NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 15 affirmed a lower court's denial of a request made by the franchisor of Subway restaurants to arbitrate a putative class action concerning violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) because an agreement to arbitrate does not exist between the parties under New York law (Luis Arnaud v. Doctor's Associates, Inc., No. 19-3057, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 29504).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a long-running dispute over copyright infringement and software licensing between a British and an American company, the American firm on Sept. 16 filed a motion in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking a 60-day extension of its deadline to respond to a petition for certiorari concerning the authority of U.S. courts to enforce monetary judgments against foreign companies under the All Writs Act (AWA) (World Programming Limited v. SAS Institute Inc., No. 20-304, U.S. Sup.).
LAS VEGAS — In a 94-page order issued Sept. 14, a federal judge in Nevada — in response to seven separate motions for partial summary judgment — ruled in favor of software maker and copyright infringement counterclaimant Oracle Corp., rejecting various defenses raised by a plaintiff seeking a declaration of noninfringement (Rimini Street Inc. v. Oracle Corp., No. 14-1699, D. Nev., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168222).
By Hiram Kuykendall
PORT HURON, Mich. — Partly denying a motion to dismiss by a web hosting company, a Michigan federal judge on Sept. 9 found that one of its clients sufficiently alleged a breach of contract claim related to a ransomware attack that destroyed much of its hosted data (Grifo & Company PLLC v. Cloud X Partners Holdings LLC, No. 3:20-cv-10858, E.D. Mich., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164314).
NEW YORK — The context, alteration and use of a photograph of actor Jon Hamm by the website HuffPost constituted fair use, a New York federal judge ruled Sept. 10, dismissing a photographer's copyright complaint against HuffPost owner Oath Inc. (Lawrence Schwartzwald v. Oath Inc., No. 19-9938, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165641).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 9 concluded that two former employees' purported misuse of proprietary information obtained via their company-issued devices did not constitute a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) because they were authorized to access those devices, affirming a lower court's dismissal ruling (Royal Truck & Trailer Sales and Service Inc. v. Mike Kraft, et al., No. 19-1235, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 28508).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Sept. 10 and 11, amicus curiae briefs were filed in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Facebook Inc. by parties such as the Home Depot Inc., Credit Union National Association Inc. (CUNA), public interest groups and trade associations, with most arguing that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals applied too broad of a definition to "automatic telephone dialing system" (ATDS) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) in a lawsuit where the social network is accused of violating the statute by sending unwanted text messages (Facebook Inc. v. Noah Duguid, et al., No. 19-511, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Sept. 11 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of Google LLC in a putative class action lawsuit alleging that Google's subscription data storage plan violated California's automatic renewal law, finding that the law's unconditional gift provision does not confer standing for a claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Eric Mayron v. Google LLC, No. H044592, Calif. App., 6th Dist., 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 864).
LOS ANGELES — Because a blind man's claims against it under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are based on the purported inaccessibility of its website and mobile app, Domino's Pizza LLC on Aug. 31 asked a California federal court to compel the plaintiff to produce any devices he may have used, along with responses and answers to interrogatories about his attempts to access the site and app (Guillermo Robles v. Domino's Pizza LLC, No. 2:16-cv-06599, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Pennsylvania school district on Aug. 28 filed a petition for certiorari, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve a circuit split over whether, under Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, schools are permitted to discipline students for disruptive speech that happens off campus, notably online speech (Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., No. 20-255, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Digital Justice Foundation (DJF) each filed amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 3, arguing that a police officer's for-profit search of a law enforcement database violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) because he exceeded his access privileges to sensitive information (Nathan Van Buren v. United States, No. 19-783, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Sept. 2 holding, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found no reversible error in two final written decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that resulted in the confirmation that some claims of a Blackberry Ltd. patent are valid while others are not (Google LLC v. Blackberry Ltd., No. 19-1568, Fed. Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 27973).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Sept. 3 denied a video game company's motion to dismiss a minor's claims for declaratory relief, negligent misrepresentation and violation of all three prongs of California's unfair competition law (UCL), finding that the plaintiff states a plausible claim that the company's alleged conduct of luring minors to spend a lot of money on in-App Fortnite purchases without their parents' consent is "immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous, or substantially injurious to consumers" (C.W., et al. v. Epic Games, Inc., No. 19-03629, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162490).
SEATTLE — The attorney general of the state of Washington in an Aug. 13 lawsuit asks the state's King County Superior Court to impose civil penalties on a California e-liquids retailer that allegedly sold vape products online to customers in Washington state without a license and without verifying customers' ages as required by state law (Washington v. E-Juice Vapor, Inc., No. 20-2-12563-6, Wash. Sup., King Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — In an opinion and separate memorandum disposition both issued Aug. 20, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals partly upheld a grant of summary judgment in favor of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE), accused of copyright infringement and unfair competition in connection with its software patch and technical support for Oracle America Inc.'s "Solaris" software (Oracle America Inc. v. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, No. 19-15506, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 26457, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 26508).
SAN FRANCISCO — A man who used Google LLC's AdWords program sufficiently established standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution for his false advertising and unfair competition claims based on Google's purported misrepresentations about accounting for "click fraud," a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 1, reversing and remanding a trial court's dismissal of his putative class complaint (Gurminder Singh v. Google LLC, No. 18-17035, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 27834).
NEW YORK — Musician Edmond Grant, professionally known as Eddy Grant, sued President Donald J. Trump and his campaign in New York federal court on Sept. 1, claiming that the president's recent use of his 1983 hit song "Electric Avenue" in a campaign video that was posted on his Twitter account constituted copyright infringement (Edmond Grant, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 20-7103, S.D. N.Y.).
CINCINNATI — In an Aug. 21 ruling, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals left intact a final judgment that copyrighted database-script source code was infringed by Carrier Corp. in its effort to develop heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) testing software (ECIMOS LLC v. Carrier Corporation, Nos. 19-5436, -5519, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 26722).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an Aug. 28 surreply, Facebook Inc. asks a District of Columbia federal court to deny an application by the Republic of the Gambia for subpoenas for documents to be used in an International Court of Justice (ICJ) proceeding over purported genocide offenses by the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, arguing that the requested subpoena would violate the Stored Communications Act (SCA) (In re: Application Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782 [The Republic of the Gambia v. Facebook Inc.], No. 20-mc-36, D. D.C.).