Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • October 13, 2020

    Justice Thomas Says Communications Decency Act Needs Supreme Court Review

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — When the U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari in a dispute over the “Good Samaritan” provision of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) in its Oct. 13 order list, Justice Clarence Thomas offered a separate statement concurring in the denial in taking the opportunity to voice his opinion that the high court should review the 24-year-old statute that he says has been interpreted to provide far greater immunities to internet platform providers than was originally intended by Congress (Malwarebytes Inc. v. Enigma Software Group USA LLC, No. 19-1284, U.S. Sup., 2020 U.S. LEXIS 4834).

  • October 13, 2020

    FTC’s Consumer Protection Suit Against Match.com Stayed Pending High Court Ruling

    DALLAS — In an Oct 9 docket entry, a Texas federal judge granted a motion by Match Group Inc. to stay a lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission, finding that a pending U.S. Supreme Court case over whether the commission is authorized to demand monetary relief from a defendant will have direct bearing on whether the FTC can pursue civil penalties against the dating website operator in the present case (Federal Trade Commission v. Match Group Inc., No. 3:19-cv-02281, N.D. Texas).

  • October 12, 2020

    Nonparty Samsung Must Produce Some App Store Documents In Apple Antitrust Suit

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Apple Inc. sufficiently established the relevancy and a substantial need for certain documents from rival company Samsung Electronics America Inc. to defend against claims that it has monopolized the marketplace for iPhone apps, a California federal magistrate judge ruled Oct. 9, granting in part Apple’s motion to compel the production of documents that relate to the smartphone app marketplace in response to a subpoena served on the company, which is not a party to the lawsuit (In re:  Apple iPhone Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-6714, N.D. Calif.).

  • October 12, 2020

    Age, Sex Discrimination Claims Over Facebook Advertisements Dismissed

    SAN FRANCISCO — A putative class complaint alleging age and gender discrimination by Facebook Inc. in the purported exclusion of financial services advertisements from female and older users of the social network was dismissed Oct. 2, with a California federal magistrate judge finding that the lead plaintiff failed to plead the necessary injury-in-fact to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Neuhtah Opiotennione v. Facebook Inc., No. 19-7185, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184367).

  • October 12, 2020

    Trump Defends Right To Control Twitter Account To Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald J. Trump asks the U.S. Supreme Court in an Oct. 6 petitioner reply brief to correct a constitutional error of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals when it found that the blocking of certain users from his personal Twitter account violated their free speech rights, arguing that the ruling resulted “in an unwarranted expansion of the public-forum principle” (Donald J. Trump, et al. v. Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, et al., No. 20-197, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 12, 2020

    Facebook Seeks Inter Partes Review Of Website Recommending Patent

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A patent claiming to improve the experience of internet users by determining intent to predict and suggest webpages to visit would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art (POSA), Facebook Inc. maintains in an Oct. 7 petition for inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Facebook Inc. v. USC IP Partnership LP, No. IPR2021-00034, PTAB).

  • October 09, 2020

    Panel: Relevant Factors Considered In Facebook IPO Suit Settlement Approval

    NEW YORK — A federal district court did not err in rejecting a Facebook Inc. shareholder’s objections to a $35 million settlement in a securities class action lawsuit stemming from the company’s initial public offering (IPO) because class representatives acted within their discretion in not bringing federal securities law claims against one of the underwriters associated with the IPO, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 23 (In re Facebook Inc. IPO Class Action Settlement, No. 18-3845, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 30611).

  • October 07, 2020

    Google, Oracle Square Off Before High Court In Java Copyright Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a decade-old copyright dispute over the Java 2 Standard Edition Platform (Java SE), an attorney for Oracle America Inc. in telephonic oral arguments on Oct. 7 stressed to the U.S. Supreme Court that "code is code" (Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., No. 18-956, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 07, 2020

    Insured Asks 9th Circuit To Reverse No Coverage Ruling For Alleged Phishing Attack

    SAN FRANCISCO — An insured on Sept. 8 asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's ruling in favor of its insurer in a lawsuit seeking coverage for its alleged "security failure" that was caused by a phishing attack by an unknown perpetrator, contending that a letter demanding monetary relief from one of its clients constituted a "claim" under its "security & privacy risk response" policy (Alorica Inc. v. Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company, No. 20-55458, 9th Cir.).

  • October 06, 2020

    Trump Seeks Stay Of WeChat Ban Injunction In District Court, 9th Circuit

    SAN FRANCISCO — With a motion to stay a preliminary injunction of President Donald J. Trump's ban of the WeChat social media app still pending in California federal court, the president and the secretary of Commerce filed a similar emergency motion in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 2, arguing that the injunction improperly second guesses the executive branch's determination that the app presents a threat to national security (U.S. WeChat Users Alliance, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 20-16908, 9th Cir.).

  • October 05, 2020

    1st Amendment Spat Over Illinois Revenge Porn Law Won't Be Heard By High Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its Oct. 5 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider questions over the proper level of scrutiny to use when considering whether an Illinois revenge porn law violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and whether the statute should include a specific intent requirement (Bethany Austin v. Illinois, No. 19-1029, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 01, 2020

    Free Speech Group Opposes Trump's Certiorari Petition In Twitter-Blocking Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals correctly found that President Donald J. Trump's blocking detractors from his Twitter account was a violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a free speech advocacy organization tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a Sept. 21 brief opposing the president's petition for certiorari, arguing that the account constitutes a public forum (Donald J. Trump, et al. v, Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, et al., No. 20-197, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 01, 2020

    Cop Tells Supreme Court CFAA Is Anti-Hacking Law, Not Internet-Policing Mandate

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A former police officer who was found to have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) by accessing a criminal information database without authorization for personal reasons argues in a Sept. 28 merits reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court that the statute is meant to prevent hacking and is not directed to "obtaining information for an improper purpose" (Nathan Van Buren v. United States, No. 19-783, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 30, 2020

    Patentee Asks High Court To Hear Prevailing Party Question In Row With Facebook

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals improperly created a new "rebuffing" standard in determining whether a party has prevailed in a patent infringement lawsuit, a patent holder tells the U.S. Supreme Court in its Sept. 23 reply brief supporting its petition for certiorari, arguing that a prevailing party must have a resolution in its favor, as opposed to merely having claims against it dismissed for mootness (B.E. Technology LLC v. Facebook Inc., No. 19-1323, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 30, 2020

    Domino's, Blind Man Each Seek Summary Judgment In Website Accessibility Suit

    LOS ANGELES — Motions for summary judgment were filed Sept. 28 in California federal court by Domino's Pizza LLC and a blind man suing it for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to its purportedly inaccessible website and mobile app, with the parties debating whether the accused platforms constitute places of public accommodation (Guillermo Robles v. Domino's Pizza LLC, No. 16-6599, C.D. Calif.).

  • September 29, 2020

    U.S. Ban Of TikTok App Preliminarily Enjoined By Federal Judge

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — TikTok Inc. is likely to succeed on its claims that President Donald J. Trump's recently announced ban of its popular social network app violates provisions of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by prohibiting the sharing of information and personal communications, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled Sept. 27, granting in part TikTok's motion to preliminarily enjoin enactment of the ban (TikTok Inc., et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 20-2658, D. D.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177250).

  • September 29, 2020

    California Federal Judge Preliminarily Approves Website Access Class Settlement

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Sept. 16 granted preliminary approval of a class settlement in a case over website access that will require a juice and wellness company to improve the accessibility of its website for visually impaired consumers, maintain proper compliance going forward and pay attorney fees and an enhancement award to the named plaintiff but requested further evidence of the two requested payments prior to final approval (Valerie Brooks, et al. v. Pressed Juicery, Inc., et al., No. 19-1687, E.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169845).

  • September 28, 2020

    Experts Allowed In Video Game Copyright Case Over Pro Wrestler's Tattoos

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — Two expert witnesses for a woman alleging copyright infringement by the makers of professional wrestling video games for reproducing the tattoos she inked on one wrestler withstood challenges to their opinions on video game design and damages when an Illinois federal judge on Sept. 26 denied motions to exclude the experts' testimony from trial (Catherine Alexander v. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., No. 18-966, S.D. Ill., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177131).

  • September 25, 2020

    Facebook Hit With Negligence, Civil Rights Claims Over Wisconsin Protest Shootings

    MILWAUKEE — Facebook Inc. breached its duties to remove militia groups' "violent rhetoric" from its online platform, a group of plaintiffs state in a Sept. 23 civil rights and negligence complaint filed in Wisconsin federal court, claiming that action by the social network "would have greatly aided in preventing the organization and popularization of the militias" and possibly even averted the shooting of three protesters by a militia member at an August Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest in Kenosha, Wis. (Hannah Gittings, et al. v. Kevin Mathewson, et al., No. 20-1483, E.D. Wis.).

  • September 24, 2020

    Amazon Customer Dismisses 3rd Circuit Appeal Over Third-Party Products Liability

    PHILADELPHIA — A customer of Amazon.com Inc. who was injured by an item purchased from a third-party seller on the retailer's online marketplace filed a stipulation of dismissal with the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 23, leaving unanswered a question over online retailers' liability in such situations that had been certified to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (Heather B. Oberdorf, et al. v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 18-1041, 3rd Cir.).