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Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • June 20, 2019

    Jury Finds VidAngel’s Infringement Willful, Awards Studios $62.4 Million

    LOS ANGELES — On the fifth and final day of oral arguments in the liability trial for VidAngel Inc. in California federal court, a jury on June 17 found that the online video-filtering service’s infringement of the plaintiff studios’ copyrighted works was willful, awarding the studios $61,425,000 related to copyright infringement (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).

  • June 19, 2019

    Internet Platforms Seek Dismissal Of Terror-Aiding Suit Over Dallas Shooting

    DALLAS — Twitter Inc., Google LLC and Facebook Inc. on June 14 jointly filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging liability under the Antiterrorism Act (ATA) for a 2016 shooting of Dallas police officers, with the internet platform providers telling a Texas federal court that the plaintiffs have not established any connection between the shooter’s actions and their online services (Jesus Retana, et al. v. Twitter Inc., et al., No. 3:19-cv-00359, N.D. Texas).

  • June 19, 2019

    Production Of Records Ordered In Bitcoin Ownership Dispute; Sanctions Not Issued

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida federal magistrate judge on June 14 found no reason why the defendant in a dispute over the ownership of a bitcoin fortune could not produce records indicating the amount of bitcoin he had mined, granting a motion to compel such production in compliance with a previous court order but declining to issue related sanctions at present (Ira Kleiman, et al. v. Craig Wright, No. 9:18-cv-80176, S.D. Fla.).

  • June 19, 2019

    IPhone Owners’ Attorney Sanctioned For Disclosing Confidential Apple Documents

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Two attorneys representing a putative class of iPhone users who sued Apple Inc. for engaging in performance throttling of certain phone models violated a discovery protective order, a California federal judge ruled June 14, finding that one attorney’s actions were likely willful, leading him to grant in part Apple’s motion for sanctions (In re:  Apple Inc. Device Performance Litigation, No. 5:18-md-02827, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100322).

  • June 18, 2019

    Judge:  Company’s Unfair Competition Claim Against Apple Superseded By CUTSA

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on June 17 ruled that a technology company has failed to sufficiently show that Apple Inc. engaged in unfair competition under California common law when it allegedly infringed on the company’s patented technology and intellectual property to develop its “Emergency SOS” product for its Apple devices because the claim is preempted by federal patent law and is superseded by the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA) (Zomm LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 18-4969, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101029).

  • June 18, 2019

    Property Owners Seek Final Approval Of Pokémon GO Nuisance Class Action

    SAN FRANCISCO — One month after a California federal judge granted preliminary approval of a settlement of nuisance and trespass claims against the creator of Pokémon GO, the plaintiff property owners on June 13 moved for final approval of the settlement, asserting that it is “fundamentally fair, adequate, and reasonable” (In re Pokémon GO Nuisance Litigation, No. 3:16-cv-04300, N.D. Calif.).

  • June 18, 2019

    Studios, VidAngel Debate Judgment As A Matter Of Law During Damages Trial

    LOS ANGELES — Online video-filtering service VidAngel Inc. on June 17 opposed a motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) that plaintiff movie studios filed in California federal court on day four of oral arguments in a damages trial related to copyright infringement and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).

  • June 18, 2019

    Domino’s Pizza Seeks High Court Review Of ADA Website Accessibility Guidelines

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Citing a split among federal appeals courts, a lack of clear guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a glut of litigation on the matter, Domino’s Pizza LLC on June 13 filed a petition for certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to the accessibility of websites for people with disabilities (Domino’s Pizza LLC v. Guillermo Robles, No. 18-1539, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 17, 2019

    9th Circuit:  Facebook May Be Sued For Automated Texts Under TCPA

    SAN FRANCISCO — Reversing and remanding a trial court’s dismissal of a man’s class claims against Facebook Inc. under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 13 found that he sufficiently alleged that the social network sent automated, unwanted text messages via an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) (Noah Duguid v. Facebook Inc., No. 17-15320, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17675).

  • June 14, 2019

    Travel Site To High Court: PTO’s Fees Award In Trademark Appeal Was Improper

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a May 30 reply supporting its petition for certiorari over an attorney fees award granted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) after a successful challenge of a trademark registration denial, Booking.com B.V. asks the U.S. Supreme Court to consolidate its case with a similar already granted petition over a fees award in a patent validity lawsuit (Booking.com B.V. v. Andrei Iancu, No. 18-1309, U.S. Sup.).

  • 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 7, 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 5, 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 (Dreamstime.com LLC v. Google LLC, et al., No. 3;18-cv-01910, N.D. Calif.).

  • June 5, 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 4, 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 Booking.com 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 (Booking.com B.V. v. Andrei Iancu, No. 18-1309, U.S. Sup.).