Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • June 12, 2019

    Class Claims Over Wayfair Bedbug-Laden Headboard Sent To Arbitration

    CHICAGO — Finding the terms of use (TOU) on Wayfair Inc.’s website to be binding, an Illinois federal judge on June 7 granted the online retailer’s motion to compel arbitration of a customer’s putative consumer class claims regarding his purchase of a bed headboard that purportedly was shipped bearing bedbugs (Ronald Gorny v. Wayfair Inc., et al., No. 1:18-cv-08259, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95619).

  • June 11, 2019

    Insured’s Suit Over Damaged Computer Chips Dismissed For Lack Of Jurisdiction

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal magistrate judge on June 7 held that a global manufacturer of semiconductor microelectronic devices has failed to demonstrate that 17 foreign underwriters “purposefully availed themselves of the privilege of conducting activities in California,” granting the underwriters’ motion to dismiss the insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for damaged computer-memory chips and equipment for lack of personal jurisdiction (Micron Technology, Inc., et al. v. Factory Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. 18-07689, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96257).

  • June 11, 2019

    Apple, Facebook, WhatsApp Dispute Board’s Patentability Findings

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a May 29 appellant brief, three partly unsuccessful inter partes review (IPR) petitioners tell the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board erred in determining that various claims of a voice messaging patent are not obvious (Apple Inc., et al. v. Uniloc 2017 LLC, Nos. 2019-1151, -1179, -1203, Fed. Cir.).

  • June 10, 2019

    Search Engines Not Liable For Scam Locksmith Listings, D.C. Circuit Rules

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Affirming a lower court’s dismissal of antitrust and Lanham Act claims brought by a coalition of locksmiths, a District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 7 found that Google LLC, Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. were immune from liability under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) for the online publication on their respective search engines of listings for purported scam locksmith companies (Marshall’s Locksmith Service Inc., et al. v. Google LLC, et al., No. 18-7018, D.C. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17123).

  • June 10, 2019

    Lithuanian Firm Sues Facebook, Princeton Over Virtual Reality Trade Secrets

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a June 5 complaint in California federal court, a technology and research company in the Republic of Lithuania sued Facebook Inc. and Princeton University for purportedly misappropriating its trade secrets related to scene recognition technology and the area of virtual reality (UAB “Planner5D” v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 3:19-cv-03132, N.D. Calif.).

  • June 07, 2019

    Meat-Packing Firm Found Not Negligent For Fraudulent Wire Transfer

    OMAHA, Neb. — Concluding that Nebraska law does not impose a duty of care upon a company to protect a client from the actions of third parties, a Nebraska federal judge on June 4 granted a meat-packing company’s motion to dismiss negligence claims brought against it by a customer that was duped into paying more than $100,000 to a thief in an email phishing scheme (Prime Foods for Processing and Trading v. Greater Omaha Packing Co., Inc., No. 8:19-cv-00073, D. Neb., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93169).

  • June 05, 2019

    1st Amendment Does Not Bar Claims Over Google Search Results, Judge Rules

    SAN FRANCISCO — Rejecting Google LLC’s argument that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution shielded it from a client’s complaint over alleged unfair search results rankings, a California federal judge on June 5 denied in part the technology firm’s motion for judgment on the pleadings on unfair competition and breach of contract claims against it ( LLC v. Google LLC, et al., No. 3;18-cv-01910, N.D. Calif.).

  • June 05, 2019

    App Developers Sue Apple Under Sherman Act For App Store Monopolization

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a class of consumers could pursue antitrust claims against Apple Inc. related to its App Store exclusivity practices, a pair of app developers filed similar claims against the technology giant in California federal court on June 4, alleging monopolization and unfair competition by restricting the sale and development of apps through developer contracts with exorbitant fees and commissions (Donald R. Cameron, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 5:19-cv-03074, N.D. Calif.).

  • June 04, 2019

    Taxotere MDL Magistrate Finds No Improper Facebook Posts, Quashes Defense Subpoena

    NEW ORLEANS — A special master in the Taxotere hair-loss multidistrict litigation on May 29 said his in camera review of emails about an alleged request to delete Facebook comments about the chemotherapy drug and hair loss in female patients showed “no improper communications, instructions or guidance provided by counsel” and that the documents are not discoverable by defendant Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC (In Re:  Taxotere [Docetaxel] Product Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2740, No. 16-md-2740, E.D. La.).

  • May 30, 2019

    PTO Tells Supreme Court To Hold Trademark Attorney Fees Petition

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a May 16 respondent brief, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) asks the U.S. Supreme Court to hold a petition for certiorari filed by an online travel website operator, stating that a pending high court case over parallel attorney fee issues, but in the patent context, will likely resolve the trademark-related fees issues in the present case ( B.V. v. Andrei Iancu, No. 18-1309, U.S. Sup.).

  • May 29, 2019

    Domino’s Opposes Complaint Amendment Motion In Remanded Website ADA Suit

    LOS ANGELES — Domino’s Pizza LLC tells a California federal court in a May 24 brief that a blind man who sued the pizza chain for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) due to purported website inaccessibility has not demonstrated good cause to support his motion to file an amended complaint (Guillermo Robles v. Domino’s Pizza LLC, No. 2:16-cv-06599, C.D. Calif.).

  • May 29, 2019

    Hotels Seek Transfer Of Online Travel Agency’s Antitrust Claims

    TEXARKANA, Texas — Objecting to a Texas federal magistrate judge’s recommendation that their motion to transfer an antitrust lawsuit brought by an online travel agency (OTA) be denied, a group of hotel defendants filed a brief May 23, arguing that the case should be transferred to an Illinois federal court that is handling a similar consumer class action antitrust lawsuit (TravelPass Group LLC, et al. v. Caesars Entertainment Corp., et al., No. 5:18-cv-00153, E.D. Texas).

  • May 29, 2019

    IPhone Owner Accuses Apple Of Monopolization, Overcharging In Apps Market

    SAN FRANCISCO — Less than two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court held that a class of iPhone users could sue Apple Inc. for antitrust violations related to the pricing of apps for their smartphones, a California man filed a new class complaint against the technology giant on May 23, bringing claims of monopolization under the Sherman Act (Edward Lawrence v. Apple Inc., No. 3:19-cv-02852, N.D. Calif.).

  • May 20, 2019

    Reddit Must Identify Doe Jehovah’s Witness Poster For ‘Attorney’s Eyes Only’

    SAN FRANCISCO — Granting in part a motion to quash a subpoena to identify an anonymous poster to a Jehovah’s Witness-themed online forum, a California federal magistrate judge on May 17 ordered that the John Doe’s identity be revealed only to counsel so as to protect the poster’s free speech concerns, while still allowing a church-related organization to pursue copyright infringement claims over two of Doe’s posts (In re DMCA Subpoena to Reddit Inc., No. 3:19-mc-80005, N.D. Calif.).

  • May 15, 2019

    PayPal, Others Seek Inter Partes Review Of File Identification Patent

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A patent directed to determining a name for a file based on a function of the file contents and determining whether the file is present on a computer would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art, PayPal Inc. asserts in a May 14 request for inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PayPal Inc., et al. v. PersonalWeb Technologies LLC, No. IPR2019-01093, PTAB).

  • May 15, 2019

    Digital Music Reseller Asks High Court To Decide First-Sale Doctrine Application

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a May 10 petition for certiorari, an online reseller of digital music files asks the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the “pivotal copyright issue” of whether the Copyright Act’s first-sale doctrine applies in the context of lawfully purchased digital music (ReDigi Inc., et al. v. Capitol Records LLC, et al., No. 18-1430, U.S. Sup.).

  • May 15, 2019

    California High Court Revives Trade Libel Suit Against Digital Media Firm

    SAN FRANCISCO — An online video-streaming service may proceed with its trade libel claims against a digital media service, the California Supreme Court ruled May 6, reversing lower court decisions that struck the company’s complaint under California’s strategic lawsuit against public participation (anti-SLAPP) statute, with the high court finding reports issued by the defendant to be “too tenuously tethered to the issues of public interest they implicate” to merit protection under the statute ( v. DoubleVerify Inc., No. S244157, Calif. Sup., 2019 Cal. LEXIS 3042).

  • May 14, 2019

    4th Circuit Finds Blind Man Lacks Standing To Sue Credit Union Over Website

    RICHMOND, Va. — Because a visually impaired man was not a member and was not eligible to become a member of a credit union at the time he sued it for purported website accessibility violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 13 found that he lacked standing to sue under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Keith Carroll v. Northwest Federal Credit Union, No. 18-1434, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 14150).

  • May 14, 2019

    Consumer Files Class Action Over Retailer’s Recurring Subscriptions

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A consumer on May 9 filed a class action against an online organic products retailer in a California court, alleging that it violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state laws by not providing clear disclosures about its automatic renewal terms (Inez Vasquez-Cossio v. She Is Organic, LLC, No. 2019-01068651, Calif. Super, Orange Co.).

  • May 14, 2019

    Depositions Ordered In Coverage Dispute Over Online Personal Material Postings

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A company that was responsible for the online postings of a client’s personal material was ordered May 10 to mostly comply with deposition subpoenas by an insurance company involved in a coverage dispute over the matter, with a California federal magistrate judge declining to quash the subpoenas and finding most of the insurer’s requests to be relevant and proportional to the needs of the case (Pegatron Technology Service Inc. v.  American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Co., No. 5:18-cv--01477, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79693).