OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Dec. 12 ruled that lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against social media platform Twitter Inc. and two of its senior executives failed to plead any materially false or misleading statements in alleging that the defendants misrepresented that improvements made to the company’s mobile application promotion (MAP) advertising product would generate more revenue for the company in violation of federal securities laws (In re Twitter Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 19-7149, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 232586).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Russian man who operates two stream-ripping websites was well aware of his many users in Virginia and, therefore, purposefully availed himself of jurisdiction in the state, a group of record labels tell the U.S. Supreme Court in a Dec. 8 brief opposing his petition for certiorari, calling a jurisdictional ruling against him in a copyright infringement suit “unremarkable” and not worthy of high court review (Tofig Kurbanov v. UMG Recordings Inc., et al., No. 20-503, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a pair of complaints filed Dec. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Federal Trade Commission and a coalition of U.S. states bring claims for monopolization and anti-competitive behavior against Facebook Inc., claiming that the company has actively worked to maintain its stranglehold on the social network market by acquiring potential competitors and enacting restrictive policies that stifle other firms from gaining a foothold that would allow them to attract sufficient users to become competitive (Federal Trade Commission v. Facebook Inc., No. NA, D. D.C., and New York, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. NA, D. D.C.).
DENVER — A motion by Charter Communications Inc. to shield certain documents from discovery as privileged under Federal Rule of Evidence 502(d) while permitting others to be disclosed to the record labels suing it for vicarious copyright infringement may have “a patina of reasonable compromise,” the labels say in a Nov. 25 motion in Colorado federal court, suggesting that the motion is actually an improper ploy to cherry-pick the documents over which the internet service provider (ISP) seeks to maintain privilege despite having waived any such privilege (Warner Records Inc., et al. v. Charter Communications Inc., No. 19-874, D. Colo.).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a second amended complaint (SAC) filed Dec. 7 in California federal court, a group of users of the WeChat social media app claim that President Donald J. Trump’s recent executive order restricting use of the app under the guise of national security threats was pretextual, suggesting instead that it was motivated by “racial animus against persons of Chinese descent for political gain” (U.S. WeChat Users Alliance, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 20-5910, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than two months after a District of Columbia federal judge preliminarily enjoined one of five prohibitions ordered by the secretary of Commerce to enforce President Donald J. Trump’s ban of TikTok Inc.’s social media app, the judge on Dec. 7 granted TikTok’s motion to enjoin the remaining prohibitions, finding that the company established that it was likely to succeed on its claims against the government and that it would suffer irreparable harm (TikTok Inc., et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 20-2658, D. D.C.).
By Hiram Kuykendall and Soheil Varamini
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In oral arguments Dec. 8, the U.S. Supreme Court questioned the grammar and construction, as well as the relevance of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), as Facebook Inc., the U.S. government and a cell phone owner debated the proper definition of the term “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS) within the statute (Facebook Inc. v. Noah Duguid, et al., No. 19-511, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Citing the pending holidays “and other disruptions resulting from tightening COVID-19 restrictions,” a California federal judge on Dec. 7 granted software security firm Malwarebytes Inc. an extension on its deadline to respond to a newly filed second amended complaint (SAC) in a false advertising lawsuit brought by a competitor that says the defendant’s anti-malware software intentionally targeted its programs (Enigma Software Group USA LLC v. Malwarebytes Inc., No. 17-2915, N.D. Calif.).
PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on Dec. 3 denied three motions to strike expert testimony in a dispute involving seven women who claim that a nightclub used their images without consent on its social media accounts (Dessie Mitcheson, et al. v. El Antro LLC, No. 19-01598, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 226473).
SAN FRANCISCO — A recent divided ruling that found Amazon.com Inc. to not be the “seller” of fire-causing defective hoverboards conflicts with Arizona law and consumer protection principles, State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Dec. 1 petition for rehearing en banc (State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. Amazon.com, Inc., et al., No. 19-17149, 9th Cir.).
LAS VEGAS — In five orders released on Nov. 18, a Nevada federal judge largely denied efforts by a failed colocation data center to exclude a competitor’s expert witnesses in a dispute over whether the competitor unfairly squeezed the fledgling company out of the market space (V5 Technologies LLC, d/b/a Cobalt Data Centers v. Switch Ltd., No. 17-02349, D. Nev., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 216848).
DETROIT — A federal magistrate judge in Michigan on Dec. 2 granted in part a motion to compel filed by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., by ordering a clinic accused of submitting bills for medically unnecessary treatments to formally ask its current employees and contractors to search their emails for business records that are responsive to the requests for production and allowing the insurer to subpoena Google for metadata from three email accounts associated with the clinic’s employees.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Google LLC insists that in-house counsel should be granted access to sensitive documents that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) collected from third-party competitors and customers during its investigation of monopolization claims against it, telling a District of Columbia federal court in a Nov. 25 brief that the designated attorneys would be subject to “severe sanctions” if they disclose any confidential information in violation of a protective order (United States, et al. v. Google LLC, No. 20-3010, D. D.C.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal magistrate judge on Nov. 24 denied a motion by Google LLC to quash a subpoena requiring it to produce information about and the contents of two email accounts for use in a foreign legal proceeding, finding that the requested production would not run afoul of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) (In re ex parte application of Tatiana Akhmedova, No. 20-mc-80156, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 220725).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Attorneys for a former police officer and the U.S. government presented arguments Nov.30 before the U.S. Supreme Court about whether the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act criminalizes the access of a protected computer by an individual with authorized access if the information obtained is then used for purposes that exceed his authorization (Nathan Van Buren v. United States, No. 19-783, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Nov. 25 ruling, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found no error in a determination by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a book first published in 2011 qualifies as a printed publication for purposes of serving as relevant prior art in an inter partes review (IPR) (VidStream LLC v. Twitter Inc., Nos. 2019-1734, -1735, Fed. Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 37201).
MINNEAPOLIS — Instagram LLC in a Nov. 20 brief asked a Minnesota federal court to deny a television network operator’s motion for a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit where the social network provider is alleged to have infringed the channel’s “REELZ” trademark with the recent launch of its “Reels” app (Hubbard Media Group LLC, et al. v. Instagram LLC, et al., No. 20-1750, D. Minn.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a nonconfidential, redacted reply brief filed Nov. 16 with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a patent owner said a recent brief by Apple Inc. that urges the court to uphold a stipulation of noninfringement makes clear that a California federal judge abused his discretion when he denied a motion to amend the underlying infringement contentions (DSS Technology Management Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 20-1570, Fed. Cir.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A technology-based education company that operates virtual learning systems and two of its senior executives violated federal securities laws by misrepresenting to investors that the company was technologically equipped to handle an influx of business stemming from the nationwide closure of in-class instruction in response to the global novel coronavirus pandemic, an investor alleges in a Nov. 19 securities class complaint filed in Virginia federal court (Yun Chau Lee v. K12 Inc., et al., No. 20-1419, E.D. Va.).