SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly rejected a state law unfair competition plaintiff's effort to apply the Lanham Act's "establishment claim" standard outside the context of a Lanham Act claim, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 21 (Serena Kwan, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. SanMedica International, No. 15-15496, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6995).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on April 20 granted a motion filed by the owner of certain trademarks for summary judgment on its other claims for infringement and counterfeiting of a registered mark, awarding it $1 million in damages (UL LLC v. The Space Chariot Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-08172, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56147).
MADISON, Wis. - An infringement plaintiff's motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on a defendant's assertion that two sets of copyrighted illustrations constitute a joint work was denied April 18 by a Wisconsin federal judge (Amy Lee Sullivan v. Flora Inc., No. 15-298, W.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58774).
OMAHA, Neb. - A request by a plaintiff for summary judgment on its allegations that four defendants infringed the "LaGrange" trademark was granted, in part, by a Nebraska federal judge on April 18 (JDR Industries v. James L. Vance, et al., No. 14-284, D. Neb., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58912).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on April 17 substantially denied a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, ruling that a company has properly pleaded its claims against a majority of the defendants in the action (Jorgensen & Co. v. Gary Sutherland, et al., No. 15-7373, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59108).
WILMINGTON, Del. - An expert did not offer any developed damages theory relating to International Business Machines Corp.'s (IBM) use of its website, and there were "serious methodological and reliability problems" in his assumptions, a Delaware federal judge held April 17, excluding testimony in a patent infringement lawsuit (Parallel Networks Licensing LLC v. International Business Machines Corp., No. 13-2072, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58394).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In an April 17 final written decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed with a patent examiner that 20 claims of a patented system and method for detecting and nullifying the effects of computer viruses do not pass muster under Section 103(a) of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 1 et seq. (Ex parte Intellectual Ventures I LLC, No. 2017-000054, PTAB).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 14 mostly granted a satellite phone company's motion to dismiss a complaint alleging "click fraud" brought by a competitor, finding claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and related state law insufficiently pleaded (Satmodo LLC v. Whenever Communications LLC, et al., No. 3:17-cv-00192, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57719).
PHILADELPHIA - A decision by a Pennsylvania federal judge to "eschew" statutory damages and award more than $4 million to a trademark plaintiff was an abuse of discretion because "the record was insufficient to approximate actual damages," the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 18 (Covertech Fabricating Inc. v. TVM Building Products Inc., No. 15-3893, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6588).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on April 17 entered judgment in favor of an insurer three days after granting its motion for judgment on the pleadings in its lawsuit disputing coverage for underlying direct infringement, contributory infringement and vicarious liability claims brought against its insured Zillow Inc. (National Union Fire Insurance Co. v. Zillow, Inc., No.16-1461, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57496).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patented network-computer-based personal contact manager system renders a claimed system for sharing information over the internet unpatentable, Facebook Inc. alleges in an April 14 petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Facebook Inc. v. ZKey Investments LLC, No. IPR2017-01278, PTAB).
NEW YORK - In an April 17 ruling, a New York federal judge rejected a request by a plaintiff for intentional interference with contractual relations damages in connection with enforcement efforts by the agent for BMG Rights Management US LLC (Windstream Services LLC v. BMG Rights Management US LLC and Rightscorp Inc., No. 16-5015, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58204).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A North Carolina federal judge did not err in granting summary judgment to a Lanham Act and Patent Act defendant accused of marking its key-cutting machines as "patent pending," the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 13 (Gordon Gravelle v. Kaba Ibco Corp., No. 16-2318, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6246).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although largely affirming a Texas federal judge's claim construction and denial of a Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. request for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) that two patents are invalid as obvious, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 17 nonetheless vacated a ruling that a patent owner's damages should not be limited on the basis of its failure to mark products as patented (Rembrandt Wireless Technologies L.P. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 16-1729, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6502).
PORTLAND, Ore. - While allowing expert testimony on objective considerations of nonobviousness, an Oregon federal judge also granted in part summary judgment on April 12 to a sportswear company that certain prior art references do not anticipate utility patents relating to heat-directing elements to a garment's innermost surface (Columbia Sportswear North America Inc. v. Seirus Innovative Accessories Inc., No. 15-00064, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55714).
PHILADELPHIA - Allegations by myriad plaintiffs that the companies that hold patents for the brand name drugs Lipitor and Effexor XR engaged in fraudulent patent procurement - known as Walker Process fraud pursuant to Walker Process Equip., Inc. v. Food Mach. & Chem. Corp., 382 U.S. 172 (1965) - do not arise under federal patent law, such that an appeal in the case must necessarily proceed in the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 13 (In re: Lipitor Antitrust Litigation, Nos. 14-4202, -4203, -4204, -4205, -4206, -4602, -4632, 15-1184, -1185, -1186, -1187, -1274, -1323 and 15-134, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6346).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Allegations that Apple Inc. infringed a patent claim directed to a means of sending packet data from a cellular telephone to a network through the use of a selected channel were properly rejected by a Texas federal judge and jury, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 14 (Core Wireless Licensing S.a.r.l. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-2037, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6410).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in Oregon properly found that the University of Massachusetts (UMass) is entitled to sovereign immunity in a lawsuit seeking a correction of patent inventorship, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 12 (Mussa Ali v. Carnegie Institution of Washington, No. 16-2320, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6250).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on April 10 granted a motion filed by a company that alleges that another entity violated California's unfair completion (UCL) and false advertising laws when it sold trademarked domain names, finding the company in contempt of a temporary restraining order and injunction (UL LLC v. The Space Chariot Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-08172, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56147).
CLEVELAND - A declaratory judgment plaintiff-franchisee prevailed in part on its request for summary judgment on April 12, when an Ohio federal judge agreed that there is no direct evidence that it infringed copyrighted architectural works and that the copyright owner failed to demonstrate substantial similarity (Robert L. Stark Enterprises Inc. v. Neptune Design Group LLC, No. 16-264, N.D. Ohio; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55951).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 11 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a business liability policy does not provide coverage for false advertising claims brought against an eye health supplement maker insured by a competitor, finding that the insured failed to demonstrate that the underlying complaint alleged a product disparagement claim (Vitamin Health, Inc. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No.16-1724, 6th Cir.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Six claims of a patented method for location sharing and mobile phone tracking are unpatentable as anticipated, Uber Technologies Inc. alleges in an April 7 petition for inter partes review (Uber Technologies Inc. v. X One Inc., No. IPR2017-01255, PTAB).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel correctly found that it was not liable for its users' posting of copyrighted adult pictures, a usenet service provider asserts in an April 10 brief opposing an adult entertainment firm's petition for rehearing, arguing that the panel applied the correct standard for determining vicarious liability (Perfect 10 Inc. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 15-55500, 15-55523 and 15-56026, 9th Cir.).
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - After refusing to exclude expert testimony from both sides in a patent infringement case involving disposable pants-type diapers, a Kentucky federal judge on April 10 granted and denied in part summary judgment of noninfringement to a baby diaper manufacturer on certain accused products (SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag, et al. v. First Quality Baby Products LLC, et al., No. 10-00122, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54167).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In an April 10 ruling that largely affirmed findings by a patent examiner, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board deemed 16 claims of a patented sheath used with an anastomosis for the prevention of fluid leaks unpatentable (Ex parte Joshua Stopek, Jacqueline Jones and Amin Elachchabi, No. 2015-005258, PTAB).