Justices to hear cases on juice labeling, Argentine bonds, Internet patents

January 10

The Supreme Court announced Friday that it would hear eight new cases. Among them:

Juice labeling

The court is getting involved in a juicy dispute between POM Wonderful and the Coca-Cola Co. over a pomegranate- and blueberry-flavored drink made up almost entirely of apple and grape juices.

POM Wonderful sued Coke over the label on a drink marketed under Coke’s Minute Maid unit. Coke says Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored Blend of 5 Juices is a “1oo% juice product.” But POM says 99 percent of the juice is apple or grape and that the label is misleading.

The high court case involves the interplay of two federal laws involving trademarks and the regulation of nutrition information on product labels. Coke won in the San Francisco-based federal appeals court. The justices will review that ruling.

Argentine bonds

The court said it would take up part of a multibillion-dollar fight over defaulted Argentine bonds, agreeing to review a court order requiring two banks to turn over information about the country’s assets.

Argentina’s appeal in the case is separate from a higher-profile lawsuit that the country says threatens to force a new default. In the case accepted Friday, Argentina is seeking to block a court order enforcing subpoenas against Bank of America and state-owned Banco de la Nacion Argentina.

NML Capital Ltd., an affiliate of billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp., wants the information as it tries to collect $1.6 billion in judgments it won in U.S. court cases. Billionaire Kenneth Dart’s EM Ltd. is pressing similar claims, although it isn’t involved in the Supreme Court case.

Argentina says the order, issued by a federal trial judge in Manhattan, improperly demands information about assets held by the banks in non-U.S. accounts.

Internet patents

The court agreed to review a patent ruling that Google and Cisco Systems say threatens to open up information-technology companies to new infringement lawsuits.

The justices said they will hear an appeal by Limelight Networks, which is fighting a suit by Akamai Technologies and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology over Akamai’s patented method for redirecting requests for Internet content to ensure access during periods of high demand. The companies compete with one another in that field.

A federal appeals court said Akamai could sue Limelight even though no single company performed every aspect of the patented method. Akamai says Limelight takes all but one step and induces its customers to perform the final step.

— From news services

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