LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Aug. 8 granted a motion for default judgment in favor of a hookah tobacco company that sued a couple who was using the company's trademarked brands and ordered the couple to pay $575,000 (Starbuzz Tobacco Inc. v. Issa Hilo, et al., No. SACV 16-0303 AG, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Assertions by a patent infringement defendant that a plaintiff committed false advertising and defamation in a letter it sent to the defendant's current and prospective customers were rejected on summary judgment Aug. 8 by a California federal judge (Johnstech International Corp. v. JF Microtechnology SDN BHD, No. 14-2864, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104380).
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Aug. 8 opposition brief filed in California federal court, Oracle America Inc. calls a post-trial motion for civil contempt and sanctions by Google Inc. "unprecedented," asserting that the discovery trial statements that purportedly disclosed confidential information "were responsive" to arguments from Google and probing questions from the presiding magistrate (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 3:10-cv-03561, N.D. Calif.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A February 2016 request for inter partes review was granted Aug. 4 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, following failure by the patent owner to respond to the petition (Elekta Inc. v. Varian Medical Systems Inc., No. IPR2016-00551, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent that is currently the subject of several pending inter partes review (IPR) requests filed by companies including Volkswagen Group of America Inc. and Toyota Motor Co. is under fire again, in light of an Aug. 4 petition for IPR filed by America Honda Motor Co. Inc. (Honda) with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (American Honda Motor Co. v. Blitzsafe Texas LLC, No. IPR2016-01533, PTAB).
BALTIMORE - A plaintiff's decision to pursue patent litigation became "clearly unreasonable" once the plaintiff failed to adequately rebut or otherwise address a defendant's position that the case was barred by 28 U.S. Code Section 1498, a Maryland federal judge ruled Aug. 4 (Astornet Technologies Inc. v. BAE Systems Inc., No. 14-245, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102260).
CLEVELAND - A lawsuit involving restaurant trade dress will proceed without a temporary restraining order in place, an Ohio federal judge ruled Aug. 8 (Barteca Holdings LLC v. Coastal Taco LLC, No. 16-1498, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104026).
MINNEAPOLIS - Citing the interactive nature of a defendant's website, a Minnesota federal judge on Aug. 5 denied a motion to dismiss a patent infringement lawsuit on grounds of lacking personal jurisdiction (Imation Corporation v. Sanho Corporation Inc., No. 15-1883, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103626).
CHICAGO - Allegations that Steak n Shake Inc. infringed the copyrighted television advertisement of a competitor were rejected Aug. 5 by an Illinois federal judge, who deemed the commercials dissimilar (Culver Franchising System Inc. v. Steak n Shake Inc., No. 16-75, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103091).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's rejection in June of the two-part test for enhanced damages set forth in In re: Seagate Technology LLC (497 F. 3d 1360, 1371 ), the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 5 vacated an award of unenhanced damages in a patent case and remanded the dispute to a Nevada federal court (Halo Electronics Inc. v. Pulse Electronics Inc., et al., Nos. 13-1472, -1656, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14366).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Allegations of invalidity by FitBit Inc. with regard to a patented system for collecting health, wellness and fitness data with a sensor device were rejected Aug. 4 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (FitBit Inc. v. BodyMedia Inc., IPR IPR2016-00543, PTAB).
PITTSBURGH - Efforts to enforce a patent against myriad defendant insurers failed Aug. 4 when a Pennsylvania federal judge agreed with the insurer that the patent claims ineligible subject matter and "does not clear" the bar set in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int'l. (134 S. Ct. 2347, 2355 ) (Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Erie Indemnity Company, et al., No. 14-220, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102289).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Efforts by various banking institutions to obtain covered business method (CBM) review of a patent that claims improvements in fraud detection and notification during remote and electronic transactions were successful Aug. 1, when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board approved the request (Southside Bancshares Inc., et al. v. St. Isidore Research LLC, No. CBM2016-00027, PTAB).
NEW YORK - In its second ruling in a longstanding trademark dispute, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 3 vacated and remanded a Puerto Rico federal judge's findings of noninfringement, directing the district court to instead reconsider an earlier-entered injunction (Oriental Financial Services Corp., et al. v. Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito Oriental, No. 15-1009, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14162).
OAKLAND, Calif. - The developer of Pokemon Go, a popular "augmented reality" game that is played on smartphones, is liable for nuisance for placing virtual parts of the game known as "Pokestops" and "Pokemon gyms" on or adjacent to private property, a New Jersey man alleges in a class complaint filed July 29 in a California federal court (Jeffrey Marder, et al. v. Niantic, Inc., et al., No. 16-4300, N.D. Calif.).
HARTFORD, Conn. - Citing a lack of evidence linking two digital marketing companies with the use of various domain names featuring a deliberate misspelling of a plaintiff's trademark, a Connecticut federal judge on July 29 dismissed allegations that the defendant that hired the companies violated the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) (Edible Arrangements LLC v. Provide Commerce Inc., No. 14-250, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99291).
NEW YORK - Allegations that Macy's Merchandising Group Inc. (MMG) infringed the "Joules" trademark by selling women's clothing under the "Maison Jules" trademark were rejected Aug. 2 by a New York federal judge following a two-day bench trial in July (Joules Limited v. Macy's Merchandising Group Inc., No. 15-3645, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101151).
FLORENCE, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on July 29 awarded Choice Hotels International Inc. triple damages plus $1.18 million of infringer profits in a trademark infringement case against defendants who bought a North Myrtle Beach hotel from one of Choice Hotels' former franchisees and operated a "virtually identical business with a virtually identical name on the very same property" (Choice Hotels International Inc. v. Zeal LLC, et al., No. 4:13-01961, D. S.C., Florence Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99342).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge properly construed the terms "specified connection" and "UL connections" in a dispute over wireless communication patents, according to an Aug. 1 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in favor of defendant Apple Inc. (Wi-LAN USA Inc., et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-1256, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13860).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge's decision that upheld a verdict of patent invalidity and noninfringement following a seven-day jury trial was not erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 1 (GPNE Corp. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-1825, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13862).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Various claims of two patents deemed invalid as indefinite were properly determined by a Florida federal judge to be means-plus-function claims despite an absence of the word "means," the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 28 (Advanced Ground Information Systems Inc. v. Life360 Inc., No. 15-1732, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13707).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Massachusetts federal judge's decision to let stand a jury verdict that both a plaintiff and defendant were liable for infringing one another's external defibrillator patents and that all patents asserted in the litigation are not invalid was partly vacated and reversed July 28 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found - among other things - that potentially invalidating prior art was improperly excluded (Koninklijke Philips N.V. et al. v. Zoll Medical Corporation, No. 14-1764, -1791, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13710).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge's rejection of copyright infringement claims against Sony Music Entertainment - based upon a determination that the "Iron Man" composition was a work for hire commissioned by Marvel Comics - was vacated July 29 by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found that material fact issues regarding ownership should have precluded summary judgment (Jack Urbont v. Sony Music Entertainment et al., No. 15-1778, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13775).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent that forms the basis of more than 38 lawsuits still pending in two different jurisdictions is invalid pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 103, according to a petition for inter partes review filed July 22 with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Unified Patents Inc. v. Harry Heslop, et al., No. IPR2016-01464, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on July 25 upheld a patent examiner's determination that a single claim of an electrical fitting patent is not patentable pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 103(a) (Bridgeport Fittings Inc. v. Arlington Industries Inc., No. 2015-007896, PTAB).