SAN DIEGO - After finding that the manager of a nightclub development company fraudulently induced an investor into investing money for the development of a new club, a California federal judge on Aug. 7 refused to dismiss the investor's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and securities fraud (Matthias Mueller v. San Diego Entertainment Partners LLC, et al., No. 16cv2997, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77643).
MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on July 26 held that it lacks jurisdiction to hear a homeowners insurer's appeal of a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute, dismissing the appeal (Gulfstream Property & Casualty Insurance Co. v. David Coley, No. 3D16-885, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 10651).
LOS ANGELES - Finding that an online entertainment company's trade libel suit against a digital media firm was based directly on the contents of its communications, a California appeals panel on June 29 affirmed a trial court's ruling striking the suit under the state's Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation statute (anti-SLAPP statute), also finding that underlying issues of internet copyright and adult content were matters of public interest that merited protection under the statute (FilmOn.com v. DoubleVerify Inc., No. B264074, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4477).
CINCINNATI - A split Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 25 upheld a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which found that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by requiring employees to sign off on an agreement that barred them from pursuing class action litigation or collective arbitration of work-related claims (National Labor Relations Board v. Alternative Entertainment, Inc., No. 16-1385, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9272).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 23 affirmed a district court's dismissal of claims asserted by a movie theater owner against a competitor, finding that since its claims for violation of the Cartwright Act failed, its other causes of action for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and interference also failed (Starlight Cinemas v. Regal Entertainment Group, No. 15-55217, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8978).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on May 22 dismissed an investor's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and securities laws, finding that he failed to show that he was fraudulently induced into investing in the development of a nightclub (Matthias Mueller v. San Diego Entertainment Partners LLC, et al., No. 16cv2997, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77643).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Environmental groups filed two amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court on May 1, arguing that the high court should hear the appeal of a group of Ecuadorian residents and their attorney, who challenge an $18.5 billion fraud judgment they previously won against Chevron Corp. on grounds that "Chevron's schemes in Ecuador and New York highlight why courts do not entertain collateral attacks on foreign judgments" (Steven Donziger, et al. v. Chevron Corporation, No. 16-1178, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on May 1 agreed with Warner Bros. Entertainment and a co-defendant that a request for statutory damages and attorney fees stemming from the excerpted use of a copyrighted song in the intro to the show "Lucifer" fails as a matter of law because the work in question was unpublished at the time it was first used (Robert J. Marderosian, et al. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, et al., No. 17-1062, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66173).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel correctly found that it was not liable for its users' posting of copyrighted adult pictures, a usenet service provider asserts in an April 10 brief opposing an adult entertainment firm's petition for rehearing, arguing that the panel applied the correct standard for determining vicarious liability (Perfect 10 Inc. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 15-55500, 15-55523 and 15-56026, 9th Cir.).
SAN DIEGO - A safety engineer and accident reconstruction expert may not testify regarding Sea World LLC's liability relating to the safety of an area at the time of a woman's accident while visiting the park, a California federal judge held March 17 (Eusebia Baltazar v. Sea World Parks Entertainment LLC, No. 15-2893, S.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39039).
SAN FRANCISCO - A lead plaintiff in a securities class action has failed to show that a developer of educational entertainment for children and two of its executive officers acted with scienter in failing to report goodwill impairment for the second quarter of 2015, but the lead plaintiff has pleaded scienter regarding the defendants' failure to take certain write-offs in the third quarter of the fiscal year, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 24 in granting in part and denying in part the defendants' motion to dismiss (In re LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-0347, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26398).
DETROIT - A Michigan appeals panel on Jan. 26 affirmed the grant of summary disposition to the owner of a casino after finding that a man who slipped on ice on the casino's property failed to prove that the ice was not an open and obvious hazard and that there were no "special aspects" to the hazard (Zouhair Hakim v. Detroit Entertainment LLC, No. 329006, Mich. App., 2017 Mich. App. LEXIS 160).
PASADENA, Calif. - An adult entertainment site operator failed to establish that a usenet provider acted volitionally in or obtained any direct financial benefit from its users' infringing of the site's copyrighted images, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 23, affirming dismissal of direct and indirect infringement claims against the defendant (Perfect 10 Inc. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 15-55500, 15-55523 and 15-56026, 9th Cir.).
CINCINNATI - In a Jan. 13 appellee brief filed in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, an adult entertainment company says that its abandoned infringement claim against an accused file sharer was properly dismissed with prejudice because of the defendant's dilatory discovery conduct and to serve judicial economy (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 16-3628, 6th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations by a karaoke music producer that a defendant's practice of "media-shifting" karaoke tracks from physical compact discs to digital files violates the Lanham Act were correctly dismissed by an Arizona federal judge, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 18 (Slep-Tone Entertainment Corporation v. Wired for Sound Karaoke and DJ Services LLC, No. 14-17229, 9th Cir.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge's decision to permanently enjoin four defendants from licensing images or phrases from the iconic films Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz as well as images from the animated Tom and Jerry short films was affirmed Nov. 1 by the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. v. X One X Productions, et al., No. 15-3728, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19671).
HARTFORD, Conn. - World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) on Oct. 19 moved to dismiss the complaint of the remaining plaintiffs in a consolidated suit alleging that the WWE failed to warn them about the dangers of concussions, saying the claims brought by the former wrestlers are all time-barred (Russ McCullough, et al. v. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., No. 15-1074, D. Conn.).
NEW YORK - Although finding "much to criticize" in the conduct of an attorney who advanced allegations of copyright infringement and violations of the Lanham Act in a third-party action against Viacom and others, a New York federal judge on Oct. 5 nonetheless declined a request for sanctions in the case (Scrilla Hill Entertainment Inc., et al. v. Bianca Dupree, et al., No. 16-490, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138346).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 27 dismissed two appeals brought by two groups of former professional wrestlers who argued that their claims that World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) hid the dangers of brain injuries from the wrestlers were improperly dismissed by the lower court because there is nothing in the wrestlers' appellate briefs that "overcomes the strong presumption that the judgment is not appealable" (Russ McCullough, et al. v. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., No. 16-1231, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17519).
CHICAGO - A Wisconsin federal judge abused his discretion and clearly erred when he "entertained" and accepted post-trial arguments by a plaintiff that a defendant failed to prove continuous use of the "Bug Off" trademark after 2012 when the parties' dispute was clearly centered on pre-2012 use, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 25 (S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. v. Nutraceutical Corporation, No. 15-3337, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15709).