SAN FRANCISCO — In an April 24 answer filed in California federal court, Niantic Inc. argues that it cannot be found liable for incidents of nuisance and trespass carried out by players of its Pokémon GO game, raising defenses of consent, lack of standing and absence of proximate cause (In re Pokémon GO Nuisance Litigation, No. 3:16-cv-04300, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A man who was convicted of computer fraud and trade secret theft against his former employer filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in support of his emergency motion for release from custody to pursue an appeal of a trial court’s denial of his motion for a writ of error coram nobis (United States v. David Nosal, No. 18-10089, 9th Cir.).
CHICAGO — Allegations by the operator of a trading website that a customer opened an account solely with the intention of copying the plaintiff’s business model and associated intellectual property can proceed, an Illinois federal judge ruled April 18 (TopstepTrader LLC v. OneUp Trader LLC, et al., No. 17-4412, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64815).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on April 18 sided with inter partes review petitioner eBay Inc., concluding that two claims of a patented graphical user interface (GUI) do not pass muster under Section 103 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. § 103 (eBay Inc. v. Global Equity Management [SA] Pty. Ltd., No. IPR2016-01828, PTAB).
SAN FRANCISCO — Even though an employee was tricked into transferring funds to a criminal because of fraudulent, spoofed emails, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 17 found that the direct cause of a seafood company’s loss was the authorized employee’s action, thus precluding coverage for the loss under the computer fraud provision of a commercial crime insurance policy (Aqua Star [USA] Corp. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, No. 16-35614, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 9660).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In upholding an award of attorney fees on behalf of AT&T Corp. and Microsoft Corp. on April 18, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals adopted the U.S. Supreme Court’s rationale in CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, finding that a favorable judgment on the merits is not necessary to make a determination of prevailing party status in patent cases (Keith Raniere v. Microsoft Corporation, et al., Nos. 17-1400, -1401, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 9775).
CLEVELAND — A judge should exclude from a jury trial a YouTube video of ballast cleaners taken well after a man’s alleged exposure to asbestos and at a completely different work site, the railway tells an Ohio trial judge in an April 10 filing (Kevin E. Howell v. Consolidated Rail Corp., et al., No. CV-15-846529, Ohio Comm. Pls., Cuyahoga Co.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Finding that a blind plaintiff’s amended complaint failed to cure his previously identified standing defects, a Virginia federal judge on April 16 dismissed for a second time the man’s claims that a credit union violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) via its purportedly inaccessible website (Keith Carroll v. Northwest Federal Credit Union, No. 1:17-cv-01205, E.D. Va.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Addressing issues of lost revenues, stare decisis and congressional action, the U.S. Supreme Court on April 17 heard arguments from a group of internet retailers and South Dakota on whether existing high court precedent requiring physical presence within a state for the collection of that state’s sales tax law is outdated and should be abrogated in light of a South Dakota law that bases sales tax collection on a retailer’s economic connection (South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc., et al., No. 17-494, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A six-year dispute between Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Apple Inc. over smartphone technology patents, which saw multiple appeals and a certiorari denial, ended April 10, with a California federal judge’s issuance of final judgment largely in Apple’s favor (Apple Inc. v, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 5:12-cv-00630, N.D. Calif.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Cisco Systems Inc. prevailed April 16 in an inter partes review (IPR) of a Uniloc USA Inc. patent relating to the use of an instant messaging (IM) connection to initiate a conference call, when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed that 15 claims of the patent would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art (Cisco Systems Inc. v. Uniloc USA Inc., No. IPR2017-00198, PTAB).
SAN FRANCISCO — A man who was convicted and sentenced to prison for computer fraud and trade secret theft against his former employer filed an emergency motion with the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals April 12, seeking release from custody to pursue his appeal of a trial court’s denial of his post-sentencing motions (United States v. David Nosal, No. 18-10089, 9th Cir.).
TYLER, Texas — A Texas federal court on April 12 released two jury verdicts in the patent retrial over the FaceTime and VPN OnDemand (VPNOD) features on certain Apple Inc. devices, with a jury finding that Apple willfully infringed VirnetX Inc.’s patents and awarding the plaintiff $502 million in damages (VirnetX Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 6:12-cv-00855, E.D. Texas).
NEW YORK — The safe harbor from copyright infringement liability provided to online service providers under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) extends to claims that sound in copyright infringement, a New York federal judge ruled March 31, mostly dismissing an unfair competition claim brought against video-sharing service provider Vimeo LLC by a group of record labels (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. Vimeo LLC, et al., No. 1:09-cv-10101 and -10105, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56049).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In an April 11 petition, an information security company tells the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that 14 claims of a Symantec Corp. patent would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art, in view of a combination of two prior art patent applications (Zscaler Inc. v. Symantec Corp., No. IPR2018-00912, PTAB).
NEW YORK — A group of amici curiae, comprising nonprofit and media critic organizations, filed a brief April 3 urging the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to rehear a case in which a panel majority found certain aspects of an online media-monitoring service use of copyrighted materials to not be fair use, despite deeming the use transformative (Fox News Network LLC v. TVEyes Inc., No. 15-3885, 2nd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 9 found no error in an Illinois federal judge’s determination that four patents claiming an “electronic means of increasing user control over subscription entertainment content” are ineligible for protection under Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Maxon LLC v. Funai Corporation Inc., No. 17-2139, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amendments made by a patentee to overcome an anticipation rejection by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) limited the invention in such a way that accused products by Microsoft Corp. and others cannot infringe, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 9 (Richard Baker v. Microsoft Corp., et al., No. 17-2357, Fed. Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on April 5 dismissed a claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing asserted against a gift company and allowed the majority of the company’s counterclaims asserted against a software solutions company to proceed, with the exception of a claim for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) (Pierry Inc. v. Thirty-One Gifts, LLC, No. 17-cv-03074, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59365).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Facebook Inc. has reached a confidential settlement agreement with prefabricated data center manufacturer and installer BladeRoom Group Limited (BRG) to settle claims that Facebook enticed BRG to provide it with BRG’s data center designs and construction methods for its data centers and then used the information to construct a data center in Sweden with another party, according to a docket entry filed April 9 in California federal court (BladeRoom Group Limited, et al. v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 15-1370, N.D. Calif.).