SAN JOSE, Calif. - The plaintiffs in a class action against computer manufacturer Lenovo (United States) Inc. on Dec. 9 moved in California federal court for preliminary approval of a settlement with the co-defendant that designed the spyware at the heart of the lawsuit's computer fraud and invasion of privacy claims (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 5:15-cv-02624, N.D. Calif.).
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - In answers filed Dec. 9 in Massachusetts federal court, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) each deny a deaf advocacy organization's putative class claims that their websites violated federal law because they are not equally accessible for hearing-impaired individuals (National Association of the Deaf, et al. v. Harvard University, et al., No. 3:15-cv-30023, D. Mass; and National Association of the Deaf, et al. v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, No. 3:15-cv-30024, D. Mass.).
SAN DIEGO - Affirming two lower courts' rulings, the California Supreme Court on Dec. 12 determined that online travel companies (OTCs) do not meet the definition of hotel "operators" in a San Diego tax ordinance and, thus, are not liable for paying transient occupancy tax amounts assessed by the city on hotel customers (In Re Transient Occupancy Tax Cases, No. S218400, Calif. Sup.; 2016 Cal. LEXIS 9592).
CINCINNATI - A Michigan federal judge did not err in rejecting allegations of trademark infringement levied in connection with a rapper's use of the stage name "Logic" because a plaintiff disc jockey operating as "DJ Logic" failed to demonstrate that consumers would likely be confused, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 13 (Lee Jason Kibler v. Robert Bryson Hall II, et al., No. 15-2516, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22079).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a ruling issued Dec. 12, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals indicated its disagreement with the "approach" taken by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board when it required a service mark owner to demonstrate use of its marks in connection with personnel placement and recruitment services in addition to its software-related offerings (In re: JobDiva Inc., No. 15-1960, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21974).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A common-law trademark dispute over the corporate identity and assets of Jericho Baptist Church Ministries Inc. will proceed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, a federal judge there announced Dec. 9 (Jericho Baptist Church Ministries Inc. v. Jericho Baptist Church Ministries Inc., et al., No. 16-647, D. D.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 9 declined a social media aggregator's petition to rehear an appeal in which the panel found that the aggregator violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) by sending solicitation messages to users of Facebook Inc. after being told to cease and desist such actions (Facebook Inc. v. Power Ventures Inc., et al., No. 13-17154, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21944).
LOS ANGELES - A video-on-demand (VOD) provider was hit with a preliminary injunction by a California federal judge Dec. 12 that prevents the firm from streaming, copying or editing works owned by the plaintiff movie studios, which accuse the company of infringement and circumventing their works' anti-piracy technology (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Citing a Delaware federal judge's incorrect instruction to jurors regarding the law on inducement, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 12 vacated a verdict of infringement of two patents (Power Integrations Inc. v. Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc., et al., Nos. 15-1329, -1388, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21975).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 12 remanded a dispute over the patented ornamental design of a lip and hinge plate for a dock leveler to the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in light of the Supreme Court's Dec. 6 ruling in Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al. v. Apple Inc. (No. 15-777, U.S. Sup.) (Systems, Inc. v. Nordock, Inc., No. 15-978, U.S. Sup.).
DETROIT - A declaratory judgment patent action, later amended to include a claim of false advertising under the Lanham Act, was dismissed Dec. 8 by a Michigan federal judge on grounds of lacking personal jurisdiction (Precision Extraction Corp. v. Udoxi Scientific LLC, No. 16-11972, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169981).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on Dec. 5 denied Sprint Communications Co. L.P. its attempts to exclude damages and patent experts in two consolidated patent infringement lawsuits filed against Comcast Cable Communications LLC and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) (Sprint Communications Company LP v. Comcast Cable Communications LLC, et al., No. 11-2684 and Sprint Communications Company LP v. Time Warner Cable Inc., et al., No. 11-2686, D. Kan.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167849).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Finding no likelihood that Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Inc. will prevail in showing that at least one claim of a patented rapid-dissolve film for orally administered active ingredients is invalid, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Dec. 5 denied inter partes review (IPR) (Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Inc. v. Monosol RX LLC, No. IPR2016-0111, PTAB).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority on Dec. 8 amended an earlier ruling in which it affirmed computer fraud and trade secrets convictions of a man who accessed his former employer's computer "without access," to deny his motion for rehearing en banc (United States of America v. David Nosal, No. 14-10037 and 14-10275, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) erred in deeming various claims of a spinal infusion patent invalid because it "failed to articulate a reason why" a person having ordinary skill in the art (PHOSITA) would have been motivated to modify and combine various prior art references to obtain the invention taught by NuVasive Inc.'s patented system and method, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 7 (In re: NuVasive Inc., No. 15-1670, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21748).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Assertions by Apple Inc. that a device compression patent that has been frequently asserted in various federal lawsuits is invalid pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 103(a) were well received by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which instituted inter partes review (IPR) on Dec. 6 (Apple Inc. v. Parthenon United Memory Architecture LLC, No. IPR2016-01135, PTAB).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Allegations by a pro se plaintiff that two individual defendants committed copyright and trademark infringement are insufficiently pleaded, a Florida federal judge ruled Dec. 6 (Daniel A. Bernath v. Don Shipley, et al., No. 16-40, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168253).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A jury award of $52 million in lost profits was premised on an erroneous instruction that worldwide sales can be considered even when the product in question only contains a single "staple article" manufactured domestically, an attorney for patent infringement defendant Life Technologies Corp. told the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 6 (Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp., No. 14-1538, U.S. Sup.).
ERIE, Pa. - In a Dec. 2 reply brief supporting their motion for class certification, a Wyoming couple, who unknowingly purchased a laptop with spyware installed on it, tells a Pennsylvania federal court that their complaint against the laptop seller for violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) merits class treatment because of "the ability to answer predominating common questions in a uniform manner" in compliance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-00101, W.D. Pa.).
DETROIT - Allegations that a university violated the Copyright Act were rejected on summary judgment Dec. 5 by a Michigan federal judge on grounds of sovereign immunity; however, the judge in the same ruling agreed that two individuals will remain in the case as copyright infringement defendants (Alisa Wolf v. Oakland University, et al., No. 15-13560, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167268).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A May 2015 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that jurors deciding damages in design patent infringement cases need not disregard unprotected elements when arriving at a total damage award was reversed and remanded Dec. 6 by the U.S. Supreme Court, in a win for Samsung Electronics Co. (Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-777, U.S. Sup.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A rejection under 35 U.S. Code Section 103(a) of two claims of a thermal chemical reaction patent was reversed Dec. 2 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Ex parte Battelle Memorial Institute, No. 2015-005944, PTAB).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - An artist's allegation of copyright infringement in connection with an image of him taken without permission while carrying two of his own paintings were dismissed Nov. 30 by a New York federal judge (Earl Swanigan v. Kenneth Young, et al., No. 15-1272, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165591).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A plaintiff is entitled to prevail on its allegation that Poland's national public television broadcasting company violated the Copyright Act by displaying episodes of "TVP Polonia" on its website without permission, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled Dec. 2 (Spanski Enterprises Inc. v. Telewizja Polska S.A., No. 12-957, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166506).
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge erroneously denied Becton Dickinson & Co. (BD) judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on allegations by a plaintiff that BD attempted to monopolize the market for safety syringes through various deceptive practices, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Dec. 2 (Retractable Technologies Inc. v. Becton Dickinson & Company, No. 14-41384, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21556).