Previous month:
October 2007
Next month:
December 2007

Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. WB Music Corp.

Plaintiff-appellant Bridgeport Music, Inc. (“Bridgeport”) appeals the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant-appellee Universal-MCA Music Publishing (“Universal”) in this copyright infringement case alleging that Universal interpolated the lyrics to the recording Pumpin’ It Up in the recording Change Gone Come. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Universal.

Download the decision.

Please visit Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Apotex Corp. v. Merck & Co., Inc.

Apotex Corp. appeals the decision of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois1 granting summary judgment in favor of Merck & Co. in an action by Apotex to set aside a judgment on charges of fraud, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(3). Apotex also asserted state law claims against Merck for common law fraud and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, and sought to compel discovery pursuant to the crime fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege. The judgment of the district court is affirmed.

Download the decision.

Please visit Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Z4 Techs., Inc. v. Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Corporation (“Microsoft”) appeals from a final judgment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, z4 Techs., Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., No. 06-cv-142 (E.D. Tex. Aug. 18, 2006). The district court denied Microsoft’s renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law (“JMOL”) following a jury trial in which the jury found that Microsoft had infringed z4 Technologies, Inc.’s (“z4’s”) U.S. Patents No. 6,044,471 (“the ’471 patent”) and No. 6,785,825 (“the ’825 patent”) and had failed to prove these patents invalid. z4 Techs., Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., No. 06-cv-142 (E.D. Tex. Aug. 18, 2006) (“JMOL Opinion”). Because substantial evidence supports the jury’s verdict, and because the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Microsoft’s motion for a new trial, we affirm.

Download the decision.

Please visit Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. Haute Diggity Dog, LLC

Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A., a French corporation located in Paris, that manufactures luxury luggage, handbags, and accessories, commenced this action against Haute Diggity Dog, LLC, a Nevada corporation that manufactures and sells pet products nationally, alleging trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. § 1114(1)(a), trademark dilution under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c), copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. § 501, and related statutory and common law violations. Haute Diggity Dog manufactures, among other things, plush toys on which dogs can chew, which, it claims, parody famous trademarks on luxury products, including those of Louis Vuitton Malletier. The particular Haute Diggity Dog chew toys in question here are small imitations of handbags that are labeled "Chewy Vuiton" and that mimic Louis Vuitton Malletier’s LOUIS VUITTON handbags.

On cross-motions for summary judgment, the district court concluded that Haute Diggity Dog’s "Chewy Vuiton" dog toys were successful parodies of Louis Vuitton Malletier’s trademarks, designs, and products, and on that basis, entered judgment in favor of Haute Diggity Dog on all of Louis Vuitton Malletier’s claims.

On appeal, we agree with the district court that Haute Diggity Dog’s products are not likely to cause confusion with those of Louis Vuitton Malletier and that Louis Vuitton Malletier’s copyright was not infringed. On the trademark dilution claim, however, we reject the district court’s reasoning but reach the same conclusion through a different analysis. Accordingly, we affirm.

Download the decision.

For more copyright and trademark coverage.

Please visit Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Zenon Envtl., Inc. v. US Filter Corp.

United States Filter Corp. (“US Filter”) appeals from the final judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, following a bench trial, that the asserted claims of U.S. Patent 6,620,319 (“the ’319 patent”) are not invalid as anticipated under 35 U.S.C. § 102. Zenon Environmental, Inc. (“Zenon”) cross-appeals the district court’s grant of summary judgment that the accused products do not infringe the ’319 patent. Because we conclude that the district court erred in determining that the ’319 patent was entitled to the priority date of an earlier filed patent, and thus clearly erred in concluding that the ’319 patent was not anticipated by that patent, we reverse the court’s judgment of no invalidity and hold that patent to be invalid. In light of that conclusion, we need not reach Zenon’s cross-appeal seeking reversal of the district court’s grant of summary judgment of noninfringement.

Download the decision.

Please visit Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Perfumebay.com Inc. v. eBay Inc.

In this trademark infringement case, we must decide whether various forms of the mark “Perfumebay” infringe upon the trademark “eBay.” Appellant Perfumebay.com, Inc. (Perfumebay) appeals from the district court’s decision that Perfumebay infringed eBay’s trademark. Perfumebay challenges the district court’s finding that the conjoined terms “perfumebay” and “PerfumeBay” created a likelihood of consumer confusion under the Lanham Act with respect to the mark “eBay.” Perfumebay contends that the district court erred in finding initial interest confusion; in granting injunctive relief despite eBay’s unclean hands; and in fashioning the permanent injunction to prohibit Perfumebay’s use of the names “perfumebay” and “perfume-bay.” Perfumebay also contests the district court’s denial of attorneys’ fees. eBay cross-appeals the district court’s denial of its breachof-contract claim based on the settlement negotiations of the parties. eBay also contends that the district court erred in rejecting its claim for likelihood of dilution, and for not permanently enjoining Perfumebay from using non-conjoined versions of its names that include a space between “Perfume” and “Bay,” such as “Perfume Bay.” We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and we affirm in part and reverse in part.

Download the decision.

Please visit Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

US Philips Corp. v. Iwasaki Elec. Co. Ltd.

U.S. Philips Corporation appeals from a final judgment entered pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b) in favor of Iwasaki Electric Company Ltd. by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Specifically, U.S. Philips challenges the district court’s decision to limit U.S. Philips’s right of recovery to acts of infringement after the complaint was filed, based on a failure of notice; its claim construction ruling relating to U.S. Patent No. 5,109,181 (“the ’181 patent”); and its decision to grant partial summary judgment of noninfringement as to those accused products not subject to the temporal limitation of liability. Because Iwasaki was properly on notice of potential infringement before the filing of the complaint, we reverse the district court’s determination that notice was inadequate until the instant suit was filed and the concomitant limitation of liability. We affirm the district court’s claim construction, and with it the entry of partial summary judgment of no literal infringement. Finally, because the district court erred in concluding that the doctrine of equivalents is foreclosed as to the disputed claim limitation, we vacate the partial summary judgment of noninfringement under the doctrine of equivalents, and we remand for consideration of infringement under the doctrine of equivalents as well as for consideration of literal infringement from June 7, 2000, the date notice was provided, until the filing of the complaint.

Download the decision.

Please visit Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

Digeo, Inc. v. Audible

Audible, Inc. (“Audible”) appeals the decision of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington to deny Audible’s motion for attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 including its request for additional discovery to develop the § 285 claim. We heard oral argument on September 5, 2007. Because we discern no clear error in the district court’s finding that the case is not exceptional and because we conclude the court did not abuse its discretion in denying additional discovery, we affirm.

Download the decision.

Please visit Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.

SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al. v. Dudas

The Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted a preliminary injunction yesterday against the USPTO suspending the implementation of the new rules that were to take effect November 1, 2007.

. . .

For the reasons stated above, the Court will: (1) grant GSK’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction; (2) deny the PTO’s Motion to Strike Exhibit E of the Memorandum in Support of GSK’s Motion; (3) grant the Motion of Amicus Curiae AIPLA for Leave fo File its Brief in Support of GSK’s Motion; (4) grant HEXAS, The Roskamp Institute, and Tikvah’s Joint Motion in Support of Motion for Leave to File Amici Curiae Brief in Support of GSK’s Motion; and (5) grant the Motion of Amicus Curiae Elan Pharmaceutical Corp. for Leave to File its Brief in Support of GSK’s Motion.

Download the decision.

Please visit Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.