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Week Ahead in Intellectual Property: June 21, 2021

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(Reuters) - Here are some upcoming events of interest to the intellectual property law community. Unless otherwise noted, all times are local, and court appearances are virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, June 21

9 a.m. - Jury selection will begin in a case brought by pro wrestler Booker T. Huffman against Activision Blizzard, alleging a character in its popular "Call of Duty" video game series infringes his copyright in a comic book character he created. Huffman sued Activision in 2019, alleging David "Prophet" Wilkes from "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" is a copy of his "G.I. Bro". U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder will preside.

The case is Huffman v. Activision Publishing Inc., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, No. 2:19-cv-00050. For Huffman: Patrick Zummo of the Law Offices of Patrick Zummo, Micah Dortch of Potts Law Firm. For Activision: Daralyn Durie and Andrew Esbenshade of Durie Tangri, Melissa Smith of Gillam & Smith, Leon Carter of Carter Arnett.

Tuesday, June 22

10 a.m. - The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear The One Technologies' argument to reinstate its claims in New York that Amazon sold counterfeit versions of its "EnergyPal" cell-phone charger though One Techs' product detail page. U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled his court in the Southern District of New York lacked jurisdiction, considering that Amazon is based in Washington State, none of the alleged conduct happened in the district, and Amazon's seller agreement with The One included an arbitration clause. One Techs argued on appeal that, among other things, Amazon sold the product in the district and the arbitration agreement doesn't cover the dispute.

The case is The One Technologies LLC v. Amazon.com Inc., 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 20-2200. For The One: Bradford Randolph of M. Bradford Randolph PLLC. For Amazon: Nathan Shafroth and David Watnick of Covington & Burling.

2:30 p.m. - The U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Intellectual Property will hold a hearing titled "Protecting Real Innovations by Improving Patent Quality." The scheduled witnesses are Bridget Asay of Stris & Maher, Julio Garceran, chief IP counsel of Cree Inc., Troy Lester, vice president of patents at Acushnet Co., and Professor Jorge Contreras of the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah.

Thursday, June 24

11 a.m. - U.S. District Judge William Alsup will hold a status conference in the patent dispute between Google and Sonos. Google sued Sonos in September for a declaratory judgment that it doesn't infringe five Sonos patents, as part of the companies' multi-front dispute over wireless audio patents.

The case is Google LLC v. Sonos Inc., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:20-cv-06754. For Google: Charles Verhoeven of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. For Sonos: Clement Roberts of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Friday, June 25

2 p.m. - The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in a dispute between music producer and entrepreneur Damon Dash and author Edwyna Brooks over their collaborative short film based on her book series "Mafietta." U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff ruled in 2020 that Dash infringed Brooks' copyrights and trademarks by distributing the film without her permission after their collaboration fell apart, awarding her $300,000. Dash argued on appeal that he directed and produced the film and was its "dominant author".

The case is Brooks v. Dash, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 20-1488. For Brooks: Christopher Brown of Brown & Rosen. For Dash: Natraj Bhushan of Turturro Law.

Know of an event that could be included in an upcoming Week Ahead in Intellectual Property? Contact Blake Brittain at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com

Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com

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