NEW YORK - A New York federal judge's rejection of copyright infringement claims against Sony Music Entertainment - based upon a determination that the "Iron Man" composition was a work for hire commissioned by Marvel Comics - was vacated July 29 by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found that material fact issues regarding ownership should have precluded summary judgment (Jack Urbont v. Sony Music Entertainment et al., No. 15-1778, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13775).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent that forms the basis of more than 38 lawsuits still pending in two different jurisdictions is invalid pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 103, according to a petition for inter partes review filed July 22 with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Unified Patents Inc. v. Harry Heslop, et al., No. IPR2016-01464, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on July 25 upheld a patent examiner's determination that a single claim of an electrical fitting patent is not patentable pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 103(a) (Bridgeport Fittings Inc. v. Arlington Industries Inc., No. 2015-007896, PTAB).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge did not err in concluding that counterclaims of breach of contract premised upon a purported license to use a disputed patent are not subject to arbitration, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 26 (Verinata Health Inc., et al. v. Ariosa Diagnostics Inc., No. 15-1970, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13557).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A North Carolina federal judge erroneously denied the real estate website Zillow Inc. summary judgment on allegations that it infringed two patents directed to a process for coordinating loans on a loan-processing computer over the Internet, because both patents are directed to ineligible subject matter, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 26 (LendingTree LLC v. Zillow Inc., Nos. 14-1435, -1531, 15-1186, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13462).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A claimed method of measuring and reporting the quality of communications between a mobile device and a base station was well known to people of ordinary skill in the art before it was patented, Apple Inc. alleges in a July 22 petition for inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Apple Inc. v. Cellular Communications Equipment LLC, No. IPR2016-01480, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Efforts by a petitioner to secure post-grant review of U.S. patent No. 9,108,890, issued in 2015 to The Johns Hopkins University, were unsuccessful on July 25, when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board denied the request (David Adebimpe v. The Johns Hopkins University, No. PGR2016-00020, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on July 25 agreed to reconsider its May 2016 rejection of 21 claims in a patent directed to software deployment but again affirmed an examiner's rejection of the claims on obviousness grounds (Ex parte Jacob Taylor, et al., No. 014-006775, PTAB).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A group of consumers who purchased laptops that were preinstalled with purported malware filed a motion for class certification in California federal court on July 22 of their unlawful access, consumer protection and related claims against the computer manufacturer and the software developer (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02624, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge's determination that Apple Inc. was entitled to a summary judgment that it did not infringe various claims of four patents was erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 22 (Unwired Planet LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 15-1725, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13364).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A complaint filed July 21 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia targets the "anti-circumvention" and "anti-trafficking" provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), stating that they chill "protected and noninfringing speech that relies on copyrighted works" without providing speakers with the traditional safeguard of "the fair use doctrine" in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Matthew Green, et al. v. U.S. Department of Justice, et al., No. 1:16-cv-01492, D. D.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Finding no genuine dispute of material fact as to the validity of a trademark co-existence agreement or as to the validity of a later assignment of rights under that agreement, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 22 upheld a Nevada federal judge's decision to grant an infringement defendant summary judgment (Russell Road Food and Beverage LLC v. Frank Spencer et al., No. 14-16096, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13384).
NEW YORK - Although arguments by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) that an accused product does not include a patent claim limitation as construed and agreed upon by the parties "has merit," a New York federal judge on July 21 nonetheless denied summary judgment of noninfringement (Intellectual Ventures II LLC v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., No. 13-3777, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95351).
CHICAGO - A plaintiff responsible for bringing more than 150 trademark lawsuits across the country was properly rebuffed in its effort to hold a pub and its owner liable for playing unauthorized digital copies of various karaoke tracks, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 21 (Slep-Tone Entertainment Corp., et al. v. Danette Rumsey, et al., No. 15-2844, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13306).
SAN FRANCISCO - Two weeks after the Michigan Supreme Court determined that the lead plaintiff in a putative class action against Pandora Media Inc. did not constitute a customer of Pandora's online streaming service per Michigan's Video Rental Privacy Act (VRPA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 21 affirmed a lower court's dismissal of the suit (Peter Deacon v. Pandora Media Inc. No. 12-17734, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13333).
CHICAGO - In a July 19 ruling, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed discovery sanctions against an attorney in a "porno-trolling collective" for what it called egregious and obstructive behavior in failing to comply with a trial court's sanctions awards against it in the wake of a dismissed file-sharing lawsuit (Lightspeed Media Corp., et al. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 15-2440, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13195).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge erred in finding that a Finland-based patent infringement defendant lacked sufficient minimum contacts with Delaware to support specific jurisdiction there, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 20 (Polar Electro Oy v. Suunto Oy, No. 15-1930, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13221).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although a California federal judge properly denied a motion for attorney fees by four prevailing patent infringement defendants, she improperly exercised supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims of breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting and unfair competition because the federal and state law claims share no common nucleus of operative facts, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 21 (AngioScore Inc. v. TriReme Medical LLC, et al., Nos. 16-1126, - 1142, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A German-based software development firm filed suit against the U.S. government July 15 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, seeking almost $600 million in damages for the U.S. Navy's copyright infringement, which the firm says occurred when the Navy far exceeded a limited license it had previously been granted to use the firm's virtual reality software (Bitmanagement Software GmbH v. The United States of America, No. 1:16-cv-00840, Fed. Clms.).
PORTLAND, Ore. - Allegations of trademark infringement by adidas America Inc. and adidas AG will proceed in Oregon federal court, an Oregon federal judge ruled July 19 (adidas America Inc., et al. v. Athletic Propulsion Labs LLC, No. 16-415, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92770).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Massachusetts judge did not err in enhancing a plaintiff's damage award for willful patent infringement but should have granted the plaintiff a permanent injunction, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 19 in a dispute over marine generators ("gen-sets") (WBIP LLC v. Kohler Co., Nos. 15-1038, -1044, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13136).
CHICAGO - Yahoo Inc. and the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) filed simultaneous briefs in Illinois federal court July 15, debating whether the plaintiff had sufficiently pleaded damages to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Rachel Johnson v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 1:14-cv-02028, N.D. Ill.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The plaintiffs in two putative class actions against antivirus software designer McAfee Inc. filed a motion in California federal court on July 14, seeking preliminary approval of a settlement of their claims related to the auto-renewal program associated with subscriptions for the firm's various software packages (Sam Williamson v. McAfee Inc., No. 5:14-cv-00158, and Samantha Kirby v. McAfee Inc., No. 5:14-cv-02475, N.D. Calif.).
SHERMAN, Texas - An infringement plaintiff's affirmative defenses of unclean hands and estoppel in response to a defendant's counterclaim for cancellation of various trademarks were properly rejected by a Texas federal magistrate judge, a Texas federal judge concluded July 16 (Neal Technologies Inc. v. Unite Motorsports Inc., No. 15-385, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92655).
MARSHALL, Texas - A defendant failed to prove that a patent plaintiff litigated its case in an unreasonable manner or that the claims presented "stand out" from others pursuant to Octane Fitness LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness Inc. (134 S. Ct. 1749, 1756 ), a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled July 18 (Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations LLC v. ADS Security LP, No. 15-1431, E.D. Texas.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92845).