The Business Litigation Blog

Zenimax Sues Samsung After Winning Oculus Intellectual Property/Unfair Competition Lawsuit

Video game conglomerate ZeniMax filed a lawsuit against Samsung for knowingly profiting from Oculus technology originally developed at ZeniMax. John Carmack was developing mobile Virtual Reality (VR) and other VR hybrids. It is alleged that he had secret meetings in ZeniMax owned offices to give away trade secrets to other businesses and work on VR with them. This is the foundation of the Oculus case that ZeniMax won for $500 million. Oculus executives were penalized for copyright infringement, false designation, and violating non-disclosure agreements. Samsung was aware of this case while they were developing Gear VR: Now ZeniMax is  suing Samsung for copyright infringement for using ZeniMax VR code in Gear VR, along with trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment. Gear VR is allegedly based on Ocu...

HGTV Settles Breach of Contract/Product Disparagement Suit

HGTV was sued by two North Carolina homeowners for breach of contract, faulty workmanship, and unauthorized retention of funds for a filming of the show Love It Or List It. HGTV countersued for libel, slander, and product disparagement. On April 21st the parties filed a joint motion to dismiss the case. The Court of Appeals dismissed the case shortly thereafter. The settlement is confidential. If you have a product disparagement complaint, contact Thomas E. Patterson or Patterson Law Firm at or (312)-223-1699. 

Snap Involved in Shareholder Lawsuit

Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, was sued for allegedly misrepresenting how many people used the snapchat app. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by a shareholder. The misrepresentation of the user base is being blamed for a drop in the price of the company’s shares. Lawsuits filed after a stock loses value are often defeated before trial. Damages have not been specified and a class-action designation is being sought. If you have a shareholder dispute, contact Thomas E. Patterson or Patterson Law Firm at or (312)-223-1699. 

Shipyard Brewing Company sues Logboat for Trademark Infringement

Shipyard Brewing Company claims that Logboat’s logo for Shiphead Ginerger Wheat is confusingly similar to the Shipyard Schooner ale. The art on the Schooner ale features a boat and the Shiphead art features a boat on top of a woman’s head. Below is a side by side image of the beer cans. Shipyard is a large distributor alleging that the Shiphead beer intentionally causes confusion with Shipyard. Shiphead is in a beer family that also includes pumpkinhead, melonhead, and applehead. The suit claims that shiphead could be confused with Shipyard products, as opposed to being in the logboat head family. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. In the trademark infringement suit, Shipyard is seeking an injunction and damages from lost profits. Shipyard is also seeking attorney fees,...

Shareholder Lawsuit Filed Against Tesla Board of Directors

A group of shareholders in Tesla filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk, Tesla, and the rest of the board of directors at Tesla. This suit has been filed because of the acquisition of SolarCity Corp., which is the biggest solar energy provider in America. More than 85% of shareholders voted yes to this acquisition. The shareholders allege that there have been violations of federal securities laws and state laws. The case is now under seal in a Delaware court. This is not the only lawsuit Tesla is experiencing. Tesla also has two harassment lawsuits pending. If you have a shareholder dispute contact Thomas E. Patterson or Patterson Law Firm or (312)-223-1699. 

Ghanian Company, Quantum sues IFC of the World Bank Group and OPEC for Breach of Contract

Quantum Oil Terminals Limited, a Ghanaian company has brought the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the OPEC Fund to the Accra High Court of Ghana for breach of contract and discrimination. Quantum claims a breach of written contract for failure to fund construction of an oil storage facility. Because the money was not loaned in time, Quantum got money elsewhere at a 12% rate, rather than the rate in the IFC contract. The financing delay caused Quantum to miss a regulations deadline to build the storage facility. Sanctions were imposed for that failure. Quantum is seeking damages at $41,319,123 because the two companies didn’t loan $16 million to build the facility. If you have a breach of contract complaint, contact Tom Patterson or Patterson Law Firm at or (312)-223-1699.&...

Former Professor Sues University of Louisville for Fraud and Breach of Contract

Matt Bohm began work at the University of Louisville (U of L) in 2010 with a plan to be on a tenure track. His contract was negotiated to include a Ph.D. candidate to conduct research with him. Professor Bohm alleges that the people who approved the contract knew that they could not give what was offered.  U of L could not hire a Ph.D. candidate to assist Professor Bohm which negatively impacted his ability to become a tenured professor. One of the specific reasons for him not becoming tenured was not graduating a Ph.D. student. When he was denied tenure he filed his suit in state court. If you have a breach of contract or fraud complaint, contact Thomas E. Patterson or Patterson Law Firm at or (312)-223-1699.  

Conan O’Brien Joke Theft Intellectual Property Suit to Head to Trial

There hasn’t been a joke theft lawsuit in recent memory. In the comedy world joke theft is dealt with by the comedians often in interpersonal communications or call outs. Fans will put together side by side comparison videos to shame the thief. The work ethic of the thief will be called out and they will be less respected. Rarely does any joke theft make the move to a lawsuit or any form of legal action. Carlos Mencia stole Bill Cosby’s football joke, among many other jokes. No action was taken. Louis C.K. claimed that Dane Cook stole one of his jokes; again no action was taken. This has changed with Jay Leno writer and twitter comedian Robert Kaseberg suing Conan O’Brien and his late night writers team of stealing 5 jokes. This is because of “thin copyright protection.” “Facts, of course, are not protected by copyrigh...

Rapper Travis Scott Sued by Manager and Hip-Hop Mogul Lyor Cohen for Breach of Contract

Travis Scott has been sued for breach of contract by his former manager in the amount of $2 million dollars. Former manager Lyor Cohen is now the Head of Music at Youtube. Travis Scott hired the company in 2014 for a 3 year contract. Scott claims the company did not do its job and he quickly ended the relationship and replaced them. Lyor Cohen claims to have not been paid in two years. Lyor Cohen was entitled to 15% of Scott’s earnings. They are suing to get full payment and a verified account of Scott’s earnings since October of 2014. If you have a breach of contract dispute, contact Thomas E. Patterson or Patterson Law Firm at or (312)-223-1699.   

Urban Outfitters Found Liable for Willful Trademark Infringement

Urban Outfitters leases copyrighted fabrics from Unicolors. Unicolors is a fabric company that creates their own designs. Unicolors copyrights their designs to “protect its investment and maintain a competitive advantage in its artwork.” Urban Outfitters designers and artists make up to 5000 designs a year. When Urban Outfitters was sued by Unicolors, the District Court in the Central District of California decided on a motion for summary judgment. Urban Outfitters infringed on Unicolors’ copyright. Urban Outfitters willfully ignored the opportunity to lease the print. If you have a trademark infringement claim, contact Thomas E. Patterson or the Patterson Law Firm at or (312)-223-1699. For other copyright infringement stories check the sidebar of the blog. 

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