Summary Judgment

News & Analysis as of

Rupa Marya v. Warner/Chappell Music Inc. - USDC, Central District of California, September 23, 2015

District court grants plaintiffs summary judgment, holding that defendants never acquired rights in and do not own valid copyright to lyrics of “Happy Birthday to You.” In 1893, the Hills assigned their rights to the...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

In re Appraisal of Dell Inc., C.A. No. 9322-VCL (Del. Ch. July 13, 2015) (rev'd July 30, 2015) (Laster, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Delaware Court of Chancery granted a defendant’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the continuous holder requirement set forth in Section 262 of the General Corporation Law of the State...more

Federal Circuit Review | September 2015

Federal Circuit Remands Record Damages Award For New Trial On Extraterritorial Sales - In Carnegie Mellon University v. Marvell Technology Group, Ltd., Appeal No. 2014-1492, the Federal Circuit reversed a damages award...more

Third Circuit Wraps Up Chocolate Price-Fixing Case

On September 15, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the district court’s summary judgment decision in In re Chocolate Confectionary Antitrust Litigation, which we reported on last year....more

Copyright Protection Goes ‘To the Batmobile!’ says the Ninth Circuit

While the Caped Crusader drives around in his Batmobile protecting Gotham from its fringe, copyright law protects the Batmobile from infringers—this, according to the Ninth Circuit in DC Comics v. Towle. The Batmobile is more...more

California Court of Appeal Bars Plaintiffs’ Wrongful Death Action Involving an Employee Who Used his Employer’s...

The California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a pipe manufacturer based upon the worker’s compensation exclusivity rule. Melendrez et al. v....more

Financial Projections, Strategic Plans, And Customer Contract Proposals Can Be Trade Secrets

Two competitors who do research and analysis for advertisers and media companies, concerning how television viewing impacts consumer purchasing, have been in a legal battle over alleged trade secret misappropriation, patent...more

Magistrate’s Recommendations On Validity And Noninfringement Are Adopted

Impulse Technology Ltd. v. Microsoft Corporation, et al., C.A. No 11-586 – RGA, September 22, 2015. Andrews, J. Magistrate’s Reports and Recommendations regarding denial of summary judgment of invalidity is adopted and...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19359 - Persels & Associates, LLC v. Banking Commissioner - Noting that it has generally been the policy of the Courts to defer to the Legislature, especially as to the...more

Pow! Boff! Thwack! Batmobile Wins Copyright Litigation

It's not every day a Ninth Circuit court opinion includes, "Holy copyright law, Batman!," or “To the Batmobile!” But in affirming a district court’s ruling in a copyright infringement case by DC Comics against the maker of...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending September 18, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Default Judgment/Voidable: because default judgment was merely voidable, rather than void, where complaint upon which judgment was based failed to state a cause of action, Rule 1.540(b) was not...more

Plaintiff Avoids Headache of Having Its Thermometer Patent Invalidated at Summary Judgment

In a recent District of Massachusetts case, a defendant attempted to use the crucible of summary judgment to invalidate the plaintiff’s body temperature detection patents. But, as shown in the Court’s ruling, sometimes that...more

Under Illinois Law, Mine Subsidence Held to Be a Type of Excluded Earth Movement

Ever since Mattis v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 118 Ill.App.3d 612, 73 Ill.Dec. 907, 454 N.E.2d 1156 (1983), Illinois courts have held that an earth movement exclusion contained in a first-party policy applies only to earth...more

Fourth Circuit: Business Judgment Rule May Not Protect Bank Officers in FDIC Action

Why it matters - Bank officers may be liable in a lawsuit brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) while the directors escaped liability, in a new ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals interpreting...more

Unfair-Practices Claim About NFL Star Faces Fourth and Long

We have talked before about the intersection of sports and allegedly unfair trade practices. We do so again today, focusing on NFL Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Quinn. Quinn played college football at UNC and now plays...more

Ninth Circuit: Copyright Holders Must Consider Fair Use Before Sending DMCA Takedown Notices

The Ninth Circuit held last week in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. (the “dancing baby” case) that a copyright holder must consider fair use before sending a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)....more

In Reinsurance-Related Commission Dispute, Court Grants Defendant Leave To Amend Answer Rather Than Grant Plaintiff Summary...

A lawsuit filed in the United States Court for the District of Connecticut between Odyssey Reinsurance Company and Cal-Regent Insurance Services Corporation involves a dispute over commission payments in a reinsurance scheme...more

New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination Does Not Go So Far As To Protect “Weight, Appearance, or Sex Appeal”

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently affirmed summary judgment for the defense on several claims in the widely-followed “Borgata Babes” case, reining in the plaintiffs’ attempt to expand the New Jersey Law Against...more

Delaware Court Leaves Ousted Executive on His Own for Legal Fees

In a September 11, 2015, decision, the Delaware Chancery Court denied a former officer and director advance reimbursement of legal fees in a dispute with his company, despite his insistence that multiple corporate documents...more

Is Tiffany’s Major Victory Short-Lived?

On September 8, Judge Laura Taylor Swain ruled on summary judgment that Costco Wholesale Corp. had willfully infringed Tiffany & Co.’s trademark by selling engagement rings using the Tiffany name. Frankly, the infringement...more

11th Circuit "Tweaks" Test For Whether Interns Are Employees

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are probably familiar with the six-factor test that the U.S. Department of Labor uses to determine whether an intern should be considered an employee for purposes of the Fair...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - September 2015

Kennedy v. Allstate, No. 15-2221 (E.D. Pa. July 8, 2015). District Court recognizes possibility that insurance adjusters owe a duty of care to insureds that would be breached by failing to conduct a reasonable...more

District of Colorado Grants Summary Judgment for Insurer on Bad Faith Claim Arising from Denial of Coverage Under E & O Policy

P&S LLC v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 14-cv-00735-LTB-CBS (D. Colo. July 29, 2015). District of Colorado grants summary judgment for insurer on bad faith claim where insurer established that an...more

The Best Allegation in a Lawsuit

And the award for Best Allegation in a Lawsuit goes to … Overton v. Anheuser-Busch Company....more

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