SAN FRANCISCO - In what he deemed a "thorny" and "somewhat rare policy dilemma," U.S. Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. of the Northern District of California on Dec. 30 granted a plaintiff's request to stay its own patent infringement litigation in favor of a later-filed proceeding before the International Trade Commission (ITC) (Aliphcom d/b/a Jawbone and Bodymedia Inc. v. Fitbit Inc., No. 15-2579, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173078).
DENVER - Contrary to assertions by a home builder, the abstraction-filtration-comparison (AFC) test for substantial similarity is not categorically inapplicable to copyright disputes over architectural works, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 4 (Savant Homes Inc. v. Douglas W. Collins, et al., No. 15-1115, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 6).
NEW YORK - A U.S. court cannot invalidate an action of a foreign sovereign with regard to a transfer of rights on grounds that the transfer would be invalid under the law of the foreign sovereign, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 5, vacating a New York federal judge's dismissal of Lanham Act claims for lack of standing (Fed. Treasury Enterprise Sojuzplodoimport v. Spirits International B.V. f/k/a Spirits International N.V., et al., Nos. 14-4721, 15-152, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 40).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A group of states that teamed up with the U.S. Department of Justice to sue Apple Inc. for an e-book price-fixing conspiracy told the U.S. Supreme Court in a Jan. 4 opposition brief that no review is merited of a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that found Apple guilty of Sherman Act violations (Apple Inc. v. United States of America, et al., No. 15-565, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO - Granting in part and denying in part the parties' discovery motions in a lawsuit over the purported misappropriation of polymer production trade secrets by a former employee, an Illinois federal magistrate judge on Dec. 30 found discovery requests related to the formula and testing of the purportedly infringing items to be relevant and discoverable (PolyOne Corp. v. Yun Martin Lu, et al., No. 1:14-cv-10369, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172924).
SAN FRANCISCO - Affirming findings by a Nevada federal judge, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 30 clarified that after a copyright defendant who invokes the doctrine of first sale meets its initial burden, the burden then shifts to a copyright holder to demonstrate that a first sale never took place (Adobe Systems Inc. v. Joshua Christenson, et al., No. 12-17371, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 22818).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a case that it says "represents an unprecedented judicial expansion of the fair-use doctrine that threatens copyright protection in the digital age," an authors organization filed a petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 31, asking the high court to consider questions of fair use related to Google Inc.'s "Google Books" comprehensive online index of full-text books (The Authors Guild, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 15-849, U.S. Sup.).
ST. LOUIS - An Arkansas federal judge did not properly weigh the factors for a final judgment of noninfringement before certifying her dismissal of copyright claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b), the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 28 (David Lynn Jones, et al. v. West Plains Bank & Trust Co., et al., No. 15-1714, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 22728).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A jury's finding that certain Cisco Systems Inc. devices perform a "running" step outlined in various claims of a wireless technology patent is not supported by substantial evidence, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 28 (Commil USA LLC v. Cisco Systems Inc., No. 12-1042, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 22680).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Lanham Act's prohibition, codified at 15 U.S. Code Section 1052(a) (Section 2[a]), on the registration of "scandalous, immoral, or disparaging" trademarks is unconstitutional, a deeply divided, en banc Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 22 (In re: Simon Shiao Tam, No. 14-1203, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 22300).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - After an 11-day trial, a jury in Virginia federal court on Dec. 17 found that an Internet service provider (ISP) was guilty of contributory infringement related to its subscribers' illegal online sharing of copyrighted songs (BMG Rights Management [US] LLC, et al. v. Cox Communications Inc., et al., No. 1:14-cv-01611, E.D. Va.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A South Carolina federal judge did not err in adopting a recommendation that allegations of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) violations levied against Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. should be dismissed, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 16 (Roland Chambers v. Amazon.com Inc., et al., No. 15-1767, 6th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - In a Dec. 15 motion in Pennsylvania federal court, a plaintiff seeks to compel Angie's List Inc. to produce documents and information that she says go to the heart of her putative class action alleging deceptive marketing practices by the professional listings website operator (Janell Moore v. Angie's List Inc., No. 2:15-cv-01243, E.D. Pa.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An August 2015 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that relied upon the "change of law" exception to invalidate two patents as indefinite will stand, thanks to a denial Dec. 17 of a combined petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc (Dow Chemical Company v. NOVA Chemicals Corp., et al., Nos. 14-1431, -1462, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21924).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge did not err in concluding that inventors, through repeated disparagement in the specification of their patent, disclaimed mobile devices containing "computer modules," the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 15 (Openwave Systems Inc., et al. v. Apple Inc., et al., No. 15-1108, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21637).
ST. LOUIS - A damages expert improperly based her damages on the entire market value of an accused wet and dry vacuum instead of apportioning damages to the patented feature she identified, a Missouri federal magistrate judge ruled Dec. 15, excluding in part the expert's testimony in a patent infringement lawsuit (Emerson Electric Co. v. Suzhou Cleva Electric Appliance Co., Ltd., et al., No. 13-1043, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167388).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Dec. 15 ruling, a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed a ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) that two digital audio and video sales method patents are obvious in light of prior art, rejecting the patent holder's infringement claims against Apple Inc. (SightSound Technologies LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 15-1159 and 15-1160, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21655).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 16 withdrew its September ruling vacating a California federal judge's denial of an injunction in high-stakes patent litigation and issued a slightly revised opinion in its place (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al., No. 14-1802, Fed. Cir.).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 15 granted a motion filed by the owner of a dating social media network application to dismiss claims asserted by a user for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and Dating Service Contracts Act (DSCA) but permitted him leave to amend the complaint (Mark Howell, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Grindr LLC, No. 15cv1337, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167669).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - On the heels of being granted partial summary judgment in its copyright infringement claims against an Internet service provider (ISP) for failing to combat known infringing acts by its subscribers, a music publishing firm on Dec. 14 moved for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on its claims for contributory and vicarious infringement (BMG Rights Management [US] LLC, et al. v. Cox Communications Inc., et al., No. 1:14-cv-01611, E.D. Va.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A plaintiff's amended complaint, filed two weeks after an original complaint was stricken as an impermissible "shotgun pleading," asserts a claim for trademark infringement sufficient to withstand a defendant's motion to dismiss, a Florida federal magistrate judge ruled Dec. 14 (JavaGenesis Coffee Roasting LLC v. OpenGateFarmFL LLC, No. 15-324, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166857).
TRENTON, N.J. - Parties to a patent infringement action will see the terms of their recent settlement incorporated into a final judgment order even if the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reverses a previously entered finding of infringement, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Dec. 11 (Janssen Products L.P., et al. v. Lupin Ltd., et al., No. 10-5954, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166652).
PHILADELPHIA - Patent holders were ordered Dec. 14 by a Pennsylvania federal judge to produce several unredacted or previously withheld documents in a dispute over alleged "sham litigation" (Federal Trade Commission v. AbbVie Inc., et al., No. 14-5151, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166723).
INDIANAPOLIS - Six months after denying a stay in a patent dispute over a platelet inhibiting drug, an Indiana federal magistrate judge on Dec. 11 reversed course, agreeing to stay the litigation pending resolution of inter partes review (IPR) (Eli Lilly and Company, et al. v. Accord Healthcare Inc. USA, et al., No. 14-389, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166106).
SHERMAN, Texas - Citing the existence of material fact issues, a Texas federal judge on Dec. 11 denied a request for summary judgment by three patent infringement defendants (Motio Inc. v. BSP Software LLC et al., No. 12-647, E.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165941).