Dryer v. National Football League

Appellants John Frederick Dryer, Elvin Lamont Bethea, and Edward Alvin White played professional football in the National Football League (“NFL”). They participated in a putative class-action lawsuit in which twenty-three former NFL players sued the NFL on behalf of themselves and similarly situated former players. This suit claimed that films produced by NFL-affiliate NFL Films violated the players’ rights under the right-of-publicity laws of various states as well as their rights under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125. Twenty of those players settled their dispute with the NFL, but the appellants elected to opt out of that settlement and pursue their individual right-of-publicity and Lanham Act claims. The district court granted the NFL’s motion for summary judgment on these claims. We affirm.

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Grubbs v. Sheakley Group, Inc.

Plaintiffs Linda Grubbs and the companies she owns, Tri-Serve, Ltd.; TriServe #1, LLC; and Capital Concepts, Inc., appeal the order of the district court dismissing Plaintiffs’ claims under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. § 1962, for failure to state a claim, and dismissing all remaining state law claims over which the district court had pendent jurisdiction. For the reasons that follow, we AFFIRM in part, and REVERSE in part, the order of the district court, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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Hanover Ins. Co v. Urban Outfitters Inc

Risk is a concept with which we are intimately acquainted.36 Those who wager correctly are rewarded and those who guess wrong suffer losses. The purpose of insurance is to disperse that risk. But “[a]n insured cannot insure against something that has already begun and which is known to have begun.”

The “prior publication” exclusion prevents a continuing tortfeasor from passing the risk for its misconduct on to an unwitting insurer. Taking Navajo Nation’s underlying allegations as true, Urban Outfitters engaged in similar liability-triggering behavior both before and during Hanover’s coverage period. We therefore hold that the exclusion applies. For the foregoing reasons, we will affirm the District Court’s order granting Hanover’s motion for judgment on the pleadings.

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Sovereign Military Hospitaller v. The Florida Priory of the Knights Hospitallers

This appeal is the second in a long-running intellectual property dispute between two religious organizations. The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta alleges that the Florida Priory of the Knights Hospitallers of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, the Ecumenical Order is infringing its registered service marks in violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1114, and Florida law. After a bench trial, the district court entered judgment for the Florida Priory. See Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes & of Malta v. Fla. Priory of the Knights Hospitallers of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, the Ecumenical Order (SMOM I), 816 F. Supp. 2d 1290, 1307–08 (S.D. Fla. 2011). In the first appeal, we reversed in part and remanded for the district court to reconsider whether the parties’ marks are likely to be confused. See Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes & of Malta v. Fla. Priory of the Knights Hospitallers of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, the Ecumenical Order (SMOM II), 702 F.3d 1279, 1297–98 (11th Cir. 2012). We were also critical of disparaging comments that the district judge made about the parties. On remand, the district court misapplied several factors in its analysis of likely confusion, incorrectly assessed the Florida Priory’s defense of prior use, relied on historical testimony that we previously deemed inadmissible, and misinterpreted our instructions about consulting facts outside the record. Because the district court erred again, we reverse again. But we deny the Sovereign Order’s request to reassign the case to a different district judge.

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Company uses 'edible barcodes' in fight against counterfeit drug trade

By Brian Mastroianni

Who knew that the answer to fighting the trillion-dollar global counterfeit drug problem rested in a particle the size of a speck of dust? At least that’s what entrepreneur Dr. Hank Wuh is counting on with TruTag Technologies, one of the companies that falls under the larger umbrella of Skai Ventures, the tech-focused venture capital accelerator that he founded. The central idea behind the tech company are “TruTags” - invisible, edible barcodes that can be planted right onto medicine to verify that the pills and tablets you might consume are the real deal.

Back in 2014, the company was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. According to Wuh, a medical doctor, this kind of wider recognition is an indication that these bite-size barcodes could play a role in a tech revolution sweeping through medicine.

“It’s (TruTag) is really a game-changer,” Wuh told FoxNews.com. “This has huge implications for healthcare. Think about healthcare economics, think about public health — it impacts all of those areas. We think of this technology as a tremendous way to sort of improve the system.”

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Apple, Inc. v. Samsung

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (collectively, “Samsung”) appeal from a final judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in favor of Apple Inc. (“Apple”).

A jury found that Samsung infringed Apple’s design and utility patents and diluted Apple’s trade dresses. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the jury’s verdict on the design patent infringements, the validity of two utility patent claims, and the damages awarded for the design and utility patent infringements appealed by Samsung. However, we reverse the jury’s findings that the asserted trade dresses are protectable. We therefore vacate the jury’s damages awards against the Samsung products that were found liable for trade dress dilution and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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S. Cal. Darts Ass'n v. Zaffina

The district court entered summary judgment for plaintiffappellee Southern California Darts Association (“SoCal”) and issued a permanent injunction enjoining defendant-appellant Dino M. Zaffina from using certain marks that have been used by SoCal for several decades. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and we affirm.

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Syngenta Seeds, Inc. v. Bunge North America, Inc.

Syngenta Seeds, Inc. (Syngenta) sued Bunge North America, Inc. (Bunge), alleging Bunge (1) breached an obligation under the United States Warehouse Act (USWA), 7 U.S.C. §§ 241-256; (2) breached a duty to third-party beneficiaries of a licensing agreement between Bunge and the federal government; and (3) engaged in false advertising, in violation of the LanhamAct, 15 U.S.C. § 1125. The district court dismissed Syngenta’s USWA and third-party beneficiary claims on the pleadings, and granted Bunge summary judgment on the Lanham Act claim. Syngenta appeals. We affirm the dismissal of the USWA and third-party beneficiary claims and remand the Lanham Act claim for further proceedings.

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Fortres Grand Corp. v. Warner Bros. Entm't, Inc.

MANION, Circuit Judge. Fortres Grand Corporationdeve lops and sells a desktop management program called “Clean Slate.” When Warner Bros. Entertainment used the words “the clean slate” to describe a hacking program in the movie, The Dark Knight Rises, Fortres Grand noticed a precipitous drop in sales of its software. Believing Warner Bros.’ use of the words “clean slate” infringed its trademark and caused the decrease in sales, Fortres Grand brought this suit. Fortres Grand alleged that Warner Bros.’ use of the words “clean slate” could cause consumers to be confused about the source of Warner Bros.’ movie (“traditional confusion”) and to be confused about the source of Fortres Grand’s software (“reverse confusion”). The district court held that Fortres Grand failed to state a claim under either theory, and that Warner Bros.’ use of the words “clean slate” was protected by the First Amendment. Fortres Grand appeals, arguing only its reverse confusion theory, and we affirm without reaching the constitutional question.

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Innovation Ventures, LLC v. N2G Distrib., Inc.

CLAY, Circuit Judge. These consolidated appeals arise from a jury trial followed by a contempt proceeding. At trial, Defendants N2G Distributing, Inc. (“N2G”) and Alpha Performance Labs were found to have infringed the trademark and trade dress of 5-hour ENERGY (“FHE”)—a product sold by Plaintiff Innovation Ventures, LLC—in violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1051, et seq. The district court then held Defendants in contempt, along with their owner, Jeffrey Diehl, for violating the permanent injunction entered after trial. Defendants appeal many of the district court’s rulings, but for the reasons that follow, we AFFIRM the district court in full.

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