Docket Report

No Market Definition and Factually Threadbare Monopolization Assertion Do Not Support Sherman § 2 Claim

The court granted plaintiffs' motion to dismiss defendant's Sherman § 2 counterclaim as insufficiently supported. "⁠[T]he Court notes that with respect to Section 2 of the Sherman Act, the Counterclaim fails to attempt to define the relevant market that it accuses Plaintiffs of monopolizing. Because the Count V counterclaim essentially includes a boilerplate resuscitation of certain elements of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act and Section 3 of the Clayton Act, and even then does not fully address all the legal elements of those claims with factual support, Defendant has failed to submit 'sufficient factual matter, accepted as [...]

2018-08-28T12:05:02+00:00August 28th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Failure to Proffer Registration Warrants Sua Sponte Dismissal

The magistrate judge recommended that the court dismiss plaintiff's copyright claim sua sponte because plaintiff failed to sufficiently allege ownership through registration or "chain of title." "In [Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick, 559 U.S. 154 (2010)], the Supreme Court expressly left open the question whether 'district courts may or should enforce [the registration requirement] sua sponte by dismissing copyright infringement claims involving unregistered works.' Several district court cases within our Circuit have answered that question in the affirmative, dismissing copyright infringement claims sua sponte where the registration defect is plain from the face of the complaint. . . . Here [...]

2018-08-28T11:56:03+00:00August 28th, 2018|Copyright, Docket Report|

Conditioning Treatment on Patients’ Compliance with Physician’s Dosing Regime Establishes Direction and Control Sufficient for Joint Direct Infringement

Following a bench trial, the court found that defendant induced infringement of plaintiff's pain treatment drug patents and that physicians and patients jointly infringed. "⁠[Plaintiff] has proved by a preponderance of the evidence that physicians would condition a benefit -- that is, the prescription of a starting dose or subsequent prescriptions for [defendant's] proposed product -- upon their patients’ self-administration of the drug in accordance with the physicians’ instructions. . . . The evidence thus shows that physicians do not merely 'guid[e] or instruct[]⁠' their patients to follow the prescribed dosing regimen for such opioids, but that they condition both [...]

2018-08-28T11:43:02+00:00August 28th, 2018|Docket Report, Patent|

Social Media Posts Flouting TRO Warrant Injunction and Imposition of Conditions on Future Posts

In connection with finding defendant in contempt of the TRO prohibiting him from recruiting plaintiff's representatives, the court enjoined defendant from using particular hashtags on social media postings. "⁠[T]he record establishes that [defendant] has made public posts on Facebook inviting anyone that could read the public post (including current [plaintiff] Representatives) to join his new company. In the Facebook post, [defendant] referred to his current recruitment effort as Team '#TRO.' [A] current [plaintiff] Representative . . . posted a photograph on Facebook of him and [defendant] having dinner with the hashtag '#TeamTRO.' [Defendant] later posted the same photo to Facebook [...]

2018-08-28T11:41:03+00:00August 28th, 2018|Docket Report, Trademark|

Interaction With Forum-Based Domain Name Registry and Phishing for Forum-Based Customers’ Personal Information Supports Exercise of Personal Jurisdiction

The magistrate judge recommended partially granting plaintiff's motion for default judgment on its copyright claims and first determined exercise of personal jurisdiction over foreign defendants was proper. "Though Defendants are not residents of Virginia, Virginia may exercise personal jurisdiction over Defendants based on Defendants' internet contacts. Defendants have interacted with a domain name registry located in Virginia in order to maintain all the Infringing Websites that end in '.com' Further, Defendants sought to use the Infringing websites, which function as interactive e-commerce websites, to phish for consumers' personal and financial data. Therefore, Defendants directed electronic activity into Virginia with the [...]

2018-08-27T11:40:03+00:00August 27th, 2018|Copyright, Docket Report|

Paying Supra-Competitive Prices After Refusing to Participate in Competitors’ Collective Scheme Supports Sherman §1 Price-Fixing Claim

The court granted plaintiff's motion to drop several claims and rejected defendants' contention that proceeding on plaintiff's remaining Sherman § 1 price-fixing claim was futile because plaintiff did not plausibly plead an agreement. "Plaintiffs allege specific dates, parties, and topics of discussion relating to restraint of trade. Contrary to Defendants' arguments, these allegations are sufficiently detailed to survive a motion to dismiss as Plaintiffs have shown the purported anticompetitive conduct, i.e. price fixing, derives from an agreement rather than independent conduct. . . . Additionally, Defendants' argument that Plaintiffs did not allege a price increase based on an agreement between [...]

2018-08-27T11:32:02+00:00August 27th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Patent for Finding Relatives Using Recombinable DNA Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

The court granted defendant's motion to dismiss because the asserted claims of plaintiff’s patent for finding relatives using recombinable DNA encompassed unpatentable subject matter and found that the claims were directed toward a law of nature. "The [patent] claims at issue are 'directed to' a law of nature because the focus of the claims is a correlation that exists in nature -- i.e., the more recombinable DNA information that is shared between two people, the closer the degree of relationship. That correlation 'exists in principle apart from any human action.'. . . While some claims in the [patent] involve a [...]

2018-08-27T11:20:03+00:00August 27th, 2018|Docket Report, Patent|

Rule 50(a) Motion on Likelihood of Confusion Does Not Preserve Rule 50(b) Motion on False Designation of Origin

The court denied plaintiff's motion for judgment as a matter of law and rejected plaintiff's contention that plaintiff's motion for directed verdict as to likelihood of confusion preserved plaintiff's Rule 50(b) motion as to false designation of origin and willfulness. "⁠[T]hough the underlying test for all three causes of action may be identical and as a result trademark infringement and false designation of origin require 'substantially the same proof,' the statutes still contain several dissimilarities. . . . By analyzing the two statutes side-by-side, the Court is able to pinpoint several dissimilarities. For instance, pursuant to § 1125(a)(1)’s phrasing, it [...]

2018-08-27T11:18:04+00:00August 27th, 2018|Docket Report, Trademark|

Large Class Size and Disproportionate Direct Mail Cost Warrant Disclosure of Customer Emails from Non-Settling Defendants for Class Notice Dissemination

The court granted class plaintiffs' motion for approval over a settlement notice dissemination plan and ordered settling and non-settling airline company defendants to turn over email information of airline ticket purchasers. "'⁠[T]he Court request[ed] an estimate of the range of costs associated with providing e-mail notification to potential class members, and the range of costs associated with the other methods of disseminating notice . . . .' The Plaintiffs responded by estimating the cost of e-mail notification and publication based on three difference scenarios: (1) assuming they only had the [settling defendant] customer e-mails already in their possession, which would [...]

2018-08-24T11:46:02+00:00August 24th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Subsidiaries’ Lowered Royalty-Rate Exception Under DMCA Not Applied to Parent Company

The court partially granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on its DMCA claim and rejected defendant's argument that defendant could be classified as a preexisting subscription service under the DMCA. "⁠[Plaintiff's] prima facie case depends on the resolution of a single issue: whether [defendant] could permissibly pay the [preexisting subscription service rate] on its programming provided to [defendant's music service] subscribers. . . . In the court's view, the D.C. Circuit's opinion requires a finding that [defendant] should not have paid the [preexisting subscription service] rate on the programming provided to [defendant's music service] subscribers. As noted, the Circuit held [...]

2018-08-24T11:38:02+00:00August 24th, 2018|Copyright, Docket Report|