Boston Business Litigation
   August 13, 2012
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Die Dulce Freure




"The law cannot be that a criminal is entitled to rely on the expected untrackability of his tools. Otherwise, dogs could not be used to track a fugitive if the fugitive did not know that the dog hounds had his scent. A getaway car could not be identified and followed based on the license plate number if the driver reasonably thought he had gotten away unseen. The recent nature of cell phone location technology does not change this.  If it did, then technology would help criminals but not the police."


- Opinion in United States v. Skinner, which held that the government could use GPS data from a cell phone to track a person suspected of running a drug trafficking operation 


New Litigation


Companies Dispute Ownership of Software Rights

GeoVantage, Inc. v. SimWright, Inc.


GeoVantage, Inc. is suing SimWright, Inc. for breach of contract and for a declaration that GeoVantage is the owner of certain intellectual property. GeoVantage develops digital aerial imaging technology used in detecting large-scale environmental changes and in road planning. GeoVantage's founders sold the company to John Deere Inc. in 2005, and then repurchased the company in 2007.  Deere hired SimWright as a subcontractor to develop hardware and software items to work with GeoVantage's GeoScanner software. SimWright is now asserting ownership of software deriving from the GeoScanner software, and is demanding that GeoVantage pay it a license fee.  According to the Complaint, however, a 2008 memorandum of understanding with SimWright confers on GeoVantage ownership of all intellectual property that SimWright developed under contract with Deere or GeoVantage.  Alleging that SimWright has also improperly claimed rights to other software that it developed at GeoVantage's direction, GeoVantage seeks a declaration that it is the owner of all the intellectual property at issue.


Class Action Filed Against Auto Insurer for Failure to Pay Post-Arbitration Award Interest

Kraft v. Plymouth Rock Assurance Corp.


Martin Kraft is bringing a class action on behalf of all persons who obtained an arbitration award from defendant Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation but were not paid post-award interest. Kraft claims that the failure to pay $98.63 in post-award interest on his arbitration award based on his underinsured motorist claim violates common law, and M.G.L. chapters 176D and 93A.



SEC Files Complaint Over Fraudulent Boiler Room Scheme to Sell Securities

Securities & Exch. Comm'n v. Laborio, et al.


The SEC has filed a complaint against Edward Laborio, Jonathan Fraiman, Matthew Lazar, and seven entities that Laborio controlled, alleging that they made material misrepresentations regarding the entities' revenues and financial projections in order to induce investors to purchase securities in a hedge fund that never actually conducted operations. Laborio allegedly created the offering documents by cutting and pasting portions of different offering memos that he found on the internet, and created scripts of misleading statements for his employees to use when soliciting investors.  For example, defendants represented  as that investors would make a 2-3x return on their money, when in fact the entities were losing money. According to the complaint, the defendants were able to raise approximately $5.7 million as a result of their scheme and, unfortunately for investors, no investor has ever received a dividend or been able to sell any shares that he or she had purchased.

News & Updates 


SJC Issues Ruling on "At-Issue" Waiver of Privilege

The SJC recently ruled in McCarthy v. Slade Associates, Inc., that the defendants seeking production of attorney-client privileged documents concerning when the plaintiff first discovered facts putting her on notice of a claim for statute of limitations purposes failed to establish entitlement to the documents under the doctrine of "at issue" waiver because they had not shown that the information they sought could not be discovered from any other source.   In McCarthy, the plaintiff sued alleging that the defendants had incorrectly determined that a parcel of land she purchased in 1990 abutted a certain other property, causing her harm, and the defendants sought production of documents from a separate Land Court action between the plaintiff and the persons from whom she had purchased the parcel of land. The SJC further ruled, however, that the defendants were entitled to certain "fact" work product documents from the Land Court action because they made a sufficient showing of need.  The Mass Lawyer's Weekly summary is available here (subscription required).



SJC Rules that OpenCourt Can Publish Recordings of Jury Trials

OpenCourt, a project of WBUR-FM, a National Public Radio station, streams live and maintains an archive of proceedings in Quincy District Court. The SJC recently denied the Norfolk County DA's petition to limit the streaming and publishing of recordings to any proceedings beyond the district court's first session, but ruled that the attorneys involved in the cases could move to turn off cameras in the courtroom for their particular cases. HatTip: The Docket (contains a link to the ruling).

Blog, Blog, Blog...   


At Issue & In Focus (Attorney General Martha Coakley)

No new posts

IP Update (Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP

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Letters Blogatory (Ted Folkman, Esq.)

8/20/12 - Editorial: Some Common Sense on the Belfast Project

8/17/12 - Chevron Moves to Dismiss in Yaiguaje

Massachusetts Law Updates (Massachusetts Trial Court Libraries
8/16/12 - New Guardianship Form and Procedure

Media Law Blog (Robert Ambrogi, Esq.)  

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Trademark & Copyright Law Blog (Foley Hoag     

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TTABlog (Lando & Anastasi, LLP)

8/20/12 - TTAB Affirms 2(d) Refusal: "MY BIG FAT GREEK WINE" Confusingly Similar to "MY BIG FAT GREEK RESTAURANT"

8/18/12 - Ron Coleman Comments on the TTAB's "BENNY GOODMAN" False Association Decision

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