HOUSTON - A method and system patent for "determining the state of well operations" is invalid under 35 U.S. Code Section 101, a Texas federal judge ruled Sept. 11 (TDE Petroleum Data Solutions Inc. v. AKM Enterprise Inc. d/b/a Moblize Inc., No. 15-1821, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121123).
SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations that director James Cameron and co-defendant Gale Ann Hurd committed copyright infringement by borrowing certain literary and musical materials to develop the "Terminator" film franchise were rejected Sept. 11 by a California federal judge (Neil Goldberg v. James Cameron and Gale Ann Hurd, No. 15-2556, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121501).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Sept. 8 partially granted an energy drink company's motion for a default ruling on its claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and trademark infringement against an individual, awarding it $15,000 in statutory damages (Monster Energy Co. v. Mike McNamee, No. 15-0084, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120295).
SAN FRANCISCO - Discovery subpoenas served on Facebook Inc., Instagram LLC and Twitter Inc. by two murder suspects are not permitted under the Stored Communications Act (SCA), a California appeals panel rule Sept. 8, reversing a trial court's denial of the social networks' motion to quash (Facebook Inc., et al. v. The Superior Court of San Francisco City and County, et al., No. A144315, Calif. App., 1st Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 786).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Five amicus curiae briefs were filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 8 in support of a Virginia man who claims that a data aggregation service violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by publishing inaccurate information about him online (Spokeo, Inc. v. Thomas Robins, et al., No. 13-1339, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - A jury verdict in favor of a defendant on its counterclaim of negligent misrepresentation is not inconsistent with a verdict of trademark infringement by the same defendant, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 10 (Brand Marketing Group LLC v. Intertek Testing Services N.A. Inc., No. 14-3010, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16077).
MARSHALL, Texas - A request by defendants Samsung Electronics Co. (SEC) Ltd. and Apple Inc. to transfer patent infringement allegations to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California was rejected Sept. 9 by a Texas federal judge (ZiiLabs Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 14-203, E.D. Texas.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119478).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A defaulting defendant should be permanently enjoined from any further infringement of the copyrighted film "Jug Face," an Ohio federal magistrate judge ruled Sept. 9 (Modern Jug Face LLC v. Phillip Wright, No. 13-847, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119884).
SEATTLE - In a Sept. 3 motion filed in its unfair billing case against Amazon.com Inc. in Washington federal court, the Federal Trade Commission seeks a protective order to prevent Amazon from using the discovery process to obtain documents about competitor Apple Inc. related to a similar, but separate FTC proceeding against Apple (Federal Trade Commission v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 2:14-cv-01038, W.D. Wash.).
NEW YORK - A copyright dispute over electronic textbooks and instruction solution manuals that were reproduced and distributed online without authorization should yield a $5 million award and a permanent injunction, a New York federal magistrate judge recommended Sept. 3 (Cengage Learning Inc. et al. v. Mike Shi et al., No. 13-7772, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119322).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A declaratory judgment copyright defendant must produce documents relating to the publication and first sale of products not at issue in the litigation, if they were included in the same copyright registrations as those products that are at issue, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled Sept. 8 (Classic Touch Decor Inc. v. Michael Aram Inc., No. 15-453, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119249).
NEW YORK - The "Tiffany" trademark is valid and was infringed by Costco Wholesale Corp., a New York federal judge ruled Sept. 8, granting Tiffany and Co. summary judgment (Tiffany and Company v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 13-1041, S.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - Allegations of trademark infringement, unfair competition and state law deceptive trade practices in connection with the "Four Aces" trademark for tobacco products will proceed, an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 3 (Top Tobacco, et al. v. Fantasia Distribution Inc., No. 14-8981, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117533).
SAN FRANCISCO - Although denying a defendant's motion to strike, a California federal judge on Sept. 7 ordered a patent owner to amend its infringement contentions for specificity (Synopsys Inc. v. ATopTech Inc., No. 13-2965, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118796).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Virginia federal judge properly deemed "compliance mechanism" a means-plus-function term that lacks sufficient structure as it is used in a patent covering a method for preventing unauthorized recordings, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 4 (Media Rights Technologies Inc. v. Capital One Financial Corporation, et al., No. 14-1218, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15767).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge's summary judgment determination of patent invalidity was reversed and remanded by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 8, in a dispute over a medical device (Ivera Medical Corporation v. Hospira Inc., No. 14-1613, -1614, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge's decision to uphold findings by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) that a patent covering rigid, gas permeable contact-lens materials is invalid as obvious was not clearly erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Sept. 3 (Dome Patent LP v. Michelle K. Lee, Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 14-1673, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A petitioner that failed to persuade the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board to invalidate two claims of a plastic molding patent on inter partes review was similarly unsuccessful Sept. 4 before the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Dynamic Drinkware LLC v. National Graphics Inc., No. 15-1214, Fed. Cir.).
ATLANTA - In what it deemed an "extraordinary case predicated upon extraordinary legal theories," the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 3 found that a Florida federal judge abused her discretion in retaining supplemental jurisdiction over various state law claims after entering a consent decree mooting a federal false advertising claim (Ameritox Ltd. v. Millennium Laboratories Inc., No. 14-14281, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15664.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A lead plaintiff's credit card statements are relevant to establishing his putative class claim under California's Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), a California federal magistrate ruled Aug. 31, declining to quash a subpoena served on the credit card issuer by defendant Barnes & Noble Inc. (BN) (Kevin Khoa Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble Inc., No. 8:12-cv-00812, C.D. Calif.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal judge on Sept. 2 granted myriad infringement defendants judgment on the pleadings, deeming an asserted patent invalid under Section 101 of the Patent Act (Novo Transforma Technologies LLC v. Sprint Spectrum L.P. et al., Nos. 14-612, -613, -614, -615, -616, D. Del.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116647).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge's finding that standing is lacking in a false advertising case pursuant to Conte Bros. Auto. Inc. v. Quaker-State Slick 50 Inc. (165 F.3d 221 [3rd Cir. 1998]) was affirmed Sept. 2 by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, albeit under a newer standard from the Supreme Court (The Knit With v. Knitting Fever Inc., et al., No. 12-3219, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15575).
SAN FRANCISCO - In a consolidated complaint filed Aug. 28 in California federal court, three Illinois residents allege violations of an Illinois biometrics statute by Facebook Inc. in the social network's "Tag Suggestions" feature for pictures (Carlo Licata, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:15-cv-03748, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The creator of the PhantomALERT smart phone and global positioning system (GPS) device applications (apps) on Sept. 1 filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in California federal court, asserting that its proprietary database was copied and used in the competing Waze app (PhantomALERT Inc. v. Google Inc., et al., No. 3:15-cv-03986, N.D. Calif.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A defendant won dismissal on Aug. 31 of copyright infringement allegations as they relate to one software program but was denied dismissal with regard to another (Micro Focus U.S. Inc. v. Insurance Services Office Inc., No. 15-252, D. Del.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115244).