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Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • March 20, 2019

    Microsoft Petitions Board For Review Of Software Task Completion Patent

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A claimed method of collective task completion among distributed software agents using an inter-agent communication language (ICL) to provide a common communication protocol would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art (POSITA), Microsoft Corp. asserts in a March 19 petition for inter partes review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Microsoft Corp. v. IPA Technologies Inc., No. IPR2019-00837, PTAB).

  • March 20, 2019

    D.C. Circuit Hears Arguments Over White House Staff’s Use Of Message-Deleting Apps

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 15 heard oral arguments from two watchdog organizations and the Executive Office of the President (EOP) as to whether the purported use of message-deleting applications by White House steps violates the duty to preserve and archive presidential communications under the Presidential Records Act (PRA) Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 18-5150, D.C. Cir.).

  • March 20, 2019

    Property Owner Seeks $60 Million Over Hacked Zillow Listing

    LOS ANGELES — The owner of an “ultra-exclusive” property in Los Angeles sued Zillow Inc. in California federal court on Feb. 24, claiming that the online real estate listing provider was negligent in allowing a hacker to alter the listing of its property, purportedly resulting in the devaluing of the home (924 Bel Air Road LLC v. Zillow Group Inc., et al., No. 2:19-cv-01368, C.D. Calif.).

  • March 19, 2019

    Class Certification Denied In Suit Over Online Membership Program Enrollments

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on March 15 found multiple problems in a plaintiff’s motion to certify three classes in his lawsuit against the operator of several online coupon services, concluding that his claims would not be typical of all of the proposed class members and finding that individualized fact finding is necessary to determine matters of users’ reliance on membership sign-up representations and the statute of limitations (Kevin Park v. Webloyalty.com Inc., et al., No. 3:12-cv-01380, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42887).

  • March 19, 2019

    Summary Judgment Motions Filed In 3D-Printable Gun Plan Lawsuit

    SEATTLE — In a pair of March 15 cross-motions, the U.S. government and a group of gun rights supporting defendants seek summary judgment in a lawsuit in which a group of U.S. states challenge the U.S. Department of State’s ability to permit the online distribution of 3D-printable gun plans, telling a Washington federal court that the states like standing under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and that the distribution is protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Washington, et al. v. U.S. Department of State, et al., No. 2:18-cv-01115, W.D. Wash.).

  • March 18, 2019

    9th Circuit Vacates Verdict Of Willful Copyright Infringement

    SAN FRANCISCO — A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 15 vacated a Washington federal jury’s verdict that Zillow Group Inc. is a willful copyright infringer (VHT Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc., et al., No. 17-35587 and 17-35588, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 7671).

  • March 15, 2019

    Streaming Patent Not Obvious, Federal Circuit Told By Appellant

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A patented method for emulating the streaming of video over a network with an open architecture solution was erroneously held invalid as obvious by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Koninklijke Philips N.V. (Philips) recently told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Koninklijke Philips N.V. v. Google LLC, Nos. 2019-1177, -1191, -1237, Fed. Cir.).

  • March 12, 2019

    Oracle Requests Discovery To Ensure Compliance With Software Copyright Injunction

    LAS VEGAS — Citing “grave concerns” that Rimini Street Inc. is not fully complying with a permanent injunction issued against it in a long-running software copyright dispute, Oracle USA Inc. on Feb. 27 asked a Nevada federal court for leave to conduct limited discovery to determine the extent of the defendant’s compliance or noncompliance (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., No. 2:10-cv-00106, D. Nev.).

  • March 12, 2019

    Board Petitioned For Review Of ‘Hands-Free’ Appliance Control Patent

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a March 11 petition for inter partes review (IPR), Microsoft Corp. told the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that various claims of a patented method of sound-activated and voice-operated remote control of appliances should be canceled as obvious to a person of skill in the art (POSITA) (Microsoft Corp. v. Speakware Inc., No. IPR2019-00792, PTAB).

  • March 12, 2019

    Spokeo Settles FCRA Suit, Agrees To Post Disclaimers, Opt Out Links

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on March 11 approved a stipulation settling a long-running putative class action between online data aggregator Spokeo Inc. and a man that sued it for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), with the website operator agreeing to post disclaimers about the accuracy of information on its site and how such information may be used (Thomas Robins v. Spokeo Inc., No. 2:10-cv-05306, C.D. Calif.).

  • March 8, 2019

    In Blow To Apple, Panel Says Board Erred In Obviousness Holding

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that found that Apple Inc. demonstrated that five patent claims are obvious in view of two prior art references was reversed March 8 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (PersonalWeb Technologies LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 18-1599, Fed. Cir.).

  • March 7, 2019

    Computer-Based Speech Processing Patent Is Obvious, Petitioner Says

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A patented method of improving the accuracy of coding text extracted from medical reports and other documents would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art (POSITA), a petitioner for inter partes review (IPR) told the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on March 6 (Nuance Communications Inc. v. MModal Services Ltd., No. IPR2019-00800, PTAB).

  • March 5, 2019

    Photographer’s Copyright Infringement Claim Against Buzzfeed Survives Dismissal

    NEW YORK — Buzzfeed Inc. failed to establish that it is entitled to safe harbor under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) from a photographer’s copyright infringement claim over a posted picture, a New York federal judge ruled March 1, finding that the plaintiff sufficiently established knowledge of infringement to survive the website operator’s motion to dismiss (Joe Myeress v. Buzzfeed Inc., No. 1:18-cv-02365, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33148).

  • March 5, 2019

    Apple Seeks Rehearing Of Denied Petition For Inter Partes Review

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a March 4 filing, Apple Inc. told the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that it misapprehended or overlooked that a prior art patent application was not discussed by Qualcomm Inc. during patent prosecution with regard to the features of 10 claims (Apple Inc. v. Qualcomm Inc., No. IPR2018-01280, PTAB).

  • March 5, 2019

    Florida Federal Judge: DMCA Takedown Notices Sent In Good Faith

    ORLANDO, Fla. — In a March 4 ruling, a Florida federal judge rejected allegations that a defendant acted improperly in 2012 and 2013 when it sent takedown notices to YouTube that asserted copyright infringement by a user (Shirley Johnson v. New Destiny Christian Center Church Inc., et al., No. 17-710, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33513).

  • March 4, 2019

    Facebook, Instagram Sue Chinese Companies Offering Fake User Profiles

    SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook Inc. and Instagram LLC on March 1filed a trademark infringement and cybersquatting complaint in California federal court against several Chinese companies and individuals that they say are falsely offering to sell fake user profiles to their respective social networks (Facebook Inc., et al. v. 9 Xiu Network [Shenzhen] Technology Co. Ltd., et al., No. 3:19-cv-01167, N.D. Calif.).

  • March 4, 2019

    Supreme Court Sides With Petitioner In Copyright Dispute Over ‘Full Costs’

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on March 4 found that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in awarding Oracle USA Inc. more than $12 million in litigation expenses in its longstanding copyright dispute with a software support firm (Rimini Street Inc., et al. v. Oracle USA Inc., et al., No. 17-1625, U.S. Sup.).

  • March 4, 2019

    11th Circuit Told Fair Report Privilege Did Not Apply To Buzzfeed Dossier Article

    ATLANTA — A businessman who sued Buzzfeed Inc. for deformation for posting an article linking him to purported Russian hacking activities, asks the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Feb. 28 appellant brief to find that a Florida federal judge improperly granted summary judgment to the website operator under New York’s fair report privilege, arguing that the privilege does not apply to unverified innuendo (Aleksej Gubarev, et al. v. Buzzfeed Inc., et al., No. 18-15295, 11th Cir.).

  • February 28, 2019

    Magistrate: Advice-Of-Counsel Defense Waived VidAngel’s Privilege In Some Items

    LOS ANGELES — An online streaming service’s claim that it relied on the advice of its counsel as to the legality of its video-filtering services waived attorney-client privilege in any documents or communications on this matter, a California federal magistrate judge ruled Feb. 26, granting in part a motion to compel by a group of movie studios in a copyright infringement dispute (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).

  • February 28, 2019

    Cryptocurrency Trader May Conduct Discovery To Identify Doe Hacker, Judge Rules

    SEATTLE — A cryptocurrency platform provider pursuing legal action against an unknown hacker has shown good cause to conduct early discovery to obtain identifying information for a John Doe defendant to pursue computer fraud claims, a Washington federal judge ruled Feb. 25, granting in part the company’s motion for that limited purpose (ZG TOP Technology Co. Ltd. v. John Doe, No. 2:19-cv-00092, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29616).