This Weeks Cases

U.S. District Court of Delaware

Healthbox Global Partners v. Under Armour Inc., DeFAX Case No. D67317 (D. Del. July 19, 2016) Robinson, J. (memorandum) (24 pages).

Two companies with different markets and product types each wound up using the name "health box," and the senior member brought suit for trademark infringement. On evaluation of the Lapp factors, the court found that the typography, logo and use of each company's marks, plus the location of use and the target audience, were sufficiently distinct as to not create the confusion plaintiff had alleged. Further, plaintiff failed to show evidence of actual damages or harm to itself. Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction was denied.


Delaware Superior Court

Malago v. UIAB, DeFAX Case No. D67314 (Del. Super. July 12, 2016) Clark, J. (4 pages).

Appeal of UIAB decision denying unemployment benefits was unsuccessful, because of a specific policy prohibiting the disclosure of information deemed confidential. Representatives of the UIAB and ultimately the board itself found that the employer had acted correctly in discharging the violator for just cause. The violator's appeal to the Superior Court was in vain, as it reviewed and upheld the findings of the UIAB.


U.S. District Court of Delaware

Noven Pharms. LLC v. Actavis Labs. UT Inc., DeFAX Case No. D67318 (D. Del. July 5, 2016) Stark, J. (memorandum) (11 pages).

Claim construction dispute centered on the degree of precision in the measurement of a coat weight in a transdermal drug delivery product. Defendant was not able to support its argument that a person of ordinary skill would assume that three significant digits were always intended, although not written so in the claim. The court found that the plain and ordinary meaning of the claim, as written, was more significant than defendant's expert witness but expanded the range to include the unstated tolerance of plus or minus 0.5 and stated the amount more precisely.


U.S. District Court of Delaware

Quest Integrity USA LLC v. Clean Harbors Indus. Servs. Inc., DeFAX Case No. D67319 (D. Del. June 28, 2016) Robinson, J. (memorandum) (12 pages).

Claims construction for five terms in a patent for furnace data collection and troubleshooting was disputed primarily on whether the strip charts were limiting or not. Wading through amendments and rejections by the patent office, the court found that the specification did not specifically address strip charts and that plaintiff did not disclaim them. The court provided constructions for the five terms to be used going forward by both parties.


Delaware Superior Court

Hiller & Arban v. Reserves Mgt., DeFAX Case No. D67313 (Del. Super. July 1, 2016) Carpenter, J. (17 pages).

Law firm, which was engaged to represent a management company in an action against a developer and beyond, filed suit against the management company for nonpayment of fees and expenses. The second amended complaint filed on Sept. 22, 2015, claimed breach of contract and promissory estoppel, plus quantum meruit and fraud, seeking legal fees and punitive damages. Defendants sought dismissal of several counts, arguing successfully that estoppel illegally duplicated the breach of contract claim. In the absence of evidence for fraud, that claim and its punitive damages were dismissed, but the issue of legal fees was tied to the alleged agreement and in need of discovery.


Delaware Court of Chancery

Ehrlich Jr. v. Ehrlich, DeFAX Case No. D67315 (Del. Ch. July 25, 2016) Ayvazian, M. (14 pages).

After conveying the last parcel in a trust to its sole residuary beneficiary in 2013, the trustee discovered that a boundary line was not where previously thought and interfered with an easement that affected other property owned by trustee's realty company. The trustee wanted to compel the beneficiary to stand by a prior agreement with the trust to rectify the deed. The court found that the realty company was the injured party, not the trust, and recommended replacement of the trust by the realty company, under Chancery Rule 17. The motion to dismiss was premature.


Delaware Court of Chancery

Pogue v. Hybrid Energy Inc., DeFAX Case No. D67320 (Del. Ch. Aug. 5, 2016) Glasscock, V.C. (memorandum) (12 pages).

Does inclusion of an individual as stockholder on a company ledger provide standing when the record shows the individual is not a stockholder? Prima facie, yes, but not irrebuttably, according to the court. The company's fraudulent actions certainly provided a basis for other kinds of claims but did not convey legal standing as a stockholder to the individual. The company's motion for summary judgment was granted.


U.S. District Court of Delaware

Idenix Pharm. v. Gilead Pharmasset, DeFAX Case No. D67316 (D. Del. July 5, 2016) Burke, M.J. (report/recommendation) (6 pages).

In light of recent legislation the America Invents Act, the jurisdiction for appellate reviews of post-Sept. 15, 2012, interference proceedings was changed from District to Federal Circuit Courts. Proceedings involving an earlier interference with Idenix patent families already were underway in the District Court. Idenix wanted to wait until the earlier appeal concluded before addressing the instant case, but the completion of the precedential case without effect and the separate §141 appeal before Federal Circuit made the instant case moot. Defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction was granted.