Justia Antitrust & Trade Regulation Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio
Hanneman Family Funeral Home & Crematorium v. Orians
The Supreme Court affirmed the opinion of the court of appeals affirming the decision of the trial court to grant summary judgment in favor of Defendants in this complaint alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference with business contacts, tortious interference with business relationships, and conversion, holding that there was no error.Plaintiff, Hanneman Family Funeral Home and Crematorium, purchased a funeral home but did not retain the funeral home's director, Patrick Orians. Orians accepted employment at another funeral home, Chiles-Laman Funeral & Cremation Services, and used Plaintiff's customer information to solicit business for Chiles-Laman. Plaintiff sued Orians and Chiles-Laman (collectively, Defendants). The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of Defendants, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the information at issue was not protected by the Ohio Uniform Trade Secrets Act as a trade secret; and (2) Plaintiff's tort claims were preempted by the Ohio Uniform Trade Secrets Act. View "Hanneman Family Funeral Home & Crematorium v. Orians" on Justia Law
City of Maple Heights v. Netlix, Inc.
The Supreme Court held that Netflix Inc. and Hulu, LLC (together, Defendants) were not video-service providers under the Fair Competition in Cable Operations Act, Ohio Rev. Code 1332.21 (the Act) and that the Act did not expressly or impliedly give the City of Maple Heights the authority to bring a cause of action such as the one at issue in this case.The City of Maple Heights filed a federal class action and declaratory judgment lawsuit against Netflix and Hulu in federal court asserting that Defendants were in violation of the Act. Defendants moved separately to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that their streaming services did not fall within the Act. The federal court certified two state-law questions for Supreme Court review. The Court answered (1) Netflix and Hulu were not service providers under Ohio law; and (2) the Act did not grant Maple Heights either an express or an implied right to bring an action against Defendants to enforce Ohio's video service provider provisions. View "City of Maple Heights v. Netlix, Inc." on Justia Law
Wooster Floral & Gifts, LLC v. Green Thumb Floral & Garden Center, Inc.
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the trial court's judgment concluding that Green Thumb did not violate Ohio's Deceptive Trade Practices Act, holding that Wooster Floral & Gifts, LLC failed to demonstrate that Green Thumb Floral & Garden Center, Inc.'s use of the domain name www.woosterfloral.com caused a likelihood of confusion as to the source of goods sold on the website.Green Thumb owned the domain name www.woosterfloral.com. Wooster Floral & Gifts, a competing flower shop, brought this lawsuit under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act seeking to block Green Thumb from using the address. The trial court ruled in favor of Green Thumb, finding that Green Thumb's use of the domain name was unlikely to cause confusion as to the source of goods or services because the home page was clearly identified as "Green Thumb Floral" and there was no use of the trade name "Wooster Floral" within the website. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, under both federal precedent and the plain terms of the Ohio statute, a consumer landing on Green Thumb's website was unlikely to be confused about the entity that would be fulfilling the consumer's order. View "Wooster Floral & Gifts, LLC v. Green Thumb Floral & Garden Center, Inc." on Justia Law