SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 25 dismissed claims asserted by a drink vessel maker for patent infringement and unjust enrichment in relation to a party supply retailer's alleged infringement on its utility patent but found that part of its claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) can proceed (Small Axe Enterprises Inc. v. Amscan Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-00981, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62900).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A bill that would render the Register of Copyrights a presidential appointment subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate was passed by a bipartisan U.S. House of Representatives on April 26 in a 378 to 48 vote.
RICHMOND, Va. - A Virginia federal judge's decision to dismiss allegations of false advertising levied in connection with Better Business Bureau ratings was not erroneous, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 24 (Wall & Associates Inc. v. Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia, Inc., et al., No. 16-1819, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7118).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The merits of a July 2015 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that barred an abbreviated biologic license applicant from marketing Zarxio - biosimilar to the bone marrow stimulant Neupogen - for 180 days in light of the applicant's premature notice of commercial marketing was debated April 26 by the U.S. Supreme Court (Sandoz Inc. v. Amgen Inc., et al., No. 15-1039 and 15-1195, U.S. Sup.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Google Inc. prevailed April 24 when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed with the software giant that various claims of a patented method for detecting fraudulent clicks on web advertisements are obvious or claim patent-ineligible subject matter (Google Inc. v. Patrick Zuili, No. CBM2016-00008, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patented system and method relating to a method of prompting action between interconnected devices on April 24 was targeted for inter partes review (IPR) by Yahoo Inc. in a new filing before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Yahoo Inc. v. Intent IQ Inc., No. IPR2017-01299, PTAB).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A final ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that deemed various claims of an integrated circuit design patent obvious and anticipated was reversed April 24 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on grounds that the board's findings were not supported by substantial evidence (Synopsys Inc. v. ATopTech Inc., Nos. 16- 1956, -1957, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7095).
NEW YORK - Even though a fired employee's Facebook post was vulgar and offensive, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 21 found that it constituted protected, union-related speech under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), leading the panel to grant a petition to enforce by the National Labor Relations Board, which found the man's firing to be retaliatory in violation of the act (National Labor Relations Board v. Pier Sixty LLC, No. 15-1841, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6974).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Although it found in April 2016 that Google Inc. demonstrated that it would likely prevail on allegations that two claims of a vector-based traffic information patent would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on April 21 confirmed the patentability of both claims (Google Inc. v. Ji-Soo Lee, No. IPR2016-00045, PTAB).
NEW YORK - A New York federal magistrate judge on April 21 recommended that a photographer be awarded $10,000 for each of five images infringed by web host Lycos Inc. - far less than the statutory maximum of $150,000 per infringed work originally sought in the case (Leif Skoogfors v. Lycos Inc., No. 16-2742, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61926).
CINCINNATI - Allegations that Kentucky Downs LLC infringed the trademarks of other horse racing venues when operating an historical horse-race gambling platform were properly dismissed, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 19 (Oaklawn Jockey Club Inc., et al. v. Kentucky Downs LLC and Exacta Systems LLC, No. 16-5582, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7078).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 21 vacated certain aspects of a final decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, agreeing that the underlying request for inter partes re-examination should not have been granted pursuant to Section 317(b) of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 317(b) (Fairchild [Taiwan] Corporation v. Power Integrations Inc., No. 17-1002, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6998).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly rejected a state law unfair competition plaintiff's effort to apply the Lanham Act's "establishment claim" standard outside the context of a Lanham Act claim, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 21 (Serena Kwan, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. SanMedica International, No. 15-15496, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6995).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on April 20 granted a motion filed by the owner of certain trademarks for summary judgment on its other claims for infringement and counterfeiting of a registered mark, awarding it $1 million in damages (UL LLC v. The Space Chariot Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-08172, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56147).
MADISON, Wis. - An infringement plaintiff's motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on a defendant's assertion that two sets of copyrighted illustrations constitute a joint work was denied April 18 by a Wisconsin federal judge (Amy Lee Sullivan v. Flora Inc., No. 15-298, W.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58774).
OMAHA, Neb. - A request by a plaintiff for summary judgment on its allegations that four defendants infringed the "LaGrange" trademark was granted, in part, by a Nebraska federal judge on April 18 (JDR Industries v. James L. Vance, et al., No. 14-284, D. Neb., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58912).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on April 17 substantially denied a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, ruling that a company has properly pleaded its claims against a majority of the defendants in the action (Jorgensen & Co. v. Gary Sutherland, et al., No. 15-7373, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59108).
WILMINGTON, Del. - An expert did not offer any developed damages theory relating to International Business Machines Corp.'s (IBM) use of its website, and there were "serious methodological and reliability problems" in his assumptions, a Delaware federal judge held April 17, excluding testimony in a patent infringement lawsuit (Parallel Networks Licensing LLC v. International Business Machines Corp., No. 13-2072, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58394).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In an April 17 final written decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed with a patent examiner that 20 claims of a patented system and method for detecting and nullifying the effects of computer viruses do not pass muster under Section 103(a) of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 1 et seq. (Ex parte Intellectual Ventures I LLC, No. 2017-000054, PTAB).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 14 mostly granted a satellite phone company's motion to dismiss a complaint alleging "click fraud" brought by a competitor, finding claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and related state law insufficiently pleaded (Satmodo LLC v. Whenever Communications LLC, et al., No. 3:17-cv-00192, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57719).
PHILADELPHIA - A decision by a Pennsylvania federal judge to "eschew" statutory damages and award more than $4 million to a trademark plaintiff was an abuse of discretion because "the record was insufficient to approximate actual damages," the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 18 (Covertech Fabricating Inc. v. TVM Building Products Inc., No. 15-3893, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6588).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on April 17 entered judgment in favor of an insurer three days after granting its motion for judgment on the pleadings in its lawsuit disputing coverage for underlying direct infringement, contributory infringement and vicarious liability claims brought against its insured Zillow Inc. (National Union Fire Insurance Co. v. Zillow, Inc., No.16-1461, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57496).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patented network-computer-based personal contact manager system renders a claimed system for sharing information over the internet unpatentable, Facebook Inc. alleges in an April 14 petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Facebook Inc. v. ZKey Investments LLC, No. IPR2017-01278, PTAB).
NEW YORK - In an April 17 ruling, a New York federal judge rejected a request by a plaintiff for intentional interference with contractual relations damages in connection with enforcement efforts by the agent for BMG Rights Management US LLC (Windstream Services LLC v. BMG Rights Management US LLC and Rightscorp Inc., No. 16-5015, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58204).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A North Carolina federal judge did not err in granting summary judgment to a Lanham Act and Patent Act defendant accused of marking its key-cutting machines as "patent pending," the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 13 (Gordon Gravelle v. Kaba Ibco Corp., No. 16-2318, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6246).