LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal In Dispute Over Growth Hormone Ads

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly rejected a state law unfair competition plaintiff's effort to apply the Lanham Act's "establishment claim" standard outside the context of a Lanham Act claim, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 21 (Serena Kwan, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. SanMedica International, No. 15-15496, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6995).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Finds Hoverboard Seller Infringed On Trademarks, Awards $1M

    LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on April 20 granted a motion filed by the owner of certain trademarks for summary judgment on its other claims for infringement and counterfeiting of a registered mark, awarding it $1 million in damages (UL LLC v. The Space Chariot Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-08172, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56147).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses Contract Claims Against Financial Adviser, Allows Amendment

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 18 granted a motion filed by an investment advising company to dismiss claims for fraud and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) asserted by a technical services company and a wealth management company in relation to an underlying service agreement, finding that the claims lacked the required facts to support the allegations (SVGRP LLC, et al. v. Sowell Financial Services, LLC, et al., No.5:16-cv-07302, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59271).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Satellite Phone Firm's Click Fraud Lawsuit Mostly Dismissed

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 14 mostly granted a satellite phone company's motion to dismiss a complaint alleging "click fraud" brought by a competitor, finding claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and related state law insufficiently pleaded (Satmodo LLC v. Whenever Communications LLC, et al., No. 3:17-cv-00192, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57719).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 3rd Circuit Keeps Jurisdiction Over Walker Process Claim In Antitrust Action

    PHILADELPHIA - Allegations by myriad plaintiffs that the companies that hold patents for the brand name drugs Lipitor and Effexor XR engaged in fraudulent patent procurement - known as Walker Process fraud pursuant to Walker Process Equip., Inc. v. Food Mach. & Chem. Corp., 382 U.S. 172 (1965) - do not arise under federal patent law, such that an appeal in the case must necessarily proceed in the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 13 (In re: Lipitor Antitrust Litigation, Nos. 14-4202, -4203, -4204, -4205, -4206, -4602, -4632, 15-1184, -1185, -1186, -1187, -1274, -1323 and 15-134, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6346).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Finds Company In Contempt For Unlawfully Selling Domain Names

    LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on April 10 granted a motion filed by a company that alleges that another entity violated California's unfair completion (UCL) and false advertising laws when it sold trademarked domain names, finding the company in contempt of a temporary restraining order and injunction (UL LLC v. The Space Chariot Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-08172, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56147).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Grants Eddie Bauer Employee's Request For Class Discovery

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 11 granted a request by a former retail employee who asserts violations of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and labor code for the contact information of all employees of Eddie Bauer LLC that fall within the scope of her proposed class action, finding that the information was necessary to the class (Stephanie Heredia v. Eddie Bauer, LLC, No. 16-cv-06236, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54709).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Urges Resolution After $454M Surgical Gown Verdict For California Class

    LOS ANGELES - Moments after a California federal jury returned a $454 million verdict in a California class action trial involving MicroCool surgical gowns, the judge on April 7 urged the parties to try to resolve the dispute to avoid having the matter go on "for many years further after today's verdict" (Bahamas Surgery Center, LLC, et al. v. Kimberly Clarke Corporation, et al., No. 14-8390, C.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Grants Motion To Strike Punitive Damages Claim Related To Car Issues

    FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 7 granted a motion filed by Ford Motor Co. to strike a consumer's punitive damages claim, finding that her claims under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims do not allow for punitive damages (Beverly J. Marshall v. Ford Motor Company, et al., No. 1:17-CV-0006, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53935).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Allows Some Claims In Suit Alleging Stem Cell Treatments Are Scam

    SAN DIEGO - Customers of a stem cell therapy business sufficiently plead that the business advertised false and misleading information on its website about consumer satisfaction rates in a way that was deceptive to potential customers, though they must amend their class claims that the business misrepresented the efficacy of its treatments if those claims are to proceed, a California federal judge held April 6 (Selena Moorer, et al. v. StemGenex Medical Group, Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-02816, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53294).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California High Court Finds Arbitration Provision Is Contrary To Public Policy

    LOS ANGELES - The California Supreme Court on April 6 reversed a court's ruling that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) does not preempt a rule that provides that arbitration agreements for public injunctive relief under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law are not enforceable in California, remanding a credit card user's allegations related to marketing of the card against the lender for further review (Sharon McGill v. Citibank, N.A., No. S224086, Calif. Sup., 2017 Cal. LEXIS 2551).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Finds No Facts Showing Loan Transfer Was Void

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 5 dismissed numerous claims asserted by a property owner, including causes of action for violations of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), finding that he failed to plead the claims with the required specificity (Fernando D. Lopez v. Wells Fargo, N.A., et al., No. 16-cv-0811, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52527).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Refuses To Grant Request For Interlocutory Appeal Of Ruling For CrossFit

    SAN DIEGO - After determining that the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) failed to show that a lawsuit in which the owner of a workout program asserted violations of the Lanham Act and California's unfair competition law (UCL) in relation to data published by NSCA did not constitute the type of "exceptional" case that would warrant certifying an interlocutory appeal, a California federal judge on April 3 rejected the association's request to appeal a summary judgment ruling (Crossfit Inc. v. National Strength and Conditioning Association, No. 14cv1191, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50719).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses UCL Claims Related To Allegedly Unfair Rental Late Fees

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 31 granted a real estate company's motion to dismiss claims that it violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) when it charged a tenant a late fee, finding that the tenant failed to show that the fees were not practicable (Jordan Kohler v. Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC, No. 15-cv-02195, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49762).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Stays UCL And Other Claims Pending Review By Arbitrator

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 28 compelled claims for violation of breach of contract, violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action to arbitration under a cable services agreement, finding that questions underlying the dispute must be decided by an arbitrator (Michael Song v. Charter Communications Inc., et al., No. 17cv325, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45972.)

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Court Finds Release On Employment Termination Was Not Defamatory

    LOS ANGELES - After finding that a former president and founder of a clothing company failed to show that he would likely succeed on the merits of his claims at trial, a California court on March 28 affirmed judgment in favor of an investment firm on his claims for defamation and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Dov Charney v. Standard General, L.P., et al., No. B268928, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 274).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Federal Judge: Supplement Labeling Class Suit Belongs In State Court

    SAN DIEGO - A class lawsuit over nutritional supplement labeling belongs in state court because the combined amount in controversy is less than $5 million, even when a 25 percent attorney fee award is included, a California federal judge ruled March 24, rejecting arguments by both sides that the case should remain in federal court (Paige Petkevicius, et al. v. NBTY, Inc., et al., No. 14-2616, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43636).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Wells Fargo Agrees To Pay $110M To Settle Unauthorized Accounts Class Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO - Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Bank N.A. have agreed to pay $110 million to end claims by a class of individuals who allege that the banking company opened accounts, enrolled them in products and services and submitted applications for products and services without consent, according to a joint notice of settlement filed March 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Shahriar Jabbari, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., No. 15-2159, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Finds Lack Of Standing To Assert UCL Claim Against Popcorn Maker

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 27 dismissed a consumer's amended complaint in which she asserted violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims related to partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in popcorn that she purchased, finding that the pleading contained the same defects as the original complaint (Jacquelyn McGee v. Diamond Foods Inc., No. 14cv2446, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44723).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Court Affirms Verdict For Unpaid Overtime For Newspaper Employees

    LOS ANGELES - After finding that all of a newspaper's challenges to a jury verdict in favor of former employees, who asserted claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action related to the termination of their jobs, failed, a California court on March 23 affirmed an award of damages in their favor for unpaid wages and overtime (Sun K. Byun, et al. v. Joong-Ang Daily News California, Inc., No. B270539, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2015).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Court Affirms Demurrer, Finds Borrowers Had No Interest In Property

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California court on March 22 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant a demurrer filed by a mortgage company to a complaint filed by borrowers in relation to a foreclosure, finding that they did not allege sufficient facts to support their claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Lonnie Ratliff, Jr. v. EMC Mortgage LLC, et al., No. A144123, Calif. App., 1st. Dist., Div. 3, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2057).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Campbell Soup Trans Fat Labeling Class Suit Dismissed; Motions For Sanctions Denied

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 21 granted a motion to dismiss a class complaint accusing Campbell Soup Co. of deceiving customers by labeling soup as healthy even though it contained trans fat but denied motions by both parties seeking sanctions (Harold Brower, et al. v. Campbell Soup Company, No. 16-1005, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40792).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Partial Summary Judgment Granted In Apple IPhone Antitrust Class Action

    OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 22 granted in part a motion for summary judgment by Apple Inc., finding that the plaintiffs in a putative antitrust class action failed to establish the primary alleged aftermarket for iPhone voice and data services related to claimed service exclusivity through AT&T Mobility, but the judge deemed a narrower aftermarket related to iPhones not unlocked for service provider exclusivity sufficiently alleged (Zack Ward, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 4:12-cv-05404, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Federal Judge Denies Decertification, Finds Vendors Are Employees

    SAN FRANCISCO - A network of "vendors" who perform maintenance and repair services at properties owned by Field Asset Services Inc. (FAS) are employees, not independent contractors, and are owed overtime and business expenses, a California federal judge ruled March 17 in an order granting the vendors' motion for partial summary judgment and denying FAS's motion to decertify the class of vendors (Fred Bowerman, et al. v. Field Asset Services Inc., et al., No. 13-57, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39000).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Drug Makers, Benefit Managers Hit With Class Suit Alleging Insulin Pricing Scheme

    NEWARK, N.J. - Three drug makers and the three largest pharmacy benefit managers have engaged in a pricing scheme to drive up the cost of diabetes insulin - by more than 150 percent in the last five years - in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Sherman Act and numerous state laws, four consumers and Type 1 Diabetes Defense Foundation allege in a March 17 class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (Julia Boss, et al. v. CVS Health Corporation, et al., No. 17-1823, D. N.J.).