Blog Criticisms Are Fair Use, North Carolina Federal Judge Rules In Copyright Case

    RALEIGH, N.C. - The use of copyrighted images on two blogs established primarily to criticize a private psychiatric hospital is not actionable because the use is fair, a North Carolina federal judge ruled March 14 (University Behavioral Health of Denton et al. v. Brenda Wells, No. 12-83, E.D. N.C.).

    4th Circuit: Jury Award Improperly Vacated In Trademark Case

    RICHMOND, Va. - A North Carolina federal judge erred in vacating a verdict and siding with a trademark infringement defendant because the defendant failed to raise the affirmative defense of claim preclusion in a timely manner, according to a March 14 ruling by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP of Atlanta v. von Drehle Corporation and Myers Supply Inc., No. 12-1444, 4th Cir.).

    Juicy Couture Granted Injunction Over Domestic, Not Foreign, Cybersquatters

    NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on March 12 found that Juicy Couture Inc. "demonstrated the need for a preliminary injunction" against several accused cybersquatting and trademark infringement defendants, granting in part the trendy apparel company's injunction motion while declining to exercise such jurisdiction over foreign defendants (Juicy Couture Inc. v. Bella International Limited, et al., No. 1:12-cv-05801, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34846).

    Dismissal Sought In Copyright Dispute Over Instructors' Manuals

    NEW YORK - A copyright infringement defendant on March 14 moved for dismissal in a New York federal court, on grounds that his contacts there are insufficient to confer jurisdiction (Pearson Education Inc. et al. v. Doe et al., No. 12-4786, S.D. N.Y.).

    9th Circuit Issues New Ruling In Dispute Over Safe Harbor

    SAN FRANCISCO - While denying rehearing en banc, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 14 granted rehearing and issued a new ruling that again affirmed a California federal judge's grant of summary judgment in favor of a video sharing website accused of copyright infringement (UMG Recordings Inc. et al. v. Veoh Networks Inc., No. 09-56777, 9th Cir.).

    Internet DVR Firm Denied TRO To Stop Competitor From Using 'Aereo' Mark

    LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge in a March 12 in chambers order denied a petition by Aereo Inc. to temporarily restrain a competitor from using the name "Aero" for its business and website (Aereo Inc. v. Inc., et al., No. 2:13-cv-01612, C.D. Calif.).

    Tim McGraw Wins Summary Judgment On Copyright Claims

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A federal judge in Tennessee on March 13 rejected on summary judgment allegations that country superstar Samuel Timothy "Tim" McGraw committed copyright infringement (James Martinez v. Samuel Timothy McGraw et al., No. 08-738, M.D. Tenn.).

    Maryland Judge Tosses Cybersquatting Claims

    BALTIMORE - Allegations of trademark infringement and violations of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) were dismissed March 11 by a Maryland federal judge (Holly and Christian Kerodin v. ServiceMagic Inc. et al., No. 11-2981, D. Md.).

    Copyright Claims To Proceed In Dispute Over Educational Website

    TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on March 13 refused to dismiss allegations of copyright infringement levied in connection with an interactive social studies website (Christopher D. Bradshaw v. American Institute for History Education and Kevin T. Brady, No. 12-1367, D. N.J.).

    Google Denied Transfer To California In Street View Patent Case

    ALBANY, N.Y. - Allegations that Google Inc. infringed, directly and indirectly, eight patents relating to a popular mapping feature will proceed in a New York federal court, a federal magistrate judge ruled March 13 (View 360 Solutions LLC v. Google Inc., No. 12-1352, N.D. N.Y.).

    Federal Circuit Upholds Verdict, Damages In Power Converter Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge properly found infringement by nine power converter manufacturers, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 13 (SynQor Inc. v. Artesyn Technologies Inc., et al., Nos. 11-2011-1191, -1192, -1194, 2012-1070, -1071, -1072, Fed. Cir.).

    Motion To Compel Altered By Nevada Federal Magistrate Judge In Patent Dispute

    LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on March 11 adopted in part a federal magistrate judge's order compelling a patent infringement plaintiff to produce certain unredacted documents (Ferring B.V. v. Watson Laboratories Inc., et al., Nos. 11-481, 11-485, 11-853 and 11-854, D. Nev.).

    Federal Circuit Reverses Indirect Infringement Holding In Patent Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Citing its recent en banc ruling in Akamai Technologies Inc. v. Limelight Networks (692 F.3d 1301 $(Fed. Cir. 2012$)), the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 13 vacated and remanded a California federal judge's finding that two gaming machine patents are not infringed (Aristocrat Technologies Australia PTY Ltd. et al. v. International Game Technology et al., No. 10-1426, Fed. Cir.).

    Declaratory Judgment Action Over 'J. Geils Band' Mark Won't Be Dismissed

    BOSTON - A dispute over the true ownership of the "J. Geils Band" trademark will proceed, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled March 12 (Francesca Records, et al. v. Geils Unlimited LLC, et al., No. 12-11419, D. Mass.).

    Alabama Judge Tosses Copyright Dispute Over Home Designs

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Allegations of copyright infringement levied in connection with competing home designs must fail, an Alabama federal judge ruled March 11 (Jeff Benton Homes Inc. v. Alabama Heritage Homes Inc. and Stoneridge Homes Inc., No. 11-1379, N.D. Ala.).

    9th Circuit Affirms: Use Of 'Ed Sullivan Show' Clip Was Fair Use

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly granted summary judgment to a copyright infringement defendant, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 11 in a case it deemed "a good example of why the fair use doctrine exists" (SOFA Entertainment Inc. v. Dodger Productions Inc. et al., No. 10-56535, 9th Cir.).

    6th Circuit Reverses In Dispute Over 'Sound Choice' Trademark

    CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge erred in finding that a trademark infringement plaintiff failed to demonstrate that two defendants used the disputed mark without permission, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 7 (Slep-Tone Entertainment Corp. v. Karaoke Kandy Store, et al., No. 11-4258, 6th Cir.).

    Data Miner's Competition Law Action Against Twitter Headed Back To State Court

    SAN FRANCISCO - A data-mining company's unfair-prong California unfair competition law (UCL) action seeking continued access to Twitter Inc.'s complete data set invokes no federal law and belongs in state court, a federal judge held March 6 (PeopleBrowsr Inc., et al. v. Twitter Inc., No. 12-6120, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31786).

    LinkedIn Privacy Suit Dismissed For Lack Of Standing

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 6 dismissed for lack of standing a class complaint accusing an online networking site of various privacy violations after a hacker allegedly accessed and posted users' email addresses and passwords; the judge gave the plaintiffs 30 days to file an amended complaint (In Re LinkedIn User Privacy Litigation, No. 12-3088, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31131).

    En Banc 9th Circuit Finds Border Search Of Laptop Did Not Violate 4th Amendment

    PASADENA, Calif. - The search of a man's laptop computer by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials that occurred 170 miles from the border did not constitute an "extended border search" and did not violate his rights under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, an en banc Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals majority ruled March 8, finding that the search was justified due to a "reasonable suspicion of criminal activity" based on the man's status as a sex offender, among other factors (United States of America v. Howard Wesley Cotterman, No. 09-10139, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 4731).

    2nd Circuit Won't Modify Mandate In Trademark Case

    NEW YORK - Efforts by Christian Louboutin S.A. to modify a recent mandate directed to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office were denied March 8 by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent America Inc., No. 11-3303, 2nd Cir.).

    Mississippi Judge Grants Partial Summary Judgment In Copyright Dispute

    JACKSON, Miss. - A copyright dispute over the depiction of a wahoo fish extracted from a painting will proceed without the artist's request for attribution and integrity under the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA), a Mississippi federal judge ruled March 7 (Marty Wilson v. New Palace Casino et al., No. 11-447, S.D. Miss.).

    Federal Circuit Issues Partial Reversal Of Re-Examination Findings

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by the Board of Patent Appeals & Interferences (BPAI) that rejected various claims of an online advertising patent was vacated in part on March 7 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Function Media LLC v. David J. Kappos, Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Google Inc., No. 12-1380, Fed. Cir.).

    7th Circuit Finds No Merit To Misappropriation Claim Based On Google Search

    CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 6 sustained dismissal of a Wisconsin woman's misappropriation and privacy complaint against Google Inc. based on the search engine operator's purported use of her name in search suggestions, results and sponsored ads, finding her claims precluded under exceptions for public interest and incidental use (Beverly Stayart v. Google Inc., No. 11-3012, 7th Cir.).

    Delaware Federal Judge Moves Patent Dispute To California Court

    WILMINGTON, Del. - U.S. Judge Gregory Sleet of the District of Delaware agreed March 6 to transfer a dispute over a technology patent to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (ChriMar Systems Inc., et al. v. Cisco Systems Inc., et al., No. 11-1050, D. Del.).