We round up the most significant appellate decisions relevant to commercial litigation each week.

Welcome to this week’s Commercial Roundup—in which you’ll find links to the most significant rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the 13 Courts of Appeals plus the highest courts in Delaware, New York, and Texas. You’ll also see other matters of interest to commercial trial lawyers and the firms and business people they represent.

This week a couple of Latin phrases we learned in the first year of law school headline the list. The first—res ipsa loquitur—means something like “the thing (res) speaks (loquitur) for itself (ipsa)” and provides a shortcut for a party wishing to prove a claim of negligence. The other Latin phrase—forum non conveniens—suggests the plaintiff brought a case in a place (forum) whose remoteness to the parties, witnesses, and sources of proof and lack of expertise in governing law (among other factors) render it sufficiently inconvenient (non conveniens) as to justify dismissing the case in favor of, or transferring it to, a much more convenient forum.

We also have an important First Circuit ruling on a pair of issues that arise often in efforts to enforce arbitration clauses and confirm awards, a “tacking” question regarding priority of trademarks, and decisions on when limitations starts to run in securities fraud cases, insurance coverage for COVID-19 losses, damages remedy for fraudulent transfer, and when prior art “anticipates” a claim limitation without mentioning it.

So here we go—Commercial Roundup for the week of April 5-12.

  • Use of “APPLE” trademark on records since 1968 did not give “APPLE MUSIC” priority over “APPLE JAZZ” for live performances.


  • Arbitration award didn’t trigger start of 3-month deadline for asking court to confirm it.


  • Firm owner assumed firm’s duty to arbitrate despite not signing contract. He also estopped himself from refusing to arbitrate.


  • Res ipsa loquitur didn’t support negligence claim against store whose extension cords likely caused a big fire.


  • False statements didn’t start 2-year limitations period for securities fraud until SEC order 3 years later put them in context.


  • Did presence of virus in Oregon clinic cause “direct physical loss or damage to property”? https://lnkd.in/gUC8AnGj
  • Creditor can’t force a firm that fraudulently transferred an asset to pay damages.


  • Prior art patent anticipated claim limitation in nucleic-acid patent by “inherently” disclosing it. https://lnkd.in/ga5rJHTh