CONCORD, N.H. - Tort claims based on misappropriation of technical and customer information related to an emergency breathing apparatus are preempted under the New Hampshire Uniform Trade Secrets Act (NHUTSA), a New Hampshire federal judge said May 7, while claims stemming from commercial disparagement are not (Wilcox Industries Corp. v. Mark Hansen, Advanced Life Support Technologies Inc., Case No. 11-cv-551-PB, D. N.H.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63668).
BOSTON - A consumer's allegations that U-Haul International Inc. violated Massachusetts baby Federal Trade Commission Act by inviting its competitors to match prices and by increasing its prices incident to those invitations made the claim plausible, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 4 in vacating the trial court's dismissal for failure to state a claim (Marcia Mei-Lee Liu v. Amerco, et al., No. 11-2053, 1st Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 9172).
RICHMOND, Va. - A jury award for infringement of trade dress in the marketing of cookware, including treble damages of $1.2 million, was affirmed May 8 by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals based on the losing party's failure to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence post-verdict under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50(b) (Belk Incorporated v. Meyer Corporation, No. 10-1664, 4th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 9319).
SAN FRANCISCO - A man's claim that he was enrolled in a privacy protection plan without his consent and that the resulting fees caused him to overdraft from his bank account give him standing to pursue his Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), California Civil Code Section 1750, et seq., and California unfair competition law (UCL) claims, a federal judge held May 4 (Steven M. Chavez v. Bank of America Corp., et al., No. 10-0653, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62935).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A plaintiff asserting trademark infringement stemming from the cancellation of a restaurant franchise agreement has asserted no claims that justify federal jurisdiction, a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico said May 3 in remanding the claims (Franquicias Nativas Inc. et. al. v. Cleridel Corporation, No. 11-1934 (MEL); 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62287).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on April 30 granted final approval to a $49.5 million class action settlement with American Express on claims that American Express violated antitrust laws by conspiring with credit-card-issuing banks to fix foreign currency conversion fees; however, claims that it conspired to impose arbitration clauses in cardholder agreements continue (In re Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation (Robert Ross, et al. v. American Express Company, et al.), MDL No. 1409, 04 Civ. 5723, S.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full update.
NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York overseeing the electronic books antitrust multidistrict litigation on May 1stayed the actions against Hachette Book Group Inc. and Hachette Digital Inc. (collectively, Hachette) and HarperCollins Publishers, following the publishers' tentative settlement with 15 states and Puerto Rico (In re: Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation $(All Actions$), No. 11-md-02293, S.D. N.Y.; United States of America v. Apple Inc., et al., No. 12-md-02826, S.D. N.Y.; State of Texas et al. v. Penguin Group $(USA$) Inc., et al., No. 1:12-cv-03394, S.D. N.Y.) Subscribers may view the stay order available within the full update.
SAN FRANCISCO - Nothing in California's Tort Claims Act (CTCA) required a man seeking injunctive relief under the unfair competition law (UCL) claims for alleged discrimination to first present his claims to the defendants, a federal judge held April 30 (Walter Jefferson v. City of Fremont, et al., No. 12-0926, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60141).
CINCINNATI - The Local Government Antitrust Act of 1984 (LGAA) bars a day care center's antitrust claim against local government officials, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed April 27, concluding that county officials were acting within the scope of their official capacity while negotiating funding contracts (Wee Care Child Center, Inc., et al. v. Douglas E. Lumpkin, et al., No. 10-4160, 6th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8567).
BALTIMORE - Summary judgment of $1 million in favor of the owners of water-damaged condominiums in Port Deposit, Md., was not appropriate, Maryland's Court of Appeals said April 30, because a dispute existed as to whether the information provided by the property manager and the condominium association was misleading (MRA Property Management, Inc., et al. v. Susan Armstrong, et al., No. 93, September Term, 2007, Md. App.; 2012 Md. LEXIS 257).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 30 allowed plaintiffs in a vitamin class action to conduct discovery into defendant Bayer Corp.'s profits and expenses to possibly determine "restitutionary disgorgement" of profits (David Johns, et al. v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 3:09-cv-1935, S.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60121).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge cannot enjoin a California unfair competition law (UCL) class action involving advertising of stainless steel drums in dryers under the All Writs Act, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held May 1 (Steven J. Thorogood, et al. v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., Nos. 10-2407, 11-2133, 7th Cir.).
SAN DIEGO - California false advertising law (FAL) claims seeking restitution from Apple Inc. for a software update that allegedly rendered past versions of iPhones unusable may continue, a federal judge held April 25 (Bianca Wofford and Suzann Lennox, et al. v. Apple Inc., and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, No. 11-0034, S.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58006).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 27 denied a petition for permission to appeal a district court's order decertifying a class of iPhone purchasers in their antitrust claims against Apple Inc. and AT&T Mobility Inc. (ATTM) and granting motions to compel arbitration filed by Apple and AT&T (Paul Holman, et al. v. Apple, Inc., et al., No. 12-80012, 9th Cir.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full update.
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on April 25 ruled that pharmacies and pharmacy trade groups challenging the consummated $29 billion merger of pharmaceutical benefit management companies Express Scripts Inc. (ESI) and Medco Health Solutions Inc. were not entitled to a preliminary injunction because they failed to establish the likelihood of immediate, irreparable harm that could be alleviated by the issuance of a preliminary injunction (National Association of Chain Drug Stores, et al. v. Express Scripts, Inc., et al., No. 2:12-cv-00395-CB, W.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57884).
PHILADELPHIA - Indirect purchasers' Sherman Act conspiracy claims against several egg producers were dismissed without prejudice because the purchasers' allegations did not directly connect the producers to a price-fixing conspiracy, but federal conspiracy claims against other producers and state antitrust, consumer protection and unjust enrichment claims can continue, the federal judge in Pennsylvania who is overseeing the multidistrict litigation ruled April 24 (In re: Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation (All Indirect Purchaser Plaintiff Actions), MDL No. 2002, No. 08-md-02002, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57846).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The judge supervising multidistrict litigation over automatic temperature compensation (ATC) in motor fuel sales has approved a settlement whereby Costco Wholesale Corp. agrees to install ATC on fuel pumps in states where it buys temperature-adjusted fuel (In re Motor Fuel Temperature Sales Practices Litigation, MDL No. 1840, No. 2:07-md-1840 KHV, D. Kansas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56927).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 24 remanded a class complaint accusing a pharmacy chain of selling a product marketed as honey in its California stores that failed to meet the state's requirements to be sold as honey (Meryl Overton v. CVS Caremark Corporation, et al., No. 12-121, C.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57537).
ATLANTA - Reverse payment settlements between the holder of a drug patent and generic manufacturers of the drug did not constitute an unfair restraint on trade in violation of Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act 15 U.S.C.S. §45, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 25 in affirming the dismissal of the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust lawsuit (Federal Trade Commission v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 10-12729, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8377).
LOS ANGELES - Most intellectual property and unfair competition claims were dismissed April 24 in California federal court in a family feud involving the developer of a popular line of folding bicycles and his wife and son (Dahon North America, Inc. v. Joshua Hon, et al., No. 2:11-cv-05835, C.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57510).
OAKLAND, Calif. - PNY Technologies Inc. failed to sufficiently allege that SanDisk Corp. misused the market power inherent in its patent portfolio in the flash memory technology upstream market to demand multitiered licensing and royalties in the downstream markets, a federal judge in California ruled April 20 in dismissing PNY's antitrust complaint (PNY Technologies, Inc. v. SanDisk Corporation, No. C-11-04689, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55965).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Employees of seven high-tech companies with principal places of business in the San Francisco-Silicon Valley may continue with their allegations that the defendants, including Apple Inc., conspired to fix and suppress employee compensation and to restrict employee mobility by entering into identical bilateral "Do Not Cold Call" agreements, a federal judge in California ruled April 18 (In re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-CV-02509-LHK, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55302).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal district court judge properly granted summary judgment to a hospital, its director of radiology and two radiologist physician groups on a radiologist's claims that an exclusive contract between the hospital and a physician group violated state and federal antitrust laws, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed April 17 in an unpublished opinion (George G. Bocobo, M.D., v. Radiology Consultants of South Jersey, P.A., et al., No. 07-3142, 3rd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 7642).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 16 agreed to rehear en banc its ruling that hedge funds that purchased promissory notes from CompuCredit Holdings Corp. did not violate federal antitrust law by making a collective demand on CompuCredit to pay above-market prices to redeem its notes early (CompuCredit Holdings Corporation v. Akanthos Capital Management, LLC, et al., No. 11-13254, 11th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - Approximately 2 million nonbasic cable television customers in the Philadelphia market may proceed to trial against Comcast on the class's Sherman Act Section 1 rule-of-reason claim and certain of its Section 2 monopolization and attempted monopolization claims related to the company's swap agreements, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled April 12 (Caroline Behrend, et al. v. Comcast Corporation, et al., No. 03-6604, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51889).