LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's IP/Tech - Washington Federal Judge Says Patents Claim Ineligible Subject Matter

    SEATTLE - A defendant won dismissal of patent infringement allegations on June 19 when a Washington federal judge agreed that two claimed inventions of pausing in the middle of copying information without deleting progress and providing customized service to customers at a central site cover abstract ideas (Uniloc USA Inc. v. Big Fish Games Inc., No. 17-1183, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102445).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit: Copyright Claim Over 'Walk Of Shame' Was Unreasonable

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge's decision to award actress Elizabeth Banks and others attorney fees in connection with their successful defense of copyright infringement allegations was not erroneous, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 21 (Shame on You Productions Inc. v. Elizabeth Banks, et al., No. 16-55024, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16764).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Supreme Court: Patent Damages Available For Overseas Combinations

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that reversed an award of lost profits for infringement damages stemming from the overseas combination of infringing components was reversed and remanded on June 22 by a divided U.S. Supreme Court (WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., No. 16-1011, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Awards RE/MAX $231,989, Issues Permanent Injunction In Trademark Dispute

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on June 19 granted RE/MAX LLC's motion for a default judgment against former franchisees, awarding the franchisor $231,989.23 in actual damages and issuing a permanent injunction enjoining the former franchisees from using, imitating, copying, duplicating or otherwise making use of RE/MAX marks (RE/MAX, LLC v. Robert Goodman Realty, LLC, et al., No. 17-0526, N.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101788).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Patent For Phonetic Symbol System Properly Denied, Federal Circuit Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A phonetic symbol system formed by phonetic symbols using letters of the English alphabet is directed to nonstatutory subject matter, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 20, affirming a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (In re: George Mizhen Wang, 17-1827, Fed. Cir.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit Affirms: Copyright Claims Against Software Provider Fail

    SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations by two residential real estate photographers that the real estate software provider for a multiple listing service (MLS) violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by removing their copyright management information (CMI) were properly rejected on summary judgment, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 20 (Robert Stevens, et al. v. CoreLogic Inc., No. 16-56089, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16620).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Split High Court Clears Way For South Dakota Internet Sales Tax Law

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Existing case law requiring a retailer to have a physical presence in a state before sales tax can be collected "is unsound and incorrect," the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 21, overturning two long-standing high court rulings that had prevented South Dakota from enforcing a new law levying sales tax on certain online retailers with no physical presence in the state (South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc., et al., No. 17-494, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 3835).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit Sides With Fast Food Franchisor On Contract, Trademark Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge did not err in granting Jack in the Box Inc. (JIB) summary judgment on its allegations that a franchisee committed breach of contract and trademark infringement, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 18 in a per curiam opinion (Jack in the Box Inc. v. Deepak Mehta, et al., No. 17-15336, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16362).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Facebook Instant Messages Deemed Discoverable In Anthem ERISA Class Action

    INDIANAOLIS - In light of a defendant's showing of relevance and the plaintiffs' failure to establish privilege, an Indiana federal magistrate judge on June 14 concluded that a Facebook instant message string between two named plaintiffs was not covered by a protective order in a putative class action over pension plan administrative fees, leading him to mostly grant a motion to compel (Mary Bell, et al. v. Pension Committee of ATH Holding Company LLC, et al., No. 1:15-cv-02062, S.D. Ind.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Dismissal Sought Of Fraud, Trade Secret Claims Over $11.4 Billion In Bitcoin

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A man accused of misappropriating and converting more than $11 billion in assets of a deceased bitcoin miner filed a motion to dismiss in Florida federal court June 15, asserting a lack of jurisdiction and claim preclusion due to Australian judgments in his favor (Ira Kleiman, et al. v. Craig Wright, No. 9:18-cv-80176, S.D. Fla.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit Upholds Damages, Fee Award In BitTorrent 'Swarm' Cases

    SAN FRANCISCO - In a June 18 ruling, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a Washington federal judge's decision to award a single statutory damage award in each of five cases involving the same BitTorrent "swarm" upload of the film "London Has Fallen" (LHF Production Inc. v. Doe 1, et al., No. 17-35237, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16360).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit Reverses Finding Of 'Mastermind' Trademark Invalidity

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge erred when dismissing a trademark infringement complaint on grounds of trademark invalidity, as well as in his subsequent order canceling the "Mastermind" trademark, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 15 (Raul Caiz v. William Leonard Roberts II, et al., No. 17-55051, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16171).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Rehearing Denied In Dispute Over Alleged False Statements Made To PTO

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a June 15 order, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals announced that it will not rehear a dispute over whether it or the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to decide a dispute over antitrust violations stemming from fraud before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) (Xitronix Corporation v. KLA-Tencor Corporation, No. 16-2746, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16203).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Georgia Judge Largely Denies Defense Motions In AndroGel Antitrust MDL

    ATLANTA - Efforts by Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc. to obtain summary judgment on claims by the Federal Trade Commission that Solvay violated antitrust laws with reverse payments designed to prevent entry to the market of generic AndroGel were unsuccessful June 14, when a Georgia federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation found that the government has adequately pleaded that Solvay conspired to restrain trade (In re: AndroGel Antitrust Litigation No. II, MDL No. 2084 [All Cases], No. 1:09-md-2084, N.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99716).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - RICO Claims Dismissed In Trade Secret Lawsuit Against Google, Others

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on June 13 ruled that an architect and his firm have not shown that they have standing to bring claims for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in a trade secret misappropriation and RICO lawsuit by failing to provide sufficient evidence that they were victims of any predicate act (Eli Attia, et al. v. Google LLC, et al., No. 17-6037, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99400).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 6th Circuit Affirms: Trademark Use Was In Good Faith, Descriptive

    CINCINNATI - A Kentucky federal judge did not err in finding that two distillery operators adopted the "Old Taylor" name descriptively and in good faith, thus entitling them to a fair use defense to allegations of trademark infringement, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 14 (Sazerac Brands LLC v. Peristyle LLC, et al., No. 17-5933, -5997, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15940).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Supreme Court To Hear Apple App Store Antitrust Standing Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - At the federal government's suggestion, the U.S. Supreme Court in its June 18 order list granted certiorari to Apple Inc. to decide a question of when consumers are direct or indirect purchasers related to their standing to sue a manufacturer for monopolization under the Sherman Act in the context of prices for iPhone apps set by app developers (Apple Inc. v. Robert Pepper, et al., No. 17-204, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Successors To Abbott And Costello Estates Must Pay Fees In Copyright Case

    NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on June 12 adopted a New York federal magistrate judge's recommendation that defendants accused of copyright infringement by the successors in interest to the estates of comedy duo Bud Abbott and Lou Costello should be awarded $50,123.04 in attorney fees in connection with the case (TCA Television Corp., et al., v. Kevin McCollum, et al., No. 15-4325, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98551).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Attorney's Deposition Partly Compelled In Suit Over Water Ride Patent

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal magistrate judge on June 8 found that a patent owner's counsel did not waive attorney-client privilege regarding certain proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) over a water park ride patent, partly denying a motion to compel his deposition but granting the defendant's motion related to nonprivileged communications and requests for production (RFPs) (Whitewater West Industries Ltd. v. Pacific Surf Designs Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-01118, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96970).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Biopharma Company Seeks Post-Grant Review Of Interfering RNA Patent

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A claimed form of synthetically interfering ribonucleic acid (RNAi) molecules is not entitled to patent protection, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. asserts in a June 11 petition for post-grant review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Silence Therapeutics GmbH, No. PGR2018-00067, PTAB).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Extension Of Time To Oppose Report Sought In Copyright, Trademark Case

    NEW YORK - In a June 13 letter motion, plaintiffs' attorneys requested a two-week extension to file objections to a June 8 New York federal magistrate judge's recommendation that they be awarded a default judgment on just three of seven counts of copyright infringement (Conan Properties International LLC, et al., v. Ricardo Jove Sanchez, No. 17-162, E.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98631).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Florida Magistrate Judge: Corporate Officers Can Be Added To Copyright Case

    MIAMI - A plaintiff was granted leave to amend its copyright infringement complaint on June 11 by a Florida federal magistrate judge, to add various individuals as defendants, but a related request to allege that the individuals are liable for secondary infringement was rejected (43 North Broadway LLC v. Essential Media Group LLC, No. 17-24518, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97497).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Despite Remand, Federal Circuit Won't Require Board To Consider Fraud Claim

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a June 11 order, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals granted a joint motion to remand to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board an inter partes review (IPR) of an animal litter patent but declined a petitioner's request that the court order the board to address allegations of fraud or sanctions stemming from documents produced in a parallel district court case (Nestle Purina Petcare Company v. Oil-Dri Corporation of America, No. 17-1744, Fed. Cir.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Dispute Over Patented Spinal Column Deviation Treatment Remanded

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a June 11 decision, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals partly affirmed and partly vacated findings of patentability by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board with regard to methods and systems for ameliorating aberrant spinal column deviations (Medtronic Inc. v. Mark A. Barry, Nos. 17-1169, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15667).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Method For Sorting Cells Is Obvious, Petitioner Tells Patent Board

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent at the center of infringement litigation pending in Wisconsin and Colorado federal courts would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art, according to a June 8 petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (ABS Global Inc. v. XY LLC, No. IPR2018-01224, PTAB).