Our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, Feb. 2 2015 will be a discussion of:

Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank et al., Case No. 12-1211 (Sup. Ct. 1/22/15), available here:  Approximately one year ago, we discussed this case when it was at the 9th Circuit.  HFI sued HB and others for trademark infringement; The trial court granted summary judgment to HB; the 9th Circuit reversed and remanded due to  fact issues; On remand, the infringement claim was tried before a jury, which found for HB; 9th Circuit later affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed holding that because the tacking inquiry operated from the perspective of an ordinary purchaser or consumer, it was for a jury to decide whether tacking was available in a given case. However, a judge could determine whether two marks could be tacked if the facts warranted it and if the parties had opted to try their case before a judge.  When a jury trial was requested and when the facts did not warrant entry of summary judgment or judgment as a matter of law, the question of whether tacking was warranted had to be decided by a jury.

Sentius International, LLC v. Microsoft, Case No. 5:13-cv-00825-PSG (N.D. Cal. 1/23/15), available here:  This case involved “squiggles” — namely, the red, blue and green squiggles that indicate spelling and grammar errors in various applications produced by Defendant Microsoft Corporation. Plaintiff Sentius International LLC charged that the functionality surrounding these squiggles directly and indirectly infringed United States Patent Nos. RE40,731 and RE43,633. In an MSJ ruling, the district court held that no reasonable jury could find that Microsoft was liable for either pre-suit induced infringement or willful infringement as Sentius never informed Microsoft of the subject patents prior to filing.  Further, Microsoft’s good faith defenses precluded a finding of objective recklessness.

All are invited to join us in our discussion during the SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 at Noon in our Westlake Village office. This activity is approved for 1 hour of MCLE credit. If you will be joining us, please RSVP to Noelle Smith by 9 am Monday morning.