Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

May 22, 2013

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupThe new Westlaw Journals blog brings you litigation headlines in over 30 substantive areas of law.  Here are some highlights from the past week:


Supreme Court sides with Monsanto in seed patent case: In a victory for patent owner Monsanto Co., the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that farmers may not reproduce the company’s patented seeds by planting and harvesting them without the company’s permission. The unanimous decision construed the patent exhaustion doctrine, which eliminates the right of a patent holder to prohibit the use of his invention after an authorized sale. (Intellectual Property)

Employer doesn’t owe costs in ‘mixed motive’ case involving retaliation: The “fee-shifting” provision of federal civil rights law does not apply to retaliation claims in “mixed motive” suits, where an employer has shown that it had legitimate reasons for its allegedly discriminatory action against an employee, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. The fee-shifting provision, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(g)(2)(B)(i), of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 says an employer may have to pay litigation costs if the court finds both discriminatory and nondiscriminatory reasons — a mixed motive — for an action against an employee. (Employment)

Vanity Fair Brands wins dismissal of suit claiming bras caused breast cancer: Finding the case long on conclusory allegations but short on supporting evidence, an Illinois federal judge has dismissed a product liability lawsuit against Vanity Fair Brands by a woman who said wearing Vassarette bras caused her to develop breast cancer. U.S. District Judge Sharon J. Coleman of the Northern District of Illinois said that while she empathizes with Sheila Rose’s “quest to find a reason for her unfortunate medical situation,” the suit fails to state a viable claim for relief. (Products Liability)