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Action by Nigerian Oil Platform Protesters, and Copyright and Criminal Matters

By FindLaw Staff on September 13, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In US v. Espinoza-Morales, No. 09-50267, the court vacated defendant's sentence for attempted reentry following deportation, holding that neither defendant's prior conviction for sexual battery under California Penal Code section 243.4(a) nor his conviction for penetration with a foreign object under California Penal Code section 289(a)(1) constituted a crime of violence warranting the U.S.S.G. section 2L1.2(b)(1)(A)(ii) enhancement.

In Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc., No. 09-35969, a declaratory judgment action against Autodesk, Inc. to establish that plaintiff's resales of Autodesk, Inc.'s AutoCAD Release 14 software did not infringe Autodesk's copyright, the court reversed summary judgment for plaintiff where, because plaintiff did not purchase the Release 14 copies from an owner, he could not invoke the first sale doctrine, and he also could not assert an essential step defense on behalf of his customers.

In US v. Bennett, No. 06-50580, the court vacated defendant's bank fraud conviction, holding that, given that the government did not argue that defendant defrauded a financial institution, and that no rational juror could find beyond a reasonable doubt that the funds at issue were "owned by, or under the custody or control of" a financial institution in the circumstances presented here, defendant's conviction must be vacated.

In Bowoto v. Chevron Corp., No. 09-15641, an action by protesters injured on defendant's oil platform in Nigeria, the court affirmed judgment for defendant where 1) the federal Death on the High Seas Act preempted wrongful death and survival claims brought under the Alien Tort Statute; and 2) corporations could not be found liable under the Torture Victim Protection Act.

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