Texas Trial & Business Law Blog

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2015 Big Year for Patent Litigation

According to Law360, 2015 was the second busiest year for patent lawsuits with almost 6,000 patent cases filed in 2015. Almost 60 percent of the cases filed by NPEs were filed in the Eastern District of Texas, which had the most filings per venue in 2015. Texas continues to be a key venue for patent litigation.    

Friday, November 13, 2015

Chris L. Gilbert to Publish in Inside the Minds Series for Fourth Time

Aspatore Books, a Thomson Reuters publication, has asked Gilbert Law PC's lead attorney, Chris L. Gilbert, to publish for the fourth time in its prestigious Inside the Minds series. Chris will author a chapter in the upcoming book Inside the Minds: The Impact of Recent Patent Law Cases and Developments, 2015 ed. 

Read more . . .

Thursday, August 13, 2015

POP Austin Collaborates with the 2015 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix

Gilbert Law PC client the POP Austin International Art Show will be collaborating with the 2015 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. The event takes place on October 23-25. Elton John is scheduled to perform a two hour set. POP Austin will present "ILLUMINATION," Austin's first ever international show of light-based art. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Chris L. Gilbert to Publish in Inside the Minds Series for Third Time

Aspatore Books, a Thomson Reuters publication, has asked Gilbert Law PC's lead attorney, Chris L. Gilbert, to publish for the third time in its prestigious Inside the Minds series. Chris will author a chapter in the upcoming book Inside the Minds: Recent Trends in Patent Infringement Lawsuits, 2015 ed. This series selects leading lawyers in their practice areas to provide a thought leadership piece for C-Level executives and attorneys. The book will go to press in June 2015. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Judge Dismisses $40 Million Lawsuit Against Keith Haring Foundation

On Friday, March 6, 2015, New York Federal Judge Denise Cote dismissed the $40 million dollar lawsuit brought against the Keith Haring Foundation for disputing the authenticity of a large number of supposed Keith Haring art works. Collectors brought the lawsuit after years of the Foundation's refusal to authenticate over 100 disputed works. When the collectors went on with an exhibition in Miami in 2013, the Foundation sued to stop display of the purported "fake" Haring works. The collectors later lawsuit brought against the Foundation for alleged antitrust violations, defamation and a host of other claims pleads collusion with auctioneers and false claims the works are "fake" destroying a collective $40 million dollar valuation. Judge Cote's dismissal order makes clear that the Court found the case lacking any merit though she did not sanction the collectors and find that their case was brought in bad faith. Haring, a Pop Art icon, died from AIDs in 1990. In May 2014, a Haring painting sold for $4.9 million at Sotheby's New York auction.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Disney Defeats Frozen Copyright Lawsuit

Isabella Tanikumi, whose pen name is L. Amy Gonzalez, sued Disney pro se in New Jersey for $250 million alleging copyright infringement over Disney's Frozen. Tanikumi alleges that Frozen is a rip-off of her self-published memoir "Yearnings of the Heart," not the 1844 book "The Snow Queen" written by Hans-Christian Andersen. Tanikumi's memoir is about growing up in Peru and the bond she had with her sister. U.S. District Judge William J. Martini found the lawsuit "tenuous at best." He further opined that "[c]opyright law protects expression, not ideas. The themes that both appear in ‘Frozen’ and ‘Yearnings of the Heart’ are expressed in vastly different ways. The setting, plot, and characters have no close similarities. No lay person could find that Disney improperly appropriated from ‘Yearnings of the Heart’ because copyright law does not protect the generic, thematic elements of Tanikumi’s work.” Disney is fighting another copyright lawsuit over Frozen in California where a filmmaker alleges infringement of the copyright over an animated short film called "The Snowman." Disney lost its motion to dismiss in that case.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Expect Significant Rise in Oil and Gas Litigation in 2015

Fifty dollar a barrel oil may be a windfall to consumers, but it will certainly lead to a rise in oil and gas litigation, particularly lease-related litigation in areas such as the Eagle Ford Shale.  Expect an increase in litigation over audits and royalty payments by royalty owners alleging that they have been underpaid, landowners alleging violation of the surface protections contained in leases (as oil and gas companies cut costs on the drilling sites), landowner disputes over deed interpretation, fights over title rights and royalty payment claims and allegations of mishandling leases and breach of fiduciary duty particularly asserted against trustees.  In the Eagle Ford, the leases are generally more sophisticated and designed to protect the surface though leases like those have made their way to North Texas.  Presently, there is a major, multi-million dollar lawsuit against Pioneer Natural Resources pending in Montague County over violations of surface rights set for trial in April of this year.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

RadioShack Files Chapter 11

Consumer migration to online shopping over a physical storefront is a clear trend and demonstrates rapidly changing business models. RadioShack Corp. is the latest casualty of this trend filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy today with an initial plan to sell all its stores.  The venerable electronics company has been around for 94 years.  Many stores closed abruptly on Sunday, February 1 with only a few hours notice to employees.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Under Armour Expands Into Digital Health and Fitness for $475 Million

Under Armour Inc. will pay $475 million to purchase the fitness app MyFitnessPal as it expands beyond apparel.  Under Armour just paid $85 million to buy Denmark company Endomondo last month.  Under Armour also owns MapMyFitness, one of the largest digital fitness communities, that it purchased for $150 million two years ago.  Under Armour's connected fitness community now includes more than 120 million registered users.  At the end of 2014, Under Armour's revenues were $3.08 billion.  Not bad for a company not even twenty years old that started in grandma's basement.  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tennessee Judge Seals Evidence in Vanderbilt Football Player Sexual Assault Trial

Judge Monte Watkins entered an order sealing all evidence in the 12 day trial of two former Vanderbilt University football players accused and later convicted of raping a female student.  The trial was public.  It appears that no such ruling sealing evidence has ever been made in Tennessee.  Judge Watkins made other rulings during the trial to keep information from being made public.  Vanderbilt might face civil lawsuits as well.  Similar cases involving Florida State and Oregon football and basketball players also resulted in civil lawsuits against the universities.   

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Moncrief Oil International Inc. Dismisses Billion Dollar Trade Secrets Case Halfway Through Trial

Trials are unpredictable, particularly those involving fact-intensive trade secrets claims.  Case in point.  This week, Moncrief Oil International Inc. dismissed its billion dollar trade secrets lawsuit in Tarrant County against Gazprom, a Russian company, halfway through a five week jury trial. The case centered on development of a Russian gas condensate field. During trial, Gazprom accused Moncrief of fabricating evidence.  In response, Moncrief dismissed the case.  Judge Wilkinson signed the order of dismissal with prejudice from the bench.  Moncrief and Gazprom have been litigating the facts of this saga in federal and state trial and appellate courts for nearly 10 years.  No doubt the legal fees are immense.

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