Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • October 21, 2020

    Respondent Tells High Court Facebook Wrongly Interprets TCPA With ‘Rigid’ Syntax

    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.).

  • October 20, 2020

    U.S. Government, 11 States Sue Google For Monopolizing Search Engine Market

    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.).

  • October 19, 2020

    FCC Chairman Announces Plan To Clarify Communications Decency Act Immunity

    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 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.

  • October 19, 2020

    High Court Won’t Decide ‘Prevailing Party’ Issue In Patent Dispute With Facebook

    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.).

  • October 16, 2020

    Federal Judge Grants Apple’s Motion To Dismiss UCL Claim In Defective Laptop Suit

    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).

  • October 15, 2020

    Sealed Rehearing Bid In Copyright Preemption Row Denied By 9th Circuit

    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).

  • October 14, 2020

    Judge Won’t Require Apple To Restore Epic’s ‘Fortnite’ To App Store

    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).

  • 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 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.).