Articles Posted in U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

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This was an appeal of two consolidated suits brought under Indiana's and Missouri's trade secret statutes, involving information about the repair and overhaul of helicopter engines published by Rolls-Royce. The court held that the district court did not err in granting Rolls-Royce summary judgment on its trade secret claims where AvidAir was not entitled to the value of the proprietary revised documents, even if the new technical specifications were relatively minor in the context of the overhaul process as whole. Having concluded that the documents in question were protected trade secrets, the district court did not err in granting an injunction in favor of Rolls-Royce. Consequently, the court also affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Rolls-Royce on AvidAir's antitrust and tortious interference claims. Accordingly, the judgment was affirmed. View "AvidAir Helicopter Supply v. Rolls-Royce Corp." on Justia Law

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FICO brought suit against three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union, as well as against VantageScore, the credit bureaus' joint venture. The suit alleged antitrust, trademark infringement, false-advertising, and other claims. FICO, Experian, and VantageScore appealed from the district court's judgment. The court held that FICO failed to demonstrate that it had suffered any antitrust injury that would entitle it to seek damages under section 4 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 12-27, and FICO failed to demonstrate the threat of an immediate injury that might support injunctive relief under section 16. The court also held that there was no genuine issue of material fact that consumers in this market immediately understood "300-850" to describe the qualities and characteristics of FICO's credit score and therefore, the district court did not err in finding the mark to be merely descriptive. The court further held that there was sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to determine that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) relied on FICO's false representation in deciding whether to issue the "300-850" trademark registration. The court agreed with the district court that VantageScore was not a licensee and therefore was not estopped from challenging the mark under either theory of agency or equity. The court finally held that FICO's false advertising claims were properly dismissed and the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion for attorneys' fees. View "Fair Isaac Corp., et al. v. Experian Information Solutions, et al." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, the owner of the federal trademark "The Flying Burrito Company," appealed the district court's dismissal of its trademark infringement action for lack of personal jurisdiction. At issue was whether a federal court in Arkansas had personal jurisdiction over an Iowa citizen and an Iowa limited liability company where the contact with Arkansas was a single meeting by the parties in Arkansas. The court held that defendants' actions in making the isolated trip to Arkansas do not reveal an intent to purposefully avail themselves of the protection of that state's laws, or otherwise established sufficient contacts with Arkansas to justify personal jurisdiction. As noted, defendants made the trip to Arkansas in an effort to avoid any trademark infringement resulting from the name of their Iowa restaurant and nothing in the record showed any other connection to Arkansas. Therefore, defendants have insufficient contacts with Arkansas to confer personal jurisdiction over them with respect to the subject of this lawsuit. With respect to plaintiff's ground of appeal seeking jurisdictional discovery, the district court did not expressly rule on that issue, but in any even, the court saw no basis for such discovery. View "Pangaea, Inc. v. The Flying Burrito, LLC, et al." on Justia Law

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Appellants (AVELA) appealed a permanent injunction prohibiting them from licensing certain images extracted from publicity materials for the films "Gone with the Wind" and "The Wizard of Oz," as well as several animated short films featuring the cat-mouse duo "Tom & Jerry." At issue was whether the district court properly issued the permanent injunction after granting summary judgment in favor of appellee (Warner Bros.) on their claim that the extracted images infringed copyrights for the films. The court affirmed in large part the district court's grant of summary judgment to Warner Bros. on the issue of copyright infringement and the resulting permanent injunction. The court reversed with respect to one category of AVELA products, and vacated in corresponding part the permanent injunction entered by the district court. The court remanded for modification of the permanent injunction and further proceedings with the opinion. View "Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., et al. v. X One X Productions, et al." on Justia Law