PASADENA, Calif. - A law firm, its principals and their shell companies engaged in fraud, vexatious litigation and a money-making scheme by misusing the subpoena power of the courts, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 10, affirming a trial court's sanctions award in favor of the John Doe defendant in one of the many copyright infringement suits the firm initiated related to purported online sharing of adult movies (Ingenuity 13 LLC, et al. v. John Doe, Nos. 13-55859, 13-55880, 13-55881, 13-55882, 13-55883, 13-55884 and 13-56028, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10557).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 13 unanimously rejected as inconsistent with 35 U.S. Code Section 284 the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' two-part test for determining enhanced patent damages (Stryker Corp., et al. v. Zimmer Inc. and Zimmer Surgical, No. 14-1520; Halo Electronics Inc. v. Pulse Electronics Inc. and Pulse Electronics Corp., No. 14-1513, U.S. Sup.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Efforts by Arista Networks Inc. to invalidate a single claim of a Cisco Systems Inc. patent were unsuccessful on June 6, when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) denied a petition for inter partes review (IPR) (Arista Networks Inc. v. Cisco Systems Inc., No. IPR2016-00304, PTAB).
TAMPA, Fla. - Assertions of prevailing party status by both a plaintiff and a defendant in a dispute over the "Meth Lab Cleanup" trademark were rejected by a Florida federal judge on June 7, who instead deemed the case "a tie" (Meth Lab Cleanup LLC v. Spaulding Decon LLC, et al., No. 14-3129, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74020).
SAN FRANCISCO - Two weeks after a California federal jury found that Google Inc.'s use of Java structure, sequence and organization (SSO) in its Android operating system constituted fair use under the Copyright Act, the presiding judge on June 8 denied motions for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) by Google and Oracle Inc., finding that the jury's conclusion was reasonable and rejecting both parties' contentions that only verdicts in their respective favors would have been reasonable (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 3:10-cv-03561, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74931).
DETROIT - Efforts by a patent infringement defendant to obtain dismissal of the allegations pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 101 failed June 7, when a Michigan federal judge found that the technology at issue is not abstract under step one of the Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International (134 S. Ct. 2347 ) framework (JDS Technologies Inc. v. Exacq Technologies Inc., No. 15-10387, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73622).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Sprint Solutions Inc. and Sprint Communications Co. L.P. (Sprint, collectively) were deemed entitled to summary judgment June 7 by a New York federal judge with regard to their allegations that two defendants violated the Lanham Act by selling Sprint phones with bad electronic serial numbers (ESNs) (Sprint Solutions Inc. v. iCell Guru Inc., et al., No. 14-3539, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73912).
SAN FRANCISCO - Although a patent infringement defendant failed to show that Merck & Co., Merck Sharp and Dohme Corp. and Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Merck, collectively) waived their right to enforce two patents against a competitor, a "pervasive pattern" of "unconscionable" conduct by Merck renders the patents unenforceable, according to a June 6 ruling by a California federal judge (Gilead Sciences Inc. v. Merck & Co., et al., No. 13-4057, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73595).
NEW YORK - Allegations of willful infringement levied against an end user in connection with industrial boat-lifting equipment were stayed June 3 by a New York federal judge (Marine Travelift Inc. v. K. Graefe and Sons Corp., No. 16-2068, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73168).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a June 1 per curiam opinion, the Federal Circuit U.S. Circuit of Appeals held sua sponte that it did not have jurisdiction to consider whether certain documents submitted by Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. in post-judgment proceedings in a long-running patent dispute with Apple Inc. are privileged and not subject to disclosure, holding that, per 28 U.S. Code Section 1295(a)(1), it cannot "review disclosure orders implicating attorney-client privilege" without "a final decision" (Apple Inc. v. Nokia Corp. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., et al., No. 2015-1857, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 3 stood by its March 2015 ruling that the asserted claims of a neuromonitoring patent were directly infringed by users of a nerve-monitoring device and that the device maker induced the infringement (Warsaw Orthopedic Inc., et al. v. NuVasive Inc., Nos. 13-1576, -1577, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10092).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A stipulated judgment of noninfringement will stand, thanks to a June 6 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirming the construction of various disputed claim terms in a database search patent (Indacon Inc. v. Facebook Inc., No. 15-1129, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its June 6 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied without comment a petition for certiorari by Google Inc. over an underlying grant of class certification in a class action over Google's AdWords program brought under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL), to resolve what the Internet giant called a circuit split over whether individual damage calculations in class actions can be calculated using generalized proof (Google Inc. v. Pulaski & Middleman LLC, et al., No. 15-1101, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly granted pop star Madonna Louise Ciccone - commonly known as Madonna - and others summary judgment on allegations a modified version of a horn segment in the song "Vogue" infringed the copyrighted song "Love Break," a divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded June 2 in a decision that creates a circuit split (VMG Salsoul LLC v. Madonna Louise Ciccone, et al., Nos. 13-57104, 14-55837, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10017).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its June 6 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court invited the U.S. solicitor general to weigh in on a patent and antitrust dispute involving the epilepsy drug Lamictal (SmithKline Beecham Corp., et al. v. King Drug Company of Florence Inc., No. 15-1055, U.S. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Issuing judgment in accord with a jury's verdict, a Delaware federal judge on May 31 ruled that Google Inc. did not infringe a German design and technology firm's patent with its "Google Earth" application (ART+COM Innovationpool GmbH v. Google Inc., No. 1:14-cv-00217, D. Del.).
PITTSBURGH - A copyright plaintiff had "at least a colorable basis for believing" that a competitor's software program infringed, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled May 31, denying an award of attorney fees (Clarity Software LLC v. Financial Independence Group LLC, No. 13-795, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70602).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 31 found for a second time that a model's failure to warn claim against the operator of a modeling network website related to a rape is not barred by the Communications Decency Act (CDA), reversing and remanding a lower court ruling dismissing the model's complaint (Jane Doe No. 14 v. Internet Brands Inc. DBA Modelmayhem.com, No. 12-56638, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9793).
SEATTLE - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 26 reversed a trial court's denial of arbitration in a class complaint accusing two billing aggregators of engaging in a scheme that caused Washington residents to unknowingly subscribe to premium text messaging services and ordered the trial court to make two additional findings before determining whether the billing aggregators may enforce an arbitration clause (Richard A. Geier, et al. v. m-Qube Inc., et al., No. 13-36080, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9640).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A claimed method and composition for treating cancer with hormone therapy is likely unpatentable under 35 U.S. Code Section 103, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled May 31 in a decision granting inter partes review (Amerigen Pharmaceuticals Ltd. v. Janssen Oncology Inc., No. IPR2016-00286, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Nearly one year after it was accused of infringing a patent directed to memory sharing between a video decoder and another device, Apple Inc. on May 31 responded with a petition for inter partes review before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Apple Inc. v. Parthenon Unified Memory Architecture LLC, No. IPR2016-01114, PTAB).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An inventor's efforts to overturn a final rejection of various claims of her patented method of providing real-time, bi-direction transactions on a network was turned away by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 27 on grounds that it lacks jurisdiction over non-final appeals from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) (In re: Lakshmi Arunachalam, No. 16-1560, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9696.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge properly construed the disputed term "communications path" as it appears in three patents directed to improved access to a local area network (LAN), a divided panel of the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 31 (Ruckus Wireless Inc. et al. v. Innovative Wireless Solutions LLC, Nos. 15-1425, -1438, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9786).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In what he deemed a "fierce and protracted" legal battle, a District of Columbia federal judge on May 27 concluded that two plaintiffs are entitled to a declaration that there is no likelihood of confusion between their "La Indita Michoacana" trademark and various other marks asserted by a defendant on the basis of their common usage of the word "Michoacana" (Paleteria La Michoacana Inc. et al. v. Productos Lacteos Tocumbo S.A. De C.V., No. 11-1623, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69621).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by a Delaware federal judge - later upheld by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals - which invalidated four of five patents covering the antibiotic Cubicin will stand, thanks to a denial of certiorari on May 31 by the U.S. Supreme Court (Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Hospira, Inc., No. 15-1210, U.S. Sup.).