Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • November 13, 2020

    Advertising Analytics Firm Denied TRO In Computer Fraud Dispute With Facebook

    SAN FRANCISCO — Although a California federal judge found that an online advertising analytics firm “has shown a risk of irreparable harm” to its business after it was blocked from accessing Facebook Inc.’s platforms, he concluded, in a ruling that was unsealed Nov. 9, that the public interest was best served by denying the company’s motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to halt the social network operator’s blocking actions in light of privacy concerns from the harvesting of user information (Facebook Inc. v. BrandTotal Ltd., et al., No. 20-7182, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 210431).

  • November 12, 2020

    Federal Judge Dismisses Software Company’s UCL Claim Against Google

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Oct. 30 dismissed with prejudice a software development company’s claim that Google Inc. committed unfair and fraudulent conduct in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), finding that the plaintiff “fails to allege specific facts demonstrating significant harm to competition in the market as a whole” and lacks standing to bring a claim under the UCL's fraudulent prong (Snapkeys, LTD v. Google LLC, No. 19-02658, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203172).

  • November 12, 2020

    Oracle Tells Patent Board Bit-Level Permutations Were Well Known

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a Nov. 6 petition for inter partes review (IPR), Oracle Corp. and Oracle America Inc. (Oracle, collectively) tell the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that it should cancel 10 claims of a patent relating to the “idea of doing arbitrary permutations (i.e., rearrangements) of individual bits in a register” (Oracle Corporation, et al. v. Teleputers LLC, No. IPR2021-00078, PTAB).

  • November 11, 2020

    Copyrighted Engineering Simulation Software At Issue In Pennsylvania Complaint

    PITTSBURGH — A plaintiff on Nov. 5 accused a licensee of accessing, without authorization, its copyrighted software program at least 278 times over a five-year span in a complaint filed in Pennsylvania federal court (Ansys Inc. v. Actox Corporation, No. 20-1694, W.D. Pa.).

  • November 10, 2020

    Trump, TikTok Debate In D.C. Circuit Whether App Ban Was Properly Enjoined

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A prohibition against the distribution of its social media app, which was issued in conjunction with an executive order from President Donald J. Trump, is unconstitutional and was properly enjoined by a trial court, TikTok Inc. tells the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Nov. 6 brief opposing the government’s appeal of a preliminary injunction halting implementation of the app ban (TikTok Inc., et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 20-5302, D.C. Cir.).

  • November 09, 2020

    Government To Join Facebook In High Court Autodialer Suit Oral Arguments

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States will have the opportunity to weigh in on the definition of an “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS) in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), the U.S. Supreme Court decided in its Nov. 9 order list, granting a motion by Facebook Inc. that the upcoming Dec. 8 oral argument be divided to permit the government, which intervened in the underlying appeal of the lawsuit prompted by unwanted text messages, to participate (Facebook Inc. v. Noah Duguid, et al., No. 19-511, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 09, 2020

    Supplemental Class Notice Via Text Message Ordered In TCPA Settlement

    CHICAGO — A federal magistrate judge in Illinois on Nov. 3 denied final class settlement approval in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) suit due a small number of claims and ordered supplemental class notice via text message, opining that those texts will not violate the federal law (Madeleine Yates, et al. v. Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., et al., No. 17-9219, N.D. Ill., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205241).

  • November 09, 2020

    Judge Allows Injunctive, Declaratory Relief Claims Against Facebook To Proceed

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Nov. 6 held that a plaintiff may pursue its equitable claims for injunctive and declaratory relief against Facebook Inc. to the extent they are premised on future harm, denying in part Facebook’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL) ( v. Facebook, Inc., No. 18-05286, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208510).

  • November 03, 2020

    Advertising Discrimination Class Claims Against Facebook Voluntarily Dismissed

    SAN FRANCISCO — A month after a California federal judge dismissed her lawsuit alleging age and sex discrimination in Facebook Inc.’s dissemination of financial services advertisements, a Washington, D.C., woman on Nov. 2 voluntarily dismissed her suit, opting against amending her putative class complaint against the social network (Neuhtah Opiotennione v. Facebook Inc., No. 19-7185, N.D. Calif.,).

  • October 27, 2020

    Trump Denied Bid To Stay Preliminary Injunction Of WeChat App Ban

    SAN FRANCISCO — One month after a California federal magistrate judge preliminarily enjoined President Donald J. Trump’s nationwide ban of the WeChat social media app over national security concerns, the magistrate on Oct. 23 denied a motion by the president and secretary of Commerce to stay the injunction, finding that the ban was not narrowly tailored to protect the stated national security interests (U.S. WeChat Users Alliance, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 20-5910, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197776).

  • October 26, 2020

    Split Argument Motion, Amicus Briefs Filed In High Court Facebook Autodialer Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The same day that seven amicus curiae briefs were filed supporting the respondent in a U.S. Supreme Court dispute with Facebook Inc. over whether the sending of unwanted texts violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), the social network filed a motion on Oct. 23 requesting that the upcoming Dec. 8 oral argument be divided so that intervenor the United States can have time to address “the scope and administration” of the disputed definition of an “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS) (Facebook Inc. v. Noah Duguid, et al., No. 19-511, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 21, 2020

    Spyware Firm May Pursue Immunity Appeal In WhatsApp Computer Fraud Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A spyware firm may proceed with its interlocutory appeal of a trial court judge’s ruling that it was not entitled to sovereign immunity in a computer fraud lawsuit a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 16, denying a motion by WhatsApp Inc. to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction (WhatsApp Inc., et al. v. NSO Group Technologies Limited, et al., No. 20-16408, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 32787).

  • October 21, 2020

    Respondent Tells High Court Facebook Wrongly Interprets TCPA With ‘Rigid’ Syntax

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Facebook Inc. violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) by sending unwanted texts via an “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS), a respondent argues to the U.S. Supreme Court in an Oct. 16 brief, arguing that the social network’s definition of an ATDS under the statute unduly focuses on syntax over the TCPA’s purpose of curbing unwanted robocalls and protecting consumer privacy (Facebook Inc. v. Noah Duguid, et al., No. 19-511, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 20, 2020

    U.S. Government, 11 States Sue Google For Monopolizing Search Engine Market

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) teamed up with the attorneys general (AGs) of 11 states on Oct. 20 to file a complaint against Google LLC in District of Columbia federal court, alleging violations of Section 2 of the Sherman Act for “continuous and self-reinforcing monopolies” in the internet search engine market that they say are “crippling the competitive process, reducing consumer choice, and stifling innovation” (United States, et al. v. Google LLC, No. 20-3010, D. D.C.).

  • October 19, 2020

    FCC Chairman Announces Plan To Clarify Communications Decency Act Immunity

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Less than a week after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas voiced his opinion that review is needed of the “Good Samaritan” immunity provision of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai issued a statement on Oct. 15 announcing the agency’s intention to conduct rulemaking to “clarify ambiguities” as to when an internet platform provider is entitled to immunity from liability for content posted by a third party.

  • October 19, 2020

    High Court Won’t Decide ‘Prevailing Party’ Issue In Patent Dispute With Facebook

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its Oct. 19 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari to a technology firm that appealed the awarding of attorney fees to Facebook Inc. as the prevailing party in a patent infringement lawsuit that was dismissed as moot after a patent invalidity finding, declining to address the presented question about the proper standard for determining whether a litigant is a prevailing party (B.E. Technology LLC v. Facebook Inc., No. 19-1323, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 16, 2020

    Federal Judge Grants Apple’s Motion To Dismiss UCL Claim In Defective Laptop Suit

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Oct. 13 granted Apple Inc.’s motion to dismiss a California unfair competition law (UCL) claim and other claims to the extent that they seek an injunction, restitution or other equitable relief, finding that plaintiffs failed to allege that they lack an adequate remedy at law in their class action complaint brought on behalf of purchasers of purportedly defective MacBook laptops with butterfly keyboards (In re MacBook Keyboard Litigation, No. 18-02813, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190508).

  • October 15, 2020

    Sealed Rehearing Bid In Copyright Preemption Row Denied By 9th Circuit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 28 denied panel rehearing and rehearing en banc of findings issued in August that Oracle America Inc.’s allegations that Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE) violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) are preempted by federal copyright law (Oracle America Inc. v. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, No. 19-15506, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 30835).

  • October 14, 2020

    Arizona Federal Judge Again Denies Dismissal In Copyright Row

    PHOENIX — An individual defendant must face allegations of copyright infringement leveled in connection with his role as president of a company that helped operate the website, a federal judge in Arizona ruled Oct. 9 (AMA Multimedia LLC v. Sagan Limited, et al., No. 16-1269, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188394).

  • October 14, 2020

    Judge Won’t Require Apple To Restore Epic’s ‘Fortnite’ To App Store

    SAN FRANCISCO — Largely echoing her reasoning in an earlier temporary restraining order (TRO) ruling, a California federal judge on Oct. 9 partly denied a preliminary injunction motion in which Epic Games Inc. sought to require Apple Inc. to resume offering its popular Fortnite video game on its App Store, finding that a largely undeveloped record in the parties’ antitrust dispute did not justify such relief (Epic Games Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 20-5640, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188668).