PTO’s decision on review procedure can’t be appealed

From Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property: A decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to institute an “inter partes review” proceeding created by patent reform legislation is not appealable, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said it lacked jurisdiction to review the PTO’s decision to institute IPR, a procedure established by the America Invents Act to challenge the validity of patent claims.  President Barack Obama signed the act in September 2011, and it went into effect in March 2013.

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Wrestlers file $5 million class-action suit over concussion injuries

From Westlaw Journal Entertainment Industry:  Two former professional wrestlers have filed a putative federal class-action suit in Philadelphia, alleging World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. knowingly subjected them to concussion injuries “under the guise of providing entertainment.”

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, follows similar concussion injury actions filed by the National Football League, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the National Hockey League.

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Judge’s claim construction leads to patent victory for Jaguar, Ford

From Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property: Based on a judge’s construction of the seemingly simple term “page,” automakers Ford Motor Co. and Jaguar Land Rover have defeated patent infringement claims filed against them by Vehicle Interface Technologies Inc.

U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews of the District of Delaware sided with Jaguar and Ford regarding the meaning of the term in VIT’s patent for its “user interface systems and methods for a vehicle.”  The judge granted summary judgment to the defendants.

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Appeals court affirms longer sentence for doctor in kickback scheme

From Westlaw Journal Health Care Fraud:  The sentence for a doctor convicted for his role in a kickback scheme was appropriately increased because he held a position of public trust, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

While the standard for analyzing whether a defendant abused a public trust was well-settled, the appeals court said, the question of whether the standard was properly applied under the facts of the case involving Dr. Ashokkumar R. Babaria presented the court with an issue of first impression.

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Whistleblowers’ suit barred by first-to-file rule, appeals court says

From Westlaw Journal Health Care Fraud: A federal appeals court has affirmed the dismissal of a False Claims Act suit by two whistleblowers against a pharmaceutical company because the claims were too similar to ones resolved in an earlier suit by a Florida pharmacy.

Allegations by Linnette Sun and Greg Hamilton that Baxter Healthcare Corp. defrauded the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs by inflating its drug prices to obtain higher reimbursements were barred under the first-to-file rule, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said.

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Supreme Court hears 2 trademark cases

From Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property: The U.S. Supreme Court has heard oral argument in two trademark infringement cases asking it to decide the preclusive effect of a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruling and whether “tacking” of a trademark is a question of law or fact.

In the first case, B&B Hardware Inc. argued Dec. 2 that an Arkansas federal court and the state appeals court failed to give preclusive effect to a TTAB decision not to register Hargis Industries’ Sealtite trademark because of the likelihood of confusion with B&B’s Sealtight mark.

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Sports memorabilia collector’s suit against N.Y. Giants belongs in state court

From Westlaw Journal Entertainment Industry: A sports memorabilia collector’s lawsuit accusing the New York Giants, its owner and quarterback Eli Manning of fraud and violating New Jersey common law belongs in state court, a federal judge has ruled.

In granting plaintiff Eric Inselberg’s remand motion, Judge William J. Martini of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey rejected a federal magistrate judge’s recommendation that removal was proper because some of the allegations raised questions that established federal jurisdiction.

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11th Circuit revives some of hospital company exec’s FCA claims

From Westlaw Journal Health Care Fraud: A former health care executive who alleged his ex-employer paid kickbacks and violated a federal law governing physician referrals can proceed with some allegations in his False Claims Act suit against the hospital operator, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said J. Michael Mastej offered enough support for his claims that Health Management Associates Inc. paid kickbacks and violated the Stark Law during the time he was worked there.

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Spider-Man rights suit precluded by earlier decisions, Pa. federal judge rules

From Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property: Stan Lee Media Inc. and a Pennsylvania theater cannot pursue claims concerning ownership of intellectual property rights in the Spider-Man character because four other lawsuits have already decided the issue, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey L. Schmehl of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania dismissed claims by Entertainment Theatre Group, which does business as the American Music Theatre, and intervenor Stan Lee Media Inc., that the media company owned the character rights and could license them to the theater.

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USC football player with concussion forced to play while ill, suit alleges

 From Westlaw Journal Entertainment Industry: A former University of Southern California football player has alleged in a state court lawsuit that the school and its coaching staff recklessly forced him to play after he had suffered a concussion and while he had a high fever.

As a result of the defendants’ allegedly negligent conduct, Brian Baucham has suffered cardiopulmonary damage and a brain injury for which he will require continuing medical care and which has diminished his future earning capacity, according to the Los Angeles County Superior Court complaint.

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