Abuse of Discretion

News & Analysis as of

Patent Owner Must Show Patentability Over Art of Record to Amend Claims in IPR

In In re Aqua Products, Inc., [2015-1177] (May 25, 2016), the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s denial of the patent owner’s motion to amend in IPR2013-00159. The Federal Circuit made quick work of the PTAB’s placing...more

Competitors in the Courtroom: When to Exclude a Party’s Designated Representative from Hearing a Competitor’s Trade Secrets

“You sued them. They stay, period.” This is the conclusion a Texas trial court came to when asked to exclude the designated representative of a party from a hearing where an employee of the other party, a direct competitor,...more

ERISA (6th Circuit): Mental Nervous Limitations and Dealing with Arguments of “Organic Cause”

You know that most ERISA disability plans contain a 24-month limitation related to mental/nervous disabilities. But what happens when the claimant alleges the mental illness is “organically caused”? Is that enough to...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19493 - Standard Oil of Connecticut, Inc. v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act - SC19493 Dissent - Standard Oil of Connecticut, Inc. v. Administrator,...more

What Happens in the U.S. Stays in the U.S.: IP Dispute Against Canadian Company Will Not be Moved to Canadian Forum

Although motions to dismiss or transfer a case based on a forum non conveniens theory typically focus on the relative merits of two U.S. jurisdictions, this theory may also be applied when a party claims that a case brought...more

District Court Orders Production of Settlement Agreements But Denies Request for Deposition That Would Go Beyond Four Corners of...

Plaintiffs filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration that U.S. Patent No. 7,923,221 (the "Cabilly III patent"), owned by Defendants, is invalid and therefore Plaintiffs do not owe royalties with respect to...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC36726 - Schull v. Schull - Trial court properly refused to hold ex-husband in contempt for not paying 50 percent of child’s surgery per the original decree. The Trial...more

Invalidity Determination Would Not Apply to Reexamination Claims That Did not Exist at Time of Judgment

In Cardpool, Inc. v. Plastic Jungle, Inc., [2014-1562] (April 5, 2016) the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of vacatur, because the denial was within the district court’s discretion and also because the...more

The Slants’ Trademark Application Remains in Purgatory as Federal Circuit Passes on Pushing PTO to Publish

Late last year, Simon Tam and his legal team scored a big-time victory: they convinced the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (sitting en banc) that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violated the First Amendment. The Court...more

Reverse Cycle! Eleventh Circuit Reverses “Smelly Washing Machine” Class Certification Due to Outmoded Standard

In the latest class action involving front-loading washing machines, the Eleventh Circuit reversed the certification of two statewide Texas and California classes of purchasers contending that the front door seal on early...more

ERISA: Sixth Circuit — No Conflict of Interest with Multi-Employer Benefit Plan, Saving Abuse of Discretion Standard of Review

You already know that evidence of a “conflict of interest” can change the standard of review the court applies in ERISA claims. But proper structuring of multi-employer benefit plans can avoid an inherent conflict of...more

ERISA — 10th Circuit: What Happens When a “Procedural Irregularity” Occurs in an Appeal Denial?

You know that procedural irregularities in an appeal denial of a claim for ERISA-governed benefits can change the standard of review from arbitrary and capricious to de novo review. But not all the time. The claimant should...more

Dismissal but No Fees for Innocent BitTorrent Defendant - Killer Joe Nevada, LLC v. Leaverton

Addressing whether a copyright infringement action based solely on IP addresses is frivolous or unreasonable, such that attorneys’ fees should be awarded upon dismissal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit...more

Board to Petitioner: No RPI, No IPR - Corning Optical Comm’s RF, LLC v. PPC Broadband, Inc.

Addressing the requirement to disclose the real parties-in-interest (RPI) for an inter partes review (IPR), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) denied the petitioner’s request for rehearing regarding the...more

Ofgem’s certification review of the Blue Transmission Companies

On 4 February 2016 Ofgem published a decision reviewing the certification status of the Blue Transmission Companies (“BTCs”). The review follows two other previous Ofgem decisions. The reasoning of Ofgem and the EU Commission...more

Client Agreement and Failure to Terminate Representation Under the Terms of Client Agreement Results in Firm's Disqualification...

Brief Summary - In 2013, three shareholders sued: (1) each other for breach of fiduciary duties; and (2) their company for involuntary dissolution. The law firm that represented one of the shareholders had been retained...more

Oil-And-Gas Services Companies Argue Over Trial Court’s Authority to Exclude Corporate Representatives Under New Texas Trade...

On January 13, before the Texas Supreme Court, two major oil-and-gas-services companies disputed whether Texas’s new trade secret laws require a trial court to exclude a party’s corporate representative from a hearing at...more

Tenth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Approves Settlement Agreement with Foreclosing Lender Over Objections of the Debtor

Often overlooked by lenders and servicers, sometimes striking a deal with the Chapter 7 Trustee in bankruptcy court, is the more prudent and cost effective approach to resolving frivolous lawsuits filed by defaulting...more

Choosing Delaware, Instead Of California Law, May Prove Very Costly Indeed!

Last spring, I had the pleasure of meeting Delaware Supreme Court Justice Karen Valihura when we were speaking at the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s annual Delaware & California Law Update. Given her visit to...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds ERISA Disability and Life Benefit Denials

In two decisions issued last month, the Fifth Circuit upheld ERISA plan denials of disability and life benefits, confirming its deferential approach in most ERISA benefit cases....more

Appellate Court Affirms Sanctions in Light of “Delay Tactics” and Spoliation (Massachusetts)

Long Bay Management Co. v. Haese, 2015 WL 7213811 (Mass. App. Ct. Nov. 17, 2015) - In this overbilling dispute, the defendants appealed a judgment pursuant to an order of default sanctions and an order assessing damages,...more

Texas Court’s Writ of Mandamus Relieves Discovery Pressures on Tire Manufacturer

A court in Harris County, Texas provided relief to Michelin North America Inc. in a case involving allegedly defective tires when it threatened to issue a writ of mandamus in favor of the tire manufacturer. The Texas...more

First Circuit Overturns SEC Ruling in Flannery v. SEC

The First Circuit’s decision underscores the limits of court deference to Commission decisions, gives teeth to the “substantial evidence” standard of review, and provides a valuable roadmap for evaluating and defending...more

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Appointment of Special Master for Discovery Matters (3rd Circuit)

Glover v. Wells Fargo Home Mortg., 2015 WL 5947812 (3d Cir. Oct. 14, 2015) - In this appellate case, the court affirmed the district court’s appointment of a special master to supervise discovery, as well as the...more

Fact-Intensive Reasonable Royalty Analysis Need Not Be Peer Reviewed or Published to Be Admissible - Summit 6, LLC v. Samsung...

Addressing the admissibility of expert testimony on damages issues, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the district court’s admission of expert testimony based on a fact-intensive analysis that was not...more

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