Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • December 13, 2019

    Default Entered Against Domino’s In Website ADA Accessibility Lawsuit

    LOS ANGELES — Two months after the U.S. Supreme Court denied Domino’s Pizza LLC’s petition for certiorari in an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit over the alleged inaccessibility of its website for visually impaired patrons, a California federal judge on Dec. 12 ordered that default be entered against the pizza chain on remand for its failure to respond to the plaintiff’s amended complaint (Guillermo Robles v. Domino’s Pizza LLC, No. 2:16-cv-06599, C.D. Calif.).

  • December 13, 2019

    Oracle Waives Response To Rimini’s Certiorari Petition Over Copyright Injunction

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nine months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against it in a dispute over an award of nontaxable costs in a long-running software copyright lawsuit, Oracle USA Inc. on Dec. 6 waived its right to respond to a new petition for certiorari filed by defendant Rimini Street Inc., this time over the propriety of a permanent injunction against an “innocent” infringer (Rimini Street Inc., et al. v. Oracle USA Inc., et al., No. 19-589, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 11, 2019

    Jury Finds Elon Musk’s ‘Pedo Guy’ Tweet Did Not Defame Caver

    LOS ANGELES — Inventor and businessman Elon Musk prevailed in a defamation lawsuit against him on Dec. 6, when a California federal jury found that his Twitter post calling a cave expert involved in the 2018 Thailand soccer team rescue a “pedo guy” did not constitute libel (Vernon Unsworth v. Elon Musk, No. 2:18-cv-08048, C.D. Calif.).

  • December 10, 2019

    Amazon Accuses DOD Of Bias, Bad Faith In Award Of Defense Tech Contract

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Dec. 9, Amazon Web Services Inc. filed a redacted version of a sealed complaint it originally filed against the United States, by and through the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), on Nov. 22 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, alleging that the department’s decision to award the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract to Microsoft Corp., rather than to Amazon, was based on a dislike for the company by President Donald J. Trump instead of on a proper evaluation of the qualifications and costs of the companies’ respective proposals (Amazon Web Services Inc. v. United States, No. 1:19-cv-1796, Fed. Clms.).

  • December 10, 2019

    4th Circuit:  Maryland Online Political Ad Statute Violates 1st Amendment

    RICHMOND, Va. — A recently passed Maryland law requiring the operators of online platforms to report and post certain information about political advertisers was described by a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel as “a compendium of traditional First Amendment infirmities,” as the panel on Dec. 6 affirmed a trial court’s finding that the statute crosses free speech bounds and merits a preliminary injunction sought by a coalition of online news site operators (The Washington Post, et al. v. David J. McManus Jr., et al., No. 19-1132, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 36245).

  • December 09, 2019

    $1.7M Fraud Loss Triggered Coverage Under Commercial Crime Policy, Majority Affirms

    ATLANTA — A majority of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 9 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that a commercial crime insurance policy is ambiguous and, as a result, the insurer owes coverage for the insured's $1,717,000 loss caused by computer and funds transfer fraud (Principle Solutions Group LLC v. Ironshore Indemnity Inc., No. 17-11703, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 36350).

  • December 09, 2019

    On Remand, Zillow Seeks Dismissal Of Real Estate Photo Copyright Suit

    SEATTLE — Two months after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a copyright infringement dispute over the use of photos by Zillow Inc. in its online real estate listings, Zillow, on remand, moved for judgment on the pleadings on Dec. 6, telling a Washington federal court that an intervening “landmark ruling” by the high court in Fourth Estate Pub. Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, 139 S. Ct. 881 (2019), mandates dismissal of a real estate photography firm’s claims against it because copyrights in the photos at issue were not registered before the suit was filed (VHT Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-01096, W.D. Wash.).

  • December 06, 2019

    FTC’s $60 Million Settlement Of AT&T Data-Throttling Lawsuit Approved

    SAN FRANCISCO — One month after the Federal Trade Commission and AT&T Mobility LLC revealed the details of their settlement of the commission’s lawsuit over the mobile carrier’s data-throttling practices, a California federal judge on Dec. 4 approved and signed the parties’ stipulated order memorializing a $60 million fine against AT&T, as well as injunctive relief (Federal Trade Commission v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 3:14-cv-04785, N.D. Calif.).

  • December 05, 2019

    Facebook Persuades Board To Review Blackberry Info Pushing Patent

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A Blackberry Ltd. patent claiming a system and method for pushing information to a handheld device will be subject to upcoming inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the board announced Dec. 4 (Facebook Inc., et al. v. Blackberry Ltd., No. IPR2019-00941, PTAB).

  • December 03, 2019

    Bitcoin Tech Firm Seeks Jurisdictional Discovery In Antitrust Suit

    MIAMI — A company involved in the bitcoin industry on Nov. 26 filed its opposition to a dismissal motion brought by two of the 12 defendants it alleges conspired to dominate the cryptocurrency market, telling a Florida federal court that jurisdictional discovery should be considered to counter the foreign defendants’ argument that the court lacks personal jurisdiction over them (United American Corp. v. Bitmain Inc., et al., No. 1:18-cv-25106, S.D. Fla.).

  • December 03, 2019

    Harvard Agrees To Provide Website Captioning In Deaf Group’s Accessibility Lawsuit

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — In a Nov. 27 motion to certify a settlement class and for preliminary approval of a settlement with Harvard University, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) tells a Massachusetts federal court that the university has agreed to provide prospective and on-demand captioning for online content that had prompted the present lawsuit alleging that Harvard’s website was not equally accessible to hearing-impaired people (National Association of the Deaf, et al. v. Harvard University, et al., No. 3:15-cv-30023, National Association of the Deaf, et al. v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, No. 3:15-cv-30024, D. Mass.).

  • December 02, 2019

    Judge Tosses Suit Alleging Google Unlawfully Restricted Conservative Group’s Content

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A California judge on Nov. 19 dismissed a conservative organization’s lawsuit asserting California unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims against YouTube LLC and its parent company Google Inc. in a lawsuit alleging that they unlawfully restricted the plaintiff’s content on YouTube (Prager University v. Google LLC, et al., No. 19-340667, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co., 2019 Cal. Super. LEXIS 2034).

  • November 26, 2019

    Alito Dissents In Cert Denial Of Climate Change Blog Posts 1st Amendment Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A petition for certiorari brought by National Review Inc. and other parties in a defamation lawsuit over blog postings critical of a climate change professor presented “questions that go to the very heart of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and freedom of the press,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said in a Nov. 25 dissent to his U.S. Supreme Court colleagues’ denial of the petition (National Review Inc., et al. v. Michael E. Mann, No. 18-1451 and 18-1477, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. LEXIS 7193).

  • November 26, 2019

    Copyright, Trade Secret Claims Against Facebook, Princeton Deemed Insufficient

    SAN FRANCISCO — Dismissal of state and federal trade secret law claims brought against Facebook and one of its affiliates and the trustees of Princeton University is warranted because a home design website developer has failed to sufficiently show that it took reasonable steps to protect secrecy of its data files, which were publicly available on the website, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 21 (UAB “Planner 5D” v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 19-3132, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203618).

  • November 25, 2019

    Plaintiffs In Bitcoin Dispute Request More Than $600,000 In Discovery Sanctions

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Three months after a Florida federal magistrate judge found that the defendant in a multibillion-dollar bitcoin ownership dispute had engaged in sanctionable discovery conduct, the plaintiffs on Nov. 20 submitted a motion for $658,581 in expenses and attorney fees that they claim to have incurred in conjunction with the discovery matters at issue (Ira Kleiman, et al. v. Craig Wright, No. 9:18-cv-80176, S.D. Fla.).

  • November 25, 2019

    Certiorari Denied In Suit Over Immunity, Liability For Gun-Selling Website

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 25 declined to take up a case in which a woman whose mother was shot by a gun procured online had raised a question about the extent to which the Communications Decency Act (CDA) provides immunity from liability to website operators (Yasmeen Daniel v. Armslist LLC, et al., No. 19-153, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. LEXIS 7206).

  • November 25, 2019

    In Win For Apple, Federal Circuit Tosses $503M Patent Award

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A judgment by a Texas federal judge that Apple infringed four patents was partly reversed Nov. 22 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, leading the court to vacate a jury’s $503 million reasonably royalty award on behalf of the patent owners (Apple Inc. v. VirnetX Inc., et al., No. 19-1050, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 34866).

  • November 22, 2019

    United States Asks Supreme Court To Hold Facebook’s TCPA Certiorari Petition

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Nov. 20 brief, the United States asks the U.S. Supreme Court to hold off on deciding whether to grant Facebook Inc.’s petition for certiorari in a case centering on the constitutionality an application of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), suggesting that another case currently on petition before the high court is a better vehicle to address the questions raised in Facebook’s petition (Facebook Inc. v. Noah Duguid, et al., No. 19-511, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 19, 2019

    Microsoft Defends Claim Construction In Brief Before Federal Circuit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Microsoft Corp. on Nov. 18 in a corrected appellee brief tells the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a Delaware federal magistrate judge did not err in construing an online translation patent’s requirement of “dialectal standardization” of one or more “content words” as requiring standardization between different dialects of the language in which the query was made (Improved Search LLC v. Microsoft Corp., No. 19-1961, Fed. Cir.).

  • November 18, 2019

    YouTube Critic Denied Certiorari In Malicious Copyright Infringement Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A woman who filed a malicious prosecution lawsuit against a church that she criticized in her YouTube channel was denied certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 18, leaving questions about the church’s motives for filing a copyright infringement suit and about purported misconduct by the trial court unaddressed by the high court (Shirley Jn Johnson v. New Destiny Christian Center Church Inc., et al., No. 19-279, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. LEXIS 7017).