U.S. Eleventh Circuit - The FindLaw 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

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The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that Fastcase's petition for declaratory relief against Lawriter may proceed to the merits stage.

In short, this case relates to Lawriter's claim that Fastcase is infringing upon its rights to the Georgia code by accessing the code that Lawriter publishes on behalf of the state. Interestingly though, the federal district court dismissed the matter due to its belief that Lawriter doesn't actually have any rights to enforce, and due to a lack of jurisdiction. The appellate court disagreed on both grounds and reversed.

A year and a half after losing a four-day trial, former Commodores guitarist, and founding member, Thomas McClary was dealt a blow by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

McClary used the Commodores name for his band in 2014. Not surprisingly, the surviving members of the Commodores (that never left the band) filed a lawsuit against McClary claiming trademark infringement, and were awarded a permanent injunction. On appeal, the permanent injunction was affirmed.

11th Circuit: Service Marks Extend to Goods

It's not every day that a judge admits fuzzy reasoning, much less in writing.

But the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal is not hiding from the truth. In reversing a trademark decision, the court said it often "blurs the lines" when analyzing certain claims.

In Savannah College of Art and Design v. Sportswear, it is actually a little worse than that. The judges practically said the precedent makes no sense.

While Lumber Liquidators is under a microscope for its potentially toxic laminate flooring, at least one flooring company is getting some good news. After refusing to be walked all over by the competition, Mannington Mills, a laminate manufacturer, has gotten support from the Eleventh Circuit.

After the company designed a rustic, imitation-wood flooring, it soon found almost identical pieces for sale by a competitor. There wasn't much Mannington could do about it, a district court ruled, since the old wood design wasn't original enough to justify copyright protection. The Eleventh Circuit disagreed, recognizing the artistry behind plastic flooring and restoring Mannington's copyright protections.

11th Cir. Remands GSU's 'E-Reserve' Copyright Infringement Case

If you attended college at least after the late 1990s, you probably remember that one or more of your professors made excerpts from books available in "electronic reserve" by scanning the relevant pages and turning them into PDFs that only students enrolled in the course could access.

At the time, you might not have wondered whether the practice was lawful. Well, even if you didn't wonder that, the Eleventh Circuit has your answer in a 129-page opinion: "Maybe."

Investor Can't Sue in Italian Restaurant v. Bagel Shop Fraud Dispute

Why is an Italian restaurant suing a bagel company in federal court? Sure, you can chalk it up to it being Florida, but it turns out the dispute is unrelated to the vortex of sanity that seems to exist down there.

The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. advertises that its bagels are so awesome because it utilizes a "patented 14-stage water treatment process" designed to mimic the water in Brooklyn. As everyone knows, New York bagels are considered the best bagels because of the water in New York City.

Fla. Lawmakers Can't Write Laws; 11th Asks State Court for Help

Florida Virtual School is an online charter high school authorized by statute. It has been around for more than a decade. A few years back, apparently unsatisfied with FLVS's performance, the state opened up the door to private competitors, including K12 Inc., which calls itself Florida Virtual Academy. 

FLVA, which after its pilot program got picked up, also adopted the alternative moniker Florida Virtual Program (FLVP), and which purchased a sponsored listing on FLVS.com (a seemingly cyber-squatted alternative to FLVS's .net address), also maintains a website which has a similar design and color scheme to the elder FLVS program.

FLVS predictably sued FLVA in 2011 for trademark infringement under the Lanham Act and Florida common law, but ran into one tiny issue: incompetent Florida lawmakers.

Drug Company's Private Docs Revealed for SCOTUS Briefing

Solvay, since acquired by Abbott Laboratories (and renamed AbbVie), makes a topical testosterone cream, which is protected by a patent until 2020 and has brought in $1.8 billion in revenue. Like many pharmaceutical companies, it sought to protect its product from an invasion of generic clones. It did so by filing a lawsuit.

That lawsuit settled after Solvay agreed to kick back proceeds from their sales to the now-abstaining generic producers. That may sound quite a bit like anti-competitive behavior, and if your alarms went off, you're in tune with the FTC. The problem is, these "reverse payment" arrangements are perfectly legal under existing law, as part of the right to exploit one's patent.

Court opinions can be dry, making reading through a stack of them an arduous task. That’s why we’re thankful for judges like Ed Carnes who constantly spice up their opinions with inspired, sometimes bizarre, quotes and references.

This year, our favorite Eleventh Circuit jurist quoted Bob Dylan, added a new line to a Jim Croce song, and made a particularly apt reference to turducken. To wit: Judge Carnes’ top three quotes of 2012.

Courts Says Bama Mugs are 'Mundane Products', Not Protected

Southern football fans love their college teams so much that there’s a market for realistic renderings of famous moments in college sports. Daniel Moore has made a career out of painting those moments, but he’s been battling his muse in court over the last seven years regarding his right to paint her.

In an intellectual property decision this week regarding Moore’s artwork and products featuring original images of University of Alabama sporting events, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the Bama can’t use threats of copyright infringement to stop Moore from painting the Crimson Tide football team.