Court partly admits the consumer survey research and damages findings presented by the defense experts in trademark infringement suit

In this trademark infringement case over the RED GOLD mark, the court ruled on motions to exclude expert testimony. The Plaintiff, Solid 21, sought to exclude survey findings by the Defendants’ expert Mark Keegan regarding whether consumers identified “red gold” as a brand in ads. The Court denied this motion, finding Keegan qualified and his survey relevant to fair use. However, the court partially granted Solid 21’s motion to exclude testimony by another defense expert, Kennedy. Kennedy improperly relied on Keegan’s brand awareness survey to estimate consumer preferences for apportioning profits. The court found this unreliable since brand awareness and purchasing motivations are distinct. The Court also barred Kennedy from summarizing the court’s prior fair use rulings. Overall, the Court allowed testimony by Keegan that his survey measured brand awareness, relevant to fair use. But it excluded Kennedy’s attempts to use Keegan’s survey to show consumer motivations driving sales, finding he misapplied the data. The Court also prevented Kennedy from offering legal opinions on fair use standards. This demonstrates the importance of experts reliably applying methodologies to fit the purpose for their testimony.

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California Court admits the testimony of film and television industry experts in copyright infringement action 

Plaintiffs allege certain episodes of Defendants’ shows Prank Encounters and Double Cross infringe episodes of Plaintiffs’ show Scare Tactics. The court denies Defendants’ motion for summary judgment, finding genuine disputes remain regarding substantial similarity and damages. The court also largely denies motions to exclude expert testimony on similarity and damages, ruling that flawed assumptions and questionable methodologies are issues for cross-examination, not grounds for wholesale exclusion. Disagreements with experts’ opinions will go to the weight of their testimony, not admissibility. Thus the case will proceed toward a jury decision.

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Court admits royalty analysis on a convoyed sales approach, denied motion to exclude in Patent Infringement case

In this patent infringement lawsuit, the Court addressed Defendant’s motion to exclude Plaintiff’s damages expert under Daubert and Rule 702. The Defendant argued the expert improperly inflated the value of the patented inventions by including non-infringing products and features in his royalty calculations. However, the Court upheld the expert’s methodology. It found the expert permissibly based his royalty analysis on a convoyed sales approach, including revenue from non-patented maintenance packages that were functionally linked to the accused software. The Court explained convoyed sales principles allow tying non-patented items to patented ones when a close functional relationship exists, without meeting the same stringent standards as the entire market value rule urged by defendant. The Court also affirmed the expert’s apportionment methodology as sufficiently reliable and rejected arguments he failed to account for prior art. It emphasized alleged flaws in an expert’s methodology are better handled by cross-examination rather than exclusion.

The key focus is on summarizing the court’s decision to allow the expert’s testimony over Defendant’s Daubert challenge. The excerpt highlights the court’s findings that the expert reliably applied accepted damages principles and Defendant’s disputes could be addressed through cross-examination at trial.

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