WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 21 rejected a petition for certiorari by a Massachusetts man who was found liable for copyright infringement related to his sharing of 30 songs on peer-to-peer (P2P) websites, making no comment on the petitioner's argument that the U.S. Copyright Act 17 U.S.C.S. §§ 101-810, was improperly applied to him as a noncommercial infringer, resulting in an excessive damages award (Joel Tenenbaum v. Sony BMG Music Entertainment, et al., No. 11-1019, U.S. Sup.). A complimentary copy of the orders list is attached below.
SAN JOSE - An amended complaint filed in California federal court on May 17 combining more than 20 similar cases around the county seeks more than $15 billion from Facebook Inc. for allegedly intercepting and tracking users' Internet communications and activity after users log out of their Facebook accounts (In Re: Facebook, Inc. Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 12-2314, N.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the complaint available within the full update.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A copyright infringement defendant's efforts to invoke the statute of limitations was rejected May 18, when a Michigan federal magistrate judge's report and recommendation was adopted by a Michigan federal judge (Design Basics LLC v. Roersma & Wurn Builders Inc., No. 10-696. W.D. Mich.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69422).
NEW YORK - Electronic book purchasers may continue their class action lawsuit against Apple Inc. and several e-book publishers alleging that the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to fix prices of digital books in violation of federal and state antitrust laws, the federal judge in New York overseeing the multidistrict litigation ruled May 15 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (In re: Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, Nos. 11 MD 2293, 11 Civ. 5576, 11 Civ. 5609, 11 Civ. 5621, 11 Civ. 5707, 11 Civ. 5750, 11 Civ. 5896, 11 Civ. 5898, 11 Civ. 5976, 11 Civ. 6019, 11 Civ. 6079, 11 Civ. 7507, 11 Civ. 7534, 11 Civ. 7323, 11 Civ. 8329, 11 Civ. 8608, 11 Civ. 9016, 11 Civ. 9014, 11 Civ. 9559, 11 Civ. 9560, 11 Civ. 9561, 11 Civ. 9562, 11 Civ. 9563, 11 Civ. 9564, 11 Civ. 9565, 11 Civ. 9566, 11 Civ. 9567, 12 Civ. 0476, S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68058).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a divided ruling issued May 17, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) did not erroneously disregard a related Federal Circuit ruling in upholding the rejection of a patent upon re-examination (In re: Baxter International Inc., No. 11-1073, Fed. Cir.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a patent case related to mobile device technology, a federal judge in California on May14 denied Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s motion to dismiss several of Apple Inc.'s amended counterclaims, including a claim alleging that Samsung made misrepresentations to standards-setting organizations (SSOs) in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, but the judge granted Samsung's motion to dismiss Apple's counterclaim for promissory estoppel, breach of contract and declaratory judgment (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 11-1846, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67102).
NEW YORK - In a May 16 bench ruling, a New York federal judge rejected, on standing grounds, a lawyer's claim that Reed Elsevier Inc. and West Publishing Corp. commit copyright infringement when publishing legal briefs online (Edward L. White, Edward L. White PC and Kenneth Elan v. West Publishing Corporation and Reed Elsevier Inc., d/b/a LexisNexis, No. 12-1340, S.D. N.Y.).
HOUSTON - Efforts by the famed King Ranch in Texas to stop a Colorado builder from identifying a residential development as the "King Ranch Estates" failed May 16 when a Texas federal judge refused to enter preliminary or permanent injunctive relief in a trademark infringement case (King Ranch Inc. v. D.R. Horton Inc., No. 12-797, S.D. Texas.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68230).
ATLANTA - A Georgia federal judge on May 11 found that Georgia State University (GSU) infringed some of the asserted copyrighted works of three publishers by the unlicensed use of excerpts of the works on the university's computer networks (Cambridge University Press, et al. v. Mark P. Becker, et al., No. 1:08-CV-1425-ODE, N.D. Ga.). Subscribers may view the order, findings of fact and conclusions of law available within the full update.
SAN FRANCISCO - Following a federal jury's May 7 verdict that Google Inc. infringed certain code and files from the Java software platform, Oracle America Inc. on May 16 agreed to defer any resulting copyright damages it might be entitled to until a California federal judge decides the copyrightability of the structure, sequence and organization (SSO) of application programmer interface (API) packages (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 10-3561, N.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the stipulation and order available within the full update.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A $5,000 award for the U.S. Postal Service's infringement of a copyrighted statue was incorrectly limited by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to the Postal Service's highest past license payment, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 14 (Frank Gaylord v. United States, No. 11-5097, Fed. Cir.). Subscribers may view the decision available within the full update.
LAS VEGAS - A federal judge in Nevada on May 14 reversed a magistrate judge's recommendation to impose terminating sanctions against defendants in a patent infringement case and ordered the new magistrate judge in the case to conduct an evidentiary hearing based on evidence presented by the parties during the briefing on the defendants' objection (Home Gambling Network Inc., et al. v. Chris Piche, et al., No. 05-cv-00610-DAE-VCF, D. Nev.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66754).
SAN FRANCISCO - An intellectual dispute over password-protected diagnostic software will proceed without a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) claim, thanks to a May 14 ruling by a California federal magistrate judge (Burroughs Payment Systems Inc. v. SYMCO Group Inc., No. 11-6268, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67198).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Security Agency (NSA) made a "logical and plausible" showing that documents requested by a public interest group under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 5 U.S.C.S. § 552, were "specifically exempted from disclosure" by the statute's provisions, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 11, upholding a lower court's ruling (Electronic Privacy Information Center v. National Security Agency, No. 11-5233, D.C. Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 9571).
SAN FRANCISCO - Attorneys agreed upon a jury charge and special verdict form on May 14 in the second phase of Oracle America Inc.'s dispute with Google Inc.; that day, Google sought judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) that Oracle failed to prove literal patent infringement and that one of the two patents in suit is invalid because of improper broadening (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 10-3561, N.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view a copy of the jury charge available within the full update.
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on May 11 granted summary judgment to the producers and distributors of Wellbutrin XL on direct and indirect purchasers' claims that the defendants illegally conspired to prevent generic versions of the drug from entering the American market by filing sham patent infringement lawsuits and a citizen petition (In re: Wellbutrin XL Antitrust Litigation, Nos. 08-2431 (direct), Nos. 08- 08-2431 (indirect), E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66312).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although largely agreeing with a California federal judge's decision to deny a preliminary injunction in a patent dispute over smart phone and tablet technology, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 14 nonetheless found that plaintiff Apple Inc. might still be entitled to limited relief (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., No. 12-1105, Fed. Cir.). Subscribers may view the decision available within the full update.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A ruling by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that any license that prevents a licensee from using other competing products constitutes copyright misuse will not be revisited by the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied certiorari on May 14 (Psystar Corp. v. Apple Inc., No. 11-812, U.S. Sup.). Subscribers may view the orders list available within the full update.
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on May 14 issued a preliminary anti-suit injunction barring Motorola Inc. from attempting to enforce relief it won May 2 in European patent litigation with Microsoft Corp. (Microsoft Corp. v. Motorola Inc., No. 10-1823, W.D. Wash.). Subscribers may view the decision available within the full update.
PHOENIX - Various activities that a plaintiff says demonstrate a pattern of racketeering undertaken by its former marketing partner are merely "part of a single alleged extortion scheme," a New Jersey federal judge ruled May 10, and not sufficient evidence of racketeering under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Aviva USA Corp., et al. v. Anil Vazirani, et al., No. 11-0369, D. Ariz.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65448).
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Although professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. made appearances at two World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) events to the tune of a copyrighted song, a copyright infringement plaintiff is not entitled to actual damages or a profits-based measure of damages pursuant to 17 U.S. Code Section 504(b), a South Carolina federal judge said May 11 (Anthony Lawrence Dash v. Floyd Mayweather Jr., et al., No. 10-1036, D. S.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66003).
PHILADELPHIA - A trial court abused its discretion in failing to recognize that a partner firm in limited liability company (LLC) had a fiduciary duty to both the LLC and the other member firm, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 11, vacating the lower court's denial of a preliminary injunction related to the operation of two websites that the parties previously operated together (Health and Body Store LLC, et al. v. Justbrand Limited, et al., No. 11-4132, 3rd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 9604).
BOSTON - A Puerto Rico federal judge did not err in ordering a counterclaim defendant to pay $43,405 in damages for infringing a copyright, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 11 (Banco Popular de Puerto Rico v. La Asociacion de Compositores y Editores de Musica Latinoamerica, Nos. 10-2170, 2171, 1st Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 9614).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an agreement and consent order filed with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on May 8, MySpace LLC agreed to implement "a comprehensive privacy program" to address the commission's concerns over personally identifiable information (PII) that the social network shared with third-party advertisers (In the Matter of MySpace LLC, No. 102 3058, FTC). Subscribers may view the agreement and consent order available within the full update.
SAN FRANCISCO - Efforts by copyright infringement plaintiff Oracle America Inc. to render Google Inc.'s fair use affirmative defense unavailable were deemed unavailing May 10 by a California federal judge; that same day, Oracle responded to Google's recent motion for a new trial (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 10-3561, N.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full update.