Panoramic Stock Images, Ltd. v. McGraw-Hill Global Educ. Holdings, LLC, No. 12 C 9881, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Nov. 25, 2014) (Pallmeyer, J.).

Judge Pallmeyer denied defendant McGraw-Hill’s motion for summary judgment regarding a statute of limitations and granted in part plaintiff Panoramic Images’ motion for summary judgment of copyright infringement in this case

Cumberland Pharms, Inc. v. Mylan Inst. LLC, No. 12 C 3846, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 26, 2014) (Pallmeyer, J.).

Judge Pallmeyer construed the claims in this patent infringement case involving an IV form N-acetylcysteine — used for treating acetaminophen overdoses.  Of particular note, the Court held as follows:

  • “Free From A Chelating Agent

Panoramic Stock Images, Ltd. v. The McGraw-Hill Cos., No. 12 C 9881, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 9, 2013) (Pallmeyer, J.).

Judge Pallmeyer denied defendant McGraw-Hill’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss certain of plaintiffs’ (collectively “Panoramic”) claims that were allegedly related to defective or unissued copyrights in this case involving licensing

Judge Pallmeyer granted in part plaintiff Nielsen’s motion for summary judgment and denied defendant Truck Ad’s cross-motion in this copyright case involving Nielsen’s marketing area maps for television and other media. The Court held that Nielsen had valid copyrights in its maps:
The fact that Arbiton may have made the maps first did not prevent Nielsen’s copyright because of Nielsen’s original contribution to its maps.
Nielsen’s maps were not merely factual; Truck Ad’s comparison to the white pages was imperfect.
The FCC’s use of the maps did not bring them into the public domain.
The court held that there were questions of fact as to infringement, including:
Truck Ad’s access to the copyrighted maps;
The similarity between Nielsen’s and Truck Ad’s maps; and
Truck Ad’s defense of independent creation.

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Modern Trade Comms., Inc. v. PSMJ Resources, Inc., No. 10 C 5380, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 19, 2011) (Pallmeyer, J.).
Judge Pallmeyer granted defendants PSMJ Resources’ (“PSMJ”) and Oser Communications’ (“Oser”) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in this Lanham Act case involving plaintiff Modern Trade Communications’ (“MTC”) rights in its Metal Construction News mark for a metal industry trade publication. At the Metalcon tradeshow in 2010, Oser distributed a daily publication entitled Metal Daily News at PSMJ’s direction. MTC alleged that the Metal Daily News title infringed its Metal Construction News mark, which MTC used to publish an official show guide at the same conference.
PSMJ was a Massachusetts company without offices or personnel in Illinois. It approximated that 3% of its revenue at the 2009 Metalcon show in Florida was from Illinois residents. PSMJ’s website was not interactive. PSMJ did produce six training seminars unrelated to Metalcon in Illinois. PSMJ’s small revenues from Illinois residents did not create general jurisdiction. While related to Metalcon, PSMJ’s contract with a third party in Illinois did not create specific jurisdiction. And PSMJ’s production of the 2002 Metalcon in Illinois did not create specific jurisdiction because the accused Metal Daily News was only distributed at the 2010 Metalcon in Las Vegas. The Court, therefore, had neither general nor specific jurisdiction over PSMJ.
Oser was an Arizona company without offices or personnel in Illinois, although Oser did distribute publications at two to three trade shows per year in Chicago. Oser’s website was passive, except that the 2010 Metal Daily News was available on the site for downloading. Attendance at two to three trade shows each year in Chicago did not create the systematic contacts necessary for general jurisdiction. Oser’s website was not sufficient to create specific jurisdiction. MTC made no allegation that the website was targeted at Illinois, and the availability of the publication as a free download was not sufficient either. And MTC did not allege how Oser’s alleged infringement in Las Vegas was tied to Oser’s Illinois activities. Furthermore, the sale of an advertisement in the Metal Daily News to an Illinois resident, even combined with the website allegations, was not sufficient to create specific jurisdiction.
The Court also denied MTC’s motion to amend because it did not allege any new facts that might create personal jurisdiction.

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Cement-Lock v. Gas Tech. Institute, No. 05 C 0018 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 5, 2009) (Pallmeyer, J.).
Judge Pallmeyer issued an order dismissing this patent case with prejudice based upon the parties’ settlement. The Court previously presided over a jury trial resulting in a verdict for plaintiffs Cement-Lock LLC and Alderman Richard Mell on behalf of Cement-Lock Group (collectively “CLG”) on various RICO and breach of fiduciary duty claims. The jury awarded CLG $15M in damages, which was resolved by the settlement.
This was a dispute over the control and use of Cement-Lock technology (the “Technology”) which decontaminated certain waste products and used the decontaminated waste as a beneficial cement additive. CLG asserted various IP claims, including Lanham Act unfair competition, deceptive trade practices and trademark infringement. GTI also allegedly claimed to own and have developed the Technology.

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The patent pilot program started this month in the Northern District and across the country. The pilot program is a ten-year look at ways to handle patent cases more effectively. The main component of the pilot program is judges in pilot districts, including the Northern District, self-selecting as patent judges. Patent cases will continue to be randomly assigned to all Northern District judges. But when a non-patent judge is assigned a patent case that judge will have thirty days to order reassignment of the case. When reassignment is ordered, the case will be randomly reassigned to one of the patent judges. There will also be patent-related education and programs offered for the patent judges across the country.
One unanswered question about the pilot program remains: If a non-patent judge was assigned a patent case less than thirty days before the program kicked off on September 19, can the non-patent judge order the patent case reassigned pursuant to the pilot program? I have not seen it happen yet, but I suspect it could over the next week or two.
The Northern District issued the following list of judges who have self-selected as patent judges:
Chief Judge James F. Holderman
Judge Ruben Castillo
Judge John W. Darrah
Judge Gary S. Feinerman
Judge Virginia Kendall
Judge Matthew F. Kennelly
Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow
Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer
Judge Amy J. St. Eve
Judge James B. Zagel

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Heathcote Holdings Corp., Inc. v. Maybelline LLC, No. 10 C 2544, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Mar. 15, 2011) (Pallmeyer, J.).
Judge Pallmeyer granted in part defendants’ (collectively “Maybelline”) motion to dismiss plaintiff Heathcote’s false patent marking case. The Court also granted Maybelline’s motion to transfer the case to the Southern District of New York. In this pre-BP Lubricants case, the Court held that Heathcote had sufficiently pled intent to deceive by pleading the allegedly false statement and Maybelline’s knowledge of the false statement. These are the type of allegations specifically held to be in sufficient by BP Lubricants.
Heathcote did not oppose Maybelline’s motion to dismiss L’Oreal USA Creative, so long as it was given leave to replead if it later found Maybelline’s representations were wrong.
Finally, the Court transferred the case to Maybelline’s home district, the Southern District of New York. One key factor was that the alleged conduct would have largely occurred at Maybelline’s headquarters, in New York. The Court also held that the sources of proof in the case will be more accessible in New York than in Illinois.

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The Federal Bar Association – an excellent group that is worth joining (disclosure: I am a member) – recently held a panel of Northern District judges. Here are my notes regarding Judge Pallmeyer’s comments:
Judge Pallmeyer does not like hearings by phone, but will allow them in appropriate circumstances.
She reads briefs as they come in, but has clerks write some opinions. She also avoids unnecessary opinions.
When possible and appropriate, Judge Pallmeyer encourages live argument and immediate decision. So, show up for hearings prepared to argue.
Judge Pallmeyer uses a two-page questionnaire tailored to each case for voir dire. She then asks follow up and gives counsel brief opportunities to follow up, followed by preemptory challenges.

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