De Novo Standard of Review

News & Analysis as of

California Court Confirms No Absolute Public Policy Against Non-Competes Entered into by Partners

California’s prohibition on non-competition agreements is less than absolute. For example, non-compete agreements may be enforced against partners or sellers of businesses. Additionally, in SingerLewak LLP v. Andrew Gantman...more

Precedential Cloud Victory in Michigan Court of Appeals

On October 27, 2015, a three-judge panel sitting for the Michigan Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed a lower court decision finding that the use of cloud-based services in Michigan is not subject to use tax in Auto-Owners...more

The Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. USCA Second Circuit, October 16, 2015

Second Circuit affirms district court's holding that Google's creation of searchable, digital copies of tens of millions of books constitutes fair use under Copyright Act, because Google's search service merely provides...more

Going on Offense against State Deceptive Trade Practices AG Actions

We have posted many times about cases where a manufacturer of a regulated product is sued over alleged violations of a state consumer protection or deceptive trade practices act because of something allegedly amiss in the...more

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Sandoz Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2015)

Last week the Federal Circuit affirmed a District Court's finding of invalidity and non-infringement in ANDA litigation between Spectrum Pharmaceuticals and Sandoz. In so doing, the Court deferred to the factual...more

Seventh Circuit Rules ERISA Does Not Preempt State Law Prohibiting Discretionary Clauses

In Fontaine v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., No. 14-1984, 2015 U.S. App. (7th Cir. Sept. 4, 2015), the Seventh Circuit affirmed a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois decision holding that Illinois’s...more

The Complications of Copyrighted Images in the Yellow Pages - Yellow Pages Photos, Inc. v. Ziplocal, LP

Reviewing a spectrum of copyright-related issues following the conclusion of a jury trial, the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court, concluding that willful copyright infringement...more

Thirty Years’ Use of Mark Is Not Enough to Prove Acquired Distinctiveness if Evidence Is Insufficient - In re Louisiana Fish Fry...

Addressing the issue of distinctiveness, the Federal Circuit affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) decision to deny registration of a plaintiff’s mark due to the dearth of evidence supporting the plaintiff’s...more

September 2015: Appellate Update

Postscript to the U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2014 Term. The Supreme Court of the United States completed its October 2014 term in June, having decided a number of matters of wide public interest. Among the most notable was...more

ASRC Announces Changes to NAD and NARB Procedures Following Working Group Recommendations

The Advertising Self-Regulatory Council board has announced changes to the adjudicatory processes of the National Advertising Division and the National Advertising Review Board. The changes, announced at the NAD's annual...more

DC Comics v. Towle d/b/a Garage Gotham - USCA, Ninth Circuit, September 23, 2015

Ninth Circuit affirms that Batmobile is “character” entitled to copyright protection. In May 2011, DC Comics sued Towle in a California federal district court, alleging, among other things, causes of action for copyright...more

A Primer on Patent Damages - Carnegie Mellon University v. Marvell Technology Group, Ltd., et al.

Addressing a panoply of damages issues, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a reasonable royalty, rejected the defendant’s laches defense and provided significant guidance on the application of the...more

D.C. Circuit Joins Seventh Circuit in Rejecting Court Challenges to Pending SEC Administrative Enforcement Proceedings

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held today that federal District Courts do not have subject-matter jurisdiction to entertain challenges to ongoing SEC administrative enforcement proceedings. A...more

ERISA — 7th Circuit: Illinois State Law Ban On Discretionary Clauses Upheld

You already know about the big trend in states to ban discretionary clauses in insurance policies that fund ERISA benefits. Chalk up another circuit deciding to enforce the ban....more

District Court Confirms Netting/Setoff Practices

In a recent decision related to the SemCrude bankruptcy, the federal district court upheld the Bankruptcy Court’s rulings on the efficacy of certain common risk-mitigation tools used in the energy trading and marketing...more

Seventh Circuit Finds that State Insurance Law Applies, Resulting in De Novo Review of Benefit Claim

On September 4, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled in Fontaine v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), does not preempt...more

SEC Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Administrative Proceeding

The Securities and Exchange Commission joined the raging debate about whether SEC administrative proceedings conducted by administrative law judges (“ALJs”) are unconstitutional if the ALJs have not been appointed in...more

Filing Serial Lawsuits for Nuisance Settlements May Be “Exceptional” if Improper Intent Established - SFA Systems, LLC v. Newegg,...

In considering a district court’s denial of attorneys’ fees in view of the Supreme Court’s Octane Fitness standard for finding an “exceptional case” under 35 U.S.C. § 285 (IP Update Vol. 17, No. 5), the U.S. Court of Appeals...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Court Challenge to Pending SEC Administrative Enforcement Proceeding

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held yesterday that federal District Courts do not have subject-matter jurisdiction to entertain challenges to ongoing SEC administrative enforcement proceedings where the...more

Favoring a Holistic Approach, the Federal Circuit Overturns TTAB Decision to Refuse Paw Print Logo

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reviewed a TTAB decision that had refused outdoor apparel company Jack Wolfskin’s application to register its paw print logo. Jack Wolfskin Ausrustung fur...more

California, Nevada and 38 Other States Have These, But Delaware Doesn’t

According to the National Center for State Courts, forty states, including California and Nevada, have established intermediate courts of appeal.  California’s Court of Appeal was established by a constitutional amendment...more

Initial Decision Finds that BP Manipulated 2008 Natural Gas Market in Texas

On August 13, 2015, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) issued an initial decision in which she found that BP America Inc. et al. (“BP”) manipulated the natural...more

IP Newsflash - August 2015 #2

FEDERAL CIRCUIT CASES - Federal Circuit Quashes $287 Million Enhanced Damages Award Finding Objectively Reasonable Defenses Raised During Litigation - The Federal Circuit has reversed a district court’s award of...more

Massachusetts Court Of Appeals Maintains “Severely Limited” De Novo Review Of Reinsurance-Related Arbitration Award

Collective defendants, Nationwide, appealed from a Massachusetts superior court judgment confirming an arbitration award in favor of collective plaintiffs, Liberty Mutual. The underlying dispute involved a 1972 reinsurance...more

REDSKINS affirmed as disparaging. Appealed to 4th Circuit.

In its June 18, 2014 Blackhorse decision, the TTAB ordered six Redskins trademarks to be cancelled as disparaging to Native Americans at the time they were registered....more

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