SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge has struck the affirmative defenses of a tobacco distributor sued for trade mark infringement, saying in a Dec. 5 opinion that the defendant had provided no factual underpinning for the defenses (Starbuzz Tobacco Inc. v. Fuad Naji Saeed, No. 3:13-cv-03837-SI, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171857).
SAN DIEGO - In a pair of Dec. 4 rulings, a California federal judge dismissed all of an Internet-based automotive parts retailer's trademark infringement claims against search engine provider Google Inc. as barred by laches and precluded by the Communications Decency Act (CDA) while permitting a federal infringement claim against rival search engine provider Yahoo! Inc. to proceed (Parts.com LLC v. Google Inc., No. 3:13-cv-01074, and Parts.com LLC v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 3:13-cv-01078, S.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Dec. 8 denied an emergency application by individual airline customers seeking to prevent the merger of bankrupt American Airlines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. The customers had argued that the merger violates federal antitrust laws (Carolyn Fjord v. AMR Corporation, No.13A579, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - The class action plaintiffs that sued bankrupt AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, on Dec. 4 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York arguing that the Bankruptcy Court should stay its decision approving the merger of American Airlines and US Airways Group Inc. pending appeal (Carolyn Fjord, et al. v. AMR Corporation, et al. $(In Re: AMR Corporation$), no. 11-15463, Adv. No. 13-01392, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 2 invited the solicitor general to file a brief expressing the views of the United States regarding whether to grant review of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the Natural Gas Act (NGA) does not preempt state law claims asserted by retail purchasers of natural gas (In re: Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation $(ONEOK, Inc., et al. v. Learjet, Inc.$), No. 13-271, U.S. Sup.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A couple may not rely on attorney fees incurred in pursuing a California unfair competition law (UCL) action alleging wrongful foreclosure to satisfy the injury standard, a federal judge held in an opinion posted Nov. 27 (Josue Rios and Yolanda Rios v. Bank of America d/b/a Countrywide Home Loans Inc., et al., No. 12-2439, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169486).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A homeowner lacks sufficient allegations of injury or reliance to sustain his California unfair competition law (UCL) claim against his lender, a federal judge held in an opinion posted Nov. 27 (David Sears v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 13-1664, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169507).
SAN FRANCISCO - Attorney fees incurred in defending against unenforceable noncompete agreements constitute a California unfair competition law (UCL) injury but do not provide Article III standing for injunctive relief, a federal judge held Dec. 2 in granting an employer's motion for reconsideration (Imtiaz Khan, et al. v. K3 Pure Solutions LP, et al., No. 12-5526, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169855).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The named plaintiffs in a putative class action against Apple Inc. failed to establish their standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution or two California statutes, a California federal judge found Nov. 25, disposing of their claims related to Apple's purported collection of users' personal data via applications (apps) for its iPhones and other "iDevices" (In Re iPhone Application Litigation, No. 5:11-md-02250, N.D. Calif.).
SAN DIEGO - A California resident on Nov. 27 filed a national class action lawsuit seeking refunds for what it says is a misleadingly advertised and unapproved at-home genetic testing kit called 23andMe (Lisa Casey, et al. v. 23andMe, INC., et al., No. 13-2847, S.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., on Nov. 27 approved a settlement between American Airlines and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that will allow the airline to merge with US Airways Inc. and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A man's payment came in response to a letter explaining the debt, breaking the causal connection to any unlawful conduct based on an allegedly deficient demand for payment, a Ninth Circuit panel held Nov. 22 in affirming dismissal of California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (Roderick Wright, et al. v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., No. 12-55319, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23558).
SAN FRANCISCO - Two Pennsylvania residents likely lack standing to pursue their California unfair competition law (UCL) action over an automobile manufacturer's choice of gas tank material but also fail to state a claim under the statute, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Nov. 20 (Henry Troup; Veronica Troup v. Toyota Motor Corp., Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., No. 11-56637, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 18 remanded a product liability action involving an allegedly deceptively marketed snack food product, agreeing that the plaintiff should be allowed to amend his class action complaint (Lee Cheramie v. HBB LLC, No. 12-55148, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23222).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge on Nov. 18 granted preliminarily approval of a settlement involving unfair competition law (UCL) claims over Cytosport Inc.'s characterization of Muscle Milk products as "healthy" (Claire Delacruz, et al. v. Cytosport Inc., No. 11-3532, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - Apple Inc. on Nov. 15 moved to dismiss an action by the attorneys general of several states which alleges that Apple conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books, arguing that the district court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the states' damages action against Apple because the states have not suffered any injury-in-fact and, therefore, do not have constitutional standing (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, 11-MD-2293, S.D. N.Y. $(State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 3394, S.D. N.Y.$)).
SAN DIEGO - A judge in California on Nov. 15 granted final approval to a $74 million cash settlement between Bayer Corp. and Bayer AG (collectively, Bayer) and California purchasers of the antibiotic Cipro and third-party payers who reimbursed for California purchases of Cipro on claims that Bayer paid drug companies nearly $400 million to drop challenges to Bayer's Cipro patent and to refrain from selling generic versions of the drug (Cipro Cases I and II $(All Actions$), Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding Nos. 4154 and 4220, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on Nov. 14 certified a damages class of end-payers that purchased or provided reimbursements for Nexium on the end-payers' antitrust and consumer protection claims contending that the manufacturer of the heartburn medication and generic drug manufacturers entered into reverse-payment agreements to keep generic versions of the medication out of the market, but the judge denied the end-payers' motion for certification of an injunctive class (In re Nexium $(Esomeprazole$) Antitrust Litigation, No. 12-md-02409, D. Mass.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162276, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162496).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Nov. 14 granted final approval of a revised $4 million settlement in a class lawsuit accusing Kellogg Co. of making false advertising claims about its Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal despite earlier concerns that the amount for class members had been reduced while attorney fees and expenses remained unchanged (Harry Dennis, et al. v. Kellogg Co., No. 09-1786, S.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163118).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov.18 denied a petition for review filed by a class member who objected to the settlement of a class suit accusing Sirius XM Radio Inc. of antitrust violations in connection with the 2008 merger of the only two providers of satellite radio, and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. commented that a judge's requirement that class counsel reflect the class as to race and gender may warrant "future review" (Nicholas Martin v. Carl Blessing, et al., No. 13-169, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADEPHIA - A federal judge in Philadelphia on Nov. 12 denied Comcast Corp.'s motion to strike consumers' motion to recertify a class following the U.S. Supreme Court's reversing the court's motion to certify the class, but the judge permitted Comcast to file a substantive response to the motion to recertify (Stanford Glaberson, et al. v. Comcast Corporation, et al., No. 03-6604, E.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160890).
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on Nov. 13 declined to either review or depublish an opinion finding that litigation privilege does not bar a state California unfair competition law (UCL) action seeking enforcement of debt collection laws, according to its docket (The People v. Persolve LLC, et al., No. S213424, Calif. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Nov. 12 proposed a final judgment with US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines Inc. under which the DOJ would drop its merger antitrust lawsuit against the airlines if they divest slots and gates at key constrained airports across the country to low-cost carrier airlines (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).
LOS ANGELES - Priceline.com Inc.'s disclosure of the potential for "resort fees" above and beyond its charges and a consumer's ability to otherwise avoid them free the company from California unfair competition law (UCL) claims, a state appeals panel affirmed Nov. 7 (Michael Freeman v. Priceline.com Inc., et al., No. B24653, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2).