Federal Judge Sides With Activision TV, Farney Daniels Law Firm in Ongoing Patent Dispute with Nebraska Attorney General
OMAHA, Neb., Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal judge has ruled that Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning violated the constitutional rights of Activision TV by issuing a cease-and-desist order preventing the Farney Daniels law firm from representing the Florida-based technology company in intellectual property cases.
In his Sept. 30 ruling, Judge Joseph F. Bataillon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska affirmed Farney Daniels' ability to represent Activision TV in a patent infringement case filed against Lincoln-based Pinnacle Bank, and to represent the company in any other licensing and litigation activity. Georgetown, Texas-based Farney Daniels is one of the nation's top patent litigation firms.
The court's ruling found that the Nebraska Attorney General's broad-based order, issued on July 18, violated Activision TV's rights under both the U.S. Constitution and federal patent law.
"Activision's First Amendment rights are being violated, and it is questionable whether the Attorney General has the right to maintain the cease and desist order given the preemption in this area of the law," the ruling states.
"The court is deeply concerned about the ability of the Attorney General to issue cease and desist orders, prior to the conclusion of the investigation, prior to any negative findings, prior to any hearings, and prior to permitting submission of documents and evidence by the Farney Daniels law firm."
The court also found the Attorney General did not produce any evidence of wrongdoing by Activision TV or the Farney Daniels firm in sending letters to Nebraska companies notifying them of their infringement of Activision TV's patents. While the Attorney General's order attempted to stop this practice, the court concluded that allowing the Attorney General to interfere with the sending of such notice letters "might be harmful to the patent process."
The ruling follows a Sept.19 ruling by Judge Bataillon that barred enforcement of the cease-and desist order by the Nebraska Attorney General with respect to litigation-related activities, while the court considered the jurisdictional and constitutional aspects of the order with respect to licensing and patent notice activity.
Earlier this year Farney Daniels sent letters to five Nebraska companies, including Pinnacle Bank, asserting violations of Activision TV's patent rights regarding digital display technologies and offering a license. Farney Daniels subsequently filed suit for patent infringement against three of those companies, including the case against Pinnacle Bank. In subsequent filings and in the hearing, Activision TV's attorneys presented evidence that the Attorney General sought to exclude Farney Daniels from representing any clients in Nebraska without any basis, including targeting Activision TV's federal patent litigation against companies in other states.
"We are pleased that the court concluded in this order that the Attorney General of the State of Nebraska lacked evidence of any wrongdoing, and lacked any basis to interfere with federal patent matters," says attorney M. Brett Johnson of Farney Daniels. "The actions of our firm on behalf of every client are lawful, fair and fundamental to the enforcement of federal law."
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SOURCE Activision TV