NEWARK, N.J. - A declaratory judgment trademark plaintiff won an award of attorney fees on April 21, when a New Jersey federal judge agreed that Union County, N.J., asserted, in two cease-and-desist letters, trademark rights that it knew did not exist (Tina Renna v. County of Union, N.J., No. 11-3328, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52381).
TAMPA, Fla. - A nature photographer won a default judgment April 21 in Florida federal court on claims of copyright infringement (Mia McPherson v. Seaduced LLC, No. 14-2315, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52374).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A panel of the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 20 found that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board properly refused an Asian-American dance rock band's attempt to register "The Slants" (In re: Simon Shiao Tam, No. 14-1203, Fed. Cir.).
DENVER - A copyright dispute over a television advertisement was resolved in favor of a defendant by a Colorado federal magistrate judge on April 20 (Millennium Inc. v. Sai Denver M Inc., No. 14-1118, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51547).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - With the filing of a petition in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 17, Louisiana-based CenturyLink Inc. became the latest telecommunications provider (telecom) to seek review of the Federal Communications Commission's recently released report and order on "Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet" (CenturyLink Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission, et al., No. 15-1099, D. D.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 20 that "it is simply too late" for a patent plaintiff to appeal the question of whether a Florida federal judge should have interpreted a license agreement under Quebec law (Sweepstakes Patent Company LLC v. Chase Burns, et al., No. 14-1851, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6429).
CHICAGO - The Coca-Cola Co. properly won summary judgment on allegations that it infringed the "Naturally Zero" trademark when using "Zero" in connection with various diet soft drinks, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 16 (Mirza N. Baig v. The Coca-Cola Co., No. 14-3328, 7th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A trademark examiner and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board properly rejected an application for "Nopalea" for nutritional supplements containing nopal juice on grounds that the mark is descriptive, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 17 (In re: TriVita Inc., No. 14-1383, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6301).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A petition for certiorari in a case that questioned the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' standard for review of district court claim construction findings was granted April 20 by the U.S. Supreme Court, for the limited purpose of vacating and remanding in light of Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. v. Sandoz Inc. (574 U.S. __ ) (CSR PLC, et al. v. Azure Networks LLC and Tri-County Excelsior Foundation, No. 14-976, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - A district court erred when it found that proposed classes in a putative class action accusing a retailer of improperly spying on its customers via spyware were not ascertainable, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 16 (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's Inc., et al., No. 14-3050, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6190).
AKRON, Ohio - Allegations that a trademark infringement and dilution lawsuit is barred by the doctrine of res judicata were rejected April 16 by an Ohio federal judge (TSDC LLC v. Antoinette Galvan and Gloria Galvan, No. 14-2699, N.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50348).
DETROIT - A defendant's motion to compel a trademark infringement plaintiff to produce sealed documents from related litigation against nonparty NVE Inc. was granted April 15 by a Michigan federal judge (International IP Holdings LLC v. Green Planet Inc., No. 13-13988, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49363).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge properly deemed a patented polyethylene-based composition for the use of forming shaped products anticipated, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 16 (Ineos USA LLC v. Berry Plastic Corporation, No. 14-1540, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A plaintiff won a judgment on the pleadings April 15 from a Delaware federal judge that two method patents relating to a two-way system of communication between a mobile device and a computer are not invalid (Messaging Gateway Solutions LLC v. Amdocs Inc., et al., No. 14-733, D. Del.).
LOS ANGELES - Lions Gate Entertainment Inc., the movie studio behind the hit horror film "Cabin in the Woods," was accused of copyright infringement on April 13 in California federal court (Peter Gallagher v. Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. et al., No. 15-2739, C.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Finding that LinkedIn Corp. does not qualify as a consumer reporting agency and that its "Reference Report[s]" do not constitute consumer reports, a California federal judge on April 14 granted the professional network provider's motion to dismiss a putative class action against it brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (Tracee Sweet, et al. v. LinkedIn Corp., No. 5:14-cv-04531, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 14 announced that it will rehear en banc a dispute over the validity of a program for restricted sales of patented printer cartridges (Lexmark International Inc. v. Impression Products Inc., Nos. 14-1617, -1619, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6049).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A federal judge in California on April 9 dismissed a state unfair competition law claim (UCL) from a dispute over a defect in a portable navigation device but allowed claims for breach of express warranty and breach of implied warranty to continue (TomTom International v. Broadcom Corp., No. 14-475, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47583).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Allegations that a defendant committed fraud upon the U.S. Copyright Office cannot proceed on grounds of lacking personal jurisdiction, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled April 10 (App Dynamic ehf v. Erling Ormar Vignisson, No. 14-1504, D. D.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46953).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board did not err in deeming certain claims of an auto-lock brake patent invalid as obvious or anticipated, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 13 (In re: 55 Brake LLC, No. 14-1554, Fed. Cir.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A company that provides online listings to real estate agents failed to plead the existence of any protectable trade secrets, a California federal judge ruled April 13, mostly dismissing its complaint against leading online real estate marketplace Zillow Inc. (Top Agent Network Inc. v. Zillow Inc., No. 4:14-cv-04769, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge erroneously denied Vizio Inc. an award of attorney and expert witness fees under 35 U.S. Code Section 285 and 28 U.S. Code Section 1927, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 10 (Oplus Technology Ltd. v. Vizio Inc., No. 14-1297, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5800).
CENTRAL ISLIP. N.Y. - A New York federal judge on April 8 denied a series of motions to exclude expert testimony brought by both parties in a patent suit related to application performance monitoring (APM) software, finding that neither side sufficiently challenged the qualifications or methodologies of its opponent's experts (CA Inc. v. AppDynamics Inc., No. 2:13-cv-02111, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45901).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge found that no jurisdiction existed over an attorney named as a defendant in an Internet domain dispute, granting dismissal accordingly, while denying the other defendant's dismissal and summary judgment motions (Domain Vault LLC v. John C. Bush, et al., No. 1:14-cv-02621, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45979).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A refusal by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel inter partes re-examination proceedings in light of a consent judgment that extinguished patent infringement litigation is not an appealable "final agency action" under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 10 (Automated Merchandising Systems Inc. v. Michelle K. Lee, Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 14-1728, Fed. Cir.).