LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Panel Finds No Error In Admission Of Medical Examiner's Testimony

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Finding no error in the admission of a medical examiner's testimony based on reliable evidence, a Texas appeals panel on Feb. 9 affirmed a woman's conviction for injury to a child causing bodily injury (Smita Chakravarthy v. The State of Texas, No. 13-14-00086-CR, Texas App., 13th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1114).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Texas Federal Judge Denies Groups' Motions Challenging DOL's Fiduciary Duty Rule

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 8 denied motions for summary judgment in consolidated cases filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (COC) and other groups opposed to the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) new "fiduciary rule" set to take effect April 10, saying that the DOL has not exceeded its authority and that the new rule does not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. Edward Hugler, Acting Secretary of Labor, et al., No. 3:16-cv-1476, consolidated with 3:16-cv-1530, 3:16-cv-1537, N.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17619).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Judge Adopts Report, Grants Relief In Patent Case

MARSHALL, Texas - Findings by a Texas federal magistrate judge that Mylan Institutional LLC and Apicore US LLC (Mylan, collectively) are entitled to a preliminary injunction barring competitors from making and selling generic isosulfan blue were adopted in full Feb. 7 by a Texas federal judge (Mylan Institutional LLC and Apicore US LLC v. Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., et al., No. 16-491, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16797).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Refuses To Bar Fire Investigators' Opinions In Strict Products Liability Suit

HOUSTON - In a strict products liability lawsuit, a Texas federal judge on Feb. 7 declined to exclude testimonies from fire investigators because the expert opinions rely on acceptable methodology (Harris Caprock Communications Inc. v. Trippe Manufacturing Co. d/b/a Tripp Lite d/b/a Tripp Lite Holdings Inc., No. 15-0130, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16857).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Claims Adjuster, Employee Were Properly Joined In Bad Faith Suit

SAN ANTONIO - An insured has shown that a claims adjuster and its employee violated provisions of the Texas Insurance Code and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) and, thus, that those defendants were properly joined in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, a federal judge in Texas ruled Jan. 31 in granting an insured's motion to remand the action to state court (Kris Hospitality LLC, d/b/a Days Inn, v. Tri-State Insurance Co. of Minnesota, et al., No. 16-1229, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13532).

Mealey's IP/Tech - $500M Verdict Returned In Trade Secrets Trial Involving Virtual Reality Software

DALLAS - A Texas federal jury on Feb. 1 ordered four defendants - including Facebook Inc. - to pay a combined $500 million in actual damages to two virtual reality (VR) technology companies for copyright and trademark infringement, conversion, violations of a nondisclosure agreement and false designation (ZeniMax Media Inc., et al. v. Oculus VR Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-1849, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Upholds Denial Of Damages Claim In Patent Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge did not err in finding that a covenant not to sue barred a patent infringement action nor in holding that the defendant in the case failed to properly support its claim for damages in the form of attorney fees, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Jan. 26 (Securus Technologies Inc. v. Global Tel*Link Corporation, Nos. 16-1470, -1506, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1376).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Federal Judge Bars Partial Testimony In Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

DALLAS - In a disability discrimination suit, a Texas federal judge on Jan. 24 excluded an expert's opinion that "audism and phonocentric views may have prevented accommodations" from being made to two women (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. S&B Industry Inc. d/b/a Fox Conn S&B, No. 15-0641, N.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9259).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Judge Sides With Copyright Plaintiff In Daily Newsletter Dispute

HOUSTON - Each issue of a daily newsletter constitutes a single work, and an annual subscription does not constitute a compilation under the Copyright Act, a Texas federal judge ruled Jan. 24 (Energy Intelligence Group Inc. v. Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP and KA Fund Advisors LP, No. 14-1903, S.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9426).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Magistrate Judge Denies Fees Despite Willful Infringement Verdict

MARSHALL, Texas - Weeks after it was awarded $17.4 million as a reasonable royalty on willful patent infringement by Smith & Nephew Inc. and Arthrocare Corp. (Smith & Nephew, collectively), Arthrex Inc. was denied an award of attorney fees by a Texas federal magistrate judge on Jan. 25 (Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew Inc., et al., No. 15-1047, E.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10141).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Bars Partial Testimony In Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

DALLAS - In a disability discrimination suit, a Texas federal judge on Jan. 24 excluded an expert's opinion that "audism and phonocentric views may have prevented accommodations" from being made to two women (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. S&B Industry Inc. d/b/a Fox Conn S&B, No. 15-0641, N.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9259).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction In Water Balloon Patent Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge did not abuse his discretion in finding that the owner of a patented mechanism for filling water balloons was likely to succeed on its claim that a competitor committed patent infringement, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 24 (Tinnus Enterprises LLC v. Telebrands Corporation, No. 16-1410, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Vacates, Remands Noninfringement Judgment In Patent Row

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge's summary judgment that a defendant did not infringe a patented process for producing the antioxidant coenzyme CoQ10 was reversed and remanded Jan. 23 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Zhejiang Medicine Co. Ltd. and ZMC-USA LLC v. Kaneka Corp., No. 16-1390, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Texas Federal Judge Dismisses Gender Identity Discrimination Claims

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 13 dismissed claims alleging gender identity discrimination under Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) against an insurer and an employer because the plaintiff failed to cite any controlling precedent that recognizes a cause of action under Section 1557 for gender identity discrimination (Charlize Marie Baker v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-3679, N.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5665).

Mealey's Health Law - Texas Federal Judge Dismisses Gender Identity Discrimination Claims

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 13 dismissed claims alleging gender identity discrimination under Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) against an insurer and an employer because the plaintiff failed to cite any controlling precedent that recognizes a cause of action under Section 1557 for gender identity discrimination (Charlize Marie Baker v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-3679, N.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5665).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas Federal Judge Dismisses Gender Identity Discrimination Claims

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 13 dismissed claims alleging gender identity discrimination under Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) against an insurer and an employer because the plaintiff failed to cite any controlling precedent that recognizes a cause of action under Section 1557 for gender identity discrimination (Charlize Marie Baker v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-3679, N.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5665).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Patent Board Rejects Volkswagen Challenge To Audio Integration Patent

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Allegations by Volkswagen of America Inc. that a patented audio device integration system would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art were rejected Jan. 13 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Volkswagen of America Inc. v. Blitzsafe Texas LLC, No. IPR2016-01448, PTAB).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Judge Denies Summary Judgment On Dilution Claim

HOUSTON - Although granting Viacom International Inc. summary judgment on allegations that a proposed "The Krusty Krab" restaurant would represent trademark infringement, a Texas federal judge on Jan. 11 denied Viacom's request as it relates to trademark dilution (Viacom International Inc. v. IJR Capital Investments LLC, No. 16-257, S.D. Texas.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3948).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Couple's Suit Against Volkswagen Does Not Raise Federal Question, Judge Finds

SAN ANTONIO - A couple's lawsuit claiming that Volkswagen Group of America Inc. and a local car dealer misrepresented a vehicle's emissions and fuel efficiency should be remanded to state court, a federal judge in Texas ruled Jan. 10, finding that the plaintiffs do not allege that the manufacturer violated the Clean Air Act (CAA) (David L. Bullerwell, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America Inc., et al., No. SA-16-CV-1199-XR, W.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3648).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 5th Circuit Affirms: State Law Claim Preempted By Copyright Act

NEW ORLEANS - In a Jan. 11 ruling, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a Texas federal judge's determination that a state law claim of unfair competition by misappropriation - levied in connection with allegations of stolen instructional drawings - is preempted by the Copyright Act (Ultraflo Corporation v. Pelican Worldwide, et al., No. 15-20084, 5th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 509).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Texas Magistrate Judge Largely Rules Against Google In Chrome Patent Case

MARSHALL, Texas - Efforts by patent infringement defendant Google Inc. to bar an expert witness from calculating reasonable royalty damages based upon the number of users who access Google Chrome in a seven-day period were unsuccessful on Jan. 9, when a Texas federal magistrate judge found that the methodology "appears sound" (Alfonso Cioffi, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 13-103, E.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2614).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Magistrate Judge Largely Rules Against Google In Chrome Patent Case

MARSHALL, Texas - Efforts by patent infringement defendant Google Inc. to bar an expert witness from calculating reasonable royalty damages based upon the number of users who access Google Chrome in a seven-day period were unsuccessful on Jan. 9, when a Texas federal magistrate judge found that the methodology "appears sound" (Alfonso Cioffi, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 13-103, E.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2614).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Bass Pro Race Bias Suit Is Unaffected By High Court's Tyson Ruling

HOUSTON - The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo (136 S. Ct. 1036 [2016]) - a Fair Labor Standards Act case in which the high court, in its decision approving of the plaintiffs' reliance on representative evidence to satisfy the procedural requirements for class certification, expressly stated that it was not establishing any broad or categorical rules concerning the use of "representative evidence" in class cases - has no effect on a racial discrimination suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Bass Pro Outdoor World LLC, a Texas federal judge ruled Dec. 28 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC, et al., No. 11-3425, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179403).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Fees Awarded Under Texas Civil Practice, Remedies Section Are Not Covered

HOUSTON - Fees awarded under Section 82.002(g) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code are not "damages" covered by a commercial general liability insurance policy, a Texas federal judge ruled Dec. 30, finding that the ruling in Hollybrook Cottonseed Processing, L.L.C. v. Am. Guarantee & Liab. Ins. Co. (772 F.3d 1031 [5th Cir. 2014]) does not affect that conclusion (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Petroleum Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 09-0422, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180539).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Bass Pro Race Bias Suit Is Unaffected By High Court's Tyson Ruling

HOUSTON - The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo (136 S. Ct. 1036 [2016]) - a Fair Labor Standards Act case in which the high court, in its decision approving of the plaintiffs' reliance on representative evidence to satisfy the procedural requirements for class certification, expressly stated that it was not establishing any broad or categorical rules concerning the use of "representative evidence" in class cases - has no effect on a racial discrimination suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Bass Pro Outdoor World LLC, a Texas federal judge ruled Dec. 28 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC, et al., No. 11-3425, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179403).