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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Cyber Tech & E-Commerce Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Cyber Tech & E-Commerce Legal News

Headline Cyber Tech & E-Commerce Legal News from LexisNexis®


9th Circuit: Alleged Harm From Inaccurate Online Listing Is Concrete Injury
SAN FRANCISCO - Considering remand instructions from the U.S. Supreme Court, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 15 again ruled in favor of a man that charged a data aggregator with Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations for posting inaccurate information about him, deeming the alleged resulting harm to be sufficiently concrete to constitute an injury-in-fact to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Thomas Robins v. Spokeo Inc., No11-56843, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15211).

$22.5 Million Google Adwords Settlement Is Granted Final Approval
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 7 granted final approval of a $22.5 million settlement of a class action over Google Inc.'s AdWords program under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) (In Re Google AdWords Litigation, No. 5:08-cv-03369, N.D. Calif.).

LinkedIn Enjoined From Blocking Analytics Firm's Access To Data
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Aug. 14 ruling, a California federal judge enjoined LinkedIn Corp. from denying a data analytics company access to publicly available information on its professional social networking site, finding no support for LinkedIn's argument that the access violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (hiQ Labs Inc. v. LinkedIn Corp., No. 3:17-cv-03301, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129088).

Apple Seeks Certiorari In Direct Purchaser Spat In IPhone App Antitrust Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Aug. 2 petition for certiorari, Apple Inc. asks the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve a dispute over what constitutes a direct or indirect purchaser for purposes of establishing standing in antitrust litigation, seeking reversal of an appeals court permitting iPhone owners to sue Apple related to app prices (Apple Inc. v. Robert Pepper, et al., No. 17-204, U.S. Sup.).

Panel Finds Musician's Suit Over Facebook Pages Barred By CDA, Anti-SLAPP Law
SAN FRANCISCO - A trial court should have fully granted Facebook Inc.'s motion to strike a musician's lawsuit against it under California's Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation statute (anti-SLAPP statute), a California appeals panel ruled Aug. 9, finding the plaintiff's claims to be barred by the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Jason Cross, et al. v. Facebook Inc., Nos. 148623 and 149140, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 691).

Web Host Opposes DOJ's Warrant To Seize User Records From Activist Website
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Citing concerns under the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, a web-hosting firm on Aug. 11 told a District of Columbia court that a U.S. Department of Justice search warrant seeking identifying information for visitors to an anti-Donald Trump website is overbroad and in violation of federal privacy law (In re: the Search of that Is Stored at Premises Owned, Maintained, Controlled,, or Operated by DreamHost, No. 17 CSW 3438, D.C. Super.).

Wire Transfer Theft Covered Under Computer Fraud Policy Clause, Judge Rules
NEW YORK - A firm's loss due to a fraudulent wire transfer scheme constituted computer fraud even though the thief used email spoofing rather than hacking into the company's system, a New York federal judge ruled July 21, finding that coverage for the multimillion dollar loss existed under the computer fraud provision of the company's executive protection insurance policy (Medidata Solutions Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 1:15-cv-00907, S.D. N.Y.).

Google Seeks Ruling Canadian Global Injunction Is Not Enforceable In United States
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A recent Canadian Supreme Court ruling requiring Google Inc. to remove from all of its worldwide sites links to a trade secret infringer's websites cannot be enforced in the United States, the internet giant argues in a July 24 complaint, asking a California federal court to grant it declaratory relief (Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., No. 5:17-cv-04207, N.D. Calif.).

Judge Partially Dismisses Claims Against Google In Trade Secrets Suit
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on July 14 granted in part and denied in part Google's motion to dismiss state and federal misappropriation of trade secrets claims from a lawsuit, ruling that a wireless services and solutions firm has failed to show how Google's actions violated the terms of a nondisclosure agreement (Space Data Corp. v. Alphabet Inc., et al., No. 5:16-cv-03260, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109842).

Company Denied Injunction To Protect Trade Secrets In Software Posted On Internet
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on June 28 denied a software company's motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent a coin-counting-machine manufacturer from selling machines containing the software company's software, concluding that it was not likely to prevail on the merits of the case, which alleged misappropriation of trade secrets by the manufacturer (Arkeyo LLC v. Cummins Allison Corp., No. 16-4720, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100605).

California Appeals Panel: Long-Term Renters Suing Airbnb Lack Standing Under UCL
SAN FRANCISCO - A class of long-term renters suing Airbnb Inc. in part for injury in fact due to the company's short-term renters causing damage to common resources failed to demonstrate standing under California's unfair competition law (UCL), a California appellate panel ruled Aug. 10 in an unpublished opinion (Louis Gamache, et al. v. Airbnb, Inc., No. A146179, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 5, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5501).

$41.9M Judgment Against Safeway Over Higher Online Prices Is Upheld
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 4 upheld a trial court's $41,884,767 class action judgment against Safeway Inc. in a lawsuit over the grocer's practice of pricing grocery items on its website an average of 10 percent higher than the same items in its stores without notifying consumers (Michael Rodman, et al. v. Safeway, Inc., No. 15-17390, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14397).

Mattress Seller, Review Website Settle, Dismiss False Advertising Lawsuit
NEW YORK - In a July 28 stipulation of dismissal filed in New York federal court, an online mattress retailer and a mattress review website operator announced that they have settled their respective false advertising claims, brought under the Lanham Act and state law (Casper Sleep Inc. v. Derek Hales, et al., No. 1:16-cv-03223, S.D. N.Y.).

Magistrate Judge Recommends No Class Certification In Computer Seller Spyware Suit
ERIE, Pa. - A Wyoming couple's claims that computer seller and lessor and its franchisee violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) by installing spyware on its computers are not suited for class certification because individualized issues pertaining to liability predominate, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge ruled Aug. 4 (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's, Inc., et al., No. 11-101, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124291).

Motions For Judgment, Relief Filed In Remanded MP3tunes Copyright Suit
NEW YORK - Following an appeals court ruling and a denial of certiorari, the founder of now-defunct online music-sharing service MP3tunes LLC on July 28 asked a New York federal judge to grant him relief from a previous adverse judgment, citing new precedent that he says controls what claims may be brought against an out-of-state defendant (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. MP3tunes LLC, et al., No. 1:07-cv-09931, S.D. N.Y.).

Domain Registrar Appeals Fees Denial In False Advertising Suit To 4th Circuit
RICHMOND, Va. - A domain registry firm that prevailed in a Lanham Act false advertising suit appealed a denial of its quest for attorney fees to the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing in a July 31 brief that a trial court used the incorrect evidentiary standard and failed to consider evidence of the plaintiff's improper motive in filing suit (Verisign Inc. v. LLC, et al., No. 17-1704, 4th Cir.).

Divided Federal Circuit Says Patent Recites A Technological Improvement
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A dismissal by a Delaware federal judge of patent infringement allegations against NVIDIA Corp. was reversed and remanded Aug. 15 by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which concluded that the dismissal was premised on an erroneous finding of patent ineligibility (Visual Memory LLC v. NVIDIA Corporation, No. 16-2254, Fed. Cir.).

Federal Circuit Upholds Obviousness, Anticipation Holding In Podcast Patent Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) was entitled to prevail on its petition before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which challenged the validity of a podcast technology patent, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 7 (Personal Audio LLC v. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, No. 16-1123, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14485).

Delaware Federal Judge Enters Partial Judgment Of No Patent Infringement
WILMINGTON, Del. - Allegations by two plaintiffs that 12 patents were infringed by the manufacture and sale of certain televisions, laptops and tablets were partly dismissed Aug. 11 by a Delaware federal judge on the basis of license agreements that cover some of the accused products (MiiCs and Partners America Inc., et al. v. Toshiba Corp., et al., No. 14-803; MiiCs and Partners America Inc. v. Funai Electric Co., et al., No. 14-804, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127745).

Virginia Federal Judge Directs Trademark Office To Register
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In an Aug. 9 ruling, a Virginia federal judge declared "" a descriptive trademark that has acquired secondary meaning in Class 43 for hotel reservation services ( B.V. v. Joseph Matal, No. 16-425, E.D. Va., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126320).

Mobile Applications and Litigation: Why Accessibility Is Important And What to Consider Before Launching, Part 2 of 2
By Sanjay Nasta and Paul J. Adam (Complete version of commentary with images available. Document #24-170817-199X.) Ensuring Mobile Apps Are Accessible By People With Disabilities: Tips And Testing Guidance For Designers And Developers

Supreme Court Deems North Carolina Sex Offender Social Media Ban Unconstitutional
WASHINGTON, D.C. - While acknowledging the importance of enacting laws to protect children from sexual predators online, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 19 issued majority and concurring opinions finding that a North Carolina sex offender registry law violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because it "impermissibly restricts lawful speech" and is not sufficiently tailored (Lester Gerard Packingham v. State of North Carolina, No. 15-1194, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3871).

Twitter Users Sue Trump, Allege 1st Amendment Violation In Account Blocking
NEW YORK - The blocking of Twitter users from President Donald J. Trump's account violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a group of blocked users and a free speech advocacy organization assert in a complaint filed against the president and two of his staffers July 11 in New York federal court (Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 1:17-cv-05205, S.D. N.Y.).

Canadian High Court Upholds Global Injunction On Google Search Results
OTTAWA, Ontario - A Canadian trial court properly issued an injunction requiring Google Inc. to remove the links to a trademark infringer's websites worldwide, a Supreme Court of Canada majority ruled June 28, finding that an injunction over just Google's Canadian sites would not sufficiently combat the infringing activities (Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., et al., No. 36602, Canada Sup.).

Tech Firm Appeals Dropbox Trademark Ruling To 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - In a June 16 appellant brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a Texas technology firm argues that a trial court improperly granted summary judgment to Dropbox Inc. (DBI) in the parties' dispute over infringement and priority of ownership of the "Dropbox" trademark, with the appellant contending that its claims against the bigger company are not barred by laches (Dropbox Inc. v. Thru Inc., No. 17-15078, 9th Cir.).

Panel: Complaint Against Digital Media Firm Properly Struck Under Anti-SLAPP Law
LOS ANGELES - Finding that an online entertainment company's trade libel suit against a digital media firm was based directly on the contents of its communications, a California appeals panel on June 29 affirmed a trial court's ruling striking the suit under the state's Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation statute (anti-SLAPP statute), also finding that underlying issues of internet copyright and adult content were matters of public interest that merited protection under the statute ( v. DoubleVerify Inc., No. B264074, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4477).

Man Convicted For Online Threats Seeks Second U.S. Supreme Court Review
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Seeking a second grant of certiorari in a case centering on a Pennsylvania man's conviction for making online threats, a petitioner in his June 26 reply brief asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review a threats standard by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which twice affirmed the conviction, which he contends "defy a common sense reading of unambiguous language" in the federal statute under which he was convicted (Anthony D. Elonis v. United States of America, No. 16-1231, U.S. Sup.).

West Virginia Man Says Arrest Over Facebook Posts Violated 1st Amendment
WHEELING, W.Va. - In a June 30 complaint in a West Virginia federal court, a self-described political activist claims that his 2015 arrest, incarceration and prosecution over three Facebook posts violated his rights to participate in protected political speech (David Jones v. Michael S. White II, etc., No. 5:17-cv-00100, N.D. W.Va.).

5th Circuit Vacates Exemplary Damages In Computer Access Suit
NEW ORLEANS - Finding that a staffing firm failed to establish malice in a rival's hiring away one of its employees who was found to have accessed his former employer's computer network without authorization, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 21 vacated a trial court's $124,000 exemplary damages award against the defendant firm (Merritt Hawkins & Associates LLC v. Larry Scott Gresham, et al., No. 16-10439, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10981).

IT Firm Asserts No Liability For Ex-Employee's Hacking Of Columbia Sportswear
PORTLAND, Ore. - A Washington state tech firm moved for summary judgment in Oregon federal court July 10 on Columbia Sportswear Co.'s computer fraud and wiretap claims against it, arguing that it cannot be held vicariously liable for the hacking activities of a man who was previously employed by both companies (Columbia Sportswear Co. v. 3MD Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-00342, D. Ore.).

Debit Card Firm To 11th Circuit: Crime Protection Policy Covered Chit Fraud Loss
ATLANTA - Arguing that an $11 million debit card fraud scheme utilized its computer system, a card management firm argues in a June 13 brief to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a trial court erred in finding that its crime protection insurer was not obligated to provide coverage for the resulting loss under a computer fraud provision (Hi Technology Corp., et al. v. Great American Insurance Co., No. 17-11712, 11th Cir.).

9th Circuit Upholds Copyright, Trademark Judgment For Microsoft
SAN FRANCISCO - A $1.95 million statutory damage award issued in favor of copyright and trademark infringement plaintiff Microsoft Corp. will stand, in light of a June 27 ruling by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Microsoft Corp. v. Buy More Inc., et al., No. 15-56544, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11454).

Supreme Court Denies Certiorari In Dancing Baby Copyright Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following a May amicus brief from the U.S. government urging that certiorari be denied in a longstanding copyright dispute over a viral video, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 19 indicated that it will not hear the case (Stephanie Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., et al., No. 16-217, U.S. Sup.).

Copyright Defendant Zillow Partly Prevails Following Adverse $8.2 Million Verdict
SEATTLE - Jurors who in February deemed Zillow Inc. an infringer of 28,125 copyrighted images did not hear sufficient evidence from which to conclude that Zillow failed to take "simple measures" to remove the works from its "Zillow Digs" mobile app, a Washington federal judge ruled June 20 (VHT Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc., No. 15-1096, W.D. Wash.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95010).

Amazon Waives Right To Respond To Author's DMCA Claims, Petition For Certiorari
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the wake of trial and appeals court rulings in its favor, Inc. on June 28 waived its right to respond to a pro se plaintiff's petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, in which he asserts that the online retailer was negligent in its duty to remove infringing items from its website under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (Reginald Hart v. Inc., No. 16-1549, U.S. Sup.).

High Court Denies MP3Tunes Founder's Jurisdictional Challenge In Copyright Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its June 19 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari by the founder of now-defunct online music-sharing service MP3Tunes LLC, who argued that neither he nor his former company had sufficient contacts with New York to establish personal jurisdiction over him in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by a group of record labels (Michael Robertson v. EMI Christian Music Group, et al., No. 16-1227, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3969).

Internet Service Provider Appeals Infringement Ruling, Fees Award To 4th Circuit
RICHMOND, Va. - With briefing completed on its appeal of a trial court finding it contributorily liable for users' online infringement, an internet service provider (ISP) on June 28 filed a supplemental brief in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, voicing its objections to a subsequent award of attorney fees against it (BMG Rights Management [US] LLC, et al. v. Cox Communications Inc., et al., No. 16-1972, 17-1352 and 17-1353, 4th Cir.).

Megaupload Executives Say Circuit Split Requires Review Of Foreign Asset Seizure
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Former executives of the now-defunct file-sharing service Megaupload filed a reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on June 21, supporting their petition for certiorari and urging review and clarification of procedures governing the seizure of foreign assets under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA), which the petitioners say the U.S. government wrongly invoked to seize their assets in a criminal copyright case (Finn Batato, et al. v. United States of America, No. 16-1206, U.S. Sup.).

Bakery Chain Hit With ADA Class Complaint Over Website Accessibility
NEW YORK - A visually impaired man on July 5 filed a putative class complaint against a chain of bakeries in New York federal court, alleging violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) based on the purported inaccessibility of the chain's website for blind individuals (Steven Matzura v. Milk Bar Inc., No. 1:17-cv-05030, S.D. N.Y.).

McDonald's Denies That Website, App Violate Blind Man's ADA Rights
CHICAGO - In a June 26 answer filed in Illinois federal court, McDonald's Corp. denies that it violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) by not providing equal access to its website and mobile app for visually impaired individuals, asking the court to dismiss the complaint brought by a California man (Sean Gorecki v. McDonald's Corporation, No. 1:17-cv-03036, N.D. Ill.).

Supreme Court Invites Government Views In Apple, Samsung Patent Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its June 26 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court invited the U.S. solicitor general to express the views of the federal government on whether an injunction in a patent case can be premised on findings of "some connection" between an infringing feature and alleged irreparable harm (Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 16-1102, U.S. Sup.).

Mobile Applications and Litigation: Why Accessibility Is Important And What To Consider Before Launching, Part 1 of 2
By Sanjay Nasta and Paul J. Adam (Complete version of commentary with images available. Document #24-170720-199X.) Why Mobile Accessibility?

Voluntary Dismissal Of Xbox Class Action Barred Appellate Review, High Court Rules
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The voluntary dismissal with prejudice of class claims against Microsoft Corp. over allegedly defective Xbox 360 gaming consoles deprived an appeals court of jurisdiction under 28 U.S. Code Section 1291, a U.S. Supreme Court majority ruled June 12, reversing a ruling of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Microsoft Corp. v. Seth Baker, et al., No. 15-457, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3721).

2nd Circuit Affirms Conviction, Life Sentence Of Silk Road Creator
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 31 affirmed a seven-count criminal conviction against Ross William Ulbricht, the founder of online criminal marketplace Silk Road, and upheld a trial court's imposition of a life sentence, finding that it was not unreasonable given the magnitude of criminal conduct (United States of America v. Ross William Ulbricht, No. 15-1815, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9517).

D.C. Circuit Dismisses CEO's Appeal Of Senate Subpoena As Moot
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Because a U.S. Senate subcommittee no longer seeks to enforce an investigatory document productions subpoena on LLC, a District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on May 16 dismissed an appeal of an enforcement order brought by the firm's chief executive officer as moot (Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations v. Carl Ferrer, No. 16-5232 and 16-5274, D.C. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8558).

Judge Deems Winn-Dixie's Website Not Accessible To The Blind Under The ADA
MIAMI - Ruling in favor of a legally blind man, a Florida federal judge on June 13 found that a supermarket chain's website was not accessible to visually impaired patrons and ordered the chain to undertake remediation measures to bring its site in compliance with the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Juan Carlos Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., No. 1:16-cv-23020, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90204).

Panel Upholds Minor's Criminal Threats Conviction Based On Facebook Post
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on May 16 found that a junior high student's violent Facebook post was properly deemed a criminal threat under state law because it reasonably communicated a threat of death or bodily injury to identified targets, leading it to affirm a juvenile court's conviction and sentence (In re A.F., No. B270864, Calif. App. 2nd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3323).

Twitter Tells 9th Circuit Terror Victims' Families' Suit Was Properly Dismissed
SAN FRANCISCO - In a May 31 brief, Twitter Inc. asks the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm dismissal of a lawsuit brought against it by family members of two terror victims under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), citing the plaintiffs' failure to establish liability for a terrorist's actions, as well as the safe harbor provision of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Tamara Fields, et al. v. Twitter Inc., No. 16-17165, 9th Cir.).

Federal Circuit Finds Amazon Not Liable For Third Party's Infringing Goods
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Washington federal judge did not err in rejecting allegations that Inc. infringes the intellectual property of others through its online marketplace and "Fulfillment by Amazon" service, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 23 (Milo & Gabby LLC, et al. v. Inc., No. 16-1290, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8932).

Click Fraud Class Complaint Over Google AdWords Program Dismissed
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A small business owner that alleged fraud and misrepresentation by Google Inc. due to click fraud associated with its AdWords program saw his putative class complaint dismissed June 2 by a California federal judge who found a lack of facts to support the plaintiff's unfair competition and false advertising claims (Gurminder Singh v. Google Inc., No. 5:16-cv-03734, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85196).

Jury Awards Database Firm Over $3.7M In Trade Secrets Theft Verdict
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida federal court jury on May 11 awarded an institutional research database firm a more than $3.7 million verdict on claims that an investment firm computer software sales and services provider illegally obtained the database firm's confidential and trade secrets information through use of client login credentials and used the information to compete with the financial data uploading business (eVestment Alliance LLC v. Compass iTech LLC, No. 14-81241, S.D. Fla.).

Copyright Claim Over Reposted Skyline Photo Dismissed Against Government Official
INDIANAPOLIS - A photographer failed to establish any individual liability against the director of a government agency related to the unauthorized posting of a copyrighted photograph, an Indiana federal judge ruled June 12, granting dismissal of infringement and unfair competition claims against the official (Richard N. Bell v. David N. Powell, et al., No. 1:16-cv-02491, S.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89587).

DOJ Defends Seizing Of Foreign Megaupload Assets To Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a June 7 brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) opposes a petition for certiorari by former executives of the now-defunct file-sharing service Megaupload, arguing that a trial court properly deemed them fugitives and ordered seizure of their foreign-held assets in accordance with the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA) (Finn Batato, et al. v. United States of America, No. 16-1206, U.S. Sup.).

Oracle, Google Square Off Before Federal Circuit In Fair Use Appeal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal jury's finding in May 2016 that Google Inc.'s incorporation of the Java structure, sequence and organization (SSO) in its Android operating system was a fair use was proper and should not be disturbed, Google told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 22 (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., Nos. 17-1118, -1202, Fed. Cir.).

YouTube User Says High Court Review Of DMCA Fair Use Is Needed
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a May 19 supplemental brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, filed in response to an amicus curiae brief filed by the U.S. government, a woman whose video was removed from YouTube for purported copyright violation, argues that her petition for certiorari should be granted to ensure that the safe harbor parameters of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), such as fair use, "are properly construed" (Stephanie Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., et al., No. 16-217, U.S. Sup.).

'Used' Digital Music Seller Tells 2nd Circuit It Makes No Infringing Copies
NEW YORK - In a May 19 reply brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a digital music reseller insists that it does not make infringing copies of "used" music files that it purchases from users of its service, asking the court to vacate a copyright infringement liability judgment against it (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. ReDigi Inc., et al., No. 16-2321, 2nd Cir.).

Journalist Files Defamation Suit Over Blogger's 'White Power' Tweet
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a complaint filed June 1 in District of Columbia federal court, one internet journalist sued another for defamation over a Twitter posting that she says falsely insinuated that she is a white supremacist (Cassandra Fairbanks v. Emma Roller, No. 1:17-cv-01052, D. D.C.).

EEOC Sues Over Firing Of Transgender Man For Website Posting
SAN FRANCISCO - Stating that a transgender man was terminated in retaliation for his posting on an employer-rating website that criticized the employer's purported discriminatory practices the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 24 filed a complaint on the employee's behalf in California federal court, alleging violation of federal anti-discrimination statutes (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. IXL Learning Inc., No. 3:17-cv-029979, N.D. Calif.).

Magistrate: Failure To Preserve Browser Histories Negligent, Not Sanctionable
WILMINGTON, N.C. - Although the defendant in a libel suit was negligent in failing to preserve the internet browser histories of its employees for discovery purposes, a North Carolina federal magistrate judge on June 7 found no evidence of intentional conduct that would merit the sanction of adverse jury instructions sought by the plaintiff (Frederic N. Eshelman v. Puma Biotechnology Inc., No. 7:16-cv-00018, E.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87282).

Google Prevails Before Board In Consolidated Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on May 17 issued a final written decision declaring seven claims of a data optimization patent unpatentable as obvious (Google Inc. v. Vedanti Systems Ltd., No. 2016-00212, PTAB).

Yahoo Seeks Covered Business Method Review Of 3 Patents
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In three petitions for covered business method (CBM) review filed May 15 with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Yahoo! Inc. asserts that various claims of patents relating to targeted advertising cover ineligible subject matter (Yahoo! Inc. v. AlmondNet Inc., No. CBM2017-00050, PTAB).

VirnetX Appeals To Federal Circuit, Disputes Prior Art Ruling By Board
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A finding by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that prior art qualified as a "printed publication" within the meaning of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 102(b), came under fire in a recent brief filed with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (VirnetX Inc. v. Apple Inc., Nos. 2017-1131, -1132, -1186, -1274, -1275, -1276, -1291, Fed. Cir.).