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).
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).
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).
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.).
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.).
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.).
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).
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) (IntegrityMessageboards.com v. Facebook, Inc., No. 18-05286, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208510).
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.,).
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).
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.).
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).
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.).
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.).
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.
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.).
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).
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).
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 Porn.com, 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).
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).