NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge erroneously concluded that two plaintiffs satisfied the elements required for a preliminary injunction when he ordered a trademark infringement defendant to transfer control of a Facebook account to his former managers, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 8 (Emerald City Management LLC and Emerald City Band Inc. v. Jordan Kahn and Jordan Kahn Music Company LLC, No. 15-40446, 5th Cir.).
ALEXANDRIA, La. - Allegations that a defendant diluted the "Next" trademark as it is used in connection with height-adjustable work tables were rejected March 7 by a Louisiana federal judge (Baker Manufacturing Company Inc. v. Next Technologies Inc., No. 15-1630, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29250).
DENVER - Despite finding "overwhelming evidence" of copying, a Colorado federal judge on March 7 nonetheless dismissed copyright infringement claims levied in connection with a collection of lessons on manners intended for children (Civility Experts Worldwide v. Molly Manners LLC, No. 15-521, D. Colo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 287).
NEW YORK - A defendant's claim that it possessed a license to use three copyrighted images belonging to Playboy Enterprises International Inc. were met with skepticism March 8 by a New York federal judge, who denied a motion to dismiss case (Playboy Enterprises International Inc. v. Mediatakeout.com LLC, No. 15-7053, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29249).
JACKSON, Miss. - In a March 7 brief in Mississippi federal court, Google Inc. opposed as "frivolous" a protective order motion filed by Mississippi Attorney General (AG) Jim Hood, defending its intention to depose the AG in a dispute centering over Google's purported liability for illegal Internet content in light of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Google Inc. v. Jim Hood, No. 3:14-cv-00981, S.D. Miss.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New Jersey federal magistrate judge did not err in rejecting on summary judgment allegations of design patent infringement levied in connection with a body washing brush, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 3 (Allyson Wallace v. Ideavillage Products Corporation, No. 15-1077, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3975).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge's order compelling the production of communications held by Queen's University at Kingston with its non-attorney patent agents was ordered withdrawn March 7 by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In re: Queen's University at Kingston, No. 15-145, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4259).
LOS ANGELES - Allegations that Joseph 'Joey' Travolta, older brother of actor John Travolta, infringed a copyrighted written curriculum and program guide were rejected March 4 by a California federal judge (Dr. Alisa Wolf and Actors for Autism v. Joseph 'Joey' Travolta et al., No. 14-938, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28007).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 7 turned away an appeal that posed the question of whether automobiles and other "useful items" are entitled to copyright protection (Mark Towle v. DC Comics, No. 15-943, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its March 7 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied without comment a petition for certiorari by Apple Inc. in a lawsuit in which the technology giant was found guilty of violating the Sherman Act by conspiring with publishers to fix the prices of electronic books (e-books) (Apple Inc. v. United States of America, et al., No. 15-565, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Facebook Inc. filed a motion for a protective order March 2 in California federal court, asserting that a four-year-old privacy suit over its purported use of tracking cookies should be stayed pending resolution of the social network's second dismissal motion (In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 5:12-md-02314, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Opposing a writers organization's petition for certiorari in a March 1 brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, Google Inc. maintains its position that use of copyrighted works in its Google Books feature constitutes noninfringing fair use (The Authors Guild, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 15-849, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A divided panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Feb. 29 unpublished ruling upheld a California federal judge's decision to dissolve a preliminary injunction based upon a law firm's unclean hands in advertising itself as a "single firm" that is "national" in reach (The Cochran Firm P.C. v. Cochran Firm Los Angeles LLP and Randy McMurray, No. 15-55816, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3682).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 1 refused to review a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to institute inter partes review (IPR) on only a subset of the grounds presented in a petition (Harmonic Inc. v. Avid Technology Inc., No. 15-1072, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3727).
NEW YORK - Yesh Music Inc. and individual artist John K. Emanuele (Yesh, collectively) took aim at the music-streaming service Google Play Music on March 1, with a putative copyright infringement class action complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Yesh Music Inc., et al. v. Google Inc., No. 16-1566, S.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - Competing allegations that the "Land O' Lakes" trademark was infringed were "rightly dismissed," according to a March 1 ruling by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (James Hugunin, et al. v. Land O' Lakes Inc., No. 15-2815, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3779).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 1 upheld findings by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board that an article included on the personal Web page of a graduate student at the University of Maryland was not a printed publication and therefore does not qualify as invalidating prior art (Blue Calypso LLC v. Groupon Inc., Nos. 15-1391, -1393, -1394, -1396, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3728).
AUSTIN, Texas - A method of conveying email messages whereby the address field differs from the unique address of an intended recipient claims ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S. Code Section 101, a Texas federal judge ruled Feb. 29 (A Pty Ltd. v. eBay Inc., No. 15-155, W.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24196).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A final judgment of noninfringement and patent invalidity was partly affirmed March 1 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (UltimatePointer LLC v. Nintendo Co. Ltd., No. 15-1297, Fed. Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Affirming a District Court's dismissal order, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 25 found that a putative class complaint over "Siri," the digital assistant on Apple Inc.'s iPhones, lacked the necessary specificity to support unfair competition and misrepresentation claims (In re iPhone 4S Consumer Litigation, No. 14-15487, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3373).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Two damage experts are precluded from testifying on a survey unrelated to patented invention at issue in an infringement lawsuit to calculate how many customers use the patented features of the accused products, a Delaware federal judge ruled Feb. 25, finding that the methodology is unreliable (M2M Solutions LLC v. Motorola Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 12-33, D. Del.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22944).
SALT LAKE CITY - Efforts by Microsoft Corp. to transfer allegations of patent infringement to Washington or California federal court were unsuccessful Feb. 26, when a Utah federal judge found that the software giant "does not provide evidence showing how trial in Utah will not be easy, expeditious or economical" (Corel Software LLC v. Microsoft Corp., No. 15-528, D. Utah.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24003).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Virginia federal judge did not err in confirming a jury's verdict of patent noninfringement in favor of defendant Facebook Inc., the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Feb. 25 (Rembrandt Social Media L.P. v. Facebook Inc., No. 14-1812, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3287).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge's dismissal with prejudice of an infringement action based upon his determination that a trademark assignment was invalid in gross was reversed and remanded Feb. 26 by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Nina Parkinson v. Robanda International Inc., No. 14-55028, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3511).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Finding that Samsun Electronics Co. Ltd. established prima facie cases of obviousness and noninfringement by its smartphones, a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 26 reversed a jury's finding of infringement in favor of Apple Inc. and an accompanying award of more than $119 million (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., et al., Nos. 2015-1171, 2015-1195 and 2015-1994, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3432).