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June 2006
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Schor v. Abbott Labs.

Judge Easterbrook writes for the court dismissing an antitrust action under the Sherman Act for failure to state a claim.  The suit was brought against the holder of an HIV combination drug therapy.

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Louisville Bedding Co. v. Pillowtex Corp.

Before LOURIE, SCHALL, and PROST, Circuit Judges.
LOURIE, Circuit Judge.

Louisville Bedding Company appeals from the decision of the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky denying Louisville’s motion for partial relief from the court’s final judgment of noninfringement. Louisville Bedding Co. v. Pillowtex Corp., No. 3:94CV-722-S (W.D. Ky. Aug. 4, 2005). Because the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Louisville’s motion, we affirm.

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Syngenta Seeds, Inc. v. Delta Cotton Coop., Inc.

Before RADER, SCHALL, and GAJARSA, Circuit Judges.
GAJARSA, Circuit Judge.

On April 28, 2005, following a jury trial, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas entered a judgment against defendant-appellant Delta Cotton Co-Operative, Inc., awarding damages to plaintiffs-appellees Syngenta Seeds, Inc., and Syngenta Participations AG (collectively "Syngenta Seeds" or "Syngenta") for infringement of Syngenta's rights under the Plant Variety Protection Act and the Lanham Act. On July 5, 2005, the district court entered an order denying Delta Cotton's motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, new trial, and remittitur, and granting Syngenta's motions for permanent injunction and costs. Syngenta Seeds, Inc., v. Delta Cotton Co-Op., Inc., No. 3:02-CV-00309 (E.D. Ark. July 5, 2005) ("Order"). Delta Cotton timely filed a notice of appeal on July 29, 2005. The district court had jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a), and this court has jurisdiction over the appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(1). For the reasons set forth herein, we reverse.

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Regents of the Univ. of California v. Univ. of Iowa Research Found.

RADER, Circuit Judge.

The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (the Board) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the PTO) resolved this interference between the Regents of the University of California (California) as the senior party and the University of Iowa Research Foundation, Coley Pharmaceutical Group, Inc., and the United States (collectively, Iowa) as the junior party. The Board granted Iowa’s motion for judgment that 35 U.S.C. § 135(b)(1) barred California’s sole claim interfering with Iowa’s U.S. Patent No. 6,207,646 (the ’646 patent). Univ. of Iowa Research Found. v. Regents of The Univ. of Cal., Interf. No. 105,171 (Bd. Pat. App. & Interf. Mar. 10, 2005) (Board Decision). Because the Board correctly construed section 135(b)(1), this court affirms.

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International Stamp Art v. US Postal Serv.

Plaintiff-appellant, International Stamp Art, Incorporated (“ISA”) appeals a grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant-appellee, the United States Postal Service (“Postal Service”) with respect to the Postal Service’s assertion of fair use in response to ISA’s allegations of trademark infringement. The appeal requires us to determine the appropriate legal standard for good faith with respect to a fair-use defense in this context, an issue of first impression for us. Because we join four other circuits in holding that the legal standard is the same as for any other trademark infringement inquiry into good faith – whether the alleged infringer intended to benefit from the good will associated with the holder of the mark – and because there is no evidence in the record indicating that the Postal Service so intended, we AFFIRM.

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Almeida v. Amazon.com, Inc.

Thais Cardoso Almeida brought this action against Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”) for displaying her image on its websites in furtherance of its sale of the book Anjos Proibidos. Almeida asserted claims against Amazon pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 540.08 (West 2006), for civil theft pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 772.11 (West 2006), and under Florida’s common law doctrine of invasion of privacy. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Amazon as to all of Almeida’s claims. The district court held that Almeida’s right of publicity claim under § 540.08 and common law is preempted by the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (“CDA”), 47 U.S.C. § 230 (2000), and is otherwise unavailable under Florida’s statutory first-sale doctrine. As to Almeida’s civil theft claim, the district court held that Almeida failed to establish Amazon’s intent to misappropriate Almeida’s image. We affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment, although with respect to Almeida’s right of publicity claim, we do so on different grounds.

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Miller v. Glenn Miller Prods., Inc.

PER CURIAM:
[1] Steven and Jonnie Miller, adopted children of Helen Miller, wife of the world-renowned bandleader Glenn Miller, and their exclusive licensing agent CMG Worldwide Inc. (collectively “Appellants”) appeal from the district court’s order granting defendant Glenn Miller Productions, Inc. (“GMP”) summary judgment and dismissing their complaint on the basis of laches. See Miller v. Glenn Miller Prods., 318 F. Supp. 2d 923 (C.D. Cal. 2004). GMP cross-appeals the district court’s determination that it is engaged in unauthorized sublicensing. In his well-reasoned opinion, District Judge A.Howard Matz ruled that a licensee of trademark and related publicity rights may not sublicense those rights to third parties without express permission from the original licensor. Id. at 939. We agree with this extension of the well-established “sublicensing rule” from copyright and patent law to the licensing of trademark and related publicity rights such as occurred here, and with the district court’s reasons for extending the rule. The district court also correctly ruled, however, that Appellants are barred by the doctrine of laches from taking legal action now, based on undisputed evidence establishing that they should have known of GMP’s allegedly infringing activities well beyond the statutory period for bringing suit. Id. at 944-45. Accordingly, we affirm and adopt the district court’s thorough opinion with the exception of Section C.5 (id. at 945-46) and the final three sentences of the opinion (id. at 946, beginning with “Alternatively, the Court rules”). We also reprint the incorporated portions as an appendix to this opinion.

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Flex-Rest, LLC v. Steelcase, Inc.

Before BRYSON, LINN, and PROST, Circuit Judges.
LINN, Circuit Judge.

Flex-Rest, LLC appeals from a final judgment following a jury verdict finding U.S. Patent No. 5,709,489 (’489 patent) invalid for anticipation and obviousness and from a grant of summary judgment finding that Steelcase, Inc. did not infringe U.S. Patent No. 5,961,231 (’231 patent). Flex-Rest, LLC v. Steelcase, Inc., No. 1:02-CV-537 (W.D. Mich. Nov. 10, 2003); Flex-Rest, LLC v. Steelcase, Inc., No. 1:02-CV-537 (W.D. Mich. Mar. 11, 2004). Steelcase cross-appeals the district court’s order denying Steelcase’s motion for a determination of inequitable conduct in procuring the ’489 patent. Flex-Rest, LLC v. Steelcase, Inc., No. 1:02-CV-537 (W.D. Mich. Mar. 23, 2005) (“Inequitable Conduct Decision”). Because we discern no error in these decisions, we affirm.

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Pebble Beach Co. v. Caddy

TROTT, Circuit Judge:
Pebble Beach Company (“Pebble Beach”), a golf course resort in California, appeals the dismissal for lack of jurisdiction of its complaint against Michael Caddy (“Caddy”), a small-business owner located in southern England. In addition, Pebble Beach seeks review of an order denying its request for an opportunity to conduct jurisdictional discovery. Because Caddy did not expressly aim his conduct at California or the United States, we hold that the district court determined correctly that it lacked personal jurisdiction. Given the nature of the claims and the facts of this case, we conclude also that the district court properly exercised its discretion by denying Pebble Beach’s motion to conduct additional jurisdictional discovery. Thus, we affirm.

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Martha Graham Sch. & Dance Found., Inc. v. Martha Graham Ctr. Of Contemporary Dance, Inc.

LOUIS F. OBERDORFER, District Judge.

This case marks the third chapter in this court of the dispute as to who is the rightful owner of the works of the renowned modern dancer Martha Graham, who died in 1991 at the age of 96. Previously this court largely affirmed the district court ruling that during her lifetime Graham transferred the rights to almost all of her works to the Martha Graham Center, but remanded the question of ownership of seven specific dances. On remand, the district court denied plaintiffs’ motion for a new trial and found that the Center also owns the seven dances. For reasons stated below, we affirm.

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