Unfair Competition

News & Analysis as of

Market Allocation = Antitrust Consequences

The U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Michigan recently initiated a civil antitrust action to enjoin certain marketing agreements between four south-central Michigan hospital systems alleging that the agreements...more

The Ninth Circuit Declares That Individualized Damages Issues Alone Never, Ever Preclude Certification of a Rule 23(b)(3) Class

In Pulaski & Middleman, LLC v. Google, Inc., No. 12-16752, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16723 (9th Cir. Sept. 21, 2015), a Ninth Circuit panel held that individualized damages (or restitution) calculations cannot alone defeat Rule...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

Ninth Circuit Holds District Court Erred In Denying Certification To Class Of Google Advertisers

A Ninth Circuit panel reversed a district court’s order denying certification of a putative nationwide class of internet advertisers, holding that the district court erred in finding that plaintiff failed to satisfy Rule...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds That Economic Loss is Not Needed To Recoup a Former Employee’s Salary for Breach of the Duty of...

On September 22, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously gave the green light to awards of the remedy of equitable disgorgement, even in the absence of economic loss, as a fair and practical response to an employee’s...more

Hong Kong Competition Commission Consults on Draft Cartel Leniency Policy

On September 23, 2015, the Hong Kong Competition Commission (the Commission) released a draft leniency policy for undertakings engaged in cartel conduct (the Policy) for public consultation. Feedback is invited by the...more

Advertising Law - September 2015 #2

FTC Reviews Kids’ Apps for Privacy Progress - Three years after conducting a survey on apps directed to children, the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Technology Research and Investigation decided to check back with...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

Practices, Optics and Implications: A Cautionary Tale from the North Broward Hospital District Settlement

The $69.5 million settlement by North Broward Hospital District in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to resolve False Claims Act allegations paints a cautionary tale of the importance of hospital practices and optics in connection...more

The Class Action Chronicle - Fall 2015

This is the ninth edition of The Class Action Chronicle, a quarterly publication that provides an analysis of recent class action trends, along with a summary of class certification and Class Action Fairness Act rulings...more

Litigating California Wage & Hour and Labor Code Class Actions

We are excited to announce the 15th edition of Seyfarth Shaw’s publication Litigating California Wage & Hour and Labor Code Class Actions. As in previous editions, the publication discusses and analyzes the most commonly...more

What Does It Take to Trademark Your Name? - Tartell, M.D. v. South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center, Inc., et al.

Addressing the question of when a professional name can be protected as a trademark, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit found that the plaintiff doctor’s name had not acquired that distinction. Tartell, M.D....more

Proof of Confusion Essential for Trademark Injunction - Arborjet, Inc. v. Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements, Inc.

Addressing the likelihood of success requirement for injunctive relief, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated an order requiring trademark attribution where the district court had not found a likelihood of...more

Trade Secrets Case Against Zillow Gains Steam

This is a short update to a previous post, Zillow Case Shows Danger of Unprotected Trade Secrets During Business Negotiations, posted on May 8, 2015. In that post, we described a trade secrets lawsuit filed against...more

California Federal Court Is Unpersuaded By A Recent Fourth Circuit False Advertising Decision In Reconsidering Its Ruling On A...

The Honorable John A. Kronstadt for United States Federal District for the Central District of California, denied a Defendant’s motion to reconsider his previous ruling on a motion to dismiss based upon a subsequent Fourth...more

California Employment Law Notes - September 2015

Newly Enacted California Statutes - The Word "Alien" Is Stricken From The California Labor Code - Section 1725 of the California Labor Code defines "alien" as "any person who is not a born or fully naturalized...more

Federal Court Approves $415 Million Settlement of Employee Antitrust Claims Against California Technology Employers

On September 2, 2015, a federal trial court in California approved a $415 million settlement of an antitrust class action filed against a number of Silicon Valley technology employers, including Apple Inc. and Google, among...more

September Antitrust Bulletin

On August 13, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued the first policy statement on Section 5 of the FTC Act in the agency’s 100-year history in a bipartisan, 4-1 vote. The one-page policy statement outlined the broad...more

Brown v. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment - USDC, E.D. Kentucky, August 27, 2015

Pro se plaintiff Rhonda Kay Jackson Brown, author of the novel Jackson Road and the related screenplay, “Mother’s Son,” brought copyright infringement and unfair competition claims against Twentieth Century Fox and...more

Shall Means Shall . . . Unless It Doesn’t - Amgen Inc., et al. v. Sandoz, Inc.

Addressing issues of first impression related to the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA), which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit labeled “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an...more

Makers’ Mark Two: Bourbon Distiller Slips another “Handmade” False Advertising Suit

In another blow to consumers that demand absolute rustic authenticity from their top-shelf bourbon purchases, a court in the Southern District of California has dismissed a false advertising class action against Maker’s Mark...more

FTC Issues Statement of Principles on Section 5 Enforcement

On August 13, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission approved its first official guidelines on the breadth of its powers to prosecute “unfair methods of competition” that are not violations of federal antitrust law. The...more

Competitors Push Back With False Advertising Laws

In a time when the “disruptive” label is far from viewed as pejorative and, in fact, deemed essential for many new business models, existing market participants looking to fight back are turning to powerful federal and state...more

Marginal Evidence of Customer Diversion Won’t Support a Price Discrimination Claim

In Cash & Henderson Drugs, Inc v. Johnson & Johnson, Case No. 12-4689 (2nd Cir. Aug. 27, 2015), the Second Circuit upheld a summary judgment in favor of defendant pharmaceutical manufacturers accused of price discrimination....more

Federal Trade Commission Guidance Addresses Stand-alone Claims of Unfair Competition Under Section 5 of the FTC Act

Section 5 of the FTC Act, in effect since 1914, authorizes the FTC to pursue claims of unfair competition beyond the reach of both the Sherman and Clayton Acts. 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1). Until now however, the FTC has been...more

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