ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Assertions by Apple Inc. that a device compression patent that has been frequently asserted in various federal lawsuits is invalid pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 103(a) were well received by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which instituted inter partes review (IPR) on Dec. 6 (Apple Inc. v. Parthenon United Memory Architecture LLC, No. IPR2016-01135, PTAB).
LAFAYETTE, La. - A disability insurer did not abuse its discretion in denying a claim for long-term disability benefits because the insurer was not required to complete an independent medical exam of the claimant and was not required to give greater weight to the opinions of the claimant's treating physicians, a Louisiana federal judge said Dec. 5 (Linda Bellard v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, No. 15-0428, W.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167714).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 5 dismissed claims for wrongful foreclosure and violations of the California civil code against two mortgage-related entities but granted a borrower leave to file a second amended complaint against one lender in relation to the foreclosure of her property (Sadie S. Shaw v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-01755, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167720).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Allegations by a pro se plaintiff that two individual defendants committed copyright and trademark infringement are insufficiently pleaded, a Florida federal judge ruled Dec. 6 (Daniel A. Bernath v. Don Shipley, et al., No. 16-40, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168253).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Dec. 6 dismissed a borrower's state law claims filed against a bank and others in relation to an underlying mortgage on a property, finding that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case (Connie B. Rovigo v. The Bank of New York Mellon, as trustee for the Alternative Loan Trust 2005-55CB, et al., No. 1:15-cv-687, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167964).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An English mining company on Dec. 7 announced that a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has granted an application filed by the Republic of Indonesia to dismiss arbitration claims asserted against it related to the revocation of mining licenses and has ordered it to pay $9.4 million in costs and fees (Churchill Mining PLC v. Republic of Indonesia, No. ARB/12/14 and ARB/12/40, ICSID).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Dec. 2 affirmed the dismissal of two disability claimants' amended complaints after finding that the claimants could not assert their claims against the trust that administered their employer's disability plan because the trust did not possess the authority to determine a claimant's eligibility for benefits (Vera Furtula v. PNC Bank et al., Nos. 2015-518, 2015-525, Ky. App.; 2016 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 801).
SEATTLE - In a slip-and-fall case, an expert may testify as to the nature of an airport's floors when they become wet but cannot testify about the policies and practices for detecting and cleaning up spills, a Washington federal judge ruled Dec. 2 (Evelyne Suzanne Sudre, et al. v. The Port of Seattle, et al., No. 15-0928, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166882).
TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Dec. 2 appointed an investor group as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company and certain of its executive officers, ruling that the investor group has the largest financial stake in the litigation and meets all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff (David Lewis v. Lipocine Inc., et al., No. 16-4009, D. N.J., and Anthony Morassi, et al. v. Lipocine Inc., et al., No. 16-4067, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166532).
BENTON, Ill. - Neither a company's registration to do business in a state nor its employment of individuals in the state rise to the levels required for jurisdiction, a federal judge in Illinois held in dismissing an asbestos action on Dec. 2 (Sylvia Perez, et al. v. Air And Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 16-842, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166645).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - A licensed professional engineer may testify regarding a man's fall from a ladder and the sufficiency of the warnings and instructions but may not testify regarding a color banding alternative design because he failed to sufficiently substantiate his opinion for this alternative design beyond his conclusion, an Indiana federal judge ruled Dec. 5 (Joseph Costanza v. Vulcan Ladder Co., No. 13-260, N.D. Ind.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167470).
SCRANTON, Pa. - In a negligence lawsuit stemming from an automobile accident, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Dec. 5 declined to exclude medical testimony on a man's history of neck pain and how any exacerbation of the neck would have resolved itself in a matter of months because any disagreement can be addressed through cross-examination (Daniel Broe and Heidi Broe v. Steven Manns, No. 15-985, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167593).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Dec. 5 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment on an insured's claim for insurance bad faith in a homeowners insurance dispute, ruling that the insured failed to show that the insurer's actions during the investigation and subsequent issuance of an estimate and revised estimates rise to the level of bad faith under Pennsylvania law (Joan Yatsonsky v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 15-1777, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167224).
NEWARK, N.J. - Plaintiffs in a class action suit alleging that Mercedes-Benz USA LLC misrepresented the efficiency of its BlueTec Clean Diesel vehicles lack standing to bring their action against the auto maker, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Dec. 6, finding that the plaintiffs failed to show that the advertisements they allegedly relied on contained any false statements (In re: Mercedes-Benz Emissions Litigation, No. 16-881, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168535).
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 5 held that a lower federal court did not err in disregarding the heat-related portions of an affidavit from an expert witness in a dispute over coverage for a building collapse (Tarleton LLC v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 14-35540, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21636).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 6 held that a nurse who was employed by a staffing agency and assigned to work at a hospital qualifies as a hospital "employee" under its insurance policy, vacating and remanding an equitable contribution lawsuit arising from a medical malpractice claim (Interstate Fire and Casualty Co. v. Dimensions Assurance Ltd., No. 15-1801, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21710).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A jury award of $52 million in lost profits was premised on an erroneous instruction that worldwide sales can be considered even when the product in question only contains a single "staple article" manufactured domestically, an attorney for patent infringement defendant Life Technologies Corp. told the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 6 (Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp., No. 14-1538, U.S. Sup.).
BENTON, Ill. - Affidavits filed in other cases and courts are sufficient for removal of an asbestos case, a federal judge in Illinois held Nov. 30 (Sylvia Perez, et al. v. Air And Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 16-842, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165279).
CHICAGO - A federal judge was correct when he ruled that student athletes are not employees of the universities where they play, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 5 (Gillian Berger, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., No. 16-1558, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21642).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 6 held that the False Claims Act (FCA) "does not enact so harsh a rule" as mandating dismissal of a relator's lawsuit under the act for a violation of the statute's requirement that the relator's complaint remain sealed, affirming a ruling of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al., No. 15-513, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. LEXIS 7420).
ERIE, Pa. - In a Dec. 2 reply brief supporting their motion for class certification, a Wyoming couple, who unknowingly purchased a laptop with spyware installed on it, tells a Pennsylvania federal court that their complaint against the laptop seller for violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) merits class treatment because of "the ability to answer predominating common questions in a uniform manner" in compliance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-00101, W.D. Pa.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Dec. 2 released new caseload statistics for south and east Asia and the Pacific (SEAP Region).
NEW YORK - A judgment debtor told a federal court in New York on Dec. 2 that it is appealing a $7.8 million judgment against it related to a reinsurance participation agreement that the judgment debtor claimed it was not a party to (AmTrust North America, Inc. and Technology Insurance Company, Inc., as judgment creditors of Pacific Re, Inc. on behalf of its protected cell Pac Re 5-AT v. Safebuilt Insurance Services Inc., No. 16-cv-06033, S.D. N.Y.).
DETROIT - Allegations that a university violated the Copyright Act were rejected on summary judgment Dec. 5 by a Michigan federal judge on grounds of sovereign immunity; however, the judge in the same ruling agreed that two individuals will remain in the case as copyright infringement defendants (Alisa Wolf v. Oakland University, et al., No. 15-13560, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167268).