SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Aug. 8 refused to dismiss a health food company’s trademark infringement complaint against its competitor, finding that the claims for federal trademark infringement, federal unfair competition and false designation of origin, violation of California unfair competition law (UCL) and common-law trademark infringement are plausible (Kip's Nut-Free Kitchen, LLC v. Kips Dehydrated Foods, LLC, et al., No. 19-00290, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134654).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a complaint filed Aug. 13 in California federal court, a group of plaintiffs involved in creating LGBTQ-themed content that was posted on YouTube LLC’s online video-sharing platform claim that YouTube and its parent company Google LLC engage in discriminatory viewpoint-based censorship of their content, bringing claims including civil rights violations and unfair competition (Divino Group LLC, et al. v. Google LLC, et al., No. 5:19-cv-04749, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Aug. 9 granted in part and denied in part the only remaining plaintiff’s motion to amend a consolidated complaint against Facebook Inc. arising from a 2018 data theft via the social network's "view as" feature, finding that he still has not alleged standing under California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, et seq., because the value of his personal information has not diminished since the data breach (Stephen Adkins v. Facebook, Inc., No. 18-05982 consolidated with No. 19-00117, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134781).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Aug. 13 denied Monster Energy Co.’s motion for summary judgment as to its unfair competition claims for the same reasons it denied summary judgment on the Lanham Act claims in its trademark dispute with a competitor (Monster Energy Company v. Beastup LLC, No. 17-01605, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136772).
SAN DIEGO — A settlement agreement under which New Balance Athletics Inc. will pay $750,000 into a nonreversionary escrow fund and an additional $650,000 for attorney fees to end a class complaint that the shoe maker overcharged consumers and violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other California laws by advertising certain shoes as “made in USA” when a significant portion of the shoes comprised materials and labor from abroad was granted final approval on July 29 by a federal judge in California (Sheila Dashnaw, et al. v. New Balance Athletics, Inc., No. 17-159, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126183).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Aug. 6 granted a Bitcoin exchange’s motion to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), fraud and negligence by the sellers in a class action complaint challenging how the defendant handled the sale of a new cryptocurrency known as bitcoin cash (Jeffrey Berk v. Coinbase Inc., et al., No. 18-01364, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133939).
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on Aug. 5 affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a homeowner’s negligence, intentional inflection of emotional distress and unfair competition law claims against his lender, finding that the lender did not owe the borrower a duty in tort during his mortgage modification negotiations (Kwang K. Sheen v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. B289003, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8, 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 714).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 7 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that an insured’s class action complaint alleging that life insurers participated in an “interesting taking” scheme in the 1990s is time-barred (Debe Olson v. Farmers New World Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18- 20521, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23571).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — An iPhone owner filed a potential class action against Apple Inc. in California federal court on Aug. 7, alleging invasion of privacy and unfair competition for the technology company’s purported unauthorized recording and retaining of users’ communications through its digital assistant, Siri (Fumiko Lopez, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 5:19-cv-04577, N.D. Calif.).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on July 30 dismissed without prejudice a mobile nuclear imaging service company’s unfair competition law (UCL) claim and other claims in a lawsuit alleging that a maintenance provider breached a maintenance agreement, finding that the plaintiff failed to state a claim “with the requisite particularity” required under the UCL’s unfairness and fraud prongs (Vascular Imaging Professionals, Inc. v. Digirad Corporation, et al., No. 19-486, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127064).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Aug. 1 affirmed a lower court’s ruling that denied an employer’s motion to compel arbitration of a former employee’s claim for injunctive relief under California's unfair competition law (UCL), concluding that there was a specific exemption in the arbitration agreement for unfair competition claims that was agreed on by the parties (Yalila Lacayo v. Catalina Restaurant Group Inc., et al., No. E069833, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 706).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appeals court on July 23 held that an employee' claim against his employer under California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 is arbitrable because Cruz v. PacifiCare Health Systems, Inc. and Broughton v. Cigna Healthplans do not bar arbitration ofan unfair competition law (UCL) claim for private injunctive relief or restitution, reversing the lower court in part (Daniel Paul Clifford v. Quest Software Inc., No. G055858, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4873).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals panel on July 12 rejected an appellant’s contention that a lower court erred in bifurcating his trial and adjudicating his equitable claim for violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 first without a jury, finding that the lower court properly concluded that the appellant’s unfair competition law (UCL) claim disposed of his legal claims because of the “borrowing” aspect of the statute (Evanglin McCain v. A.F. Evans Company, Inc., et al., No. C074902, Calif. App., 3rd Dist., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4664).
SAN FRANCISCO — Seeking guidance in deciding whether California Business and Professions Code Section 16600 also applies to contracts between two businesses and whether the requirement that a plaintiff must plead an independently wrongful act to allege a claim for intentional interference with an at-will employment contract falls outside of the employment context, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 16 certified two questions to the California Supreme Court (Ixchel Pharma, LLC v. Biogen, Inc., No. 18-15258, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 20997).
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals court on July 9 reversed a lower court’s ruling that denied an attorney’s motion to strike a fashion designer’s claims against him under California's strategic lawsuit against public participation (anti-SLAPP) statute, finding that the designer failed to provide evidence establishing a likelihood of success because her claims are all barred by California Civil Code Section 47, subdivision (b)’s litigation privilege or “lack any foundation in tort law” (Paula Thomas, v. Richard Peddie, et al., No. B291513, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4572).
HAMMOND, Ind. — A federal magistrate judge in California on July 12 asked two named plaintiffs who filed a putative class complaint bringing multiple claims, including several under California’s unfair competition law (UCL), over the advertising of milk to file a supplemental jurisdictional statement regarding the defendants’ citizenship (Mohammad Sabeehullah, et al. v. Fairlife, LLC, et al., No. 19-222, N.D. Ind., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116150).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on July 10 dismissed all claims, including claims for violations of California's Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR) and unfair competition law (UCL) against a financial services company in a class action brought by borrowers alleging that the company’s primary operating subsidiary failed to provide them with loan modifications, finding that the company is not indirectly liable for its subsidiary’s actions (Alicia Hernandez, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., No. 18-07354, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114817).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on July 12 dismissed with prejudice The Clorox Co.’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) “unlawful” prong claims against the producer and seller of products under the Lysol brand for lack of standing but allowed the Lanham Act and UCL “unfair” prong claims to proceed (Clorox Company v. Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, et al., No. 19-01452, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116646).
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on June 25 affirmed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a loan servicer and the beneficiary under the deed of trust on the plaintiff’s residence, finding that the plaintiff failed to establish that the defendants violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) because the undisputed facts show that they cannot be held liable for violating the Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR) (Alfred Awani v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC et al., No. B282732, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4288).
SAN DIEGO — A California appeals panel on June 18 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of lenders and/or mortgage servicers in a lawsuit alleging that they wrongfully foreclosed on a property, finding that the defendants did not violate the Homeowners' Bill of Rights (HBOR) because there was no pending completed loan application when the notice of trustee's sale was recorded (Jason Cartaya v. M&T BANK, et al., No. D075105, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4069).