Nov. 27 concluded that "under California law, the duty of an insurer to effectuate settlement requires more than merely doing nothing while awaiting a formal written settlement demand," leading the judge to mostly deny a primary insurer's motion for summary judgment on an excess insurer's bad faith claims against it (Travelers Indemnity of Connecticut, et al. v. Arch Specialty Insurance Co., No. 2:11-cv-01601, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169453).

California Federal Judge Rejects Attorney Fees As Basis For Competition Law Injury

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A couple may not rely on attorney fees incurred in pursuing a California unfair competition law (UCL) action alleging wrongful foreclosure to satisfy the injury standard, a federal judge held in an opinion posted Nov. 27 (Josue Rios and Yolanda Rios v. Bank of America d/b/a Countrywide Home Loans Inc., et al., No. 12-2439, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169486).

Federal Judge Finds Competition Law Lending Allegations Lacking

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A homeowner lacks sufficient allegations of injury or reliance to sustain his California unfair competition law (UCL) claim against his lender, a federal judge held in an opinion posted Nov. 27 (David Sears v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 13-1664, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169507).

Breach, Bad Faith Claims Based On Mislabeled Notice Survive Summary Judgment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - An insurer's mislabeling of a nonrenewal notice for a renters insurance policy as a homeowners policy creates a material fact dispute, a California federal judge ruled Nov. 27, leading him to deny the insurer's motion for summary judgment on breach of contract and bad faith claims against it (Edward Miller, et al. v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 2:13-cv-00581, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169485).

Federal Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Patent Case Under First-To-File Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge properly dismissed a declaratory judgment patent action, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 3 in a dispute over software patents (Huawei Device USA Inc. v. Acacia Research Corp., Access Co. Ltd. and SmartPhone Technologies LLC, No. 13-1090, Fed. Cir.).

Judge: Attorney Fees Constitute Injury; Standing For Injunctive Relief Lacking

SAN FRANCISCO - Attorney fees incurred in defending against unenforceable noncompete agreements constitute a California unfair competition law (UCL) injury but do not provide Article III standing for injunctive relief, a federal judge held Dec. 2 in granting an employer's motion for reconsideration (Imtiaz Khan, et al. v. K3 Pure Solutions LP, et al., No. 12-5526, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169855).

Judge Again Finds IPhone Owners Lack Standing To Bring Antitrust Claims

OAKLAND, Calif. - For the second time, a California federal judge on Dec. 2 dismissed a putative antitrust class action against Apple Inc., finding that the plaintiff consumers failed to establish standing as direct purchasers to assert antitrust violations related to Apple's sale of iPhone applications (apps) (In re Apple iPhone Antitrust Litigation, No.4:11-cv-06714, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169836).

Judge Dismisses Privacy, Unfair Competition Class Action Over IPhone Apps

SAN JOSE, Calif. - The named plaintiffs in a putative class action against Apple Inc. failed to establish their standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution or two California statutes, a California federal judge found Nov. 25, disposing of their claims related to Apple's purported collection of users' personal data via applications (apps) for its iPhones and other "iDevices" (In Re iPhone Application Litigation, No. 5:11-md-02250, N.D. Calif.).

Consumer Class Action Filed Against 23andMe For Genetic Test Kit Refunds

SAN DIEGO - A California resident on Nov. 27 filed a national class action lawsuit seeking refunds for what it says is a misleadingly advertised and unapproved at-home genetic testing kit called 23andMe (Lisa Casey, et al. v. 23andMe, INC., et al., No. 13-2847, S.D. Calif.).

California Appeals Panel Upholds Verdict For Man's Automobile Accident Injuries

LOS ANGELES - The Second District California Court of Appeal on Nov. 22 affirmed a $14,352 verdict in an auto accident injury action, concluding that the plaintiff failed to provide the panel with a full record of the trial court proceedings (Gabriel L. Roman v. Janice Smithwick, No. B240736, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8477).

2nd Circuit Upholds Willful Copyright Infringement Verdict

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge did not err in holding two defendants liable for willful copyright infringement or in awarding a prevailing plaintiff $40,000 in damages, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 26 (L.A. Printex Industries Inc. v. Pretty Girl of California Inc. et al., No. 12-3344, 2nd Cir.).

California Jury Awards Meso Sufferer $730,000; Plant Insulation 5 Percent Liable

SAN FRANCISCO - A California judge on Nov. 21 entered a $12,125 judgment against RPI Co. in an asbestos action after a jury on Nov. 14 awarded a mesothelioma sufferer $730,000 and found the company 5 percent liable (Charles Aikins v. Plant Insulation Co., No. 276115, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).

California Appeals Panel Upholds $5M Settlement In Medical Malpractice Case

FRESNO, Calif. - The Fifth District California Court of Appeal on Nov. 20 affirmed a $5 million medical malpractice settlement, finding the percentage to be paid by two defendants to be appropriate (Courtney Franklin v. Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, et al., No. F065620, Calif. App., 5th Dist.; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8443).

California Federal Judge Dismisses Insurer's Coverage Action Against Flintkote

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 21 dismissed an insurer's declaratory judgment action filed against Chapter 11 debtor The Flintkote Co. to determine insurance coverage rights and obligations because the same issues were recently decided in Delaware federal court (Aviva PLC v. The Flintkote Company, No. 13-0711, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165907).

Bed, Bath & Beyond To Pay $415,000 To Settle Managers' Expenses Claims

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 21 granted preliminary approval of a $415,000 settlement in a class complaint seeking reimbursement for managers employed by a chain of home goods stores who were not reimbursed when they used their personal vehicles for business purposes (Sean Boring, et al. v. Bed Bath & Beyond of California Limited Liability Company, No. 12-5259, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165909).

9th Circuit: Doctrine Of Tacking Properly Applied In Trademark Case

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge did not err in upholding a jury's finding that a defendant is entitled to priority as the first to use the "Hana" trademark, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 22 (Hana Financial Inc. v. Hana Bank, No. 11-56678, 9th Cir.).

9th Circuit: $25 Payment Not Linked To Any Unlawful Conduct

SAN FRANCISCO - A man's payment came in response to a letter explaining the debt, breaking the causal connection to any unlawful conduct based on an allegedly deficient demand for payment, a Ninth Circuit panel held Nov. 22 in affirming dismissal of California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (Roderick Wright, et al. v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., No. 12-55319, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23558).

California Employee Group: Eligibility Review Needed In San Bernardino Bankruptcy

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) on Nov. 21 filed a statement of issues on appeal in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, challenging the Bankruptcy Court's interpretation of the Bankruptcy Code relating to the city's eligibility to file Chapter 9 bankruptcy (In Re: City of San Bernardino, Calif., No. 12-28006, Chapter 9, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

Federal Circuit Vacates Enhanced Damages In Patent Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although a California federal judge properly entered judgment that a tobacco pipe patent is valid and infringed, he erred in finding that two defendants' infringement of the patent was willful, according to a Nov. 21 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Jake Lee v. Mike's Novelties Inc., d/b/a Mike's Worldwide Imports, et al., No. 13-1049, Fed. Cir.).

California Federal Jury Awards $290 Million In Apple, Samsung Retrial

SAN FRANCISCO - In its third day of deliberations, a California federal jury on Nov. 21 awarded Apple Inc. damages of $290,456,793 for Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s infringement of several smart phone patents (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., No. 11-1846, N.D. Calif.).

9th Circuit: Prius Gas Tank Suit Lacking, Competition Law Standing Questionable

SAN FRANCISCO - Two Pennsylvania residents likely lack standing to pursue their California unfair competition law (UCL) action over an automobile manufacturer's choice of gas tank material but also fail to state a claim under the statute, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Nov. 20 (Henry Troup; Veronica Troup v. Toyota Motor Corp., Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., No. 11-56637, 9th Cir.).

Samsung Seeks Emergency Stay Of Deliberations In Patent Dispute With Apple

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 20 was asked to halt jury deliberations in the damages retrial between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., after Samsung filed an emergency motion to stay the case (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al., No. 11-1846, N.D. Calif.).

Judgment Grants Veterans Of U.S. Weapons Testing Notices Of Risk, Medical Care

OAKLAND, Calif. - Final judgment was entered Nov. 19 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in the certified class action pursued on behalf of some 100,000 veterans exposed to biological and chemical agents during experiments conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense, Army and CIA since World War I; the Army has an ongoing duty to provide information about the risks of exposure to the agents, and the veterans may seek medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to the presiding judge (Vietnam Veterans of America, et al. v. Central Intelligence Agency, et al., No. 09-37, N.D. Calif.).

Judge Denies Final Approval Of $25.3M Hydroxycut Pact On Cy Pres Concerns

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Nov. 19 denied final approval of a $25.3 million Hydroxycut weight loss supplement settlement, saying the proposed cy pres distribution did not meet the standards of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In Re: Hydroxycut Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, No. 3:09-md-2087, Andrew Dremak, et al. v. Iovate Health Sciences Group, Inc., et al., No. 3:09-1088, S.D. Calif.).