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Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • July 31, 2019

    DOJ To 9th Circuit:  Panel Wrongly Invalidated TCPA Provision In Facebook Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a July 29 petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), representing the U.S. government, says that a panel improperly found that a provision of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, when it could have avoided invalidating the statute in assessing whether a plaintiff properly alleged that Facebook Inc. sent texts in violation of the law (Noah Duguid v. Facebook Inc., No. 17-15320, 9th Cir.).

  • July 29, 2019

    Teen’s Suit Against Washington Post Over MAGA Viral Video Dismissed By Judge

    COVINGTON, Ky. — The Washington Post did not defame a Kentucky teenager who was the subject of a viral video of him wearing a MAGA hat confronting a Native American on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial because the statements the newspaper made in several stories and tweets about the incident contained only opinions from those who were there, a Kentucky federal judge held July 26 in dismissing the teen’s $250 million lawsuit (Nicholas Sandmann v. WP Company LLC, d/b/a The Washington Post, No. 2:19-cv-00019, E.D. Ky., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125275).

  • July 25, 2019

    Judge Issues Injunction To Stop Tennessee Law Aimed At Online Auctioneering

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A federal judge in Tennessee on July 23 enjoined enforcement of a Tennessee law regulating online auctioneering, concluding that the law “likely imposes a licensing requirement on any auctioneer who conducts online extended-time auctions,” in violation of state law (Will McLemore, et al. v. Roxana Gumucio, et al., No. 19-530. M.D. Tenn., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122525).

  • July 23, 2019

    Expert’s Methods To Fix Trade Secret Damages Proper, Judge Decides

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on July 19 declined to exclude opinions by an expert on damages in a trade secrets dispute between competing companies that operate online chat services after finding that the expert’s methods are reliable under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (LivePerson, Inc. v. [24]7.ai, Inc., No. 17-cv-01268, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121005).

  • July 23, 2019

    Indiana Federal Judge Dismisses DMCA Claim Over House Designs

    FORT WAYNE, Ind. — In a July 22 holding, a federal judge in Indiana rejected allegations that a defendant removed copyright management information (CMI) from protected house designs and found that despite “overwhelming evidence” of copying, it remains unclear whether the elements that were copied are entitled to copyright protection (Design Basics LLC v. Big C Lumber Co. Inc., No. 16-53, N.D. Ind., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121428).

  • July 22, 2019

    Federal Judge Cites Kessler Doctrine In Dismissing Patent Claims

    WILMINGTON, Del. — In a July 18 decision, a federal judge in Delaware agreed with Microsoft Corp. that it is entitled to dismissal of allegations of post-judgment infringement pursuant to Kessler v. Eldred, 206 U.S. 285 (1907) (ViaTech Technologies Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., No. 17-570, D. Del., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120260).

  • July 19, 2019

    Groupon Petition Relies On Hindsight, Patent Owner Tells Board

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a July 17 patent owner response, Kroy IP Holdings LLC urged the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to reject allegations by Groupon Inc. that a patent directed to systems and methods for generating incentive programs and fulfilling awards would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art (Groupon Inc. v. Kroy IP Holdings LLC, No. IPR2019-00044, PTAB).

  • July 17, 2019

    Instagram Defends California Jurisdiction Over Operators Of Fake ‘Likes’ Service

    SAN FRANCISCO — Opposing a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, Instagram LLC argues to a California federal court in a July 10 brief that the operators of a service that purportedly artificially inflates the “likes” and “followers” of its clients’ social media pages assented to jurisdiction in the state by agreeing to the Instagram terms of use (TOU) and, thus, its computer fraud and breach of contract claims should be permitted to proceed (Facebook Inc., et al. v. Arend Nollen, et al., No. 3:19-cv-02262, N.D. Calif.).

  • July 17, 2019

    Federal Circuit Affirms Section 101 Rejection Of Patent Application

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A rejection by an examiner, later upheld by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, of a method for providing product and service recommendations online was affirmed July 12 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In re: Greenstein, No. 19-1382, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 20674).

  • July 17, 2019

    9th Circuit Remands IPhone Antitrust Suit, Denies Motion To Reassign Judge

    SAN FRANCISCO — Two months after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed its ruling that a group of iPhone owners had standing to sue Apple Inc. for alleged antitrust violations related to the availability of apps only through Apple’s own App Store, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 16 issued an order remanding the case to the trial court for further proceedings (In re:  Apple iPhone Antitrust Litigation, No. 14-15000, 9th Cir.).

  • July 17, 2019

    6th Circuit Finds Amazon Not Liable For Hoverboard That Started House Fire

    CINCINNATI — The plaintiffs in a products liability suit failed to establish that Amazon.com Inc. was the seller of a hoverboard offered by a third-party seller in its online marketplace, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found July 5, mostly affirming judgment in the retailer’s favor in a lawsuit centering on a house fire caused by the hoverboard (Charles Brian Fox, et al. v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 18-5661, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 20043).

  • July 16, 2019

    U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Supports Domino’s Certiorari Petition In Website ADA Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (COC) on July 15 filed one of four amicus curiae briefs supporting Domino’s Pizza LLC’s petition for certiorari in a dispute over whether equal access principles of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) apply to websites, with the COC noting divisions among the court and lack of guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on the matter (Domino’s Pizza LLC v. Guillermo Robles, No. 18-1539, U.S. Sup.).

  • July 16, 2019

    Social Networking Newsfeed Patent Valid, Owner Tells Board

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a July 12 filing with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the owner of two patents relating to real-time newsfeeds and tickers in a social networking environment defends its technology as nonobvious (Facebook Inc. and Instagram LLC v. Search and Social Media Partners LLC, Nos. IPR2018-01620 and IPR2018-01622, PTAB).

  • July 16, 2019

    Deaf Man’s ADA Suit Over Gym’s Website Dismissed; Jurisdiction Discovery Denied

    NEW YORK — A deaf man suing a New Jersey-based fitness chain for website violations of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) failed to establish any connection to New York, a New York federal judge ruled July 12, dismissing the lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction (Philip Sullivan Jr. v. Jersey Strong Licensing LLC, No. 1:18-cv-07753, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116338).

  • July 15, 2019

    Panel: Board Applied Wrong Public Accessibility Standard To Prior Art

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. prevailed July 12 before the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in its appeal of a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that confirmed all challenged claims of a coding patent (Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. v. Infobridge PTE Ltd., Nos. 2018-2007, -2012, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 20678).

  • July 15, 2019

    After Verdict, Studios Seek Permanent Injunction Against VidAngel

    LOS ANGELES — Nearly a month after receiving a jury verdict in their favor, a group of movie studios moved for an injunction July 12, asking a California federal court to permanently enjoin VidAngel Inc. from engaging in any further infringement of their copyrighted works or circumvention of technological protection measures (TPMs) in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).

  • July 15, 2019

    Dallas Cop, Husband Defend Anti-Terrorism Claims Against Twitter, Facebook, Google

    DALLAS — Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google LLC each provided material support via their respective online platforms to the man who killed five people in a 2016 shooting of Dallas police, one of the surviving officers says in a July 12 brief in Texas federal court, opposing the internet companies’ motion to dismiss claims against them under the Antiterrorism Act (ATA) (Jesus Retana, et al. v. Twitter Inc., et al., No. 3:19-cv-00359, N.D. Texas).

  • July 12, 2019

    Indictment Against Software Developer For Trade Secret Theft Unsealed

    CHICAGO — In an indictment unsealed July 10, a federal grand jury in Illinois charged a Chicago-based locomotive manufacturer’s former software engineer with theft of trade secrets in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), in connection with his alleged theft of more than 3,000 electronic files containing the company’s proprietary and trade secret information (United States of America v. Xudong Yao, No. 17-cr-795, N.D. Ill.).

  • July 12, 2019

    PTO Tells Supreme Court Adding ‘.Com’ To Trademark Does Not Make It Protectable

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court was presented with a second petition for certiorari in a dispute over the registration of the trademark “Booking.com” on July 5, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) asked the high court to find that the addition of a top-level domain (TLD), such as “.com,” to an otherwise generic term, such as “Booking,” does not serve to make it nongeneric and protectable (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, et al. v. Booking.com B.V., No. 19-46, U.S. Sup.).

  • July 11, 2019

    Buzzfeed, Businessman Debate Fair Report Privilege In 11th Circuit Dossier Case

    ATLANTA — In reply briefs filed July 8 in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Buzzfeed Inc. and a man who was named in a 2017 article as a possible Russian hacking conspirator each offer arguments as to whether a trial court properly applied New York’s fair report privilege in finding that Buzzfeed was not guilty of defamation (Aleksej Gubarev, et al. v. Buzzfeed Inc., et al., No. 18-15295, 11th Cir.).