ST. LOUIS - Citing evidence that the "Onepul" trademark, when used in connection with plastic bags for picking up and disposing of dog droppings, could be considered generic or descriptive, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 26 reversed a summary judgment of trademark validity (ZW USA Inc. v. PWD, LLC, No. 16-3999, 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10530).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a final written decision released April 24, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board sided primarily with an inter partes review petitioner, finding that 12 claims of a patented human interface method for operating, among other things, garage doors would have been rendered obvious or anticipated by prior art (One World Technologies Inc. v. The Chamberlain Group Inc., No. IPR2017-00073, PTAB).
SAN FRANCISCO - In an April 24 answer filed in California federal court, Niantic Inc. argues that it cannot be found liable for incidents of nuisance and trespass carried out by players of its Pokemon GO game, raising defenses of consent, lack of standing and absence of proximate cause (In re Pokemon GO Nuisance Litigation, No. 3:16-cv-04300, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Finding that an appellant unreasonably delayed pursuing litigation against Dropbox Inc. (DBI) over the disputed "Dropbox" trademark, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 25 affirmed a trial court's summary judgment based on laches and an accompanying award of costs and attorney fees (Dropbox Inc. v. Thru Inc., No. 17-15078, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10453).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an appellant brief filed April 23, three generic drug makers tell the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the asserted claims of a patent covering a Suboxone sublingual film used to treat opioid addiction are invalid as indefinite (Indivor Inc., et al., v. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Inc., et al., Nos. 2016-2277, -2278, -2397, -2398, 2017-2587, 2018-1010, -1058, -1061, -1062, -1114, -1115, -1119, -1176, -1177, Fed. Cir.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on April 23 awarded default judgment to Travelodge Hotels Inc. (THI) for damages and recurring fees owed to it by a former franchisee but found that treble damages under the Lanham Act for infringing the company's trademarks after the defendant terminated the agreement were not warranted (Travelodge Hotels Inc. v. Wilcox Hotel LLC, et al., No. 17-0391, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68297).
SAN FRANCISCO - In an April 25 holding, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Fox Entertainment Group Inc., upholding a dismissal by a California federal judge of allegations that the film studio infringed trademark rights in a half-squirrel, half-rat character known as "Sqrat" (Ivy Silberstein and Silberstein & Silberstein LLC v. Fox Entertainment Group Inc., et al., No. 16-55318, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10447).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Florida federal judge's dismissal of patent infringement allegations levied against a maker of automated voting systems was upheld April 20 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Voter Verified Inc. v. Election Systems & Software LLC, No. 17-1930, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10026).
SAN FRANCISCO - Although finding that a monkey possesses jurisdictional standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 23 upheld a California federal judge's dismissal of the monkey's copyright claims, citing a lack of statutory standing (Naruto, a Crested Macaque, by and through his Next Friends, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. David John Slater, et al., No. 16-15469, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10129).
RICHMOND, Va. - A North Carolina federal judge's summary judgment that Walmart Stores Inc. infringed Variety Stores Inc.'s "The Backyard" trademark was premised on an erroneous finding of likely confusion, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 24, vacating a subsequent $32.5 million award of disgorged profits (Variety Stores Inc. v. Walmart Stores Inc., No. 17-1503 and 17-1644, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10317).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge's conclusion, following a bench trial, that business and litigation misconduct bars Merck & Co. from enforcing two patents against Gilead Sciences Inc. was not clearly erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 25 (Gilead Sciences Inc. v. Merck & Co. Inc., et al., No. 16-2302, Fed. Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A man who was convicted of computer fraud and trade secret theft against his former employer filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in support of his emergency motion for release from custody to pursue an appeal of a trial court's denial of his motion for a writ of error coram nobis (United States v. David Nosal, No. 18-10089, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its April 23 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court invited the views of the solicitor general in a case that presents the question of whether proof of "but-for" causation, without more, satisfies the principle that patent damages be apportioned between patented and unpatented features (EVE-USA Inc., et al. v. Mentor Graphics Corp., No. 17-804, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Upon institution of inter partes review (IPR), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board must decide the validity of all patent claims challenged in the underlying petition, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled April 24 (SAS Institute Inc. v. Andrei Iancu, Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 16-969, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A divided U.S. Supreme Court on April 24 upheld the constitutionality of the inter partes review (IPR) procedure introduced in 2012 by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), 35 U.S.C. 100 (Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene's Energy Group LLC, No. 16-712, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO - Allegations by the operator of a trading website that a customer opened an account solely with the intention of copying the plaintiff's business model and associated intellectual property can proceed, an Illinois federal judge ruled April 18 (TopstepTrader LLC v. OneUp Trader LLC, et al., No. 17-4412, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64815).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - When asserting that an inter partes review (IPR) petition is time-barred under Section 315(b) of the America Invents Act (AIA), 35 U.S.C. 315(b), a patent owner must demonstrate that the petitioner had "sufficient control" over prior district court litigation to establish privity, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 20 (Wi-Fi One LLC v. Broadcom Corp., Nos. 15-1944, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10024).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Feb. 20 denied a motion to dismiss a franchise dispute involving two restaurants because the plaintiffs' amended complaint "adequately alleges" a threat of imminent use of a trademark that would constitute infringement (Jgx Inc. v. Jon Handlery, et al., No. 17-cv-00287-BLF, N.D. Calif.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27079).
NEW YORK - A voluntary dismissal by a copyright infringement plaintiff two months after filing suit did not render a defendant in the action a prevailing party, a New York federal judge ruled Feb. 22 (Matthew McDermott v. Monday Monday LLC, No. 17-9230, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28664).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Efforts by Google Inc. to cancel myriad claims of two data-monitoring patents continue to be unsuccessful, with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 22 rejecting the software giant's appeal of a finding by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that the claims are patentable (Google LLC v. At Home Bondholders' Liquidating Trust, Nos. 16-2727, -2729, Fed. Cir.).
SAN DIEGO - A supplement maker's claim that clinical study results on Lipozene were derived from a "major university study" were false, according to a Feb. 21 ruling by a California federal judge, because the study was not affiliated with a university (Obesity Research Institute LLC v. Fiber Research International LLC, No. 15-595, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28025).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A small business owner who sued Google LLC over alleged misrepresentations about click fraud in its AdWords program, saw his claims of false advertising and unfair competition dismissed a second time Feb. 20, with a California federal judge finding that the plaintiff failed to plead the necessary economic injury to support his claims (Gurminder Singh v. Google LLC, No. 5:16-cv-03734, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27111).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that canceled all 79 patent claims as obvious was affirmed Feb. 20 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, marking a win for Google LLC and Motorola Mobility LLC (Arendi S.A.R.L. v. Google LLC, et al., No. 16-1249, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 4016).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 15 denied a maternity wear company's motion for judgment on the pleadings, finding that it would be premature to dismiss another company's claims for trademark infringement and that its claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) was not preempted (Blanqi LLC v. Bao Bei Maternity, et al., No. 3:17-cv-05759, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26069).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In two petitions for inter partes review (IPR) filed Feb. 15, Apple Inc. asserts that various claims of a voiceover internet protocol (VoIP) patent are obvious under Section 103(a) of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 103(a), one year after the Patent Trial and Appeal Board denied without prejudice the software giant's bid to cancel claims of the same patent (Apple Inc. v. Uniloc USA Inc., Nos. IPR2018-00580 and IPR2018-00579, PTAB).