Docket Report

Soil Sample Tracking Patent Not Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

The court denied defendant's motion for summary judgment on the ground that plaintiff’s soil sample tracking patent encompassed unpatentable subject matter because the asserted claims were not directed toward an abstract idea. "The Court agrees with the Defendant that soil sampling for the purpose of evaluating the nutritional deficiencies in a field is an abstract idea. However, the Court does not agree that a method for performing soil sampling is necessarily abstract. . . . The [patent-in-suit] purports to solve issues associated with existing techniques by coming to the end result more efficiently and accurately. Therefore, the Court does not [...]

2018-01-18T15:51:03+00:00 January 18th, 2018|Docket Report, Patent|

Successfully Compelling Arbitration Does Not Confer “Prevailing Party” Status under ​§ 505

After the court granted defendant's motion to compel arbitration and dismissed plaintiff's case pursuant to a binding arbitration clause, the court denied defendant's motion for attorney fees because defendant was not a prevailing party. "⁠[Defendant] is still potentially liable to [plaintiff] under the Copyright Act, although the determination whether [defendant] is liable will be made by an arbitrator rather than this court. To award [defendant] attorney’s fees under § 505 . . . would essentially replace a merits-based requirement for recovering attorney’s fees with a procedural-based requirement. [Defendant] could actually lose on the merits—albeit before an arbitrator rather than in [...]

2018-01-18T15:49:03+00:00 January 18th, 2018|Copyright, Docket Report|

Exact Product Market Boundaries Not Required at Pleading Stage

The court denied defendants' motion to dismiss the indirect class plaintiffs' Sherman § 1 claims because IPPs sufficiently alleged a conspiracy in a relevant product market. "The issue, at its core, is whether IPPs’ use of the term 'AC Systems' to include various components that make up the systems to cool the interior of a vehicle is overreaching. The Court finds it is not. Throughout this multidistrict litigation, the Court has held that a defendant need not manufacture an entire automotive system to meet the Twombly plausibility standard and allowed complaints to survive as to a defendant that only manufactures [...]

2018-01-18T15:45:05+00:00 January 18th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Brand Name Only Used in Product Guide and Emails Not Used “In Commerce”

The court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's false designation of origin claim because defendant's use of plaintiff's mark was not commercial. "The only arguably 'printed' version of the [plaintiff's] mark is in [defendant's] Retail Brands Guide. But [defendant's] use of the mark in this guide is more akin to use 'in the sale or advertising' of the product than it is to a sales display. Furthermore, no reasonable juror would find that this guide could confuse a distributor into thinking that the [defendant's] Bottle was a version of the [plaintiff's] Bottle, as it clearly states that the [...]

2018-01-18T13:11:02+00:00 January 18th, 2018|Docket Report, Trademark|

Communications Decency Act Immunizes Google et al From Sherman Act Claims Arising From Allegedly Buried Search Results

The court granted defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's Sherman Act claims because defendants were immune from suit under the Communications Decency Act. "In common sense terms, it is the scam locksmiths and not the [defendants] who are providing the information that potentially creates liability here. The complaint strains to avoid this conclusion, alleging that the mapping information 'independently and deliberately deceives consumers beyond the original deception purveyed by the scam locksmiths,' and 'facilitates, enhances, and legitimizes' the scam locksmiths. But most websites that incorporate content from elsewhere could be said to 'facilitate, enhance, and legitimize' original content by amplifying its [...]

2018-01-17T13:05:02+00:00 January 17th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Section 503 Does Not Provide for Destruction or Impoundment of an Infringing Home​

The court granted defendants' motion to cancel plaintiff's lis pendens notice and rejected plaintiff's argument that § 503 of the Copyright Act provides for destruction or impoundment of a home as an infringement remedy. "Plaintiff . . . alleg[es] that Defendants have . . . cop[ied] Plaintiff’s copyrighted materials . . . to build their own home . . . . Plaintiff argues that the lis pendens notice is appropriate because it seeks the destruction or impoundment of Defendants’ home pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 503(a) and (b). . . . While there is very little authority on this issue, [...]

2018-01-17T13:01:03+00:00 January 17th, 2018|Copyright, Docket Report|

Exercise of License Rights Does Not Support Lanham Act Claim by Co-Licensee

The court granted co-licensee defendants' motion to dismiss an exclusive licensee plaintiff's false designation of origin claim because defendants did not falsely designate the origin of certain marks by complying with the terms of its license. "The question here is whether the exclusive licensee of a mark may sue another valid licensee of the same mark. While the parties do not cite any on-point authority, the answer must be in the negative. Parties that have a valid license to use a mark and that use the mark in accordance with the license are merely exercising rights that have been granted [...]

2018-01-17T12:58:02+00:00 January 17th, 2018|Docket Report, Trademark|

Patent For Delivering Targeted Advertisements to Mobile Device Not Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

The court denied defendant's motion to dismiss on the ground that plaintiff’s patent for delivering targeted advertisements to a mobile device encompassed unpatentable subject matter because the asserted claims were not directed toward an abstract idea. "The [patent-in-suit] is not directed at merely the abstract idea of targeting advertising. Rather, it describes systems and methods for addressing barriers to certain types of information exchange between various technological devices, e.g. a television and a smartphone or tablet being used in the same place at the same time. To be sure, the end goal of the invention is to improve the delivery [...]

2018-01-17T12:54:07+00:00 January 17th, 2018|Docket Report, Patent|

Supplying Equipment For Use at Customers’ Facilities Does Not Create Regular and Established Place of Business

The court granted defendant's alternative motion to transfer for improper venue because defendant did not have a regular and established place of business through its provision of equipment to customers in the district. "⁠[Plaintiff] also relied on [defendant's] 'business model' wherein [defendant], for the convenience of their customers, supplies its end use customers with [defendant's] equipment to be used at the customer’s facility. . . . This rather creative argument does not satisfy the test set forth in [In re Cray Inc., 871 F.3d 1355 (Fed. Cir. 2017)] for the simple reason that the equipment in question is not a [...]

2018-01-17T12:54:05+00:00 January 17th, 2018|Docket Report, Patent|

Faurecia Entities Settle End-Payor Claims for $1.48 Million

The court granted preliminary approval over a settlement agreement involving a class of end-payor plaintiffs in the amount of $1.482 million because the settlement was substantively and procedurally fair. "The terms of the Settlement Agreement are hereby preliminarily approved, including the release contained therein, as being fair, reasonable, and adequate to the Settlement Class . . . . The Court finds that the Settlement Agreement was entered into at arm’s length by experienced counsel and is sufficiently within the range of reasonableness that notice of the Settlement Agreement should be given, pursuant to a plan to be submitted by Settlement [...]

2018-01-16T15:16:03+00:00 January 16th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|