Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California DA Seeks Relief From Stay In GM Bankruptcy To Oppose Suit's Removal

    NEW YORK - Orange County, Calif., District Attorney Tony Rackauckas asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on Aug. 19 for limited relief from the automatic stay in the General Motors Corp. bankruptcy proceedings to allow him to seek remand of his California suit against the automaker to state court (In re: Chapter 11 Motors Liquidation Co., et al., f/k/a General Motors Corp., et al., No. 09-50026, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit: Barnes & Noble Site's Terms Of Use Not Binding Without Clear Assent

    PASADENA, Calif. - A website hyperlink containing the Terms of Use (TOU) of Barnes & Noble Inc. (BN) did not sufficiently put a customer on notice of those terms, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 18, affirming a trial court's finding that the customer was not, therefore, bound by the TOU's arbitration clause and could proceed with his putative deceptive business practices class action against the retailer (Kevin Khoa Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble Inc., No. 12-56628, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15868).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Support Firm Exceeded Scope Of Oracle's License Via Many Downloads, Judge Finds

    LAS VEGAS - A software support services firm exceeded the scope of its developer license agreement with Oracle USA Inc. by downloading multiple copies of Oracle's database software when it was only licensed to download a single copy for application purposes, a Nevada federal judge ruled Aug. 13, granting Oracle's motion for partial summary judgment on copyright infringement (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., No. 2:10-cv-00106, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112591).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Third-Party Payers' Depakote Off-Label RICO Case Dismissed With Prejudice

    CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 14 reconsidered her earlier decision and agreed with Abbott Laboratories Inc. and AbbVie Inc. that state law claims by three third-party payers (TPPs) related to the off-label marketing of the epilepsy drug Depakote should be dismissed with prejudice (Sidney Hillman Health Center of Rochester, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, et al., No. 13-5865, N.D. Ill., E. Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112634).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Price-Fixing Class Action Claims Against DIPF Sellers Will Continue

    TRENTON, N.J. - Direct purchasers of ductile iron pipe fittings (DIPF) have adequately pleaded facts suggesting that sellers of DIPF engaged in a price-fixing conspiracy, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Aug. 13 in denying the sellers' motions to dismiss (In re Ductile Iron Pipe Fittings [DIPF] Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation, No. 12-711, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111988).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 11th Circuit Affirms Denial Of Class Certification In Pharmaceutical Tying Case

    ATLANTA - A Florida hospital is an indirect purchaser and lacks standing to recover damages on claims that Astellas US LLC is forcing health care providers to buy its adenosine drug at a 450 percent markup compared to competitors' versions of the same drug by unlawfully tying the implied license to perform its patented cardiac test to the purchase of its unpatented drug for use during that test, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Aug. 15 in ruling that the hospital would not be an adequate representative for a damages class (Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Inc. v. Astellas US, LLC, et al., No. 13-12709, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15669).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Surgeon's Antitrust Claims Following Revocation Of Privileges Are Dismissed

    CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Aug. 12 ruled that a surgeon whose staff and clinical privileges were revoked failed to allege antitrust injury because she maintained such privileges at other hospitals but that the surgeon could continue with her hostile work environment claims (Yelena Levitin, et al. v. Northwest Community Hospital, et al., No. 13-5553, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110830).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses Claims That Google Unlawfully Discloses User Info To App Sellers

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - Absent any economic injury, a California woman cannot pursue class claims under the state's unfair competition law (UCL) alleging that Google Inc. unlawfully discloses users' personal information to third-party developers of mobile applications when users purchase apps in the Google Play store using Google Wallet, a federal judge held Aug. 12 (Alice Svenson v. Google Inc. and Google Payment Corporation, No. 13-04080, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111810).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Class Action Alleges Hyundai Concealed Stalling Defect In Santa Fe Vehicles

    SAN FRANCISCO - Two California residents on Aug. 8 filed class action claims in a federal court alleging that Hyundai Motor Co. violated federal and state laws, including the unfair competition law (UCL), by intentionally concealing a hazardous stalling defect in Santa Fe vehicles and by making false and misleading statements in a recent voluntary "Service Campaign" intended to address the defect (Julia Reniger and Greg Battaglia v. Hyundai Motor America and Hyundai Motor Company, No. 14-03612, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - UCL Food-Labeling Claims Must Await FDA Ruling, Federal Judge Rules

    SAN DIEGO - Another class action lawsuit alleging that a food company violates California's unfair competition law (UCL) by misbranding sugar in its products as "evaporated cane juice" must await a final ruling by the Food and Drug Administration on the common name for sweeteners derived from sugar cane syrup after a federal judge dismissed the action on Aug. 11 based on the primary jurisdiction doctrine (Nadine Saubers, et al. v. Kashi Company, No. 13-899, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110954).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Antitrust Suit Against MLB, NHL, Distributors Over Showing Of Games Continues

    NEW YORK - Consolidated putative antitrust class actions related to live-game video offerings against Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Hockey League (NHL) and their member clubs and against multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) Comcast and DirecTV and their affiliated regional sports networks (RSNs) that televise the games will continue, a federal judge in New York ruled Aug. 8 in denying the defendants' motions for summary judgment (Thomas Laumann, et al. v. National Hockey League, et al., No. 12-cv-1817; Marc Lerner, et al. v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, et al., No. 12-cv-3704, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109951).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - UCL Class Allegations Against EBay, PayPal Survive Motion To Dismiss

    OAKLAND, Calif. - Some class action allegations against eBay Inc. and PayPal Inc. under California's unfair competition law (UCL) fail because they are based on contract terms that users agree to, but allegations based on unfair exercise of discretion by eBay and arbitrary monetary holds by PayPal state claims sufficiently enough to survive a motion to dismiss, a federal judge held Aug. 11 (Maggie Campbell v. eBay, Inc., and PayPal, Inc., No. 13-2632, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110806).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Google Sanctioned For Minimal Discovery Production In AdWords Class Action

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - Google Inc. did not fully comply with a discovery order by producing only information it believed was relevant to a particular category of data, a California federal magistrate judge ruled Aug. 8, granting in part a motion for sanctions by the lead plaintiff in a putative class action alleging fraud in the Internet giant's AdWords program (Rick Woods, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 5:11-cv-01263, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Appeals Court: Noncompete Agreement Suit Not Aimed At Protected Activity

    SANTA ANA, Calif. - Two companies' cross-claims under California's unfair competition law (UCL) that a rival company used illegal noncompete agreements with its employees to unlawfully compete with its competitors are not barred by the state's law banning strategic lawsuits against public participation (anti-SLAPP statute) because the claims are based on the rival's business practices and not its litigation conduct, a state appellate panel held Aug. 8 in affirming a trial court's ruling (Pathology, Inc. v. Aviir, Inc., et al., No. G048824, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5621).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - MDL Judge Grants Drugmaker Judgment On Claims That It Marketed Celexa Unlawfully

    BOSTON - The Massachusetts federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation involving the antidepressant drug brands Celexa and Lexapro on Aug. 8 granted summary judgment to the manufacturer of Celexa on a California man's claims that the company violated that state's unfair competition law (UCL) by misrepresenting that the drug was safe and effective for minor children (In re: Celexa and Lexapro marketing and sales practices litigation, MDL No. 09-2067; [Scott A. Wilcox v. Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Forest Laboratories, Inc., No. 10-10154, D. Mass.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109667]).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Imposes Injunction Against NCAA In Student Compensation Antitrust Case

    OAKLAND, Calif. - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules barring student athletes from receiving a share of the revenue that the NCAA and its member schools earn from the sale of licenses to use the student athletes' names, images and likenesses in video games, live game telecasts and other footage violate federal antitrust law, a federal judge in California ruled Aug. 8 (Edward O'Bannon, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., No. C 09-3329, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110036).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Chat Site Operator Denied Subpoena Request For UCL Claims Against Spammers

    SAN FRANCISCO - A company that operates a Web platform for chatting online cannot conduct early discovery to identify domain name owners accused of spamming the website in violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) because the company did not first make a sufficient effort to identify the spammers "through reasonably available mechanisms," a federal magistrate judge ruled Aug. 7 (Skout, Inc. v. Jen Processing, Ltd., et al., No. 14-2341, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109332).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Rejects Apple's, Google's $324M Settlements In Employees' Conspiracy Suit

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Aug. 8 rejected $324.5 million partial class action settlements between employees and Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. on the employees' claims that the high-tech companies conspired to fix and suppress employee compensation and to restrict employee mobility by entering into agreements not to compete for one another's employees in violation of federal antitrust law (In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-2509, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110064).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Deals Final Blow To Homeowners' UCL Claims Against Lender

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 6 dismissed for the second time two homeowners' claims under the state's unfair competition law (UCL) that their mortgage lender's unfair business practices caused them to default on their loan after finding that the homeowners again failed to allege that they suffered any economic injury (Scott Paulhus and Lynette Paulhus v. Fay Servicing, LLC, et al., No. 14-736, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108635).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 'Fishing Expedition' For UCL Claim Not Allowed, Magistrate Judge Rules

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A man alleging that an insurance company violated California motor vehicle laws by not changing the title to a salvaged auto so it can be inspected and driven cannot use discovery to determine if a claim under the state unfair competition law (UCL) will allow him to meet the amount-in-controversy requirement for diversity jurisdiction, a federal magistrate judge held Aug. 5 in dismissing the man's lawsuit (Manuel Quiroz, Jr. v. Praetorian Insurance Company, et al., No. 14-1652, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108389).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Standing Lacking For UCL Claim In Foreclosure Dispute, 9th Circuit Affirms

    PASADENA, Calif. - Homeowners' wrongful foreclosure claims against mortgage lenders, including a claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL), alleging that the assignment of their home loan obligation to a securitized investment trust was void because it did not comply with the pooling and servicing agreement (PSA) governing the trust fail because the allegation is not plausible, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 6 (Paul Junod and Patricia Junod v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., et al., No. 12-55712, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15142).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - GM Removes Orange County Suit To Federal Court, Cites Pending Actions In New York

    SAN DIEGO - General Motors LLC (GM) on Aug. 5 removed to federal court a suit filed by Orange County, Calif., alleging that the automaker concealed defects in its vehicles to avoid recalls (The People of the State of California, et al. v. General Motors LLC, No. 8:14-cv-01238-AG [RNBx] S.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Class Action Seeks Damages For Owners Of Recalled Jeep SUVs

    LOS ANGELES - A California woman filed a class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on July 28, seeking to represent owners of the more than 792,000 Jeep vehicles that are part of a recall announced by Chrysler Group LLC on July 22 to address ignition-switch defects (Latoya Lumpkin, et al. v. Chrysler Group LLC, No. 14-01555, C.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Quaker Oats To Remove Trans Fat Ingredients Under UCL Settlement

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Quaker Oats Co. will remove trans fat ingredients from dozens of oatmeal and snack bar products for at least 10 years under a settlement of class action unfair competition law (UCL) claims approved July 29 by a California federal judge (In Re Quaker Oats Labeling Litigation, No. 10-00502, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Pennsylvania Federal Judge Will Bar Evidence Of Litigation Uncertainty

    PHILADELPHIA - The Federal Trade Commission on July 29 prevailed on a motion to preclude a pharmaceutical company from presenting evidence of "litigation uncertainty" surrounding its prescription drug patent at an upcoming reverse payments antitrust trial (Federal Trade Commission v. Cephalon Inc., No. 08-2141, E.D. Pa.).