LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's IP/Tech - Imminent Cruise Launch Cited As Grounds For Allowing Trademark Case To Proceed

    NEW ORLEANS - Although a Louisiana federal judge on Aug. 24 ultimately granted in part a motion to dismiss a declaratory judgment action, the plaintiff in the case was granted leave to amend while the defendant was criticized for arguing that no actual controversy exists between the parties, despite sending the plaintiff a cease-and-desist letter that alleged trademark infringement (Great Northern & Southern Navigation Co. LLC v. American Cruise Lines Inc., No. 16-3278, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112122).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 3rd Circuit Affirms: Defendant Benefitted From Distributor Infringement

    PHILADELPHIA - A Delaware federal judge did not err in upholding a jury verdict of direct and contributory copyright infringement in a dispute over stem cell photographs, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 24 (Andrew Paul Leonard, et al. v. Stemtech International Inc., Nos. 15-9138, -3247, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15565).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Patent Board Denies Mylan Bid For Review Of Taxoid Patent

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Assertions that an Aventis Pharma S.A. patent is invalid as obvious under 35 U.S. Code Section 103 were rejected Aug. 23 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which turned away a petition for inter partes review by Mylan Inc. (Mylan Inc. v. Aventis Pharma S.A., No. IPR2016-00627, PTAB).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - California Federal Judge Denies Fee Request By Oracle In Patent Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO - Efforts by Oracle Corp. to recoup attorney fees it incurred defending patent infringement allegations - and to have those fees assessed against counsel for the plaintiff under the vexatious litigation statute - were unsuccessful on Aug. 22, when a California federal judge disagreed that the case qualifies as "exceptional" under 35 U.S. Code Section 285 (Thought Inc. v. Oracle Corporation, No. 12-5601, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111661).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Louisiana Federal Judge: Area Of Use, Secondary Meaning Questions Preclude Ruling

    BATON ROUGE, La. - A declaratory judgment plaintiff's request for summary judgment that it did not infringe the "Audobon" trademark when it adopted a nearly identical name was denied Aug. 22 by a Louisiana federal judge, who cited the existence of genuine issues of material fact that are yet to be resolved (Audubon Real Estate Associates LLC v. Audobon Realty LLC, No. 15-115, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111437).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - NLRB: Chipotle's Social Media Policy Violates Labor Law

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Labor Relations Board on Aug. 18 enforced, with some modifications, a decision by an administrative law judge (ALJ) finding that the social media code of Chipotle Services LLC (doing business as Chipotle Mexican Grill) violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and that the fast food chain committed further violations by directing an employee to delete certain tweets, prohibiting the employee from circulating a petition challenging the chain's break policy and terminating the employee for his actions (Chipotle Services LLC d/b/a Chipotle Mexican Grill and Pennsylvania Workers Organizing Committee, a project of the Fast Food Workers Committee, Nos. 04-CA-147314 and 04-CA-149551, NLRB).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Citing A Lack Of Damages, Lenovo Opposes Certification In Laptop Spyware Suit

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - In an Aug. 19 brief opposing class certification in a suit over purported spyware that was preinstalled on computers, Lenovo (United States) Inc. told a California federal court that the case is "about a theoretical software security vulnerability that never materialized," arguing that certifications is inappropriate because the plaintiffs have not demonstrated any injury from the disputed software (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02624, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Illinois Federal Judge Awards $100,000 On Counterfeiting Claims

    CHICAGO - An online retailer that sold earrings bearing a fake Tory Burch trademark was ordered Aug. 22 by an Illinois federal judge to pay two plaintiffs $100,000 in statutory damages, as a result of the retailer's failure to ensure that its product offerings were not counterfeit (River Light V L.P., et al. v. I Love You To The Moom And Back, No. 15-5918, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111301).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Illinois Federal Judge Dismisses Counterclaim Asserting Trade Dress Unenforceability

    CHICAGO - A trade dress infringement defendant's request for declarations of trade dress noninfringement, invalidity and unenforceability was turned away Aug. 22 by an Illinois federal judge, who concluded that the defendant "is essentially seeking an inappropriate advisory opinion" that would do nothing to resolve the parties' dispute (Bodum USA Inc. v. A Top New Casting Inc., No. 16-2916, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111153).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit: Fact Issues Remain In Dispute Over Patent Validity

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge's decision to invalidate a semiconductor wafer patent as anticipated was vacated and remanded Aug. 19 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which cited the existence of genuine issues of material fact that should have precluded summary judgment (Semcon Tech LLC v. Micron Technology Inc., No. 15-1936, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15233).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Sony Petitions Patent Board For Review Of Web Communication Patent

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patented method of communicating online with pre-stored sequences of actions or scripts is directed to nonstatutory subject matter under 35 U.S. Code Section 101, Sony Mobile Communications (USA) Inc. alleges in an Aug. 19 petition for covered business method (CBM) review with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Sony Mobile Communications [USA] Inc. v. Content Aggregation Solutions LLC, No. CBM2016-00098, PTAB).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit: DuPont Printing Plate Patents Invalid, Not Infringed

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New Jersey federal judge's decision to grant a summary judgment of patent invalidity and noninfringement was affirmed Aug. 19 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found that patent owner E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. failed to establish that an accused substrate is controlled by an accused adhesive drying process (E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. MacDermid Printing Solutions LLC, No. 15-1777, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15231).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit: Willful Copyright Infringement Claim Improperly Rejected

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge erred in granting Live Nation Merchandise Inc. summary judgment on allegations of willful infringement because a reasonable jury could have concluded that Live Nation distributed a plaintiff's photographs with knowledge that copyright management information (CMI) had been removed, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 18 (Glen E. Friedman v. Live Nation Merchandise Inc., No. 14-55302, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15178).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - DEA's Subpoena Of Hotmail Account Did Not Violate 4th Amendment, 7th Circuit Rules

    CHICAGO - The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) did not violate the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in issuing subpoenas on a man's email provider and Internet service provider (ISP) because he had no expectation of privacy in his computer's Internet protocol (IP) address, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found Aug. 17, affirming a district court's denial of the defendant's motion to suppress in a drug possession case (United States of America v. Frank Caira, No. 14-1003, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15098).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Patent Board Won't Review Internet Navigation Method Patent

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Efforts by an infringement defendant to invalidate a patented method of gathering and presenting summary information as HyperText Markup Language (HTML) were unsuccessful on Aug. 16, when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board denied a petition for covered business method (CBM) review (Plaid Technologies Inc. v. Yodlee Inc. and Yodlee.com Inc., No. CBM2016-00037, PTAB).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Judge Rejects Joint-Ownership Position Advanced In Patent Case

    TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 17 turned away a request for dismissal of a patent infringement lawsuit based upon a claim of joint ownership by three defendants, finding instead that the plaintiff - as an exclusive licensee - can sue a patentee or an infringer (The Medicines Company v. Eagle Pharmaceuticals, et al., No. 16-569, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108855).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Patent Board's Rejection Of Obviousness Challenge Affirmed By Federal Circuit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that 23 claims of a patented composition for tigecycline and an acid or buffer are not obvious were not erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Aug. 16 (Apotex Inc. v. Wyeth LLC, No. 15-1871, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14991).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Partially Bars Expert's Testimony On Damages In Patent Infringement Lawsuit

    SAN FRANCISCO - In a patent infringement lawsuit concerning computer security technology, a damages expert's apportionment methodology is unreliable as it improperly inflates the apportionment base, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 15, partially excluding the testimony (Finjan Inc. v. Sophos Inc., No. 14-01197, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107831).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - New York Federal Judge Denies Relief In Dispute Over Fashion Week Marks

    NEW YORK - Less than two months after denying a temporary restraining order in a dispute over the acronym "NYFW" - short for "New York Fashion Week" - and other trademarks, a New York federal judge on Aug. 12 again concluded that an infringement plaintiff is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its claim (Fashion Week Inc. v. Council of Fashion Designers of America Inc., et al., No. 16-5079, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107358).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Choice Hotels Prevails In Trademark Infringement Suit Against Ex-Franchisees

    HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Aug. 15 granted Choice Hotels International Inc.'s (CHI) motion for summary judgment in a suit alleging that former CHI franchisees continued to use CHI trademarks after termination of their franchise agreement for nonpayment of certain fees (Choice Hotels International Inc. v. Frontier Hotels Inc., et al., No. 4:15-2355, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107460).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 5th Circuit: Sanctions Not Warranted In Longstanding Trademark Case

    NEW ORLEANS - Allegations by myriad plaintiffs that a trademark and patent infringement defendant committed violations of the civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act were "creative" but not "ridiculous," the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 15 (Southern Snow Manufacturing Company, et al. v. SnoWizard Inc., No. 15-30393, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14977).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 6th Circuit Revives Florida Man's Wiretap Suit Against Spyware Firm

    CINCINNATI - A plaintiff sufficiently alleged that the developer of software that was used to intercept and record his communications was an active participant in these actions, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority found Aug. 16, reversing a trial court's ruling that dismissed the plaintiff's claims under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) for failure to state a claim (Javier Luis v. Awareness Technologies, et al., No. 14-3601, 6th Cir.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 8th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Suit Over GameStop's Disclosure Of Information

    ST. LOUIS - Although it found that a plaintiff had standing to bring putative class claims against a gaming website operator for purported disclosure of users' personally identifiable information (PII), an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority on Aug. 16 concluded that the plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, affirming a trial court's dismissal of his complaint (Matthew Carlsen v. GameStop Inc., et al., No. 15-2453, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14999).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Reverses Invalidation Of Collating Unit Patent

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Kansas federal judge erred in deeming a patent covering a collating unit used during prescription dispensing invalid for lack of written description, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Aug. 15 (ScriptProLLC and ScriptPro USA Inc. v. Innovation Associates Inc., No. 15-1565, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14919).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - D.C. Circuit Stays Senate Subcommittee Subpoena On Backpage.com CEO

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The chief executive officer of online classifieds website operator Backpage.com LLC was granted temporary relief from a U.S. Senate subcommittee's discovery subpoena on Aug. 12 when a District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel granted his emergency motion to stay, which was filed the same day (Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations v. Carl Ferrer, No. 16-5232, D.C. Cir.).