Declaratory Judgments

News & Analysis as of

Lanham Act Lesson: Dropbox Drop Kicks Opponent and Scores Attorneys’ Fees Award

As the sun set on 2016, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Sunearth, Inc. v. Sun Earth Solar Power, Co. embraced a new standard for awarding attorneys’ fees in Lanham Act cases. Adopting the U.S. Supreme Court’s rationale...more

Sovereign Immunity Can Shield State University Research Foundations in PTAB Proceedings

Addressing the application of the sovereign immunity defense under the 11th Amendment in the inter partes review (IPR) context, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) dismissed three IPR petitions, finding that the...more

District Court Upholds Bankruptcy Court’s Ruling on Rejection of Gathering Agreements

On March 10, 2017, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (the “Court”) affirmed on appeal a bankruptcy court’s prior decision in In re Sabine Oil & Gas Corp. that permitted a debtor to reject...more

File Sharing Sites and Inadvertent Waiver

In connection with a declaratory judgment lawsuit wherein the Harleysville Insurance Company sought a ruling that it did not have to pay a loss claim for an October 2014 fire at a funeral home, United States Magistrate Judge...more

Court Of Chancery Sanctions Litigant For Fabricating Evidence And Violating Orders In LLC Dispute

This case involves the unfortunate deterioration of a marriage, as well as the couple’s winery venture, carried on through various LLCs. The decision illustrates the seriousness with which the Court of Chancery views the...more

Celebrity Trademark Battle: “The Kitchen”

World-famous chef Wolfgang Puck recently became embroiled in a trademark battle with Elon Musk’s brother, Kimbal Musk, a venture capitalist and entrepreneur who owns The Kitchen Cafe, a family of restaurants in Boulder, Fort...more

United States Supreme Court Upholds Campaign Ad Disclosure Requirement

In its recent four-word decision (“The judgment is affirmed.”) Independence Institute v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a campaign finance law requirement that donors backing certain campaign ads...more

New Jersey Appellate Division Applies Anti-Concurrent Causation Clause to Bar Combined Flood/Sewer Backup Claim

Frequent readers of the blog will appreciate that disputes involving the application of anti-concurrent causation language in the context of claims for flood or water damage have appeared with some frequency in recent years....more

PTAB Finds Sovereign Immunity Applies to IPRs for State Universities

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) dismissed three inter partes review (IPR) proceedings involving the University of Florida based on sovereign immunity. As background, the University of Florida Research Foundation...more

BEWARE: Certain Acts of Community Management Companies Constitute the Unauthorized Practice of Law in South Carolina

In an opinion expected to affect community management companies and owners’ associations throughout the State, the South Carolina Supreme Court has provided clarification as to what it deems to constitute the unauthorized...more

Federal Circuit Expands Personal Jurisdiction in Declaratory Judgment Suits

In Xilinx Inc. v. Papst Licensing GmbH & Co. KG, Appeal No. 2015-1919 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 15, 2017), the Federal Circuit applied the usual test for in personam jurisdiction, in an apparently new way, to reverse dismissal of a...more

NPE’s Warning Letters, In-Person Meeting with Accused Infringer, and Prior Lawsuits Are Sufficient To Establish Person...

In a recent case applying the constitutional limits of personal jurisdiction in a declaratory judgment action filed by an accused patent infringement against a foreign non-practicing entity, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Occupational Disease Pension Does Not Trigger Health Insurance Benefits

In 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court held that anyone who qualified for a line-of-duty pension under section 4-110 of the Illinois Pension Code qualified as having a “catastrophic injury” within the meaning of Section 10(a) of...more

Three Point Shot - February 2017

Ski Manufacturer Chills Bode Miller's Comeback - World champion skier and six-time Olympic medalist Samuel "Bode" Miller had his eye on coming out of retirement for the 2016-17 season before a contract dispute with his...more

Paul McCartney chants 'Get Back' again – The Future of Copyright Termination

The US Copyright Act of 1976 allows artists, writers, and musicians to “get back” grants of copyrights that had been previously licensed or assigned away. Specifically, artists can “terminate” their copyright arrangements...more

CFPB/NY AG lawsuit against RD Legal Funding may signal greater scrutiny of non-loan financial products such as merchant cash...

The CFPB and the New York Attorney General this week filed an action against RD Legal Funding, LLC, two of its affiliates, and their principal (collectively, “RD”), alleging that a litigation settlement advance product...more

Court Refuses To Compel Production Of Cedent’s Documents To Reinsurer When Extent Of Cedent’s Obligation To Provide Documents Is...

A court has denied a motion to reconsider its decision denying a reinsurer’s (Century Indemnity Co.) motion to compel an insurer (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company) to produce certain documents in a case in which...more

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Amgen v. Sandoz

On January 13, 2017, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Amgen v. Sandoz, 794. F.3d 1347 (Fed. Cir. 2015) and Sandoz v. Amgen, 773 F.3d 1274 (Fed. Cir. 2014), appealed from the Federal Circuit. The petitions involve the...more

Non-Compete News – Georgia Court Interprets Georgia's Blue Penciling Statute

It’s time to bring back FordHarrison’s Non-Compete News! And what better way to kick off 2017 than with Lifebrite Labs, LLC v. Cooksey (N.D. Ga. December 2016), Georgia’s first-ever published decision interpreting how a...more

Oregon Federal Court Issues Remarkable Decision Finding Constitutional Right to Stable Climate

On November 10, 2016, a federal district judge in Oregon issued a remarkable decision in which she found that a climate system “capable of sustaining human life” is a fundamental constitutional right. Juliana v. United States...more

No Stay Pending IPR in Brewing Patent Dispute

District court patent defendants often request a parallel inter partes review (“IPR”) proceeding at the U.S. Patent Office to challenge the validity of the patent at issue. As such IPR proceedings have the potential to kill...more

Supreme Court Will Judge Biosimilar Patent Dance

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review some of the patent dispute resolution provisions of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA). The Court granted certiorari in the dispute between Amgen and Sandoz,...more

Supreme Court to Consider Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act

On Friday, Jan. 13, the Supreme Court granted the appellant’s petition and the respondent’s cross-petition for a writ of certiorari in Sandoz Inc. v. Amgen Inc. This is the first time the Court will construe the Biologics...more

Missouri Supreme Court Addresses Insurer Intervention, Garnishment Proceedings and Bad Faith Findings

Allen v. Bryers and Atain Specialty Insurance Company, — S.W.3d —, 2016 WL 7378560 (Mo. banc, December 20, 2016) In a recent opinion, the Missouri Supreme Court addressed the timing for an insurer’s intervention in a...more

Supreme Court Grants Cert in Amgen v. Sandoz

On January 13, 2017, the Supreme Court granted Sandoz’s petition for certiorari and Amgen’s cross-petition in Amgen v. Sandoz, case nos. 15-1039 and 15-1195. The two cases were consolidated, and an hour was allotted for oral...more

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