Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • 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.).

  • July 11, 2019

    In Copyright Dispute Over Software, Affirmative Defenses Added

    NEW YORK — Citing the recent Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision in GEOMC Co. Ltd. v. Calmare Therapeutics Inc., a New York federal judge on July 8 granted a copyright infringement defendant’s motion for leave to amend its answer (New London Associates LLC v. Kinetic Social LLC, et al., No. 18-7963, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113021).

  • July 10, 2019

    Indicted Cyberstalker’s 1st Amendment Defense Rejected By Federal Judge

    BOSTON — A man’s online comments about assaulting and injuring a Jane Doe party qualify as true threats and, as such, are not protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled June 24, denying his motion to dismiss a cyberstalking indictment against him (United States v. Byron Cardozo, No. 1:18-cr-10251, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105672).

  • July 09, 2019

    Patent Owner: Apple Petition Suffers From ‘Fatal’ Deficiencies

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a July 8 preliminary response, a patent owner urges the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to reject a petition by Apple Inc. for inter partes review (IPR) of a secure message forwarding patent (Apple Inc. v. MPH Technologies OY, No. IPR2019-00821, PTAB).

  • July 09, 2019

    2nd Circuit:  Trump’s Blocking Of Twitter Users Violates 1st Amendment

    NEW YORK — Because President Donald J. Trump uses his Twitter account “for all manner of official purposes,” a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 9 found that his decision to block certain social media users from his account due to their viewpoints violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, affirming a trial court’s ruling against the president (Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 18-1691, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 20265).

  • July 09, 2019

    Ex-Employees May Subpoena Verizon In Trade Secrets Computer Fraud Suit

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two former employees of a plastics company have sufficiently demonstrated the need to subpoena Verizon Wireless for certain records supporting their defense against computer fraud and wiretap claims against them related to the alleged theft of company trade secrets, an Ohio federal magistrate judge ruled July 3, granting their motion for expedited discovery (Axium Plastics LLC v. Keith Templin, et al., No. 2:19-cv-02386, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111079).

  • July 08, 2019

    University’s Code Patent Is Invalid, Apple Asserts In Federal Circuit Appeal

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In confirming the patentability of various claims of an invention covering error-correcting codes, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board committed “a series of legal errors” and its finding of a lack of motivation to combine prior art references “is unsupported by substantial evidence,” Apple Inc. maintained July 1 in an appellant brief filed with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Apple Inc. v. California Institute of Technology, Nos. 19-1580, -1581, Fed. Cir.).

  • July 03, 2019

    Software Developer’s Trade Secrets Found To Be Insufficiently Identified

    LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on June 28 ruled that a plaintiff in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit stemming from a failed software licensing agreement has failed to sufficiently identify what trade secrets its former client is alleged to have misappropriated with particularity in making its state and federal trade secrets law claims (InteliClear LLC v. ETC Global Holdings Inc., No. 18-10342, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109827).