SAN JOSE, Calif. - A consumer's California unfair competition law (UCL) claims largely involve puffery surrounding power claims and insufficiently plead knowledge of the alleged defects, a federal judge held June 20 (David Elias, et al. v. Hewlett-Packard Co., No. 12-421, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87748).
SAN FRANCISCO - A man may proceed under the unlawful and fraudulent prongs of his California unfair competition law (UCL) claim against an aggregator accused of cramming consumers with unsolicited text-message update services, a federal judge held June 21 (Edward Fields, et al. v. Wise Media LLC, et al., No. 12-5160, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87671).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 vacated the judgment of the Third Circuit in antitrust litigation involving the drug K-Dur and remanded for further consideration in light of its recent ruling in Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., et al., in which it held that reverse-payment settlements of patent litigation between the holder of a drug patent and potential generic manufacturers of the drug should be analyzed under the rule of reason (Merck & Co., Inc. v. Louisiana Wholesale Drug Co., et al., No. 12-245, U.S. Sup.; Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. v. Louisiana Wholesale Drug Co., et al., No. 12-265, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 denied Polypore International Inc.'s petition seeking review of an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision upholding a Federal Trade Commission ruling that Polypore's acquisition of Microporous Products would substantially lessen competition in three relevant North American markets for battery separators and that a complete divestiture, including a plant in Austria, was required to restore competition in those markets (Polypore International, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 12-1016, U.S. Sup.).
BOSTON - A recycling company sufficiently alleged that polystyrene food service packaging manufacturers and trade associations refused in concert to deal with the company in its recycling business method in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 19, finding that the trial court misapplied the plausibility requirement at the pleading stage (Evergreen Partnering Group, Inc. v. Pactiv Corporation, et al., No. 12-1730, 1st Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 12505).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - California unfair competition law (UCL) claims challenging trans fat and other health claim labeling involve permissible state regulations based on federal law and largely escape preemption, a federal judge held June 18 (Sarah Samet and Jay Peters, et al. v. Procter & Gamble Co., Kellogg Co. and Kellogg Sales Co., No. 12-1891, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86432).
DALLAS - Plaintiffs alleging that online travel companies and hotels conspired to fix the prices of hotel rooms must arbitrate their federal antitrust claims against Travelocity, based on the arbitration clause and its class waiver provision in the company's user agreement, a federal judge in Texas ruled June 14 (In re: Online Travel Company $(OTC$) Hotel Booking Antitrust Litigation, No. 3:12-cv-3515-B, N.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84842).
BOSTON - A company that sells aviation fuel at an airport failed to demonstrate that a competitor conspired with the airport authority to interfere with its business in violation of federal antitrust law, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed June 17 (Diaz Aviation Corporation, et al. v. Airport Aviation Services, Inc., et al., No. 12-1859, 1st Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 12069).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 17 denied review of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that antitrust laws do not preempt and a cigarette tax collection agreement between a Native American tribe and the State of Washington does not waive the tribe's sovereign immunity (Daniel T. Miller, et al. v. Chad Wright, et al., No. 12-1237, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 17 denied an electronic data interchange (EDI) provider's petition seeking review of an unpublished Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that dismissed its allegations that its competitor engaged in anti-competitive conduct in violation of the Sherman Act (Loren Data Corp. v. GXS, Inc., No. 12-1273, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 14 granted final approval to a $150 million cash settlement between Flonase manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) and a certified class of 33 direct purchasers on the direct purchasers' claims that GSK filed a series of sham citizen petitions with the Food and Drug Administration to delay the entry of a generic version of Flonase into the market in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act (In re Flonase Antitrust Litigation $(Direct Purchaser Actions$), No. 08-3149, E.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83976).
SAN FRANCISCO - Four companies flout the state's ban on magazines containing more than 10 rounds of ammunition by disguising them as "repair kits," San Francisco City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera alleges in a California unfair competition law (UCL) action filed June 10 (People of the State of California, ex rel. San Francisco City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera v. 44Mag Distributing LLC, d/b/a 44MAG.com, et al., No. 531982, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
ATLANTA - Some plaintiffs have pleaded common-law fraud and statutory consumer claims sufficient to defeat dismissal of their claims over alleged Mercedes Benz fuel line leaks, the Georgia federal judge overseeing a putative class action said June 7 (Ronan McCabe, et al. v. Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz USA LLC, No. 1:12-cv-2494-TCB, N.D. Ga., Atlanta Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80161).
NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge in Louisiana who is overseeing the pool products distribution market antitrust multidistrict litigation ruled June 5 that the Federal Trade Commission may intervene for the purpose of precluding the parties from seeking documents that would reveal the identities of confidential informants during the agency's earlier investigation (In re: Pool Products Distribution Market Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2328, No. 2:12-md-02328, E.D. La.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79077).
ALBANY, Ga. - A federal judge in Georgia on June 5 approved the terms of a preliminary injunction agreed to by the Federal Trade Commission and Putney Health System Inc., enjoining the further integration of Georgia hospitals (Federal Trade Commission, et al. v. Phoebe Putney Health System Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-58, M.D. Ga.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68658).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A federal judge in Minnesota on June 4 ruled that Wells Fargo Bank N.A. is not entitled to summary judgment on claims that it breached its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by investing the assets of ERISA plans in risky securities as part of its securities lending program (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 11-2529, D. Minn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78018).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - An errors and omissions insurance provision was secondary to the agreement between a real estate and broker and thus not unlawfully sold, a California appeals court held June 3 in affirming dismissal of California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (Marshall S. Griffith v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Co., No. G047506, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A produce company on June 4 both stipulated to dismissal of its California unfair competition law (UCL) claims against the joint owner of a tote bag concept and notified the court of its intent to appeal, after a federal judge said only common-law claims for "passing off" could proceed to trial (Gerawan Farming Inc. v. Rehrig Pacific Co., No. 11-01273, E.D. Calif.).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 31 declined to review the Federal Trade Commission's ruling that dentists in North Carolina, through the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners, are conspiring to exclude non-dentists from providing teeth-whitening services in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (The North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 12-1172, 4th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 11006).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal judge in California on May 30 granted final approval to a $27 million settlement of purchasers' claims that a manufacturer of interactive video game software violated antitrust law by entering into exclusive trademark licenses with U.S. football associations (Geoffrey Pecover, et al. v. Electronic Arts Inc., No. 08-cv-02820, N.D. Calif.).
BOSTON - A landslide caused by torrential rain was an excluded peril and not compensable, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 31 ruled against the claims of a company whose self-storage warehouse suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages (Stor/Gard, Inc. v. Strathmore Insurance Company, No. 12-1650, 1st Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 11015).
NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York overseeing the multidistrict litigation against Apple Inc. on claims that the company conspired with several publishers to fix prices of electronic books approved the dismissal of several state-law claims on May 29, just days before the June 3 trial date (In re: Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 11 MD 2293, S.D. N.Y.; State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group $(USA$) Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 3394, S.D. N.Y.).
SALT LAKE CITY - Saying that a cookie company asserting trademark infringement and unfair competition failed to show Utah jurisdiction over the New Jersey-based defendant, a federal judge on May 29 dismissed the claims (Caspers Ice Cream Inc. v. The Fatboy Cookie Company Inc., No. 1:12-CV-133, D. Utah, Central Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76058).
SHERMAN, Texas - Amway, the world's largest multilevel marketing (MLM) company, lost its bid for a new trial alleging unfair business practices and tortious interference in the marketing of "energy drinks" when a Texas federal magistrate judge on May 29 refused to set aside a jury's unanimous verdict for the defense (Amway Corp., et al. v. bHIP Global Inc., et al., No. 4:10-CV-549, E.D. Texas, Sherman Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75393).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Saying that Tennessee does not recognize a common-law cause of action against an insurer for bad faith, a federal judge there dismissed an insured's counterclaims for coverage of a leaky hotel roof on May 29 (Westfield Insurance Company v. RLP Partners LLC, et al., No. 3:13-cv-106, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75673).