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

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Terror-Aiding Suit Against Social Networks Dismissed For Lack Of Proximate Cause
SAN FRANCISCO - Two plaintiffs alleging terror-aiding claims against Twitter Inc., Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. failed to establish proximate cause between the actions of a mass shooter and the use of the defendants' social media platforms, a California federal judge ruled Dec. 4, also deeming the claims barred by the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Demetrick Pennie, et al. v. Twitter Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-00230, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199250).



Spokeo Seeks 2nd Certiorari Grant Over Injury-In-Fact Standing Requirement
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Less than two years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the concrete injury requirement to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution in a lawsuit over alleged violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the data aggregator defendant filed a renewed petition for certiorari Dec. 4, citing conflicting lower court interpretations of the prior ruling and a remand ruling by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that it says undermines the 2016 decision (Spokeo Inc. v. Thomas Robins, No. 17-806, U.S. Sup.).



6th Circuit Remands Refusal To Unmask Blogger In Copyright Case
CINCINNATI - In what it deemed an issue of first impression, a divided Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 28 held that a general presumption in favor of unmasking anonymous defendants exists when a judgment has been entered in favor of a plaintiff (Signature Management Team LLC v. John Doe, No. 16-2188, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23974).



YouTube Seeks Judgment On Libel Claim Over Video Takedown Notice
SAN FRANCISCO - A rasta band's libel per quod claim based on a video takedown notice fails in light of a recent California appellate ruling and the absence of any genuine dispute of material fact, YouTube LLC argues in a Dec. 5 brief in California federal court in support of its motion for summary judgment (Song fi Inc., et al. v. Google Inc., et al., No. 3:14-cv-05080, N.D. Calif.).



Adult Site Owner's Petition Over Vicarious, Direct Copyright Infringement Denied
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Dec. 4 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari to the operator of an adult website that had appealed a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a usenet provider was not liable for direct or vicarious infringement of its copyrighted images due to a lack of volitional conduct (Perfect 10 Inc. v. Giganews Inc., et al, No. 17-320, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 7259).



Adult Film Firm May Subpoena ISP For File Sharer's Identity
SAN DIEGO - An adult entertainment firm has sufficiently established a prima facie copyright infringement case against a John Doe online file sharer, a California federal magistrate ruled Dec. 7, granting the plaintiff's motion to conduct expedited discovery on the Doe's internet service provider (ISP) to identify the defendant for litigation purposes (Strike 3 Holdings LLC v. John Doe, No. 3:17-cv-02312, S.D. Calif.).



Computer Fraud Ruling Against Ex-Employee Partly Reversed By Louisiana Judge
NEW ORLEANS - A former employee's newly submitted evidence created material issues of fact on parts of his ex-employer's computer fraud and unfair trade practices claims against him, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Dec. 7, partly granting the defendant's reconsideration motion, while declining to reconsider judgment on accompanying trade secrets and conversion claims (Eddie Sussman Sr., et al. v. Financial Guards LLC, et al., No. 2:15-cv-02373, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201566).



LinkedIn, Analytics Firm Debate CFAA, UCL Principles In 9th Circuit Briefs
SAN FRANCISCO - In a Dec. 11 reply brief seeking reversal of an injunction preventing it from blocking a data analytics firm from scraping user information from its site, LinkedIn Corp. tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the plaintiff's activities violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), while contending that its blocking measures do not violate California's unfair competition law (UCL) (hiQ Labs Inc. v. LinkedIn Corp., No. 17-16783, 9th Cir.).



Insurer Asks 2nd Circuit To Find Wire Transfer Theft Is Not Covered Under Policy
NEW YORK - An insurer asked the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 5 to reverse a lower court's finding that coverage for a firm's multimillion-dollar loss due to a fraudulent wire transfer scheme existed under the computer fraud provision of the company's executive protection insurance policy (Medidata Solutions Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 17-2492, 2nd Cir.).



IT Specialist Can Opine On Falsity Of Investor Statements, Judge Says
SHERMAN, Texas - An information technology specialist can testify about whether statements made to investors by the CEO of a computer server development company were false, but cannot opine on whether the statements were misleading, a Texas federal judge ruled Nov. 14 (Securities and Exchange Commission v. William E. Mapp, III, No. 4:16-cv-00246, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188083).



Restraining Order Partially Granted After Hijacking Of Franchisor's Website
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on Nov. 8 partially granted an emergency ex parte motion for temporary restraining order filed by a franchisor and ordered a former employee who is accused of seizing control of the franchisor's domain name to halt using any domain name containing the franchisor's name or similar variations of it and to not disclose any trade secrets (PROTEINHOUSE Franchising, LLC, et al. v. Ken B. Gutman, et al., No. 17-2816, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185468).



Hulu Hit With Class Suit Over Inaccessibility For Blind Customers
BOSTON - Two organizations for visually impaired people and two blind individuals filed a class complaint on Nov. 20 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts accusing Hulu LLC, an online streaming company, of discrimination by failing to provide an audio description on any content and failing to make its website and software applications accessible to customers using screen readers (American Council of the Blind, et al. v. Hulu LLC, No. 17-12285, D. Mass.).



Federal Circuit Vacates Obviousness Holding By Board, Sides With Microsoft
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although affirming a construction by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the claim term "request," the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 1 nonetheless vacated in full the board's determination that two patents are nonobvious and partly vacated the board's holding that the patents are not anticipated by prior art (Microsoft Corp., et al., v. Parallel Networks Licensing LLC, Nos. 2016-2515, -2517, -2518, -2519, -2642, -2644, -2645, -2646, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24333).



Tech Firm To High Court: Federal Circuit Misapplied Alice In Apple ITunes Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Seeking review of a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that reversed a judgment ruling in its favor, a Texas tech firm tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a Nov. 9 petition for certiorari that a panel incorrectly applied the patent eligibility test of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int'l in deeming its patents abstract and not patent-eligible (Smartflash LLC, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 17-697, U.S. Sup.).



Federal Circuit Upholds Claim Constructions, Obviousness Holding
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that various challenged patent claims would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art were affirmed Nov. 30 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found no error in the board's differing construction of "internet protocol" and "Internet protocol" (AIP Acquisition LLC v. Cisco Systems Inc., No. 16-2371, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24192).



Federal Circuit Sides With Apple, Affirms Patent Claim Construction
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 22 upheld the claim construction of various disputed terms proffered by a California federal judge in a win for Apple Inc. (Rembrandt Patent Innovations LLC, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 16-2324, Fed. Cir.).



Delaware Federal Magistrate Judge: Don't Dismiss Patent Case Against WhatsApp
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal magistrate judge on Nov. 20 recommended that allegations that WhatsApp Inc. infringed two electronic messaging patents should proceed, rejecting a request for dismissal on grounds of patent ineligibility (TriPlay Inc. v. WhatsApp Inc., No. 13-1703, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191330).



Microsoft Seeks Inter Partes Review Of Remote Control Zoom Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a Nov. 17 petition for inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Microsoft Corp. challenged the patentability of seven claims of a patented remote control with an auto-zoom feature, which allows for easier button selection on a touch screen (Microsoft Corp. v. Koninklijke Philips N.V., No. IPR2018-00185, PTAB).



Tech Firm To High Court: Federal Circuit Can Review PTAB Patent Determinations
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Opposing Google LLC's petition for certiorari in a Nov. 9 brief, a mobile technology firm tells the U.S. Supreme Court that, per the America Invents Act (AIA), the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has authority to review and reverse patent ineligibility determinations by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) made during a covered business method (CBM) review (Google LLC v. Unwired Planet LLC., No. 17-357, U.S. Sup.).



Panel: Employee Fired For Pro-Trump Tweet Wrongly Denied Unemployment Benefits
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania appellate panel on Nov. 13 found that an employee's tweet, which led to her dismissal, did not violate her employer's social media policy and, thus, did not constitute willful misconduct to disqualify her from receiving unemployment compensation (UC) benefits (Waverly Heights Ltd. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. 312 CD 2017, Pa. Cmwlth.).



Terror Victim's Family's Terror-Aiding Claims Against Google Dismissed Under CDA
OAKLAND, Calif. - Google Inc. saw terror-aiding claims related to the 2015 Paris attack dismissed Oct. 23, with a California federal judge finding that the claims brought by family members of one of the attack victims, who sought to hold Google liable for providing online resources that aided the terrorists, were barred under the immunity provision of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) because they treated Google as the speaker of the YouTube videos at issue (Reynaldo Gonzalez v. Google Inc., No. 4:16-cv-03282, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175327).



Twitter Users, DOJ Move For Summary Judgment In Trump Account-Blocking Suit
NEW YORK - Responding to a summary judgment motion filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of President Donald J. Trump and three top aides, a group of people that have been blocked from the president's Twitter account filed a cross-motion on Nov. 3 in New York federal court, defending their claims under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 1:17-cv-05205, S.D. N.Y.).



Judge Halts Enforcement Of Canadian High Court's Global Injunction Against Google
SAN JOSE, Calif. - On Nov. 2, a California federal judge granted preliminary injunctive relief to stop domestic enforcement of a Canadian Supreme Court requiring Google LLC to remove listings for a trade secret infringing firm from all of its websites globally, with the judge finding that the "order undermines the policy goals of [the Communications Decency Act (CDA)] and threatens free speech on the global internet" (Google LLC v. Equustek Solutions Inc., No. 5:17-cv-04207, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182194).



Conservative Group Says YouTube's Video Restrictions Violated 1st Amendment
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a complaint filed Oct. 23 in California federal court, a conservative organization alleges that YouTube LLC and its parent company Google Inc. violate its free speech rights under the California Constitution and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by restricting access to some of its posted videos on the basis of political ideology rather than any objectionable content (Prager University v. Google Inc., et al., No. 5:17-cv-06064, N.D. Calif.).



California Federal Judge Orders New Damages Trial In Apple, Samsung Case
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 22 ruling, U.S. Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California rejected claims by Apple Inc. that the burden of persuasion in identifying the relevant article of manufacture under Section 289 of the Patent Act rests with a design patent infringement defendant (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 5:11-cv-01846, N.D. Calif.).



Federal Circuit Affirms: File Identification Patent Properly Deemed Ineligible
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Allegations of infringement were properly dismissed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), because the patent in suit claims ineligible subject matter, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Nov. 3 (Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Erie Indemnity Company, et al., No. 17-1147, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22060).



Supreme Court Denies Certiorari In Apple, Samsung Patent Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Nov. 6 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court heeded the advice of the U.S. government and denied certiorari in the longstanding dispute between Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Apple Inc. over smartphone technology patents (Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 16-1102, U.S. Sup.).



Federal Circuit Affirms: Data Streaming Patents Ineligible For Protection
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge did not err in deeming a series of patents stemming from continuation applications ineligible for protection under Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 101, because the patents claim the abstract idea of sending and monitoring the delivery of audio/visual information, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 1 (Two-Way Media Ltd. v. Comcast Cable Communications LLC, et al., No. 16-2531, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21706).



Federal Circuit Reverses Indefiniteness Holding, Rules Against Microsoft
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by a Minnesota federal judge that five claims of two patents directed to data mining are indefinite were erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Oct. 30 (MasterMine Software Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., No. 16-2465, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21479).



Exclusion Order Barring Importation Of Infringing Network Devices Affirmed
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A limited exclusion order entered by the International Trade Commission (ITC) against Arista Networks Inc. based upon findings that Arista infringed three Cisco Systems Inc. patents was upheld Oct. 18 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found no error in the ITC's determination of infringement (Arista Networks Inc. v. International Trade Commission, No. 16-2563, Fed. Cir.).



Federal Circuit Affirms Own Member, Sides With Google In Patent Row
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Judge Timothy B. Dyk of the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals did not err in denying a motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) by a patent owner following an adverse jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, the Federal Circuit ruled Oct. 20 (Art+Com Innovationpool GmbH v. Google Inc., No. 17-1016, Fed. Cir.).



Caltech Urges Patent Board To Reconsider Grant Of Apple Motion
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - An October decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to grant Apple Inc.'s motion to file supplemental information in its challenge to a California Institute of Technology (Caltech) patent is "deeply prejudicial in both its timing and its scope," the university told the board on Nov. 13 (Apple Inc. v. California Institute of Technology, No. IPR2017-00728, PTAB).



2nd Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Suit Over Weight Watchers Site 'Glitches'
NEW YORK - In a Nov. 2 summary order, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found that a breach of contract claim over problems with the website and app of Weight Watchers International Inc. failed because the site was offered on an "as is" basis, affirming a trial court's dismissal of a putative class action (Raymond M. Roberts v. Weight Watchers International Inc., No. 16-3865, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21874).



Yahoo, Promotions Firm Announce Settlement In Remanded NCAA Contest Suit
DALLAS - In a joint filing Nov. 13 in Texas federal court, Yahoo! Inc. and a former promotional partner announced that they had stipulated to settlement of the remaining issues in a remanded case centering on contractual disputes over a 2014 online NCAA contest three months after the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that Yahoo owed the plaintiff $4.4 million (SCA Promotions Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 3:14-cv-00957, N.D. Texas).



Internet Posting Bans In 'Comic-Con' Trademark Suit Vacated As Prior Restraint
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Oct. 30 vacated previous protective orders preventing the defendant in a dispute over the "Comic-Con" trademark from posting online about the litigation, issuing the order in compliance with a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that deemed the internet bans prior restraint under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Const. amend. I (San Diego Comic Convention v. Dan Farr Productions, et al., No. 3:14-cv-01865, S.D. Calif.).



75 Website Operators Enjoined From Offering Counterfeit Gucci Items
FORT LAUDERDALE - A Florida federal judge on Nov. 8 granted Gucci America Inc.'s motion for a preliminary injunction against 75 website operators that the plaintiff said were selling counterfeit goods bearing the "Gucci" mark, finding Gucci "very likely" to succeed in its trademark infringement claims (Gucci America Inc. v. 532buy.com, et al., No.0:17-cv-62068, S.D. Fla.).



4th Circuit Affirms: Computer Fraud Claims Preempted By Copyright Act
RICHMOND, Va. - Allegations that the creator of a cloud computing environment committed computer fraud when it copied and transferred data to former employees of a company it once contracted with are preempted by the Copyright Act, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 13 (OpenRisk LLC v. MicroStrategy Services Corp., No. 16-1852, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22736).



BitTorrent Users Severed, Dismissed In 'Mechanic: Resurrection' Copyright Suit
LAS VEGAS - Adopting a magistrate's recommendation, a California federal judge on Nov. 7 severed all but one defendant accused of infringing a movie's copyright via online file sharing, with the judge deeming the defendants improperly joined (ME2 Productions Inc. v. Mikiyas Bayu, et al., No. 2:17-cv-00724, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184021).



Usenet Provider Opposes Adult Site's Certiorari Bid In Vicarious Copyright Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Asserting that an appeals court's ruling in its favor presented no conflicts with copyright law or controlling case law, a usenet provider argues in an Oct. 20 brief in the U.S. Supreme Court that there is no merit to an adult website operator's petition for certiorari appealing a finding that the respondent was not liable for infringing content posted by its users (Perfect 10 Inc. v. Giganews Inc., et al, No. 17-320, U.S. Sup.).



2nd Circuit Affirms Rejection Of DMCA Claim, Denial Of Attorney Fees
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge did not err in rejecting allegations that a licensee violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S.C. 1201(a), when it modified security measures to prevent two software programs from self-enforcing certain licensing restrictions because the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate the copyrightability of the underlying programs, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 8 (Dynamic Concepts Inc. and Point 4 Data Corp. v. Tri-State Surgical Supply, et al., Nos. 15-0563, -3212, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22348).



10th Circuit: Refusal To Allow Amended Source Code Copyright Claim Not Erroneous
DENVER - A Utah federal judge's decision to deny The SCO Group Inc. leave to amend its tortious interference complaint against International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) to add a new claim for copyright infringement was affirmed Oct. 30 by the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (The SCO Group Inc. v. International Business Machines Corp., No. 16-4040, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21487).



Justices Will Not Review Role Of Expert Testimony In Copyright Infringement Cases
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 6 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari in a copyright infringement action over the popular John Madden Football series computer game in which the court was asked to determine the standard for the admissibility of expert testimony in copyright infringement disputes involving computer codes (Robin Antonick v. Electronic Arts Inc., No. 17-168, U.S. Sup.).



Zillow Tells 9th Circuit Use Of Home Photos On Website Was Fair Use
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 26 brief appealing a $4 million statutory damages award that assigned a per-photo fine for 2,700 real estate photos deemed infringing, Zillow Group Inc. tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that its online use of the pictures was transformative and fair use (VHT Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc., et al., No. 17-35587 and 17-35588, 9th Cir.).



McDonald's, Blind Patron Settle ADA Suit Over Website's Purported Inaccessibility
CHICAGO - In light of an announced confidential settlement between the parties in an Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit, an Illinois federal judge on Oct. 30 dismissed a lawsuit against McDonald's Corp., in which a blind patron alleged that the restaurant chain's website was not equally accessible to visually impaired people (Sean Gorecki v. McDonald's Corporation, No. 1:17-cv-03036, N.D. Ill.).



Online Payment Company Accuses Former Employees Of Trade Secret Misappropriation
MIAMI - An online payment and settlement computer-based platform for the shipping and cargo industry sued two former employees and others on Nov. 3 in a Florida federal court, claiming that the defendants misappropriated the company's trade secret information to form a competing company in violation of state and federal trade secrets law (Coihue LLC, et al. v. PayAnyBiz LLC, et al., No. 17-24062, S.D. Fla.).



Arbitration Ordered In Class Suit Over Faulty Live Stream Of Mayweather Fight
NEW YORK - A class complaint alleging that the live stream of an August boxing match suffered from technical failures and caused pay-per-view viewers to miss large portions of the fight was stayed Nov. 7 by a New York federal judge, who ordered the matter to arbitration (Victor Mallh, et al. v. Showtime Networks Inc., No. 17-6549, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184471).



Schools And Organizations That Serve Education: Beware OCR Complaints Addressing Online Accessibility
By Vivian Cullipher From Rural School Districts To Prominent Universities: Lack Of Website Accessibility Reaps Tidal Wave Of Complaints The issue of whether or not private sector enterprises must make their online and digital materials accessible to people with disabilities centers around whether Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to websites. Because the ADA does not name websites and electronic content specifically, courts look to precedent and Department of Justice statements, sometimes leading to conflicting decisions.1 More often than not, however, judgments support the idea that inaccessible websites prevent people with disabilities from having similar access to information and function as those without, violating the ADA.2



7 Petitions For Certiorari Filed After D.C. Circuit's Net Neutrality Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Seven separate petitions for certiorari were filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 28 appealing the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling upholding the decision of the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify broadband internet service as a telecommunications service, with AT&T Inc. and others questioning the commission's statutory authority to do so (AT&T Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission, et al., No. 17-499, American Cable Association v. Federal Communications Commission, et al., No. 17-500; CTIA-The Wireless Association v. Federal Communications Commission, et al., No. 17-501; NCTA-The Internet and Television Association v. Federal Communications Commission, et al., No. 17-502; TechFreedom, et al. v. Federal Communications Commission, et al., No. 17-503; United States Telecom Association, et al. v. Federal Communications Commission, et al., No. 17-504; Daniel Berninger v. Federal Communications Commission, et al., No. 17-498, U.S. Sup.).



Winn-Dixie Disputes ADA Application To Websites In 11th Circuit
ATLANTA - Appealing a lower court's finding that a visually impaired man sufficiently alleged that its website's purported lack of accessibility violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. tells the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an Oct. 10 brief that the statute's accessibility requirements apply to physical locations, not websites (Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. v. Juan Carlos Gil, No. 17-13467, 11th Cir.).



Complaint Over CVS Website Accessibility Survives Dismissal Motion
LOS ANGELES - A visually impaired woman sufficiently stated her claims that CVS Pharmacy Inc.'s website is not equally accessible under California civil rights law, a California federal judge ruled in an Oct. 3 in chambers order, denying the drugstore chain's motion to dismiss (Kayla Reed v. CVS Pharmacy Inc., et al., No. 2:17-cv-03877, C.D. Calif.).



Megaupload Executives Denied Certiorari In Fugitive Disentitlement Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A group of former executives of the now-defunct file-sharing service Megaupload who were convicted for criminal copyright convictions won't have their questions about fugitive disentitlement of assets heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, as their petition for certiorari was denied in the high court's Oct. 2 order list (Finn Batato, et al. v. United States, No. 16-1206, U.S. Sup.).



1st Circuit Affirms: Copyrights Conveyed To Gripe Website
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 11 upheld findings by a Massachusetts federal judge that a disgruntled civil litigant conveyed a nonexclusive license to the "Ripoff Report" website when he clicked a box acknowledging that a user who posts on the site agrees to give the site's owner an "irrevocable right" to display the posting (Small Justice LLC, et al. v. Xcentric Ventures LLC, Nos. 15-1506, 16-1085, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19866).



3 Studio Plaintiffs Added In Amended Copyright Complaint Against VidAngel
LOS ANGELES - After receiving adverse rulings for sanctions, contempt and a preliminary injunction, video-streaming service provider VidAngel Inc. saw three more movie studios join a copyright infringement lawsuit against it, with the Oct. 6 filing of a first amended complaint (FAC) (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-004109, C.D. Calif.).



Oracle's False Advertising Counterclaims Survive Motion To Dismiss
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on Sept. 21 found that Lanham Act claims based upon a former copyright infringement defendant's alleged false representation that its revised software maintenance program was no longer infringing are not preempted by the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq. (Rimini Street Inc. v. Oracle America Inc., No. 14-1699, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154930).



California Anti-Spam Law Applies To Advertiser, Not Sender, Judge Rules
SAN FRANCISCO - A California law that prohibits the sending of fraudulent, unsolicited emails provides for liability only against the advertisers whose ads are contained in the messages, not the entity that sent them, a California federal judge ruled Sept. 22, granting a Nevada firm's motion to dismiss a spam claim against it (Mira Blanchard, et al. v. Fluent Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-04497, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155535).



High Court Seeks Solicitor General's Input In Apple App Store Antitrust Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After being fully briefed in a putative class action over alleged anti-competitive behavior by Apple Inc. related to its App Store, the U.S. Supreme Court in its Oct. 10 order list invited the U.S. solicitor general to file a brief expressing the government's views on antitrust standing of direct and indirect purchasers, seeking input in considering Apple's petition for certiorari (Apple Inc. v. Robert Pepper, et al., No. 17-204, U.S. Sup.).



Judge Finds Reputation Management Firm Did Not Agree To Settle Fraud Action
SAN JOSE, Calif. - After finding that a company never agreed to settle claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and conspiracy in relation to allegations that it participated in a scheme to create fake news, a California federal judge on Sept. 27 refused to grant approval of the agreement (Consumer Opinion LLC v. Frankfort News Corp., et al., No. 16-cv-05100, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159251).



Ex-Employee Denied Bid To Argue Computer Fraud Case In Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A man convicted for computer fraud and misappropriation of his former employer's trade secrets saw his petition for certiorari denied Oct. 10, as the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider his question about what constitutes access to a computer "without authorization" under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (David Nosal v. United States, No. 16-1344, U.S. Sup.).



Supreme Court Denies Social Media Aggregator's Petition Challenging CFAA Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 10 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari by an online social media aggregator, which insisted that it had accessed users' data on Facebook Inc.'s social network with their consent and, thus, did not exceed authorization under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (Power Ventures Inc., et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 16-1105, U.S. Sup.).



LinkedIn Tells 9th Circuit Analytics Firm's Bot Scraping Violates The CFAA
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 3 brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, LinkedIn Corp. seeks reversal of a preliminary injunction preventing it from blocking a data analytics company from collecting and reusing its information, contending that it did not violate California's unfair competition law (UCL), while maintaining that the firm's bot-scraping activities violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (hiQ Labs Inc. v. LinkedIn Corp., No. 17-16783, 9th Cir.).



State Farm Defends Motion To Compel Discovery For Computer Fraud Claims
GULFPORT, Miss. - In an Oct. 2 rebuttal brief supporting its motion to compel discovery related to its computer fraud counterclaims in a decade-old false claims suit related to Hurricane Katrina claims, State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. calls its discovery requests "straightforward," while arguing that the counterdefendants failed to show that the requests are burdensome or cover privileged material (United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 1:06-cv-00433, S.D. Miss.).



U.S. Government Opposes Certiorari In Samsung, Apple Smartphone Patent Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Oct. 4 amicus curiae brief, the U.S. government recommended that the U.S. Supreme Court deny Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s petition for certiorari in its dispute over smartphone technology patents with Apple Inc., arguing that an appeals court judgment affirming a verdict and judgment were properly reached and present no questions of law meriting high court review (Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 16-1102, U.S. Sup.).



California Contract Lawsuit Won't Be Dismissed Because Of Texas Patent Case
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 5 order, a California federal judge denied a motion to dismiss breach of contract allegations levied by Yahoo! Inc. in favor of an earlier-filed patent infringement action pending in Texas federal court (Yahoo! Inc. v. MyMail Ltd., No. 16-7044, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165642).



High Court Won't Hear Suit Over Whether 'Google' Trademark Is Generic
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 16 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari in which two men asserted that the term "google" has become generic and, thus, is no longer entitled to trademark protection (David Elliott, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 17-258, U.S. Sup.).



Tech Firm Appeals Fees Award, Judgment In 'Dropbox' Trademark Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 6 reply brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a small tech company argues that a $2 million attorney fee award against it was inappropriate and "create[s] a terrible precedent" because it was merely defending its "Dropbox" trademark against a larger company (Dropbox Inc. v. Thru Inc., No. 17-15078, 9th Cir.).



Supreme Court Denies 2nd Certiorari Petition In Case Over Online Threats
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Pennsylvania man convicted for making threats against co-workers and others on social media saw his second bid at a petition for certiorari denied Oct. 2 when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider his questions related to a reasonableness standard and mens rea in reaching such a conviction (Anthony D. Elonis v. United States of America, No. 16-1231, U.S. Sup.).



Supreme Court Won't Hear Suit Over Liability For Online Sale Of Infringing Goods
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 10 order list, the U.S. Supreme denied a petition for certiorari in a children's pillowcase maker's suit against Amazon.com Inc., declining to consider questions regarding an online retailer's liability for the sale of a third party's goods that infringe another's patents or copyrights (Milo & Gabby LLC, et al. v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 17-287, U.S. Sup.).



Nice, France, Attack Survivor Sues Twitter, Facebook Google For Terror Aiding
SAN FRANCISCO - A woman whose husband and son were killed in the July 2016 terror attack in Nice, France, filed a complaint in California federal court on Oct. 12 against Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google Inc., alleging that the three social network operators violated the Antiterrorism Act (ATA) by permitting terrorists, including the Nice attacker, to use their online platforms to carry out their terrorist activities (Kimberly Copeland v. Twitter Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-05851, N.D. Calif.).



Judge: Right Of Publicity Act Class Suit Fails Due To Express Consent
CHICAGO - The user of a photo mobile application who consented to sending invitations to all of his contacts in exchange for free storage space cannot now sue the app creator for using his name when contacting his contacts, an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 20, finding that the class complaint fails due to the user's express consent (Danny Pratt v. Everalbum, Inc., No. 17-1600, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152763).



Trial Date In Uber Trade Secrets Suit Moved To Early December
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 4 order, the federal judge overseeing the trade secrets and patent infringement lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. granted plaintiff Waymo LLC's motion for a continuance and delayed the start of trial until early December (Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 17-0939, N.D. Calif.).



Investors Found To Have Pleaded Control-Person Liability In Securities Suit
HARTFORD, Conn. - Investors have properly pleaded each of their state and federal securities laws claims against the co-founder of a virtual currency mining company, a federal judge in Connecticut ruled Oct. 11 in denying the defendant's motion to dismiss all claims against him (Denis M. Audet, et al. v. Stuart A. Fraser, et al., No. 16-0940, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167830).