San Diego Legal Blog

Patent infringement claims resolved with $400 million settlement

The resolution of the deep disagreement between two California businesses came down to virtually the last minute. In the end, Arista Networks Inc agreed to pay $400 million to Cisco Systems Inc the day before a jury trial was scheduled to begin.

The settlement resolves lawsuits filed by San Jose’s Cisco alleging that Santa Clara’s Arista Networks copied its intellectual property.

Deflating news: San Diego convenience stores sued over supplements

You might have heard the hypnotic, synth-pop rhythms of the 1980s hit, “Tainted Love.” The duo that helped shape the sound of the decade was Soft Cell. Both the name of the band and their long-ago hit are brought to mind by a recent San Diego Union-Tribune headline: “Lawsuit claims San Diego stores sell tainted love pills.”

The so-called love pills are illegal and dangerous, it is stated in the business lawsuit filed against dozens of area convenience stores. The legal action was filed by Outlaw Laboratory, a Texas maker of “male enhancement” products. Outlaw claims it has been harmed by illegal competition; its suit targets 51 stores in San Diego County.

CA Supreme Court: employers must pay for off-the-clock work

The California Supreme Court declined to apply a federal rule which holds that employers need not compensate workers for small amounts of time worked before or after a shift. The July 26 decision rejected the so-called “de minimis” rule from the federal Fair Labor and Standards act, arguing it does not coincide with state law.

The decision stems from a case against coffee-giant Starbucks by a former shift supervisor, Douglas Troester. His case hinged on the state’s interpretation of whether the de minimis rule applied to the California Labor Code and other wage-related orders.

IP PIs: What do they do?

Sam Spade was the ultimate private detective. A hard-boiled PI, he didn’t mince words with suspects, cops or anyone else. And he always found the bad guy, of course. The problem: Sam was fictional.

In real life, private investigators are still around, often used to help attorneys protect intellectual property and business interests. A recent article on PIs described a case in which investigators helped a client obtain a a multimillion-dollar summary judgment against copyright infringers.

California e-cigarette facing lawsuits

A California e-cigarette maker is under fire for its popularity among young people. Parents, public health advocates, politicians and the Food and Drug Administration have all weighed in on Juul Labs and its rechargeable vaping device and nicotine pods. The company’s pods contain nicotine and come in flavors such as mango, crème brulee, fruit medley and “cool cucumber” – flavors that lure young people into giving the Juul devices a try, critics complain.

The complaints have taken a legal twist, however, as several consumers have filed lawsuits against the California business, alleging that the company’s marketing is deceptive. Juul’s pods contain more nicotine than cigarettes, the suits claim.

California Dali museum named in intellectual property lawsuit

His most recognizable painting might well the “The Persistence of Memory” with its melting watches. It’s time for a California museum to stop using Salvador Dali’s name and likeness and to stop selling items that include reproductions of his art, says Spain’s Dalí Foundation.

The foundation claims in its intellectual property lawsuit that it owns the rights to the artist’s name and likeness. It also says that by selling items using the surrealist art icon’s work, image and name the Monterrey museum is “infringing on the Foundation’s intellectual property and publicity rights.”

Man accused of stealing secret Apple self-driving car technology

Not many people have heard of Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Xpeng Motors. But a California man north of San Diego had heard of them. In fact, say federal prosecutors, he had left his job working on Apple’s self-driving car project in April to go work in May for Xpeng Motors.

The man is accused of stealing trade secrets by copying more than 40 GB of the Cupertino tech giant’s intellectual property on to his wife’s laptop. Xpeng said it was “outraged” to learn of the developments and that after conducting an investigation, it terminated the man’s “employment for cause.”

California legislature passes a new Consumer Privacy Act

The California Consumer Privacy Act was approved for the November ballot in June, but before voters could attend the polls, Californian lawmakers passed a similar law, which emphasized similar messages to the privacy act.

According to Forbes, the new privacy legislation passed quickly through lawmakers to avoid specific language in the new law. If voters had approved the California Consumer Privacy Act in November, it would be more difficult for politicians to amend the law or change wording in the act itself.

California’s all-you-can-fly airline might be grounded by lawsuit

They’re not for everyone, but some Americans absolutely adore all-you-can-eat restaurants. A California-based airline has taken the concept of all-you-can-eat to the skies. Membership-based Surf Air offers all-you-can-fly travel in its small planes. Destinations include San Diego, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Oakland, Lake Tahoe and San Jose.

The airline’s fleet of Pilatus PC-12 turboprops might soon be grounded, according to recent news reports. Surf Air faces government tax liens and a business lawsuit that alleges the company has failed to pay its bills.

Lawsuit: Downtown San Diego landmark is driving away business

When it opened in 1985, Horton Plaza was an instant shopping success that many in San Diego credited with revitalizing downtown. But the owner of the Jimbo’s Naturally food store chain says the landmark mall has deteriorated and now drives people away rather than luring them in.

Jim Someck said a run-down Horton Plaza is costing his store millions of dollars in lost business. Someck recently filed a lawsuit against Westfield, the company that manages Horton Plaza, for breach of contract for allegedly failing to properly maintain the aging shopping mall.

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