Communications & Media Civil Procedure

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What KIND of Juice Did They Say It Was?

On July 14, 2014, Northern District of Illinois Judge Sara L. Ellis dealt a blow to putative class action members protesting the use of “evaporated cane juice” to describe sugar in product ingredients lists. Plaintiff alleged...more

For Whom the Ring Tones: TCPA Litigation and the Insurance Industry

Insurance companies are increasingly the subject of Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuits. Any insurance company that communicates with its customers, job applicants, and others by phone or text using an automated...more

Trademark Review - CloudTV, StonShield, and Harry Winston (August 2014)

A Family Feud Over the Family Name - Harry Winston Inc. has prevailed in its opposition to registration of BRUCE WINSTON, the name of Harry Winston’s son. Harry Winston is one of the most well-known names in...more

Food Litigation Newsletter - August 2014 #2

In This Issue: - Recent Significant Rulings ..Court Dismisses Some of Plaintiff’s Claims In Pretzel Class Action ..Courts Increasingly Rely on FDA Notice to Stay or Dismiss ECJ Claims ..Court Dismisses...more

Supreme Court Decision Threatens Internet Television, But There Is Hope

When Congress last completely overhauled the Copyright Act in 1976, disco topped the charts, Charlie’s Angels was making its television debut, and fax machines were revolutionizing how people communicated. But it was this...more

Lanham Act Claims Are Not Precluded by Compliance with the FDCA

In POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., decided last month, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that companies can bring unfair competition actions under the Lanham Act even when their competitors have complied with the Federal...more

California Supreme Court Defines Scope of Advertising Injury Coverage

Hartford v. Swift imposes “specificity” requirements that may provide comfort to companies facing disparagement claims while requiring careful navigation to trigger CGL policies. The California Supreme Court recently...more

Second Circuit Clarifies the Use of Legal Presumptions of Consumer Confusion and Injury in Certain Lanham Act Cases

On Tuesday, July 29, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit “clarified certain aspects of [its] false advertising jurisprudence” and held that, where literal falsity and deliberate deception have been...more

Cheeky Monkey: Wikipedia claims copyright comes down to the press of a button

In my childhood, come summer, the UK Parliament would go into recess, and because that seemed to signal the end of lots of newsworthy items—political scandals, Government and opposition taunting each other, etc.—the period...more

You May Have Stolen the Advertising Database, But You Still Have No Advertising Idea

In Liberty Corporate Capital Ltd. v. Security Safe Outlet, 2014 WL 3973726 (6th Cir. August 15, 2014), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that where a stolen customer database is used as the basis of an advertising...more

Fortres Grand Corp. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Fortres Grand Corp. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. - USCA, Seventh Circuit, August 14, 2014 - Seventh Circuit affirms district court’s dismissal of software company’s reverse-confusion trademark suit, where...more

Class Action Suit Against Sunflower Seed Manufacturer Dismissed as Implausible

In a recent food mislabeling case, Judge Manuel Real of the Central District of California dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit finding the plaintiffs’ claims to be implausible as a matter of law. Last year, Judge Real...more

Weeks II: Innovator Liability Finds a Sweet Home in Alabama

Last week, the Supreme Court of Alabama confirmed its January 2013 holding that manufacturers of brand drugs can be liable for injuries caused by generic drugs. Weeks v. Wyeth, Inc., No. 1101397, slip op. (Ala. Aug. 15,...more

Doctor’s Slapp at Yelp Reviewer Largely Dismissed by DC Superior Court

Yelp, and websites like it, have certainly added to the development of law in the First Amendment area. The Virginia Supreme Court is poised to decide the standard for unmasking anonymous commentators on websites like Yelp. ...more

California Supreme Court Halts Creeping Expansion of Advertising Injury

Commercial general liability policies typically provide coverage for claims based on “personal and advertising injury.” Increasingly, enterprising insureds have invoked this coverage in connection with a variety of legal...more

Alabama Supreme Court Reaffirms That Plaintiffs Who Use Generic Drugs Can Recover From Brand-Name Manufacturers

On August 15, 2014, the Alabama Supreme Court held for the second time in Wyeth v. Weeks, No. 1101397 (Ala. 2014) that a plaintiff who took only the generic version of the heartburn medication Reglan could nevertheless...more

Sixth Circuit Prints Out Victory for Recipients of Fax-Blasting

An unsolicited fax comes into your business, but via your computer’s network, not on an old-fashioned fax machine. Nothing prints out on paper, but someone still has to deal with the unwanted advertisement. What’s been...more

Ninth Circuit Allows Delinquent Corporation To Sue And Own Trademarks

In Southern California Darts Association v. Zaffina, the Ninth Circuit held that a corporation, whose charter had been suspended by the state of California in 1977, had standing in 2012 to sue and to own trademarks as an...more

Lanham Act Claims Are Not Precluded by Compliance with the FDCA

POM Wonderful LLC (“POM”) produces and sells a pomegranate-blueberry juice blend. POM brought a Lanham Act suit against Coca-Cola for allegedly marketing one of its juices in such a way that it misled consumers into thinking...more

7th Circuit Rejects Public-Disclosure Bar in Qui Tam Case

In United States ex rel. Heath v. Wisconsin Bell, Inc., No. 12-3383 (7th Cir. July 28, 2014), the Seventh Circuit grappled with this bar on the use of publicly disclosed information, refusing to apply it in a case involving...more

Class Certified in Homeopathic Products Case

The plaintiffs’ theory of harm drove a recent decision from the Central District of California certifying a nationwide class of purchasers of ten homeopathic products. Allen v. Hyland’s Inc., Case No. 12-01150 (C.D. Cal. Aug....more

TCPA Connect - August 2014

Capital One Sets Record With $75M TCPA Deal - In what is believed to be the largest Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) settlement on record, Capital One Bank, related companies, and their third-party collection...more

District Court Denies Summary Judgment in Broadcast Rights Class Action

On Friday, August 8, 2014, the Southern District of New York denied motions for summary judgment filed by the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Comcast Corp. and DirecTV LLC in suits alleging that these...more

IP Protection For Novelty T-Shirts: Copyright Or Trademark?

No matter how sophisticated we are on the outside, on the inside everyone has a favorite novelty t-shirt buried deep in the recesses of their juvenile subconscious. Mine is one that says “Welcome to Philadelphia. Now Go...more

Unincorporated Associations Can Protect Unregistered Trademarks Under The Lanham Act

Can an unincorporated association own a trade mark and enforce trademark rights under the Lanham Act? The Ninth Circuit says that it can. (Southern California Darts Association v. Zaffina, No. 13-55780, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis...more

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