SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — In an August 29 brief filed in Massachusetts federal court, a deaf advocacy organization opposes a motion for judgment on the pleadings by Harvard University, arguing that it sufficiently alleged claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act for the university’s purported failure to make all areas of its website equally accessible to the hearing impaired (National Association of the Deaf, et al. v. Harvard University, et al., No. 3:15-cv-30023, D. Mass.; and National Association of the Deaf, et al. v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, No. 3:15-cv-30024, D. Mass.).
By Hiram Kuykendall
AUSTIN, Texas — The rules and regulations (R&R) of a real estate listing website contained only a license to use uploaded pictures, not an assignment of rights, a Texas federal judge ruled Sept. 19, denying a homebuilder’s motion for summary judgment on copyright claims brought against it by a photographer (Alexander Stross v. Eugene Rowehl, et al., No. 1:17-cv-00676, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159846).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that confirmed the patentability of various claims of a malware detection patent was upheld Sept. 19 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Palo Alto Networks Inc. v. Finjan Inc., No. 2017-2059, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 26623).
BOSTON — The CIA is not entitled to summary judgment on a researcher’s claim that it is not fully responding to her Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for her study of the agency’s use of Twitter because the CIA conducted an inadequate search for documents and misused some statute exemptions to withhold information, a Massachusetts federal magistrate judge ruled Sept. 17 (Amanda Johnson v. Central Intelligence Agency, No. 17-10789, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157713).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Sept. 18 ruling, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals sustained a determination by the Copyright Royalty Board of rates for subscription-based commercial noninteractive webcasters and ad-based commercial noninteractive webcasters for playing recordings over the Internet between 2016 and 2020 under the statutory license provided for in Section 114 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 114(f)(2)(A) (SoundExchange Inc., et al. v. Copyright Royalty Board, No. 16-1159, D.C. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 26419).
SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on Sept. 12 granted a nonprofit corporation’s motion for an injunction enjoining a company that collects domain and registrant information from assessing the domain register it regulates, holding that the nonprofit would likely suffer irreparable harm and that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its breach of contract claim (Domain Name Commission Limited v. Domaintools LLC, No. 18-0874, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155611).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Texas federal judge properly construed “ethernet packet switching protocol,” as the term appears in a patent relating to wireless network connectivity, and in subsequently granting AT&T Mobility LLC a summary judgment of noninfringement, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 17 (Advanced Media Networks LLC v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 18-1014, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 26197).
BOSTON — A Maine federal judge’s determination that operation of a “highly interactive website” that sells cloud-based services combined with an effort to trademark “Scrutinizer” within the United States constitutes a prima facie showing of personal jurisdiction was affirmed Sept. 13 by the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Plixer International Inc. v. Scrutinizer GmbH, No. 18-1195, 1st Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25981).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The provider of an online news-monitoring service tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a Sept. 12 petition for certiorari that the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals applied an incorrect market harm standard in denying its fair-use defense on copyright infringement claims brought by Fox News Network LLC, asking the high court to consider existing standards in light of contemporary digital technology and free speech ramifications (TVEyes Inc. v. Fox News Network LLC, No. 18-321, U.S. Sup.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Four days before a scheduled retrial over an internet service provider’s (ISP’s) liability for contributory infringement related to its subscribers’ illegal file sharing, the ISP and the plaintiff filed a notice Aug. 24 informing a Virginia federal court that the four-year old copyright infringement lawsuit had been voluntarily dismissed (BMG Rights Management [US] LLC, et al. v. Cox Communications Inc., et al., No. 1:14-cv-01611, E.D. Va.).
ATLANTA — Dismissal of a pharmaceutical company’s defamation suit for lack of personal jurisdiction was affirmed Sept. 5 by an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel, which found that failure to establish that the alleged defamatory online postings were accessed by anyone in Florida precluded conferring long-arm jurisdiction over the out-of-state defendant (Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. James Fullerton, No. 17-15196, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25133).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The plaintiffs in a multidistrict litigation over purported performance throttling of older iPhones and iPads by Apple Inc. argue in a Sept. 3 brief that the tech giant’s intentional slowdown of the devices was sufficiently alleged in their fraud and trespass claims, asking a California federal court to deny Apple’s dismissal motion (In re: Apple Inc. Device Performance Litigation, No. 5:18-md-02827, N.D. Calif.).
MIAMI — A Florida federal judge on Aug. 29 found the website of General Nutrition Corp. (GNC) to be a place of public accommodation, leading her to grant summary judgment to a blind plaintiff on his claim that the website violates the equal accessibility requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as to liability (Andres Gomez v. General Nutrition Corp., No. 1:17-cv-22747, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149655).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 23 denied an insurer’s petition for a panel rehearing of its ruling that a firm's multimillion-dollar loss due to a fraudulent wire transfer scheme constituted computer fraud under an executive protection insurance policy (Medidata Solutions Inc. v. Federal Insurance Company, No. 17-2492, 2nd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An adult entertainment company filed a petition for certiorari Aug. 20, telling the U.S. Supreme Court that courts’ interpretations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) have allowed video-sharing websites to escape liability for massive amounts of infringing user-uploaded content under business models that encourage such behavior and asking the high court to review the standard for when a website operator has knowledge of infringement and when they are entitled to safe harbor under the statute (Ventura Content Ltd. v. Motherless Inc., et al., No. 18-235, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Although a Texas federal judge erred in concluding that two patents expressly define the disputed claim term “Access Point” as “WiFi public hotspots,” his ultimate construction was nonetheless correct, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 29 (Barkan Wireless Access Technologies L.P. v. Cellco Partnership, No. 17-2264, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 24500).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In two separate final written decisions issued Aug. 28, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board sided squarely with inter partes review petitioner Google Inc., rejecting as obvious various claims of a patent relating to handheld electronic devices (Google Inc. v. Blackberry Ltd., Nos. IPR2017-00911 and IPR2017-00912, PTAB).
SEATTLE — Concluding that the public interest would be served in preventing a private defense firm from disseminating plans for 3D-printable firearms, a Washington federal judge on Aug. 27 granted a group of states’ motion for a preliminary injunction, finding them likely to succeed on their claims that governmental defendants violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by removing federal restrictions on the weapons without going through the proper administrative and legislative channels (Washington, et al. v. U.S. Department of State, et al., No. 2:18-cv-01115, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145466).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A claimed “social network environment” would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art in view of a patent issued to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, two social media companies assert in an Aug. 28 petition for inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Facebook Inc. et al., v. Search and Social Media Partners LLC, No. IPR2018-01620, PTAB).