September 2017

FACT DISCOVERY

A periodic skim of intriguing news and numbers from the world of commercial litigation.


40 percent

of patent cases had been filed in the Eastern District of Texas until the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent TC Heartland decision redrew the map for these kinds of cases. Mark Schonfeld wrote in LAW360 that “the Supreme Court ruled that defendants in patent cases could be sued only where they are incorporated or where they have a regular or established place of business.” 

What about trademark cases, one of Global Business Experts Group’s specialties? Lex Machina, a legal analytics company, found that of the 10 top judicial districts in which trademark cases are brought, three districts have over 55 percent of cases:

  • Central District of California: 30 percent (music, film and fashion cases)
  • Southern District of New York: 15 percent (major brands and fashion cases)
  • Southern District of Florida: 12 percent (luxury brand cases)

Schonfeld explained that there is no statute that prescribes the venue for trademark cases and he argues that the TC Heartland decision and other recent IP-related decisions will likely have no impact on trademark case venues.

LEX MACHINA
 


$166


is how much one CVS customer paid for her co-pay of a prescription drug that would have cost only $92 had she paid directly without insurance.  CVS and Walgreens have been sued by California consumers accusing the stores of charging customers co-payments for prescription drugs that exceed the cash cost of those same drugs. The consumers using their insurance got charged the higher amount, the lawsuit claims, so that the benefits manager and pharmacy could reap higher profits. Had consumers known to pay directly and leave out the insurance altogether, they could have paid a lower price. This fact raises another question: why did the pharmacy benefits manager, the company that negotiates drug prices for insurance companies, negotiate a higher price and co-pay than consumers could get on their own, directly from the pharmacy?

BLOOMBERG


2 cents

was the amount a Chicago resident claims to have been overcharged in a lawsuit against McDonald’s over its application of the new one cent per ounce soda tax in Cook County. McDonald’s applied the normal sales tax to the total bill, which included the soda tax, resulting in a tax on the tax. Additionally, other suits have sprung up over the misapplication of the tax to non-sweetened drinks at both 7-Eleven and Walgreens. The lawsuits against 7-Eleven, McDonald's and Walgreens are all seeking class-action status.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE


20,000


Wells Fargo customers had their cars repossessed because they couldn’t afford car insurance that they didn’t want or need, but nonetheless were signed up for by the bank. Overall, more than half a million Wells Fargo customers were billed for the insurance. Three lawsuits are pending and there have been subpoenas for records and calls for hearings. This is just the latest scandal in a series for the bank. Last September it was announced that Wells Fargo had set up 2 million fake accounts. This September the bank disclosed that it had created not 2 million, but nearly 3.5 million fake accounts. The number two U.S. bank can’t seem to stop the reputational bleeding. In fact, some observers have suggested that the bank’s missteps could affect President Trump’s efforts to deregulate banks: opposition politicians point to Wells’ behavior as emblematic of why these regulations are needed.

US NEWS
THE MOTLEY FOOL