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Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Universal-MCA Music

Ten Universal-affiliated defendants, all record and music publishing companies, have appealed a second time from the district court’s decision to deny the defendants’ request that attorney fees be imposed as a condition of granting plaintiffs’ motions to voluntarily dismiss without prejudice the twenty cases at issue pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(2). We remanded the matter after the first consolidated appeal “for a more detailed order specifically addressing the [defendants’] request for reasonable terms and conditions relating to the dismissal of [plaintiffs’] complaints.” Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Universal-MCA Music Publishing, Inc., 481 F.3d 926, 927-28 (6th Cir. 2007). Reviewing the orders entered after remand, we reject defendants’ contention that the district court abused its discretion either by failing to provide specific reasons for its decision, or by deciding not to impose attorney fees as a condition of dismissal under Rule 41(a)(2). The judgments are affirmed.

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Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University v. Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.

The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University (“Stanford”) appeals a final judgment that the asserted claims of U.S. Patents No. 5,968,730 (“’730 patent”), No. 6,503,705 (“’705 patent”), and No. 7,129,041 (“’041 patent”) are invalid for obviousness. Bd. of Trs. v. Roche Molecular Sys., Inc., 563 F. Supp. 2d 1016 (N.D. Cal. 2008) (“Invalidity Opinion”). Roche Molecular Systems, Inc., Roche Diagnostics Corporation, and Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc. (collectively, “Roche”) cross-appeal that part of the district court’s judgment relating to Roche’s ownership, license, and shop rights to the patents-in-suit. Bd. of Trs. v. Roche Molecular Sys., Inc., 487 F. Supp. 2d 1099 (N.D. Cal. 2007) (“Contract Opinion”).

Because the district court correctly found that Roche’s counterclaim for a judgment on its ownership claim was subject to California statutes of limitation, we affirm that part of the district court’s ruling. However, because the district court incorrectly declined to consider Roche’s affirmative defense based on ownership, and because we conclude as a matter of law that Roche possesses an ownership interest in the patents-in-suit that deprives Stanford of standing, we vacate the district court’s judgment of invalidity and remand with instructions to dismiss Stanford’s action.

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Advanced Software Design Corp. v. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Plaintiffs Advanced Software Design Corporation and its founder, Calin A. Sandru, (collectively “Advanced Software”) appeal the summary judgment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, dismissing certain counts of their patent infringement suit on the ground that the acts relevant to this appeal were “by or for the United States” and thus could only be pursued in the Court of Federal Claims under 28 U.S.C. §1498(a).1 Final judgment was entered pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b). Because the allegedly infringing activity was for the United States and with its authorization and consent, the dismissal of the relevant counts is affirmed.

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