Judge Rader, Dominion Diamond: Intellectual Propererty

Circuit Judge Randall R. Rader of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is stepping down as chief judge, the court said in a statement on May 23.

Rader said in a letter posted on the court’s website on May 23 that he has sent an e-mail to an attorney who appeared in the court that “constituted a breach of the ethical obligation not to lend the prestige of the judicial office to advance the private interests of others.”

The e-mail, he said, “may have led to the perception that the attorney in question was in a position to influence me in my performance of judicial duties.”

Rader, who has led the Washington-based court that hears appeals of patent cases since June 2010, isn’t leaving the bench. Rader said in his letter that he’ll “will work diligently with my colleagues to ensure and protect our court’s standing.”

Circuit Judge Sharon Prost will succeed Rader as chief judge. She was appointed to the court in 2001 by President George W. Bush.

EBay Accused of Infringing Patent Related to Customer Security

EBay Inc., the online marketplace that revealed May 21 a breach of a database containing customer passwords and personal information, was sued for infringing a patent related to personal information security for electronic marketplaces.

The lawsuit was filed May 21 in federal court in Marshall, Texas, by CYVA Research Holdings LLC of Plano, Texas. According to the company website, CYVA is a software engineering, enterprise architecture and security consulting firm.

In dispute is patent 8,195,569, issued in June 2012. CYVA says EBay’s electronic broker, which “provides trusted processing of transactions, ensuring that the rules governing the buyers and sellers personal information are satisfied,” infringes one or more claims of the patent.

The CYVA asked the court to bar the unauthorized use of its invention and for an award of money damages. San Jose, California-based EBay didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the lawsuit.

The case is CYVA Research Holdings LLC v. EBay Inc., 14-cv-00637, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Marshall).

For more patent news, click here.


Omaha Steaks Accuses Washington Meatpacker of Infringing Mark

Omaha Steaks Inc., the Nebraska-based meat distributor, sued a meat packer in Woodinville, Washington, for trademark infringement.

The May 21 suit accused Interbay Food Co. of making unauthorized use of the Nebraska company’s “Omaha Steaks” trademark on its own and on Amazon.com Inc.’s Amazon Fresh websites.

Although Interbay had agreed to change its advertisements after being contacted by Omaha Steaks, it hasn’t done so, the company said in court papers. Interbay didn’t respond immediately to an e-mailed request for comment on the lawsuit.

Omaha Steaks is seeking money damages, including extra damages to punish the Washington state company for its actions, and for an order barring Interbay’s use of “Omaha Steaks.

The case is Omaha Steaks International Inc. v. Interbay Food Co., 8:14-cv-00154, U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska (Omaha).

Dominion Diamond Gets New Trademark For Canada-Produced Diamonds

Dominion Diamond Corp., a Toronto-based diamond producer, said it will begin inscribing all diamonds from its Canadian mines with a CanadaMark logo and serial number, CBC News reported.

The objective of the program is to let potential diamond buyers know the stones are Canadian-mined and conflict-free, according to the CBC.

Although the company owns the mark, it will let any Canadian diamond producers use the mark on their stones as long a they meet certain environmental and ethical-mining criteria, the CBC reported.

For more trademark news, click here.


Plaintiff’s Lawyer Sanctioned in Copyright Suit Against Usher

A lawyer representing a songwriter in a copyright suit against the performer known as Usher was sanctioned for his conduct during the case.

U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond said in a May 21 order that counsel representing songwriter Daniel Marino took a deposition in the case from a defendant without telling the man he was being sued. The lawyer, Francis Malofiy of Francis Alexander LLC of Media, Pennsylvania, also created a ‘‘poisonous atmosphere,’’ Diamond said.

As a sanction, the judge excluded evidence from the deposition he said was improperly obtained. He also dismissed the case against most of the defendants.

The song in dispute is ‘‘Club Girl,’’ later renamed ‘‘Bad Girl’’ and recorded by Usher. The case was filed in October


Malofiy said in an e-mail that he did nothing wrong and that the judge’s ruling was without legal merit. He said his conduct was ‘‘upfront and honest’’ and in accord with the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct. He said he intends to appeal the ruling.

The case is Daniel Marino v. Usher, 2:11-cv-06811, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).

Newzbin Owner Says He Will be Bankrupted by Copyright Ruling

A disbarred British lawyer, who was the secret owner of a copyright-infringing website he owned, said in a blog posting that he will be bankrupted by the judgment against him in the copyright case.

David Harris, posting on his ‘‘The Squat’’ blog, said the U.K.’s High Court found him liable for infringing copyrights held by the Motion Picture Association members, and he owes 2.3 million British pounds ($3.87 million).

The suit was related to Harris’ Newzbin Ltd. websites that indexed and sorted postings to Usenet groups.

For more copyright news, click here.