Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • December 15, 2020

    Investor Claims In Twitter Stock-Drop Suit Fall Short Of Pleading Standards

    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).

  • December 10, 2020

    Labels Defend Jurisdiction Over Russian Stream-Ripping Site Owner To High Court

    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.).

  • December 10, 2020

    FTC, States File Suits Accusing Facebook Of Anti-Competitive Behavior

    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.).

  • December 09, 2020

    In Copyright Suit, Record Labels Accuse ISP Of Cherry-Picking Discovery

    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.).

  • December 09, 2020

    WeChat Users Claim Trump’s App Ban Was Motivated By Racial Animus

    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.).

  • December 09, 2020

    Judge Expands Injunction Halting Implementation Of Trump’s TikTok Ban

    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.).

  • December 07, 2020

    COMMENTARY: Accessible Overlay Tools – Realities And Myths

    By Hiram Kuykendall and Soheil Varamini

  • December 08, 2020

    Justices Focus On Grammar, Technology In TCPA Case Over Facebook Text Messages

    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.).

  • December 08, 2020

    Security Firm Granted Response Deadline Extension In False Advertising Lawsuit

    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.).

  • December 07, 2020

    Judge OKs Expert Testimony In Row Over Unauthorized Photos On Social Media

    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).

  • December 07, 2020

    State Farm Asks 9th Circuit To Rehear Whether Amazon Was ‘Seller’ Of Hoverboards

    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.).

  • December 05, 2020

    Data Center Company Loses Bid To Exclude Experts’ Testimony In Anti-Competition Row

    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).

  • December 04, 2020

    Magistrate Orders Clinic To Ask Employees, Contractors For Business Emails

    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.

  • December 01, 2020

    Google Defends Counsel’s Access To Third-Party Info In Monopolization Suit

    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.).

  • December 01, 2020

    Google Must Provide Emails To Be Used In British Litigation

    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).

  • November 30, 2020

    Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over When Computer Access Violates The CFAA

    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.).

  • November 30, 2020

    Federal Circuit Affirms Patent Board Prior Art Finding In Win For Twitter

    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).

  • November 30, 2020

    Instagram Opposes Injunction In Trademark Dispute With REELZ TV Network

    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.).

  • November 30, 2020

    Apple Accused By Patent Owner Of ‘Stonewalling,’ ‘Concealing’ Documents

    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.).

  • November 23, 2020

    Investor Sues Online Education Provider Over Coronavirus Misstatements

    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.).