CHICAGO - The user of a photo mobile application who consented to sending invitations to all of his contacts in exchange for free storage space cannot now sue the app creator for using his name when contacting his contacts, an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 20, finding that the class complaint fails due to the user's express consent (Danny Pratt v. Everalbum, Inc., No. 17-1600, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152763).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - In a Sept. 19 ruling, an Ohio federal judge found that a corporation incorporated and operating in the Netherlands cannot be made to stand trial in the United States on allegations that it infringed a copyrighted psychological assessment (IDS Publishing Corporation v. Reiss Profile Europe B.V., No. 16-535, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152114).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A rejection by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of assertions by an appellant that it created a prototype embodying a claimed invention before the priority date of a cited prior art reference was reversed and remanded by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 20 (NFC Technology LLC v. Joseph Matal, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 16-1808, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18164).
TRENTON, N.J. - Allegations that Scholastic Inc. exceeded the terms of a limited license to use a plaintiff's copyrighted photographs in its publications will proceed in New York federal court in light of Scholastic's forum-selection clause with a stock photography agency, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Sept. 15 (George Steinmetz v. Scholastic Inc., No. 16-3585, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149952).
NEW YORK - Although vacating and remanding a permanent injunction, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 19 affirmed a New York federal judge's decision to deny a request for disqualification of Locke Lord in a dispute over the Swiss Army knife trade dress (Victorinox AG, et al. v. The B&F Systems Inc., et al., Nos. 15-4032, 16-2690, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18070).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a Sept. 15 brief in California federal court, a customer of Google Inc.'s AdWords program argues that he sufficiently alleged unfair competition and false advertising claims based on click fraud charges he incurred due to Google's misrepresentations about the frequency of and protection against fraudulent clicks (Gurminder Singh v. Google Inc., No. 5:16-cv-03734, N.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA - The operator of the conservative-leaning Gab social network claims that Google LLC removed its app from the Google Play Store under false "hate speech" pretenses, asserting in a Sept. 14 complaint that it was purely a move to squelch a potential rival, bringing antitrust claims against the tech giant in Pennsylvania federal court (Gab AI Inc. v. Google LLC, No. 2:17-cv-04115, E.D. Pa.).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Assertions by defendant Universal Music Group (UMG) Inc. that a copyright infringement action should be dismissed on jurisdiction grounds or for failure to state a claim were rejected as "legally insufficient" by a New York federal judge on Sept. 17 (Hypefortype Ltd v. Universal Music Group Inc., No. 17-4468, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150500).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge erred in holding that the overall configuration of a live auction television show is functional, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 15, reversing and remanding the denial of preliminary injunctive relief in a trade dress infringement and trade secret misappropriation case (VBS Distribution Inc. v. Nutrivita Inc., et al., No. 17-11598, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17951).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Michigan federal judge did not abuse her discretion in dismissing patent invalidity defenses and counterclaims in a dispute over soffit panels but did err in granting the patent owner a summary judgment of infringement and permanent injunction, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 15 (Quality Edge Inc. v. Rollex Corporation, No. 17-1005, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17855).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A concession by two declaratory judgment defendants that they currently hold no title to a patent portfolio and that they will not hold title until a court determines otherwise are fatal to two declaratory judgment plaintiffs' assertion of federal subject matter jurisdiction over a dispute over ownership of the same patent portfolio, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Sept. 15 (First Data Corporation et al. v. Eric Inselberg et al., Nos. 2016-2677, -2696, Fed. Cir.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a Sept. 14 ruling, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board found that Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp. enjoys a reasonable likelihood of proving that various claims of a patented system and method of controlling a train are unpatentable (Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp. v. Siemens Industries Inc., No. IPR2017-00981, PTAB).
CHICAGO - Two companies got a $54 million trademark infringement verdict against them tossed Sept. 11 when an Illinois federal judge granted them a new trial based on the unreliability and irrelevance of expert testimony regarding the likelihood of consumer confusion about the products at issue, which the judge said probably "unfairly influenced the jury's verdict" (The Black & Decker Corporation, et al. v. Positec USA Inc., et al., No. 11-cv-5426, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147463).
LOS ANGELES - Allegations that the sponsor of a screenwriting contest misappropriated one of the submissions for use in the hit ABC sitcom "Black-ish" were rejected Sept. 13 by a California federal judge, who found no similarity between the sitcom and the submission as required to maintain a claim of copyright infringement (David Lloyd Marcus v. ABC Signature Studios Inc., et al., No. 17-148, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148568).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a Sept. 11 petition for inter partes review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Mentor Graphics Corp. takes aim at a patent directed to a method and apparatus for semiconductor testing, asserting that generating test data and identifying an outlier in the test data "was well known" in the art (Mentor Graphics Corporation v. Eric Paul Tabor, No. IPR2017-02094, PTAB).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In briefs filed Sept. 8 in response to a California federal judge's directive after rulings and remand orders from the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. address questions about how to determine what the relevant "article of manufacture" is of products accused infringing a design patent and, relatedly, how to identify profits attributable to the article (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 5:11-cv-01846, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board, following inter partes review (IPR), did not err in deeming all 17 claims of a patented eyewear retention device obvious to a person of skill in the art, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 12 (Cablz Inc. v. Chums Inc., et al., No. 16-1823, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17561).
SAN FRANCISCO - After finding a lack of federal and subject matter jurisdiction, a California federal judge on Sept. 8 granted a jewelry maker's motion to dismiss claims related to alleged intellectual property infringement but granted a jeweler leave to file a third amended complaint to assert claims for violation of the Declaratory Judgment and Lanham acts (Marco Bicego S.P.A., et al. v. Stephanie Kantis, et al., No. 17-cv-00927, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145865).
MOBILE, Ala. - A counterclaimant's request for a preliminary injunction while a declaratory judgment action regarding confusion over the "Spire" trademark is litigated was denied Sept. 11 when an Alabama federal judge found an absence of evidence that irreparable harm would result if an injunction is not issued (Spire Inc. v. Cellular South Inc., No. 17-266, S.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146169).
LAS VEGAS - On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, a Nevada federal judge on Sept. 6 again denied a prevailing patent infringement plaintiff enhanced damages, even under the Supreme Court's newly announced standard for such awards (Halo Electronics Inc. v. Pulse Electronics Inc., et al., No. 07-331, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143737).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Florida federal judge did not abuse his discretion or err in entering a final judgment of trademark and patent infringement against a defendant accused of selling a competing, knockoff hydradermabrasion system, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Sept. 8 (Edge Systems LLC, et al. v. Rafael Newton Aguila, No. 16-2189, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17365).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 8 upheld findings by a New York federal judge that a dispute over the "Kehot" trademark and a related logo is barred by the doctrine of laches, citing a 16-year delay between when the trademark owner learned of the unauthorized use and when it levied a counterclaim of infringement (Vaad L'Hafotzas Sichos Inc., et al. v. Merkos L'Inyonei Church Inc., Nos. 16-2934, -3364, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17360).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals correctly found that a man's acquisition of his former employer's trade secrets occurred via unauthorized access of the firm's computer system in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the U.S. government tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a Sept. 5 brief opposing the ex-employee's petition for certiorari, arguing that the ruling created no split among the federal appeals courts (David Nosal v. United States, No. 16-1344, U.S. Sup.).
DALLAS - Allegations of trademark infringement against a nonprofit public charter school network and two entities that oversee the charter schools were dismissed Sept. 7 by a Texas federal judge, on grounds that the complaint fails to allege specific acts of infringement by specific defendants (Springboards to Education Inc. v. KIPP Foundation, et al., No. 16-2436, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144709).
SAN FRANCISCO - A trial court erred in granting judgment to Jack in the Box Inc. (JIB) on contractual and trademark infringement claims related to the termination of franchise agreements, an ex-franchisee of the fast-food chain argues in a Sept. 5 brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that genuine disputed issues of material fact exist (Jack in the Box Inc. v. Deepak Mehta, et al., No. 17-15336, 9th Cir.).