SAN FRANCISCO - A claim that Google Inc. committed contributory trademark infringement when it failed to remove from Google Play apps from developers previously accused of infringing a plaintiff's "Spy Phone" trademark will proceed in light of an Oct. 14 holding by a California federal judge, who deemed the allegations sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Spy Phone Labs LLC v. Google Inc., No. 15-3756, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143530).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Multidistrict litigation stemming from an alleged practice by McCormick & Co. Inc. of "slack-filling" black pepper containers will proceed with a claim of false advertising in place, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled Oct. 18 (In re: McCormick & Company Inc., MDL No. 2665, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143176).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on Oct. 17 denied a commercial property's insurer motion to intervene in a copyright infringement dispute, finding that the insurer lacks a substantial interest in the case and that the insurance action would not share questions of law or fact with the copyright lawsuit (Design Basics LLC v. A.J. Bokar Building Company Inc. d/b/a Willow Wood Homes, No. 16-669, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143464).
SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. government intervened in a putative consumer class action in California federal court Oct. 17, filing a memorandum defending the constitutionality of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in response to a question raised by defendant Facebook Inc. related to allegations that the social network violated the act by sending text notifications without user consent (Christine Holt v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:16-cv-02266, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Massachusetts federal judge properly construed various disputed terms of two patents relating to three-dimensional scaffolding for growing cells in vitro to produce organ tissue, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 13 (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, et al. v. Shire Pharmaceuticals Inc., et. al., No. 15-1881, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18426).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A claimed invention relating to seismic streaming was properly rejected by a patent examiner as obvious in light of various prior art, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board affirmed Oct. 14 (Ex parte Husom, et al., No. 2014-009474, PTAB).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A bench trial held by a Texas federal judge correctly ended in findings that patents covering the testosterone gel Fortesta are not invalid as anticipated or obvious, as well as a ruling that the marketing of generic Fortesta would infringe the same patents, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 14 (Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al. v. Actavis Laboratories UT Inc., No. 16-1146, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18490).
LIMA, Ohio - Reversing a lower court in part, an Ohio appeals court on Oct. 11 held that the court erred in finding that an audit request in an underlying copyright infringement dispute was not a "claim" under an insurance policy (Eighth Floor Promotions v. The Cincinnati Insurance Companies, No. 10-15-19, Ohio App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 4119).
PHILADELPHIA - In a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, a company's employee in its marketing department is unqualified due to a lack of technical knowledge to testify on issues such as "branding, trademark confusion, customer reactions, business ethics, or trademark law," a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Oct. 12, excluding the testimony (Alpha Pro Tech Inc. v. VWR International LLC, No. 12-1615, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141030).
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 11 brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the U.S. government defends a July 2016 panel ruling in which a majority found that a man violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) by accessing his former employer's network, arguing that his bid for en banc review should be denied (United States of America v. David Nosal, No. 14-10037 and 14-10275, 9th Cir.).
LOS ANGELES - A German tobacco glass pipe maker on Oct. 11 filed suit in California federal court against a retail smoke shop, claiming that the shop has sold and continues to sell counterfeit products made by the pipe maker without its express permission (Sream Inc. v. MP Tobacco Inc., No. 5:16-cv-2143, C.D. Calif.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A decision on rehearing from a September 2015 ruling that affirmed a patent examiner's rejection of various claims of a universal tire pressure monitoring patent yielded a new ground of rejection on Oct. 12 (Continental Automotive Systems US Inc. v. Schrader Electronics Inc., No. 2014-007436, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In several petitions for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Oct. 11, Apple Inc. attacked the validity of a patent covering digital emulation (Petition for Inter Partes Review of U.S. patent No. 6,470,399, No. IPR2016-01839, PTAB).
SALT LAKE CITY - A declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration of noninfringement and invalidity with regard to two utility patents was partly dismissed Oct. 12 by a Utah federal judge pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (The Beer Barrel LLC v. Deep Wood Brew Products LLC, et al., No. 16-440, D. Utah.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141495).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Allegations by several petitioners that a bi-directional communications system patent owned by Sony Corp. is invalid pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 103 were turned away Oct. 7 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (ARRIS International PLC, et al. v. Sony Corporation, No. IPR2016-00828, PTAB).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Finding no error in a Florida federal judge's determination of patent ineligibility under 35 U.S. Code Section 101, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 11 affirmed dismissal of a dispute over a fraud detection patent (FairWarning IP LLC v. Iatric Systems Inc., No. 15-1985, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18313).
NEW YORK - Although rejecting a New York federal judge's determination that incorporation of Abbott and Costello's iconic "Who's on First" comedy routine into a Broadway play was a fair use, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 11 nonetheless affirmed dismissal of the case after finding that plaintiffs failed to assert the existence of a plausible copyright interest (TCA Television Corp., et al., v. Kevin McCollum, et al., No. 16-134, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18333).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An award of infringer's profits in a design patent case should consist only of those profits attributable to the article of manufacture to which the design patent is applied and not all profits realized from the total product, an attorney for petitioner Samsung Electronics Co. told the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 11 (Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-777, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - Findings by a New York federal judge that Kanye West, Jay Z and other artists did not commit copyright infringement through their song "Made in America" were proper, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 7 (Joel R. McDonald aka Joel Mac v. Kanye West, et al., No. 15-3489, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18291).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 11 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a request by the U.S. solicitor general to participate in upcoming oral arguments in a dispute over the copyrightability of "useful articles" (Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., et al., No. 15-866, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Oct. 7 en banc majority opinion, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court's judgment and a jury verdict in favor of Apple Inc. against Samsung Electronics Co. in a dispute over smartphone technology patents, vacating an earlier panel ruling that had reversed the lower court's ruling (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., et al., Nos. 2015-1171, 2015-1195 and 2015-1994, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18225).
CHICAGO - A woman bringing cybersquatting, fraud and defamation claims over a website created by her ex-boyfriend filed a motion to quash his discovery subpoenas in Illinois federal court on Oct. 5, asserting that the subpoenas were intended to harass and intrude on her personal life and lack any probative value related to the claims at issue in the case (Emily Mackie, et al. v. Mason Awtry, et al., No. 1:14-cv-09206, N.D. Ill.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A petition for inter partes review by Minerva Surgical Inc. was granted Oct. 6 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which agreed that claims 1-15 of a patented method of detecting body cavity perforations are likely invalid under 35 U.S. Code Section 103 (Minerva Surgical Inc. v. Hologic Inc., No. IPR2016-00868, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A claimed method of introducing a drag-reducing polymer into a pipeline carrying a liquid hydrocarbon "was not new" and would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art, Baker Hughes Incorporated asserts in an Oct. 6 petition for inter partes review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Baker Hughes Incorporated v. Lubrizol Specialty Products Inc., No. IPR2016-01896, PTAB).
NEW YORK - In part two of a two-phase damages trial, jurors empaneled before U.S. Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York on Oct. 5 found that Tiffany and Co. is entitled to an additional $8.25 million in punitive damages as a result of trademark infringement by Costco Wholesale Corp., sources confirmed to Mealey Publications (Tiffany and Company v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 13-1041, S.D. N.Y.).