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Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • February 27, 2019

    Post-Grant Review Of App-Controlled Pellet Grill Requested

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a Feb. 26 petition for post-grant review (PGR), a grill manufacturer tells the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a recently granted patent for a mobile app that controls a wood-pellet grill should be canceled (GMG Products LLC v. Traeger Pellet Grills LLC, No. PGR2019-00035, PTAB).

  • February 27, 2019

    Microsoft, Mozilla, Others Support Google In Oracle Copyright High Court Appeal

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Software industry firms, scholars, civil liberties organizations and others voiced their support for Google LLC’s petition for certiorari in 14 amicus curiae briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 22 and 25, voicing their concerns that a copyright ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in favor of Oracle America Inc. jeopardizes long-standing principles of fair use and interoperability in the software industry (Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., No. 18-956, U.S. Sup.).

  • February 20, 2019

    Movie Studios Seek Access To VidAngel’s Counsel’s Memo Over Copyright Defenses

    LOS ANGELES — Arguing that VidAngel Inc. waived any attorney-client privilege in a memorandum authored by its lawyer by referencing it as a source of its advice-of-counsel defense against willful copyright infringement, a group of plaintiff movie studios asked a California federal court on Feb. 14 to compel the online movie-filtering service to submit the memorandum and any other documents related to its defenses (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).

  • February 20, 2019

    Final Approval Sought For $8.3 Million Lenovo Adware Class Settlement

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Three months after a California federal judge preliminarily approved an $8.3 million settlement with Lenovo (United States) Inc. over its use of intrusive adware, a consumer class on Feb. 14 moved for final approval of the agreement that would settle their privacy and computer fraud claims against the computer manufacturer (In Re:  Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02624, N.D. Calif.).

  • February 19, 2019

    Niantic, Property Owners Agree To Settle Pokémon GO Nuisance Class Action

    SAN FRANCISCO — A putative class of property owners who complained of incidents of nuisance and trespass carried out by players of Pokémon GO filed a motion in California federal court Feb. 14, seeking preliminary approval of a settlement with game creator Niantic Inc., that establishes methods for removing private property as possible gaming sites and for reminding gamers to be courteous (In re Pokémon GO Nuisance Litigation, No. 3:16-cv-04300, N.D. Calif.).

  • February 19, 2019

    IPhone Owners Oppose Apple’s Motion To Dismiss Performance-Throttling Suit

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Owners of certain iPhone and iPad models defended their consumer and trespass claims in a Feb. 14 brief in California federal court, arguing that Apple Inc. knowingly concealed design flaws that led to battery degradation and unexpected power-offs of their devices (In re:  Apple Inc. Device Performance Litigation, No. 5:18-md-02827, N.D. Calif.).

  • February 15, 2019

    Twitter, Google, Facebook Sued For Terror-Aiding Over Shooting Of Dallas Police

    DALLAS — A Dallas police officer who was injured in a 2016 shooting by a man who identified with a terrorist organization filed suit with his spouse Feb. 13 in Texas federal court against Twitter Inc., Google LLC and Facebook Inc., alleging that the internet firms provided support and resources to terrorist organizations via their online services in violation of the Antiterrorism Act (ATA) (Jesus Retana, et al. v. Twitter Inc., et al., No. 3:19-cv-00359, N.D. Texas).

  • February 14, 2019

    Investor Hits Tesla With Derivative Suit Over Musk’s Tweets

    WILMINGTON, Del. — Tesla Inc.’s board of directors breached their fiduciary duty and violated federal securities laws by failing to properly oversee the actions and communications of CEO Elon Musk, an investor argues in a shareholder derivative complaint filed Feb. 11 in Delaware federal court (Melvyn Klein v. Elon Musk, et al., No. 19-0298, D. Del.).

  • February 14, 2019

    Alabama Sex Offender Law’s Internet-Use Requirements Ruled Unconstitutional

    MONTGOMERY, Ala.— An Alabama federal judge on Feb. 11 ruled that the internet-use reporting requirements of an Alabama sex offender statute “are facially overbroad in violation of the First Amendment,” granting in part a summary judgment motion by a group of convicted offenders to find the law unconstitutional (John Doe 1, et al. v. Steven T. Marshall, et al., No. 2:15-cv-00606, M.D. Ala., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21578).

  • February 14, 2019

    On Remand, Palo Alto Networks Again Asserts Finjan Patent Is Obvious

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a Feb. 13 opening brief on remand, an inter partes review (IPR) petitioner tells the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a prior art reference the board previously failed to address renders claimed Finjan Inc. antivirus technology obvious (Palo Alto Networks Inc. v. Finjan Inc., No. IPR2016-00151, PTAB).

  • February 14, 2019

    Jurisdiction Lacking Over Copyright Row, Oklahoma Federal Judge Finds

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Allegations that a Virginia author engaged in copyright misuse when submitting takedown notices to online vendors of e-books indicating that a three-part romance series infringes her copyright were dismissed Feb. 13 by an Oklahoma federal judge (Quill Ink Books Ltd. v. Rachelle Soto, et al., No. 19-920, W.D. Okla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23095).

  • February 14, 2019

    Class Notice In Juice-Labeling Suit Ordered On Website, Not Social Media

    SAN DIEGO — Ruling on several disputes concerning class notice in a lawsuit accusing a juice maker of misleading consumers with its labels, a California federal judge on Feb. 5 ruled that class notice on the company’s website would be appropriate, but not on its social media pages (Crystal Hilsley, et al. v. Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., et al., No. 17-2335, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18477).

  • February 13, 2019

    Ride-Sharing Patent Is Obvious, Anticipated, Lyft Says In New Petition

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Asserting seven separate grounds of unpatentability, Lyft Inc. on Feb. 12 petitioned the Patent Trial and Appeal Board for inter partes review (IPR) of a patented ride-sharing system (Lyft Inc. v. RideApp Inc., No. IPR2019-00671, PTAB).

  • February 12, 2019

    Jurisdictional Discovery Ordered In Lanham Suit Over Online Beauty Products Sales

    HOUSTON — Adopting a magistrate’s recommendation, a Texas federal judge on Feb. 7 denied an online retailer’s motion to dismiss a Lanham Act lawsuit over its alleged sale of counterfeit goods for lack of jurisdiction, finding that good cause exists to conduct limited discovery as to whether Texas jurisdiction is proper (Danny Huynh v. Zurno Inc., No. 4:18-cv-01756, S.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20360).

  • February 12, 2019

    After Certiorari Denial, Media-Monitoring Service, Fox Settle Copyright Suit

    NEW YORK — In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a case centering on a copyright fair use defense, Fox News Network LLC and an online media-monitoring service it sued for infringement settled their remanded lawsuit, as a New York federal judge on Jan. 22 approved a confidential settlement and stipulated permanent injunction (Fox News Network LLC v. TVEyes Inc., No. 1:13-cv-05315, S.D. N.Y.).

  • February 8, 2019

    Panel Overturns Ruling Vacating Couple’s Arbitration Award Against Contractor

    BEAUMONT, Texas — An arbitrator’s $1,000 contribution to an attorney’s campaign for a judicial position and their friendship status on Facebook did not justify vacating an award in a favor of a couple who accused a contractor of construction defects, a Texas appeals court panel ruled Feb. 7, finding that there was no evidence of partiality in favor of the attorney (John P. Sebastian, et al. v. Weston Lee Wilkerson, et al., No. 09-18-00223-CV, Texas App., 9th Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 880).

  • February 8, 2019

    Protester Says Mayor Violated His Rights When She Banned Him From Her Facebook Page

    DENVER — A man who protests hydraulic fracturing operations sued the city of Lafayette, Colo., and its mayor in Colorado federal court on Jan. 17, contending that the defendants unconstitutionally blocked him from making comments critical of the mayor on social media with regard to the mayor’s actions that have advanced the fracking industry’s agenda in the city (Clifton Willmeng v. Lafayette, Colorado, et al., No. 19-150, D. Colo.).

  • February 8, 2019

    Lanham Act Claims Over Online Supplement Review Lack Specificity, Judge Says

    SAN DIEGO — Although a California federal judge found that a dietary supplement maker sufficiently pleaded injury from purportedly false statements made by a competitor in an online review about its product, the plaintiff’s failure to establish the statements’ falsity ultimately led the judge to dismiss its Lanham Act and trade libel claims Feb. 5 (GOLO LLC v. Higher Health Network LLC, et al., No. 3:18-cv-02434, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18506).

  • February 7, 2019

    Oracle Copyright Claim Over Software Support Fails In California

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a summary judgment order originally issued Jan. 29 and unsealed, with redactions, on Feb. 6, a California federal judge found that Oracle America Inc.’s allegations that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Co. committed copyright infringement by providing software patches and other technical support for Oracle’s “Solaris” software fail (Oracle America Inc. v. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, No. 16-1393, N.D. Calif.).

  • February 6, 2019

    Chanel Granted Default Judgment Over Websites Selling Counterfeit Items

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Chanel Inc. prevailed against the operators of several dozen websites that were offering counterfeit Chanel goods on Feb. 5, when a Florida federal judge granted its motion for default judgment and awarded it damages, injunctive relief and control over the offending websites (Chanel Inc. v. Bestaaachanel.com, et al., No. 0:18-cv-63018, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17846).