LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 1 granted summary judgment for television companies on claims and counterclaims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and trademark infringement, finding that their use of the name "Empire" for a television series is protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Twentieth Century Fox Television, et al., v. Empire Distribution Inc., No. 15-2158, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13013).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal magistrate judge's recommendation that a request for attorney fees in a patent case should be denied was adopted in full Feb. 2 by U.S. Judge Anne C. Conway of the Middle District of Florida (Sweepstakes Patent Company v. Chase Burns, et al., No. 14-151, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12158).
TYLER, Texas - A Texas federal jury on Feb. 3 found that Apple Inc. infringed four patents with its FaceTime and VPN OnDemand features, awarding more than $625 million to tech firm VirnetX in the case's second jury trial (VirnetX Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 6:12-cv-00855, E.D. Texas).
SAN FRANCISCO - Sales of T-shirts bearing several disputed trademarks belonging to Macy's Inc. were deemed an infringement Feb. 1 by a California federal judge, who rejected claims by a defendant that Macy's use of the marks was ornamental (Macy's Inc. v. Strategic Marks LLC, Nos. 11-6198, 15-612, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11676).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Feb. 1 amicus curiae brief, a writers and journalists organization tells the U.S. Supreme Court that a recent Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling finding no infringement in Google Inc.'s "Google Books" project "threatens to undo the balance set forth by Congress in the fair use section of the Copyright Act" (The Authors Guild, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 15-849, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal magistrate judge's decision to deny a prevailing patent infringement defendant an award of attorney fees even after remand was affirmed Feb. 2 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Site Update Solutions LLC v. Newegg Inc., et al., No. 15-1448, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1641).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New York federal judge properly invalidated four patents covering the pain-relieving drug OxyContin following a three-week bench trial in 2013, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 1 (Purdue Pharma LP v. Epic Pharma LLC, et al., No. 14-1294, Fed. Cir.).
INDIANAPOLIS - A provider of online content and services filed a trademark infringement suit against a competitor in Indiana federal court on Jan. 29, asserting that the defendant's use of the trademark "Verge" violated its common-law and federal rights in the mark (Indy Founders LLC v. Vox Media Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-00265, S.D. Ind.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Data storage firm Seagate Technology LLC was hit with a putative class complaint Feb. 1 in California federal court, as a South Dakota man alleged unfair competition, false advertising and breach of warranty related to purportedly defective hard disk drives (Christopher A. Nelson v. Seagate Technology LLC, No. 5:15-cv-00523, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - Citing the "farcical nature" of a television commercial for the popular 5-Hour Energy drink, an Illinois federal judge on Feb. 1 dismissed allegations of false advertising and invasion of privacy levied against the drink maker (Johannes T. Martin v. Living Essentials LLC, No. 15-1647, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11287).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although affirming a Virginia federal judge's construction of some disputed terms, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 2 reversed with regard to others in a patent dispute between the trustees of Columbia University and Symantec Corp. (Trustees of Columbia University v. Symantec Corp., No. 15-1146, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Only the third-party requester of an inter partes re-examination (IPR) can appeal the outcome of the proceedings, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 29 (Agilent Technologies Inc. v. Waters Technology Corp., No. 15-1280, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1441).
CHICAGO - A twice final, unappealed judgment in a Lanham Act case bars any claim for violations of the Illinois Franchise Disclosure Act (IFDA) in a subsequent action, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 27 (Window World of Chicagoland LLC and David Hampton v. Window World Inc., No. 5-2224, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1255).
PHILADELPHIA - A petition for a writ of mandamus that would order the disqualification of U.S. Judge Richard G. Andrews of the District of Delaware was turned away Jan. 29 by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, on grounds that the underlying issues presented in the cases concern patent law (In re: Dr. Lakshmi Arunachalam, No. 15-3569, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1358).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge properly rejected a trademark infringement dispute on jurisdictional grounds, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 27 (A Corp. v. All American Plumbing Inc., No. 15-1509, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1303).
TYLER, Texas - Declaratory judgment counterclaims and affirmative defenses of invalidity with regard to six patents were voluntarily dismissed by Apple Inc. on Jan. 25, on the first day of a retrial to decide whether the software giant infringed via the popular "FaceTime" feature (VirnetX Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 12-855, E.D. Texas).
JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi Attorney General (AG) Jim Hood is not entitled to a jury trial in the present declaratory action, Google Inc. argues in a Jan. 25 reply brief in support of a motion to strike the AG's jury demand, noting that it seeks equitable relief rather than damages in countering a discovery subpoena by the AG that Google says violates the protections of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Google Inc. v. Jim Hood, No. 3:14-cv-00981, S.D. Miss.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Seeking to reverse a trial court judge's finding that an Internet-based rebroadcaster of copyrighted television shows might be entitled to a compulsory license under copyright law, a group of U.S. television networks on Jan. 27 filed an appellant brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that the rebroadcaster is not entitled to such a license because it does not meet the definition of a "cable company" (Fox Television Stations Inc., et al. v. Aereokiller LLC, et al., No. 15-56420, 9th Cir.).
MARSHALL, Texas - A dispute over five patents relating to the digital labeling of websites will remain in Texas, a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled Jan. 25 (Emmanuel Gonzalez v. New Life Ventures Inc., No. 14-907, E.D. Texas.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8040).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A jury empaneled before U.S. Judge Leonard P. Stark of the District of Delaware sided squarely with a medical device maker on Jan. 26, deeming two patents infringed, rejecting a defense assertion of patent invalidity and awarding the plaintiff $37.5 million in damages (Greatbatch Ltd. v. AVX Corporation, et al., No. 13-723, D. Del.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Assertions of patent ineligibility under 35 U.S. Code Section 101 were rejected Jan. 25 by a California federal judge, who denied a motion for judgment on the pleadings by a defendant (Cave Consulting Group v. Truven Health Analytics Inc., No. 15-2177, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8395).
MARSHALL, Texas - A plaintiff partly prevailed Jan. 25 when a Texas federal judge deemed three disputed patents infringed and not invalid (Nichia Corporation v. Everlight Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 13-702, E.D. Texas.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8378).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An August 2015 Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversal of findings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that a proposed "nonhuman paw print" trademark would cause confusion in the marketplace will stand, thanks to a denial Jan. 25 by the U.S. Supreme Court of a petition for certiorari (New Millennium Sports S.L.U. v. Jack Wolfskin Ausrustung Fur Draussen GmbH & Co. KGAA, No. 15-660, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although finding no error in a New York federal judge's decision to deem a patent infringement case exceptional, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 22 found that the judge failed to properly justify the manner in which her award of attorney fees was calculated (Lumen View Technology Inc. v. FindTheBest.com Inc., Nos. 15-1275, -1235, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1087).