Welcome back to The Contingency!
Starting next Wednesday, we’ll resume a weekly schedule for posting a roundup of the biggest commercial-law rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the highest courts of Delaware, New York, and Texas.
By “commercial law”, we mean the stuff of disputes with or between large commercial actors. You know—antitrust, business torts, fights over corporate control, patent infringement, theft of trade secrets, and all kinds of complex contract showdowns.
The Contingency also delves into procedural and practical issues on which victory in business disputes may turn. Things like arbitration, class actions, fee arrangements, transfers of venue, and multi-district litigation.
In this post, we’ll catch you up on commercial decisions from the last month or so. Going forward, you’ll see weekly updates on Wednesdays as well as occasional topical posts.
Early reports of opinions will generally appear first as posts on weekdays at LinkedIn.
Now let’s get to the roundup!
- IPR deadlines didn’t apply to Director review of actions by Board.
- Order that confirmed arbitration award, denied all other relief, and said “this is a final judgment” was a final judgment.
- Patent on form of Vitamin B3 claimed what cow’s milk does.
- Some basis for claiming patent infringement barred defendant’s counterclaims for tortious interference.
- Insurer had standing to appeal ruling it lacked standing.
- Hand-waving about take-out loan didn’t prevent judgment for default on existing loan.
- Touting medical device at trade show over year before patent filing barred patent’s enforcement.
- Patent holder had free-speech right to publicly accuse defendant of infringement.
- Video patent needed “concrete guidance” on how to use time and space to meet Alice test for patentability.
- Patent relating to addictive narcolepsy drug recited a “system” rather than a “method” of use.
- Claims against metals traders for manipulating prices of platinum and palladium mostly overcome standing, extraterritoriality, and personal jurisdiction challenges.
- Merchant must indemnify processor of customer’s card charges for fallout from security breaches.
- Law firms that applied for shares of $500 million fee award lose attacks on 10 percent cap and disregard of contracts with clients and class counsel.
- Victims of copyright infringement may recover damages for more than three years before filing suit.
- Upbeat statements about testing results for cancer drug didn’t support claims under Securities Exchange Act.
- “Viral presence” theory for COVID-19 coronavirus as causing “physical” harm looks doubtful but succumbs to virus exclusion.
- Experts’ opinions linking cloud of pesticide lethal to cotton plants to cotton-crop damage lacked enough “reliability”.
- Sacre bleu! “Gruyere” fails trademark test. Neither French nor Swiss but “generic as a matter of law”.
- Lack of “ipsis verbis support” and “blaze marks” doomed early priority date for anti-cancer patent.