The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), New York University (NYU) and Yale University were sued Aug. 9 in separate putative class action lawsuits on behalf of more than 60,000 employees in their defined contribution retirement plans who claim that the universities, as plan sponsors, breached their duties of loyalty and prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by causing plan participants to pay millions of dollars in unreasonable and excessive administrative fees.
BALTIMORE - A plaintiff's decision to pursue patent litigation became "clearly unreasonable" once the plaintiff failed to adequately rebut or otherwise address a defendant's position that the case was barred by 28 U.S. Code Section 1498, a Maryland federal judge ruled Aug. 4 (Astornet Technologies Inc. v. BAE Systems Inc., No. 14-245, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102260).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's rejection in June of the two-part test for enhanced damages set forth in In re: Seagate Technology LLC (497 F. 3d 1360, 1371 ), the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 5 vacated an award of unenhanced damages in a patent case and remanded the dispute to a Nevada federal court (Halo Electronics Inc. v. Pulse Electronics Inc., et al., Nos. 13-1472, -1656, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14366).
SEATTLE - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 3 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a directors and officers liability insurer has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying lawsuit arising from the insured's termination of a technology license agreement (TLA), finding that coverage is barred by the policy's contractual liability exclusion (X2 Biosystems Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 14-35125, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14153).
NEW YORK - Uncertain as to whether the claims for which an insured is liable are related to damages to window wall systems themselves or to other property owned by the condominium unit owners, a New York federal judge on Aug. 2 denied summary judgment to an insurer on the duty to defend and indemnify an underlying action (American Home Assurance Co. v. Allan Window Technologies, Ltd., No. 15-5138, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101118).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 29 affirmed the dismissal of claims for violation of California's unfair competition (UCL) in relation to a contract for the supply of polysilicon based on forum non conveniens (Adema Technologies Inc., et al. v. Wacker Chemical Corp., et al., No. 14-16618, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13742).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Cemex Inc. entered into proposed consent decree in Tennessee federal court on July 27 in which it agreed to invest approximately $10 million on technology to cut emissions of nitrogen oxide at five of its cement manufacturing plants to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and pay a $1.6 million civil penalty (United States of America, et al. v. Cemex Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-471, E.D. Tenn.).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 19 affirmed dismissal of a Chinese company's petition to confirm an arbitral award issued in its favor, finding that the other party did not receive sufficient notice of the arbitration in China, rendering the arbitration invalid under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (CEEG [Shanghai] Solar Science & Technology Co., Ltd., No. 15-1256, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13192).
SHERMAN, Texas - An infringement plaintiff's affirmative defenses of unclean hands and estoppel in response to a defendant's counterclaim for cancellation of various trademarks were properly rejected by a Texas federal magistrate judge, a Texas federal judge concluded July 16 (Neal Technologies Inc. v. Unite Motorsports Inc., No. 15-385, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92655).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A patent owner's efforts to have the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals correct a claim construction rendered by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board were unsuccessful on July 15, when the panel found that it lacks appellate jurisdiction (SkyHawke Technologies LLC v. Deca International Corp., Nos. 2016-1325, 2016-1326, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12977).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A new athletic shoe by Skechers USA Inc. makes improper use of adidas AG's patented "Springblade" technology, adidas alleges in a July 11 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon (adidas AG v. Skechers USA Inc., No. 16-1400, D. Ore.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Two days after Uber Technologies Inc. filed a notice in a California federal court that it was withdrawing a subpoena on Comcast, through which Uber had sought to identify a particular subscriber as part of its suit over a 2014 breach of its network, Uber and that unnamed subscriber stipulated June 29 to dismiss an appeal in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that resulted from a ruling on the subpoena (Uber Technologies Inc. v. John Doe I v. Subscriber, No. 15-16532, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals majority on July 5 found that a government "agency cannot shield its records from search or disclosure under" the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by "storing them in a private email account controlled by the agency head," reversing a trial court's dismissal of a group's FOIA for certain emails of the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) as inconsistent with the purpose of the act (Competitive Enterprise Institute v. Office of Science and Technology Policy, No. 15-5128, D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12357).
ATLANTA - After a jury returned a verdict finding that Wright Medical Technology Inc.'s Conserve metal-on-metal hip was not defective, the trial judge should have accepted the verdict or ordered a new trial, the defendant says in a June 27 appeal brief filed with the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In Re: Wright Medical Technology, Inc., et al., Robyn Christiansen, et al. v. Wright Medical Technology Inc., No. 16-12162, 11th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following the recommendation of the U.S. government, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27 granted certiorari in a patent dispute but limited its grant to the second question presented in the petition by Life Technologies Corp. (LifeTech) (Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp., No. 14-1538, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 20 deemed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's practice of giving patent claims their "broadest-reasonable-interpretation" (BRI) during inter partes review (IPR) a "reasonable exercise" of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's rulemaking authority (Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, Patent and Trademark Office, No. 15-446, U.S. Sup.).
DETROIT - Efforts by a patent infringement defendant to obtain dismissal of the allegations pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 101 failed June 7, when a Michigan federal judge found that the technology at issue is not abstract under step one of the Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International (134 S. Ct. 2347 ) framework (JDS Technologies Inc. v. Exacq Technologies Inc., No. 15-10387, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73622).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Issuing judgment in accord with a jury's verdict, a Delaware federal judge on May 31 ruled that Google Inc. did not infringe a German design and technology firm's patent with its "Google Earth" application (ART+COM Innovationpool GmbH v. Google Inc., No. 1:14-cv-00217, D. Del.).
SAN FRANCISCO - On the fourth day of deliberations in the second copyright trial over Java-related technology between Oracle America Inc. and Google Inc., a California federal jury on May 26 found that Google's use of Java structure, sequence and organization (SSO) in its Android operating system constituted fair use under the Copyright Act (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 3:10-cv-03561, N.D. Calif.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on May 23 said he will hold a hearing June 22 to consider approving the recently filed disclosure statement for the revamped plan of reorganization of Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC (GST) (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al., No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
CLEVELAND - An arbitrator must decide the arbitrability of a former Uber Technologies Inc.'s drivers wage and employment status allegations, an Ohio federal judge ruled May 23, finding that the driver failed to timely opt out of the arbitration provision of the services agreement to which he consented (LaDon Bruster v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 15-2653, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67523).
SAN FRANCISCO - Alleging infringement of 11 standard-essential patents (SEPs), China-based Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. on May 24 took aim at Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in a new California federal complaint (Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. et al. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al., No. 16-2787, N.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS - A "most favored licensee" (MFL) clause in a license agreement allowing JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. (JPMC) to use patented check processing technology was properly interpreted by a Texas federal judge as entitling JPMC to reimbursement after the patent licensor granted a similar unlimited license to another entity for a lesser lump sum, a divided Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 19 (JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. v. DataTreasury Corporation, No. 15-40905, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9203).