‘Oh, yeah’: Britney Spears, hip-hop group Travis Porter infringe sound effects, suit says

From Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property:

The owner of sounds and sound effects used by numerous recording artists alleges in a Los Angeles federal court lawsuit that albums by Britney Spears and hip-hop group Travis Porter infringe his copyrights.

Kirk Rothrum is suing Sony Music Entertainment, RCA Records Inc. and Zomba Recording LLC, the three record companies that produce the allegedly infringing tracks, for unspecified actual or statutory damages.

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No love for Courtney in ghostwriter’s breach-of-contract suit

From Westlaw Journal Entertainment Industry: An author who claims that rock singer Courtney Love hired him to ghostwrite her memoir alleges in a breach-of-contract lawsuit in Manhattan federal court that she has not paid the full amount she owes him.

Anthony Bozza says Love owes him more than $200,000 in fees, expenses and other payments as set forth in their collaboration agreement.

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International law, patent law converge in oil drilling infringement suit

From Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property: In a patent dispute between two manufacturers of oil drilling equipment, a Minnesota federal judge has ruled that U.S. patent law applies to patented technology used on U.S.-flagged ships in international waters.

U.S. District Judge Ann D. Montgomery of the District of Minnesota said that based on legislative history and case law, the 1952 Patent Act’s protection of plaintiff M-I Drilling Fluids UK Ltd.’s drilling systems extends to the oil rigs that use them.  The rigs are considered ships under maritime law.

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Politics, trademark infringement don’t mix in Hershey suit

From Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property: The Hershey Co. sufficiently stated a claim for trademark infringement against a Maryland politician who the candy company said unlawfully used its protected trade dress in his campaign materials, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. of the District of Maryland refused to dismiss Hershey’s complaint against Republican state Sen. Steve Hershey.

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6th Circuit reverses dismissal of whistleblower suit under public disclosure bar

From Westlaw Journal Health Care Fraud: The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a lower court erred when it concluded the public disclosure bar deprived it of jurisdiction over a whistleblower suit by a former employee of a Tennessee hospital.

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Suit over Time Warner rate hike preempted, California appeals court says

From Westlaw Journal Entertainment Industry: Customers unhappy with rate hikes by Time Warner Cable Inc. cannot sue the company for unfair competition because Federal Communications Commission regulations preempt their state law claims, a California appellate court has ruled.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal of a class action filed by four Time Warner subscribers after the cable company raised its rates in order to carry channels that broadcast Los Angeles Dodgers and Lakers games.

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Former Florida hospital exec claims retaliation for helping in state’s fraud probe

A former vice president of a St. Petersburg, Fla., hospital has filed a retaliation lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act, alleging her employer effectively fired her for helping a Florida state agency investigate bogus Medicare and Medicaid billing.

Brenda Farnsworth sued Galencare Inc., doing business as Northside Hospital, and parents HCA Inc. and Healthtrust Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

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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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