Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • August 13, 2019

    9th Circuit:  Driver’s Privacy, Computer Fraud Class Suit Against Sirius XM Fails

    PASADENA, Calif. — A car buyer failed to show that a satellite radio provider’s access to his contact information from the dealership where he purchased the car via his driver’s license and a form he filled out that resulted in letters and calls about continuing the service beyond a free trial period fell within the scope of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) or constituted a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 8 (James E. Andrews, et al. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc., et al., No. 18-55169, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23670).

  • August 12, 2019

    Victim’s Daughter To High Court: Website Should Be Liable For Illegal Gun Sale

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The daughter of a woman who was killed by a gun illegally obtained from an online firearms marketplace tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a July 29 petition for certiorari that the Wisconsin Supreme Court improperly found the website operator immune from negligence and wrongful death claims under the Communications Decency Act (CDA), arguing that the statute is meant to shield an interactive computer service provider from liability for another party’s online content, but not from liability for its own actions intended to facilitate illegal conduct (Yasmeen Daniel v. Armslist LLC, et al., No. 19-153, U.S. Sup.).

  • August 12, 2019

    Divided Panel Tells PTO To Terminate Apple Re-Examination Requests

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 1 partly vacated a decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) that Apple Inc. was not barred from pursuing its re-examination requests of two Virnet X Inc. patents, finding that Apple’s validity challenge is barred by estoppel (VirnetX Inc. v. Apple Inc., Nos. 2017-1591, -1592, -1593, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22912).

  • August 07, 2019

    Panel Finds Keyboard Shortcut Patents Valid, But Not Infringed

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 6 found that although a California federal judge did not err in finding two patents not infringed, a patent owner was entitled to judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) that one of the patents is not invalid (ATEN International Co. Ltd. v. Uniclass Technology Co., et al., No. 18-1606, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23432).

  • August 05, 2019

    9th Circuit Reverses Dismissal Of Copyright Claims Against Porn.com

    SAN FRANCISCO — In an Aug. 1 holding, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction by an Arizona federal judge of allegations of copyright infringement was in error because it was foreseeable to defendants in the case that their actions would cause economic harm in the United States (Hydentra HLP Int. Ltd., et al. v. Sagan Ltd., et al., No. 17-16637, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23041).

  • August 05, 2019

    Social Media, Cell Phone Info Must Be Provided In ‘Netflix N’ Chill’ Lawsuit

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A plaintiff suing her former school district for constitutional violations and discrimination related to a school newspaper comment must provide discovery related to her electronic communications and cell phone, a South Dakota federal magistrate judge ruled Aug. 1, granting the school district’s motion to compel but limiting the timeframe and establishing guidelines to protect private and privileged information (Addison Ludwig v. Elk Point-Jefferson School District 61-7, et al., No. 4:18-cv-04091, D. S.D., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128630).

  • August 05, 2019

    2nd Circuit Rules Facebook Cannot Be Held Liable For Aiding Terrorist Attacks

    NEW YORK — The family members of five terror attack victims cannot bring claims against Facebook Inc. under the Antiterrorism Act (ATA), a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority held July 31, because the Communications Decency Act (CDA) immunizes the social network from being treated as the speaker of content posted on its pages by members of terrorist groups (Stuart Force, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 18-397, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22698).

  • August 02, 2019

    BuzzFeed Tells 2nd Circuit Posting Of Photo Without Copyright Info Was Not Willful

    NEW YORK — Online news and entertainment publisher BuzzFeed Inc. argues in a June 21 appellant brief filed in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that its use of a copyrighted picture that did not include copyright management information (CMI) was not done willfully and, as such, did not constitute a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Gregory Mango v. BuzzFeed Inc., No. 19-0446, 2nd Cir.).

  • August 02, 2019

    Virginia Federal Judge: No Fair Use Defense To Copyright Claim

    ROANOKE, Va. — Finding “little, if any, transformative value” in the use by defendants of a copyrighted photograph online, a federal judge in Virginia on July 19 deemed the doctrine of fair use “inapplicable” to the photographer’s allegation of infringement (Allesandro Cancian v. Hannabass and Rowe Ltd., et al., No. 18-283, W.D. Va., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121112).

  • August 01, 2019

    Amazon Prevails Over Porn Company In ‘FyreTV’ Trademark Dispute

    MIAMI — Adopting a magistrate’s report and recommendation, a Florida federal judge on July 26 found that an online adult entertainment company failed to establish any likelihood of confusion between its “FyreTV” pornographic service and the “Fire TV” product offered by Amazon.com Inc., granting the internet retailer’s motion for summary judgment on the trademark infringement claims against it (Wreal, LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc., No. 1:14-cv-21385, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125890).

  • August 01, 2019

    VidAngel Calls Studios’ Requested Injunction Unfair, Unnecessary

    LOS ANGELES — Despite a jury verdict against it, online streaming service VidAngel Inc. tells a California federal court in a July 26 brief that a permanent injunction requested by the plaintiff movie studios in a copyright infringement lawsuit “is an unfair overreach” and a thinly veiled effort to eliminate a legal method of home-filtering of streamed content (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).

  • August 01, 2019

    6th Circuit Allows Some Claims Over Police Parody Facebook Page To Survive

    CINCINNATI — Two Parma, Ohio, police officers who claimed that qualified immunity protected them from civil rights claims brought by a man who created a Facebook page mocking their department will have to face some of the claims against them, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 29, finding that the plaintiff sufficiently alleged facts showing that his page constituted protected speech and that the officers’ arrest of him was retaliatory and without probable cause (Anthony Novak v. Parma, et al., No. 18-3373, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22398).

  • August 01, 2019

    Remand Denied In Class Suit Accusing Online College Of False Training, Job Promises

    LOS ANGELES — A class complaint accusing an online school of making false promises to students belongs in federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) because the defendants sufficiently showed that the amount in controversy is at least $5 million, a federal judge in California ruled July 18 (Teausha Moffett v. Recording Radio Film Connection, Inc., et al., No. 19-3319, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120247).

  • 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).