Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

May 7, 2015

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupThis week some highlights from the Westlaw Journal blog include a story about an oil drilling company and a patent dispute between oil drilling equipment, plus a product liability suit about a television tipping over:

Gas driller can’t challenge discovery order, Pennsylvania court says: A Pennsylvania appeals court has determined that oil and gas driller Range Resources cannot contest a trial court order directing it to produce proprietary information about other companies’ products used at a Range drilling site in the Marcellus Shale. On April 14, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that Range Resources does not have a sufficient interest in the information it is trying to protect from disclosure. Only the manufacturers of the products can assert such protection, the court said. (Environmental)

International law, patent law converge in oil drilling infringement suit: In a patent dispute between two manufacturers of oil drilling equipment, a Minnesota federal judge ruled Apr. 10 that U.S. patent law applies to patented technology used on U.S.-flagged ships in international waters. U.S. District Judge Ann D. Montgomery of the District of Minnesota said that based on legislative history and case law, the 1952 Patent Act’s protection of plaintiff M-I Drilling Fluids UK Ltd.’s drilling systems extends to the oil rigs that use them. The rigs are considered ships under maritime law. (Intellectual Property)

Judge keeps Japan-based Nissan in engine defect suit: On April 6, a California federal court says the Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. belongs in a class-action suit over 2004-2009 vehicles with allegedly defective engine-timing chains, rejecting the defendant’s argument that it had nothing to do with the vehicles’ manufacture. The company had argued that by “lumping” it together with Nissan North America Inc. and failing to distinguish between their separate design and manufacturing functions, the plaintiffs did not satisfy minimum pleading standards. (Automotive)

TV maker must face design, warning claims in toddler death suit: Philips Electronics North America must face design defect and failure-to-warn claims in a lawsuit filed by the parents of an Indiana toddler killed when a television tipped from a dresser and fell on him, a federal judge ruled Mar. 27. U.S. District Judge Theresa L. Springmann of the Northern District of Indiana said the parents of Mark Simmons Jr. offered sufficient preliminary evidence to pursue their claim that the 27-inch television had a design defect that posed an unreasonable risk of tipping over during foreseeable use. (Product Liability)