ATLANTA — Allegations that a copyright and trademark infringement defendant befriended a plaintiff under false pretenses in order to misappropriate portions of her autobiography for a line of perfumes were properly rejected by a Georgia federal judge, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 18 (Daisy Byrd Mobley v. Claire Fermont-Langlais, et al., No. 16-12340, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12841).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former executives of the now-defunct file-sharing service Megaupload filed a reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on June 21, supporting their petition for certiorari and urging review and clarification of procedures governing the seizure of foreign assets under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA), which the petitioners say the U.S. government wrongly invoked to seize their assets in a criminal copyright case (Finn Batato, et al. v. United States of America, No. 16-1206, U.S. Sup.).
RICHMOND, Va. — With briefing completed on its appeal of a trial court finding it contributorily liable for users’ online infringement, an internet service provider (ISP) on June 28 filed a supplemental brief in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, voicing its objections to a subsequent award of attorney fees against it (BMG Rights Management [US] LLC, et al. v. Cox Communications Inc., et al., No. 16-1972, 17-1352 and 17-1353, 4th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the wake of trial and appeals court rulings in its favor, Amazon.com Inc. on June 28 waived its right to respond to a pro se plaintiff’s petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, in which he asserts that the online retailer was negligent in its duty to remove infringing items from its website under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (Reginald Hart v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 16-1549, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — A request by The Associated Press and Hearst Communications Inc. for judgment on the pleadings on allegations that they committed copyright infringement was denied July 7 by a New York federal judge, who found that material issues of disputed fact exist with regard to the date the infringement first took place (Michael Grecco v. The Associated Press, et al., No. 16-6240, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105264).
SAN DIEGO — Allegations that various individuals working at the behest of musician Carlos Santana induced others to infringe copyrighted artwork were dismissed July 6 by a California federal judge (Eric Gottesman v. Carlos Santana, et al., No. 16-2902, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104548).
SAN FRANCISCO — An affirmative defense of copyright misuse was stricken by a California federal judge on July 5 in a dispute over golf club and golf training aid designs (Jonathan Wang v. Golf Tailor LLC, No. 17-898, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103654).
CLEVELAND — Most of an architectural expert’s testimony in a home design copyright infringement case is reliable and will be helpful in deciding the key issues in dispute; however, he is not allowed to give legal opinions or “dictate the conclusion” of the case, an Ohio federal magistrate judge held July 3 (Design Basics LLC v. Petros Homes Inc., et al., No. 14-1966, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102931).
NEW ORLEANS — Allegations that several books in the “American Girl” series infringe the copyright of an unpublished novel were properly rejected by a Louisiana federal judge, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 29 in a per curiam ruling (Melva Leona Vallery v. American Girl L.L.C., No. 15-30472, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11647).
NEW YORK — In a June 16 appellant brief to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a film production firm argues that a trial court’s remand order, which vacated a previous award of attorney fees and sanctions against a director and his attorney in a copyright dispute over a short film, was based on a misinterpretation of an earlier Second Circuit ruling that had recommended reconsideration of just a small portion of the award (16 Casa Duse LLC v. Alex Merkin, et al., No. 17-0625, 2nd Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A $1.95 million statutory damage award issued in favor of copyright and trademark infringement plaintiff Microsoft Corp. will stand, in light of a June 27 ruling by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Microsoft Corp. v. Buy More Inc., et al., No. 15-56544, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11454).
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on June 21 denied insurers’ motion to reconsider an earlier ruling that a professional services exclusion does not apply to bar coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that a consulting company insured conspired with a competitor’s former employee to use the competitor’s copyrighted material and other confidential information (Caveo, LLC v. Citizens Insurance Company of America, Inc., et al., No. 15-6200, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95432).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its June 19 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari by the founder of now-defunct online music-sharing service MP3Tunes LLC, who argued that neither he nor his former company had sufficient contacts with New York to establish personal jurisdiction over him in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by a group of record labels (Michael Robertson v. EMI Christian Music Group, et al., No. 16-1227, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3969).
SEATTLE — Jurors who in February deemed Zillow Inc. an infringer of 28,125 copyrighted images did not hear sufficient evidence from which to conclude that Zillow failed to take “simple measures” to remove the works from its “Zillow Digs” mobile app, a Washington federal judge ruled June 20 (VHT Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc., No. 15-1096, W.D. Wash.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95010).
SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on June 13 denied a general liability insurer’s motion to transfer the venue of an insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for underlying claims that it violated Microsoft Inc.’s intellectual property rights and committed wrongful business practices (TekVisions Inc. v. The Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-1946, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91583).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its June 19 orders list the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will not review a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals holding that Section 301(a) of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 301(a), preempts state law claims relating to ideas expressed in tangible media (Ultraflo Corp. v. Pelican Tank Parts Inc., et al., No. 16-1085, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following a May amicus brief from the U.S. government urging that certiorari be denied in a longstanding copyright dispute over a viral video, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 19 indicated that it will not hear the case (Stephanie Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., et al., No. 16-217, U.S. Sup.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A software company has failed to show that it will suffer irreparable harm unless an injunction is issued preventing defendants in a misappropriation of trade secrets and copyright infringement lawsuit from continuing to misappropriate the company’s confidential and proprietary information a federal judge in Florida ruled June 12 in denying the company’s motion for preliminary injunction (Compulife Software Inc. v. Moses Newman, et al., No. 16-81942, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89674).
NEW YORK — Efforts by Justin Timberlake and other defendants to dismiss a request for copyright infringement damages occurring before Feb. 17, 2013, were denied June 13 by a New York federal judge (PK Music Performance Inc. v. Justin Timberlake, et al., No. 16-1215, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90562).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a June 7 brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) opposes a petition for certiorari by former executives of the now-defunct file-sharing service Megaupload, arguing that a trial court properly deemed them fugitives and ordered seizure of their foreign-held assets in accordance with the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA) (Finn Batato, et al. v. United States of America, No. 16-1206, U.S. Sup.).