CINCINNATI - When a defendant accused of infringing a copyrighted software program sought summary judgment on the issue of substantial similarity, it became a plaintiff's burden to "advance enough evidence for a reasonable juror to find in its favor," the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 25 (Automated Solutions Corp. v. Paragon Data Systems Inc., No. 13-3025, 6th Cir.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Virginia federal judge erroneously granted a trade dress infringement defendant summary judgment because material fact issues still exist with regard to whether the claimed elements are functional, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 25 (McAirlaids Inc. v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, No. 13-2044, 4th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - Direct purchasers cannot establish as a matter of law an overall antitrust conspiracy to restrain trade in the modafinil market based on bilateral reverse settlement agreements between prescription drug manufacturer Cephalon and four generic drug manufacturers, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled June 23 in granting motions for summary judgment filed by Cephalon and the generic defendants and denying the motion for summary judgment filed by the direct purchaser class plaintiffs (King Drug Company of Florence, Inc., et al. v. Cephalon, Inc., et al., No. 2:06-cv-1797, E.D. Pa.; Vista Healthplan, Inc., et al. v. Cephalon, Inc., et al., No. 2:06-cv-1833, E.D. Pa.; Apotex, Inc. v. Cephalon, Inc., et al., No. 2:06-cv-2768, E.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84818).
SAN DIEGO - Finding that an online parts retailer failed to properly account for a 5-1/2-year delay in filing a lawsuit against Google Inc., a California federal judge on June 25 found that the doctrine of laches barred trademark claims related to the purportedly infringing use of the retailer's marks in Google's search engine keyword advertising (Parts.com LLC v. Google Inc., No. 3:13-cv-01074, S.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS - Finding that no disqualifying conflict of interest existed under Texas law, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 24 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an insurer fulfilled its duty to defend an underlying copyright infringement lawsuit by tendering its chosen attorney (William Graper v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., et al., No. 13- 20099, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11903).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A U.S. Supreme Court majority found June 25 that the Internet transmission of copyrighted broadcast television programs provided by Aereo Inc. constitute public performances per the "transmit clause" of the Copyright Act, reversing the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' finding that Aereo's services did not infringe the copyrights of a group of plaintiff television broadcast companies (American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., et al. v. Aereo, Inc., No. 13-461, U.S. Sup.; 2014 U.S. LEXIS 4496).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from a person who has been arrested, the U.S. Supreme Court found June 25, ruling on two cases consolidated on appeal (David Leon Riley v. State of California, No. 13-132, United States v. Brima Wurie, No. 13-212, U.S. Sup.).
MIAMI - The owner of a Miami home care health agency on June 24 pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to offer and pay health care kickbacks and defraud the United States and one count of offering and paying health care kickbacks as part of an alleged $6.5 million scheme that billed Medicare for health care services that were not medically necessary or provided, according to a filing in Florida federal court (United States of America v. Cruz Sonia Collado, No. 14-cr-20302, S.D. Fla.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The San Francisco city attorney on June 23 used the hammer of $2,500 per-violation penalties under California's "tough" unfair competition law (UCL) in demanding that several companies, including Apple Inc., stop offering computer apps that allow the companies and motorists to sell public parking spaces.
MANCHESTER, N.H. - A defendant's request for summary judgment in a dispute over counterfeit Coach handbag sales at a New Hampshire flea market was denied June 23 by a New Hampshire federal judge (Coach Inc. v. Peter J. Sapatis, et al., No. 12-506, D. N.H.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Musician George Clinton cannot invoke the Copyright Act in an attempt to stop the sale of four master recordings in order to satisfy a debt he owes his former counsel, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 23 (Hendricks & Lewis PLLC v. George Clinton, No. 13-35010, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board did not err in upholding an examining attorney's rejection of the "Children's DHA" trademark as generic, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed June 23 (In re: Nordic Naturals Inc., No. 13-1492, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge did not err in construing several disputed claims of three asserted patents, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 19 (Gemalto S.A. v. HTC Corporation et al., No. 13-1397, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yahoo! Inc. was properly granted summary judgment that it does not infringe two patents relating to the addition of functionality, such as media or advertisements, to a web page, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 20 (Augme Technologies Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc., Nos. 13-1121, -1195, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A case presenting the question of whether a judge or a jury is responsible for determining when use of an older trademark may be tacked to a newer one will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in an upcoming term, thanks to a grant of certiorari on June 23 (Hana Financial Inc. v. Hana Bank, No. 13-1211, U.S. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Two patents covering the drug rivastigmine, marketed as the transdermal patch "Exelon" for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, are valid and infringed by Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) filed by several generic drug makers, U.S. Judge Richard G. Andrews of the District of Delaware ruled June 18 (Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. v. Watson Laboratories Inc., No. 11-1112, D. Del.; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. v. Par Pharmaceutical Inc., No. 11-1077, D. Del.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Hawaii federal judge properly denied preliminary injunctive relief in a dispute over the "Ecodiesel" trademark, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 19 (Unitek Solvent Services Inc. v. Chrysler Group LLC, No. 13-17151, 9th Cir.).
LOS ANGELES - There are genuine issues of fact about whether an apparel company's marketing of a skull design violates California's unfair competition law (UCL) and infringes the copyright and trademark for another company's design, a federal judge held June 16 in denying summary judgment to both parties (Lambert Corp. v. LBJC Inc., et al., No. 13-00778, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83108).
CHICAGO - Because no reasonable trier of fact could find that Lady Gaga's "Judas" is substantially similar to a Chicago artist's song "Juda," an Illinois federal judge on June 17 granted Gaga a summary judgment of no copyright infringement (Rebecca Francescatti v. Stefani Joanne Germanotta et al., No. 11-5270, N.D. Ill.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held June 19 that a patent that claims a computer-implemented method of providing intermediated settlement services for financial obligations is directed to a patent-ineligible concept under Section 101 of the Patent Act (Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International and CLS Services Ltd., No. 13-298, U.S. Sup.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge on June 17 recommended entering default judgment and an injunction against a California company and its CEO after finding that a bakery products company stated valid false advertising, copyright infringement and unfair business practice claims under federal law and the state unfair competition law (UCL) (Back Shop Tiefkuhl GmbH, v. GN Trade, Inc., et al., No. 12-0540, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82500).
NEW YORK - Apple Inc. reached a settlement with states and consumers on June 16 in litigation in which the judge previously found that Apple conspired with publishers to fix the prices of electronic books, heading off a trial on damages that was scheduled to begin Aug. 25 in federal court in New York (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-md-02293 $(State of Texas v. Penguin Group (USA), Inc., No. 12-cv-3394$), S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A group of named plaintiffs have not defined an ascertainable class in their privacy lawsuit against Hulu LLC, a California federal magistrate ruled June 17, denying a motion for class certification (In Re: Hulu Privacy Litigation, No. 3:11-cv-03764, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - Deeming an appeal by the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle one that "borders on the quixotic," the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 16 affirmed findings by an Illinois federal judge that the editor of an anthology of stories inspired by the Sherlock Holmes character does not need a license to publish his work (Leslie Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate Ltd., No. 14-1128, 7th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Five petitioners on June 18 won cancellation of six variations of the "Redskins" trademark, when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) agreed in a divided, 177-page ruling that the term is disparaging to Native Americans (Amanda Blackhorse et al. v. Pro-Football Inc., No. 92046185, TTAB).