Appellant filed suit against the Republic of Cuba and others in Florida state court, alleging that appellees tortured appellant and that appellant continues to suffer the consequences of the torture. Appellant was incarcerated in Cuba in the 1960s and 1970s, and endured unlawful incarceration and torture committed by the Cuban government and its codefendants. Appellant obtained a default judgment in state court and now seeks to execute that judgment on patents and trademarks held or managed by appellees in this action, who are allegedly agents and instrumentalities of Cuba. The court affirmed the district court's denial of appellant's request because the Florida state court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to grant the default judgment. View "Jerez v. Republic of Cuba" on Justia Law
Justia U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries
Plaintiffs are the writer and publisher of a book entitled "Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to Be President." A journalist published an article on Esquire's Political Blog entitled "BREAKING: Jerome Corsi's Birther Book Pulled from Shelves!" Soon after the blog was published, Esquire published an update on the blog stating that "for those who didn't figure it out," the article was "satire." Plaintiffs filed suit against Esquire for, inter alia, violation of the D.C. Anti-Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (Anti-SLAPP) Act, D.C. Code 16-5501 et seq., and the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1125(a)(1)(A) and (B). The court held that the complaint was properly dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim because the blog post was fully protected political satire and the update and the journalist's statements were protected opinion. Further, the complaint failed to state a claim for violation of the Lanham Act. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint. View "Farah, et al. v. Esquire Magazine, et al." on Justia Law
Bell appealed the vacatur of a default judgment as void in connection with the manufacture and marketing by Iran of a helicopter that resembled Bell's Jet Ranger 206 in appearance. The court concluded that Bell's interpretation of Rule 60(b)(4) was contrary to the court's precedent, as well as that of almost every other circuit court of appeals, all of which rejected a time limit that would bar Rule 60(b)(4) motions; because Iran never appeared in the district court proceeding resulting in the default judgment, the district court properly applied the traditional definition of voidness in granting Iran's Rule 60(b)(4) motion; and because Bell's evidence regarding the effect in the United States of Iran's commercial activities abroad was either too remote and attenuated to satisfy the direct effect requirement of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), 28 U.S.C. 1605(a)(2), or too speculative to be considered an effect at all, the district court did not err in ruling the commercial activity exception in the FSIA did not apply. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., et al. v. Islamic Republic of Iran, et al." on Justia Law
Two businesses with nearly identical names, John C. Flood, Inc. ("1996 Flood") and John C. Flood of Virginia, Inc. ("Virginia Flood"), brought suit against each other over which company had the right to use two trademarks: JOHN C. FLOOD and its abridged form FLOOD. At issue was whether the district court erred in concluding that 1996 Flood was the proper owner of the two trademarks and that Virginia Flood, as the licensee of the marks, was estopped from challenging 1996 Flood's ownership. The court affirmed the district court's order granting 1996 Flood's motion for partial summary judgment and held that 1996 Flood was the proper successor-in-interest to John C. Flood, Inc. ("1984 Flood"), and that Virginia Flood was barred by the doctrine of licensee estoppel from challenging 1996 Flood's ownership of those marks. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment but remanded the case back to the district court for clarification regarding whether Virginia Flood's use of the mark JOHN C. FLOOD OF VIRGINIA was prohibited by the court's decision.