You Must Prove Actual Damages if You Want Punitive Damages in an Infringement Action

by James Kachmar
The IP Law Blog

Imagine litigating an infringement case for two years, and after a nine day jury trial, obtaining a jury’s verdict that says you’ve established infringement and awards your client $5,000,000.  Then you realize that the jury has awarded your client $0 in actual damages, and the entire $5,000,000 sum is for punitive damages.  The Ninth Circuit in an unpublished opinion in Monster Energy Company v. Integrated Supply Network, LLC (July 22, 2020), reiterated that a party is not entitled to punitive damages without a finding of actual damages.

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The Tale of Choupette the Cat and Other Common Issues in Trust and Estate Litigation

by Danielle F. Diebert
The Trusts & Estates Law Blog

When Karl Lagerfeld passed away in February of 2019 in France, many speculated that his cat, Choupette, was well provided for as part of his estimated $150 million estate. This pampered feline was much loved by Mr. Lagerfeld during his life, and appeared in photoshoots and featured in many high-end fashion magazines. However, over a year after Mr. Lagerfeld’s death, certain media outlets have reported that the administrator of Mr. Lagerfeld’s estate has “disappeared.” Based on these reports,

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The CDC’s Updated Guidance Expedites the Time In-Home COVID-19 Patients Can Return to Work

by Ryan E. Abernethy
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

The CDC has issued new guidance for in-home patients diagnosed with COVID-19, including lowering the number of days the patient must remain isolated after being fever-free. The CDC previously recommended that “at least 72 hours” pass since the last fever without the use of fever-reducing medication before ending self-isolation. Noting “accumulating evidence” and ongoing research into COVID-19 treatment, the CDC lowered the recommended isolation to “at least 24 hours.”

Researchers have further reported that people with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms remain infectious for no longer than 10 days after their symptoms begin,

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Make Sure You Follow the Patent Local Rules!

by Audrey A. Millemann
The IP Law Blog

An unpublished decision from the Northern District of California emphasizes how important it is for attorneys to follow patent local rules.

Patent local rules are rules that many federal district courts have for patent infringement cases. These rules supplement the regular local rules for that court and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and allow the courts that have a lot of patent infringement cases to more efficiently manage those cases. Patent local rules are also helpful to the parties and their counsel,

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The DOL’s New Model FMLA Notices and Forms

by Lizbeth (Beth) V. West
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

On July 16, 2020, the DOL issued new model FMLA notices and forms with a June 2020 revision date.  The look of the notices and forms are somewhat different from previous versions but there are not a lot of substantive changes.  The DOL also issued some FAQs in connection with the release of the updated forms explaining that the FMLA does not require the use of any specific form or format, and that even though the DOL revised the FMLA forms to make them easier to understand,

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California’s COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening

by Lizbeth (Beth) V. West
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

The California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued its “COVID-19 Employer Playbook” on July 24, 2020 in an effort to provide employers with a comprehensive guide related to COVID-19 as employers reopen their business. According to the CDPH, by following the Employer Playbook, employers will be able to do their part in reducing the risk and spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, and ensure that California businesses stay open. The subjects covered in the Playbook include how to open safely;

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Irreparable Harm for Permanent Injunction Supported by Lost Profits Award

by Eric Caligiuri
The IP Law Blog

In f’real Foods, LLC et al v. Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. et al, 1-16-cv-00041 (DDE 2020-07-16, Order) (Colm F. Connolly), plaintiffs freal Foods, LLC and Rich Products Corporation sued defendants Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. and Hershey Creamery Company for infringement of four patents on four accused products that are high performance blenders manufactured by Hamilton Beach. After a four-day jury trial, the jury found that all four accused products infringed various claims of the asserted patents,

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After Nearly 30 Years of Controversy, the Washington Redskins Will Retire the Redskins Team Name and Trademark

by Josh H. Escovedo
The IP Law Blog

Watch: Author Josh Escovedo and trademark law professor Alexandra Roberts delve into the issues around the Redskins name change on The Briefing from the IP Law Blog.

On Monday, July 13, 2020, the ownership group of the Washington Redskins (the “Team”) announced that it will abandon the Redskins team name after nearly 30 years of controversy. The decision, despite what the Team says, is likely the product of societal pressure,

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The “Wolf of Wall Street” Defamation Suit - The Risk of an “Inspired By” Character in Movies and TV

by Scott M. Hervey
The IP Law Blog

The motion picture Wolf of Wall Street was based on a book of the same title written by Jordan Belmont.  In the book, Andrew Greene, who was director, general counsel, and head of the corporate finance department at Stratton Oakmont between 1993 and 1996, was discussed extensively.  In the book, Greene is referred to by his nickname “Wigwam” (a reference to his toupee) and described as engaging in criminal conduct.  In the motion picture,

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Two Important U.S. Supreme Court Decisions for Religious Employers (and Employers Morally Opposed to Birth Control)

by Zack Thompson
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two decisions yesterday that affect religious employers.

In the first, Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, the Court held that the “so-called ministerial exception” applies more broadly, preventing courts from intervening in disputes between schools “with a religious mission” and any “teacher [entrusted] with the responsibility of educating and forming students in the faith.” The Supreme Court reversed two decisions by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (our federal appellate circuit in California),

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