United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING SUMMARY
JUDGMENT TO TEMPUS GLOBAL DATA, INC.
N. PARRISH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
matter comes before the court on a motion for summary
judgment filed by defendant Tempus Global Data, Inc.
(“Tempus”) on April 29, 2019. (ECF No. 860).
Plaintiff GeoMetWatch Corporation (“GeoMet”)
responded in opposition on May 20, 2019 (ECF No. 883), and
Tempus replied on June 10, 2019 (ECF No. 898). For the
reasons below, Tempus's motion for summary judgment is
action followed the collapse of an incipient joint venture
between GeoMet and Advanced Weather Systems Foundation
(“AWSF”) created for the purpose of constructing
and deploying a satellite-hosted weather sensor system and
commercially exploiting the data derived therefrom. The
operative complaint alleges that Tempus, and associated
individuals and entities, colluded with AWSF and others to
deprive GeoMet of the business opportunity it had
November 27, 2018, this court issued a memorandum decision
and order (the “Damages Order”) granting partial
summary judgment to Tempus on grounds that GeoMet's
damages theories were impermissibly speculative. (ECF No.
811). But the operative complaint also asserted three claims
unaffected by the Damages Order under which GeoMet sought
only nominal or statutory damages: a Utah Truth in
Advertising Act claim, a Utah Unfair Practices Act claim, and
a federal false advertising claim under the Lanham Act.
Tempus now seeks summary judgment on those claims.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
judgment is appropriate when “there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The
movant bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence
of a genuine dispute of material fact. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the movant has
met this burden, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party to
“set forth specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986) (citation
omitted). To do so, the nonmoving party “must do more
than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to
the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986).
the nonmoving party bears the burden of proof at trial on a
dispositive issue, that party must “go beyond the
pleadings” and designate specific facts so as to
“make a showing sufficient to establish the existence
of an essential element to that party's case.”
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. “[T]here is no issue
for trial unless there is sufficient evidence favoring the
nonmoving party for a jury to return a verdict for that
party.” Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at 249.
On summary judgment, “courts are required to view the
facts and draw reasonable inferences” in the light most
favorable to the non-movant. Scott v. Harris, 550
U.S. 372, 378 (2007).
does not oppose summary judgment on its Utah Truth in
Advertising Act and Utah Unfair Practices Act claims. Thus,
Tempus is entitled to summary judgment on those state law
claims. That leaves for resolution only Tempus's motion
for summary judgment on GeoMet's Lanham Act claim.
prevail on a Lanham Act false advertising claim, GeoMet must
(1) that [Tempus] made material false or misleading
representations of fact in connection with the commercial
advertising or promotion of its product; (2) in commerce; (3)
that are either likely to cause confusion or mistake as to
(a) origin, association or approval of the product with or by
another, or (b) the characteristics of the goods or services;
and (4) injure the plaintiff.
Digital Ally, Inc. v. Util. Assocs., Inc., 882 F.3d
974, 978 (10th Cir. 2018); see 15 U.S.C. §
1125(a). Tempus asserts that GeoMet cannot adduce evidence to
establish the first, third, and fourth elements. In response,
GeoMet points to several emails, a website screenshot, and
the deposition testimony of Dr. David Crain-an owner and
founder of GeoMet-to argue that factual disputes preclude
summary judgment. The court considers each alleged false
The January 14, 2014 Email
January 14, 2014, in response to a query from a business
development representative of a prominent American defense
contractor about whether Tempus would be “assum[ing]
the role of [GeoMet]” in the STORM project, Alan Hall
(an owner of Tempus) stated that “yes we are replacing
the roles and duties of [GeoMet]. We will own and manage the
relationships of all entities in the consortium. We will pay
for and own the sensors and the data generated from them. We
are building a business that will sell said data products on
a globally [sic] basis.” Mr. Hall's ...