Why did physicists refuse to write about the Antitrust Paradox? Because every time they tried to define the relevant market share, the observer effect kicked in, and the monopoly disappeared. (I hope readers who have dual Bork/quark interests enjoyed that.)
Today’s highlighted opinion proceeds from trademark law, crosses into antitrust law, and has implications for patent law. In it, Judge Connolly rejects a plaintiff's attempt to argue that the defendants' prior filing of trademark litigation against competitor gave rise to anti-trust and unfair competition claims.
Noerr-Pennington Precludes Some Tort and Anti-Trust Claims Based on Litigation—Unless It Was Sham Litigation
Judge Connolly explained that the Noerr-Pennington doctrine provides immunity from certain types of claims that a plaintiff …
There was a big complaint filed on Friday in the District of Delaware—Getty Images, a the very-well-known provider of stock images, filed suit against Stability AI over its use of Getty Images stock photos to train its image generation algorithm, which it calls Stable Diffusion.
Stable Diffusion is one of the incredible AI-based image generators making news recently (along with others like Dall-E 2 and Midjourney). These AI models can accept a text prompt and generate a corresponding image. For example, prompted with "an elephant in roller skates," Stable Diffusion generated the following:
So Why Is Getty Coming After Them?
Broadly speaking—and as alleged in Getty Images' complaint—Stability AI created Stable Diffusion by training a machine learning model to generate output by ...
Judge Andrews issued an opinion today addressing the a motion to dismiss a trademark claim. As the Court explained, to make out a trademark claim, a plaintiff must show a likelihood of confusion. To assess a likelihood of confusion, the Court applies six-factors known as the Lapp factors.
The Court found, though, that when dealing with names as similar as "Javo" and "Javy," the Court can find the allegation of a likelihood of confusion plausible without having to resort to the full test:
I find Plaintiffs allegations of likelihood of confusion to be plausible. Javo and Javy, both made-up words (which might be suggestive of java, a term often used to refer to coffee), could easily be confused. . . . Both sides are in the coffee business. There are additional pleadings that are harder to evaluate at this stage of the case. I do not think assessing the likelihood of confusion from a full-blown Lapp factors analysis is appropriate. Plaintiff does not have to prove its case in its complaint. "[T]he existence of consumer confusion is a fact-intensive analysis that does not lend itself to a motion to dismiss." Applied Underwriters, Inc. v. Lichtenegger, 913 F.3d 884, 897 (9th Cir. 2019) (citation omitted). I agree. The motion to dismiss for failure to plausibly allege likelihood of confusion is denied.
Good to know!
The opinion also touched on a term you don't hear very often in the patent world: a "shotgun pleading."
Looking at the cases the Court cites—and with help from the internet—a shotgun pleading seems to be one that recites many (possibly jumbled) facts and vague claims in the hope that something sticks:
[A] shotgun complaint shifts onto the defendant and the court the burden of identifying the plaintiff's genuine claims and determining which of those claims might have legal support.
Adger v. Carney, C.A. No. 18-2048-LPS, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52533, at *17 (D. Del. Mar. 26, 2020).
Although the narrative text is chronologically organized, it does not set out separate claims but rather ...
Despite a 2020 change in the law designed to make obtaining a preliminary injunction easier for plaintiffs in trademark cases, Judge Stark denied a trademark plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction, finding that the defendant had effectively rebutted the statutorily-imposed presumption of irreparable harm.
In Nichino America, Inc. v. Valent U.S.A., LLC, C.A. No. 20-704-LPS, the plaintiff sought preliminary injunctive relief, arguing that the defendant's use of the Senstar mark in connection with an insecticide product was infringing its Centaur mark, also used to market insecticides. After applying the ten-factor Lapp test, Judge Stark concluded that the plaintiff had shown a likelihood of confusion and thus …
This blog is for general informational purposes. It is not an offer to perform legal services, and should not be considered a substitute for legal advice. Nothing in this blog should be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions, please consult counsel in your jurisdiction.