“Whale Fall”Default Judgment Treatise

I usually don’t post on default judgment orders because there’s usually not a lot of meat on those bones. This order is different and more analogous to a “whale fall”, where a fallen whale carcass provides a sudden, concentrated food source for organisms in the deep sea. In this action alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Texas Debt Collection Act Judge Mazzant goes through the standards for default and whether they are met, including the requirement that there be a sufficient basis in the pleadings for the judgment. So there’s a substantive analysis in there of what both statutes require. As a bonus, the court goes on to award statutory damages ($600 for each of the two defendants), attorneys fees ($10,480), costs (402) and enter an injunction. So you get the law and application of the law to facts on these subjects as well in this 22 page opinion.

Motion to Exclude Damages Expert Granted

Magistrate Judge Lane granted the motion as to the plaintiff’s damages expert, applying the recently amended FRE 702, which requires that the proponent bear the burden of showing the expert testimony more likely than not complies with the rule. He concluded that the plaintiff’s expert was improperly using sales of products which were not accused of infringement as the royalty base to determine damages, rejecting the expert’s opinion, which relied on the premise that because the accused features allowed Microsoft to achieve more of a specific, albeit unaccused feature on a server, that the accused features could be valued based on the amount of a specified unaccused feature on the network.

More Tequila For Everybody!

“After a bench trial,” Judge Rosenthal wrote in this trademark case, “the court finds and concludes that both companies can continue to market their tequila products.” Many tequila brands —over fifty— have the words “Casa” or “Azul” in their name, and neither party ranked anywhere near the top of the market. “Importantly,” the Court observed, “the record shows no evidence that Clase Azul’s sales declined as a result of Casa Azul entering the tequila market.” As a result, the court found and concluded that “because of the dissimilarities between the two brands at issue, as well as other record evidence, the plaintiff fails to establish a likelihood of confusion, and fails to establish trademark infringement, unfair competition, or trademark dilution” and therefore the application for an injunction was denied.

Train Wreck Averted – Marshall Jury Returns Verdict in Damages Retrial

The Marshall jury in Judge Gilstrap’s court returned a verdict in the G+ v. Samsung case yesterday, awarding $61 million for the infringement of the first patent and $81 million for the second – the full amount requested. That’s up from the first trial, in which they awarded $67.5 million, but in a fashion that indicated to Judge Gilstrap that they were confused over the reasonable royalty v. lump sum question, which would lead to a train wreck trying to determine whether future damages should be awarded.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III Named 2024 Jurist of the Year by Tex-ABOTA

I am happy to report that the EDTX’ own Judge Amos Mazzant has been named as the recipient of Tex-ABOTA’s 2024 Jurist of the Year award. Judge Mazzant was nominated by the East Texas chapter, and while I mistakenly stated when presenting his nomination in Fort Worth Saturday that he was also nominated by the Dallas chapter, they corrected the record by stating (incorrectly) that they had “co-nominated” him. Whatever. The important thing is that Dallas supported him as well. Congratulations to Judge Mazzant!