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®
High Court Hears Arguments On Jurisdiction Of Dismissed Defective Xbox Class Action
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 21 heard arguments from Microsoft Corp. and a class of owners of allegedly defective Xbox gaming systems as to whether an appeals court has jurisdiction to consider a class certification appeal after the plaintiffs have voluntarily dismissed their claims with prejudice (Microsoft Corp. v. Seth Baker, et al., No. 15-457, U.S. Sup.).
Social Media Aggregator Asks High Court To Review Facebook Computer Fraud Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a March 9 petition for certiorari, a social media aggregator asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judgment that it says incorrectly found a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) in the accessing of Facebook Inc. users' accounts despite having obtained their consent to do so (Power Ventures Inc., et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 16-1105, U.S. Sup.).
Satellite Phone Firm's Click Fraud Lawsuit Mostly Dismissed
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 14 mostly granted a satellite phone company's motion to dismiss a complaint alleging "click fraud" brought by a competitor, finding claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and related state law insufficiently pleaded (Satmodo LLC v. Whenever Communications LLC, et al., No. 3:17-cv-00192, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57719).
Marketing Firm Alleges Computer Fraud, Defamation In Hacking, Spam Incidents
SPOKANE, Wash. - In a March 21 complaint in Washington federal court, an internet marketing firm charged a well-known hacker with computer fraud, trade secret misappropriation and defamation after its network was accessed without authorization, resulting in emails and articles that have tarnished its reputation and irreparably harmed its business (River City Media LLC, et al. v. Kromtech Alliance Corp., et al., No. 2:17-cv-00105, E.D. Wash.).
Supreme Court Declines To Hear Case On DMCA Safe Harbor For Pre-1972 Recordings
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' finding that Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe-harbor provisions apply to pre-1972 recordings will stand, as the U.S. Supreme Court on March 27 denied a group of record labels' petition for certiorari in their dispute with an online video-sharing service that they accused of infringing their copyrighted works (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. Vimeo LLC, et al., No. 16-771, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 2055).
9th Circuit Reverses Safe-Harbor Holding In Web Copyright Case
SAN FRANCISCO - Findings by a California federal judge that a copyright infringement defendant social media platform is entitled to safe-harbor immunity under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 512(c), were reversed and remanded April 7 by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Mavrix Photographs LLC v. LiveJournal Inc., No. 14-56956, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6028).
Twitter Sues DHS To Stop Unmasking Of 'Alternative Agency' Account Operator
SAN FRANCISCO - In a complaint filed April 6 in a California federal court, Twitter Inc. says that a government-issued summons seeking to identify the operator of an account critical of the government exceeds the authority of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and runs afoul of the right to speak anonymously under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Twitter Inc. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, et al., No. 3:17-cv-01916, N.D. Calif.).
Judge Grants IMDb Injunction Halting New California Age-Bias Law
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 22 barred California from enforcing a new age discrimination law requiring popular movie website IMDb.com and its companion IMDbPro to remove upon request age listings on subscribers' profiles, saying "it's difficult to imagine how [the law] could not violate the First Amendment" (IMDb.com, Inc. v. Xavier Becerra, No. 16-cv-06535, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30776).
3rd Circuit Affirms Contempt Judgment For Refusal To Decrypt Devices
PHILADELPHIA - A child pornography suspect was correctly found to be in contempt when he refused to comply with a court order requiring him to provide law enforcement with access to external hard drives, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 20, finding that the defendant's rights under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution were not violated (United States of America v. Apple Mac Pro Computer, et al., No. 15-3537, 3rd Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4874).
Judge: State Officials Immune From SCA Liability For Seized Electronic Records
MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin federal judge on March 16 found several state officials not liable for violation of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) in the seizure of an organization's electronic records as part of an investigation, finding the relevant warrants to have been issued in compliance with the statute and deeming the officials entitled to immunity under the act (The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy Inc. v. Francis Schmitz, et al., No. 3:16-cv-00539, W.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36796).
Partial Summary Judgment Granted In Apple IPhone Antitrust Class Action
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 22 granted in part a motion for summary judgment by Apple Inc., finding that the plaintiffs in a putative antitrust class action failed to establish the primary alleged aftermarket for iPhone voice and data services related to claimed service exclusivity through AT&T Mobility, but the judge deemed a narrower aftermarket related to iPhones not unlocked for service provider exclusivity sufficiently alleged (Zack Ward, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 4:12-cv-05404, N.D. Calif.).
Megaupload Executives Ask High Court To Hear Foreign Asset Forfeiture Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an April 7 petition for certiorari, former executives with now-defunct file-sharing service Megaupload ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments over the U.S. government's application of laws governing the forfeiture of foreign-held assets by those deemed to be fugitives avoiding prosecution, arguing that their assets were wrongly seized in conjunction with a novel, untested theory of criminal copyright infringement (Finn Batato, et al. v. United States of America, No. 16-1206, U.S. Sup.).
9th Circuit Finds Internet Rebroadcaster Is Not A Cable System In Copyright Case
SAN FRANCISCO - A service that captures copyrighted works broadcast over the air for online retransmission to paying subscribers without the consent of a copyright holder is not eligible for the compulsory license for "cable systems" provided for in Section 111 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq., the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 21 (Fox Television Stations Inc., et al. v. Aereokiller LLC, No. 15-56420, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4999).
Judge Dismisses ISP's Declaratory Judgment Copyright Case Against Music Licenser
NEW YORK - In an April 17 ruling, a New York federal judge rejected a request by an internet service provider (ISP) for intentional interference with contractual relations damages in connection with copyright enforcement efforts by the agent for BMG Rights Management US LLC (Windstream Services LLC v. BMG Rights Management US LLC and Rightscorp Inc., No. 16-5015, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58204).
5th Circuit: Volitional Conduct Needed For Direct Copyright Infringement
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge did not err in granting a defendant summary judgment on the question of direct copyright infringement because the judge properly found an absence of volitional conduct, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 27 (BWP Media USA, et al. v. T&S Software Associates, No. 16-10510, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5340).
New York Federal Judge Largely Sides With Amazon In Copyright Case
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Citing the views of the U.S. Copyright Office, a New York federal judge on April 8 found that if a plaintiff's ambient songs are ultimately adjudged to be the same musical works as non-ambient songs, Amazon.com Inc. is not required to serve a copyright owner with additional notices of intent (NOIs) to obtain compulsory licenses (Yesh Music LLC, et al. v. Amazon.com Inc., et al., No. 16-1406, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54417).
Usenet Provider Opposes 9th Circuit Rehearing Over Vicarious Liability
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel correctly found that it was not liable for its users' posting of copyrighted adult pictures, a usenet service provider asserts in an April 10 brief opposing an adult entertainment firm's petition for rehearing, arguing that the panel applied the correct standard for determining vicarious liability (Perfect 10 Inc. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 15-55500, 15-55523 and 15-56026, 9th Cir.).
Federal Circuit Rules Against Google, Affirms Patent Board Holding
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to uphold the patentability of an information transmission patent was not erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 28, in a blow to Google Inc. (Google Inc. v. SimpleAir Inc., No. 16-1901, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5362).
Federal Circuit Affirms Patent Verdict, Judgment In Favor Of Apple
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Allegations that Apple Inc. infringed a patent claim directed to a means of sending packet data from a cellular telephone to a network through the use of a selected channel were properly rejected by a Texas federal judge and jury, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 14 (Core Wireless Licensing S.a.r.l. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-2037, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6410).
Patent Board Affirms Final Rejection Of Anti-Virus Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In an April 17 final written decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed with a patent examiner that 20 claims of a patented system and method for detecting and nullifying the effects of computer viruses do not pass muster under Section 103(a) of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 1 et seq. (Ex parte Intellectual Ventures I LLC, No. 2017-000054, PTAB).
Apple Seeks Discovery Of U.K. Suit Documents In Wireless Tech Patent Case
SAN FRANCISCO - In a March 29 reply brief in California federal court, Apple Inc. defended its motion to compel discovery of documents from a lawsuit in the United Kingdom, contending that "they may bear on whether [Unwired Planet LLC's] damages demand" in the present patent case "constitutes a 'reasonable' royalty" (Unwired Planet LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 3:13-cv-04134, N.D. Calif.).
Apple Seeks Inter Partes Review Of Encoding Patent Before Board
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In an April 4 petition for inter partes review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Apple Inc. took aim at a patent that describes perceptually weighting speech signals during encoding (Apple Inc. v. St. Lawrence Communications LLC, No. IPR2017-01244, PTAB).
Twitter Seeks Inter Partes Review Of Web Content Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Asserting eight separate grounds of unpatentability, Twitter Inc. on March 24 took aim at a patent directed at creating and sharing web content in a new petition for inter partes review (IPR) with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Twitter Inc. v. Yootoo Technologies LLC, No. IPR2017-01131, PTAB).
Terror Victims' Families Ask 9th Circuit To Revive Twitter Terror-Aiding Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - Claims against Twitter Inc. under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) were wrongly dismissed, a group of terror victims' family members told the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a March 31 appellant brief, arguing that their claims over Twitter's provision of material support to terrorists are not subject to the safe-harbor provisions of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Tamara Fields, et al. v. Twitter Inc., No. 16-17165, 9th Cir.).
Facebook Challenges Info Sharing Patent, Seeks Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patented network-computer-based personal contact manager system renders a claimed system for sharing information over the internet unpatentable, Facebook Inc. alleges in an April 14 petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Facebook Inc. v. ZKey Investments LLC, No. IPR2017-01278, PTAB).
4th Circuit Finds Gambling In Virtual Casino Was Not A Monetary Loss
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 17 affirmed dismissal of a complaint filed by a player of a video game, finding that her claims for recovery of money spent in a virtual casino did not constitute money lost under Maryland's loss-recovery statute (Mia Mason v. Machine Zone Inc., No. 15-2469, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4766).
Judge Finds Company In Contempt For Unlawfully Selling Domain Names
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on April 10 granted a motion filed by a company that alleges that another entity violated California's unfair completion (UCL) and false advertising laws when it sold trademarked domain names, finding the company in contempt of a temporary restraining order and injunction (UL LLC v. The Space Chariot Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-08172, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56147).
New Expert Report In Spying Software Suit Struck, Deemed To Be Too Late
ERIE, Pa. - A second expert report filed by the lead plaintiffs in a proposed class action over spying software when they filed their reply brief in support of their renewed motion for class certification was filed too late, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge ruled March 22, striking the new report (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's, Inc., et al., No. 11-101, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41030).
Software Support Firm Appeals $41.2M Jury Verdict In Oracle Copyright Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - Appealing a $41.2 million jury verdict in a copyright infringement suit, a software support company argues in a March 10 reply brief to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that licenses by Oracle USA Inc. "expressly authorize third-party support and the copies necessary to provide it" and that it was authorized access to download support materials (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc. and Seth Ravin, Nos. 16-16-832 & 16-16905, 9th Cir.).
California Federal Judge Denies Cross-Motions On Copyright First-Sale Defense
SAN FRANCISCO - Competing motions for summary judgment on whether licensing agreements asserted in a third amended complaint (TAC) establish that disputed software is subject to the first-sale defense to allegations of copyright infringement were denied March 14 by a California federal judge (Microsoft Corp. v. A&S Electronics Inc., No. 15-3570, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36477).
D.C. Federal Judge: Domain Registration Would Not Change Trial Outcome
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Efforts by a defendant to obtain a new trial in a dispute over the "La Indita Michoacana" trademark in light of newly discovered evidence were denied March 30 by a District of Columbia federal judge (Paleteria La Michoacana Inc., et al. v. Productos Lacteos Tocumbo S.A. De C.V., No. 11-1623, D. D.C.).
High Court Hears Case On Constitutionality Of Sex Offender Law's Social Media Ban
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 27, lawyers for a convicted sex offender and North Carolina debated whether that state's sex offender registry law runs afoul of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by imposing an across-the-board ban on anyone on the registry from accessing social networks or other websites that minors are known to use (Lester Gerard Packingham v. State of North Carolina, No. 15-1194, U.S. Sup.).
Job Review Site Doesn't Have To Reveal Anonymous Poster, California Panel Rules
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A company asserting that an ex-employee revealed confidential information in anonymous postings on an employer review website failed to establish the proprietary nature of the information, a California appeals panel ruled March 10, vacating a trial court's ordering the site to identify the employee (Glassdoor Inc. v. Superior Court of Santa Clara County and Machine Zone Inc., No. H042824, Calif. App. 6th Dist., 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 213).
Fraudulent Wire Transfer Emails Did Not Trigger Coverage, 9th Circuit Rules
PASADENA, Calif. - Affirming a trial court's judgment, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 9 found no coverage under a crime insurance policy for funds lost by an accounting firm's wire transfers pursuant to fraudulently sent emails, concluding that provisions for forgery, computer fraud and funds transfer fraud did not apply (Taylor & Lieberman v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 15-56102, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4205).
Match.com Had No Duty To Warn User Of Attacker's Violent Tendencies, Judge Says
LAS VEGAS - Match.com LLC did not have a duty to warn a user of its dating website about another user who violently attacked her, a Nevada federal judge ruled March 10, dismissing the plaintiff's negligence claim for failure to allege the existence of a special relationship with the site operator that created such a duty (Mary Kay Beckman v. Match.com LLC, No. 2:13-cv-00097, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35562).
Class Settlement Approved In 2 McAfee Antivirus Auto-Renewal Suits
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 3 granted final approval of a settlement that will end two class complaints over antivirus software designer McAfee Inc.'s auto-renewal program (Sam Williamson, et al. v. McAfee, Inc., No. 14-158, Samantha Kirby, et al. v. McAfee, Inc., No. 14-2475, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15838).
Judge Preliminarily OKs $22.5 Million Settlement Of Google AdWords Class Action
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Preliminary 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) was granted March 9, with a California federal judge approving a proposed settlement class and settlement fund and setting dates for class notification and a fairness hearing (In Re Google AdWords Litigation, No. 5:08-cv-03369, N.D. Calif.).
Donor, Nonprofit Sue PayPal For Redirecting Charitable Donations
CHICAGO - In a Feb. 27 putative class complaint filed in Illinois federal court, a frequent charitable giver and one of her intended nonprofit recipients sued PayPal Inc. for allegedly redirecting funds donated for organizations that are not registered with PayPal to unrelated organizations that are (Friends for Health: Supporting the North Shore Health Center, et al. v. PayPal Inc., et al., No. 1:17-cv-01542, N.D. Ill.).
Omaha Steaks Requests Declarations Over Website ADA Compliance Guidelines
OMAHA, Neb. - In a declaratory judgment complaint filed Feb. 28, OmahaSteaks.com Inc. (Omaha Steaks) asked a Nebraska federal court for three declarations to clarify guidelines and requirements for ensuring that its website complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101, et seq., in providing access for visually impaired persons (OmahaSteaks.com Inc. v. Access Now Inc., et al., No. 8:17-cv-00060, D. Neb.).
VidAngel Tells 9th Circuit Studios Do Not Have Exclusive Streaming Rights
SAN FRANCISCO - Defending its right to stream "filtered" copies of movies for its customers in a Feb. 22 reply brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, VidAngel Inc. argues that it has not violated any of the movie studio plaintiffs' exclusive rights under the Copyright Act (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 16-56843, 9th Cir.).
Accused File-Sharer Calls Declaratory Judgment Counterclaim Useful
CINCINNATI - Even though a copyright holder dismissed its infringement claim against him, a man accused of downloading adult movies tells the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a March 10 reply brief that his declaratory judgment counterclaim should proceed because a continued threat of liability exists (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 16-3628, 6th Cir.).
Video-Sharing Site Opposes Review On DMCA Immunity For Pre-1972 Sound Recordings
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A video-sharing website argues in a Feb. 16 opposition brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should not decide whether the safe harbor protections from copyright infringement liability that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S. Code Section 512(c), provides for internet service providers apply to sound recordings from before 1972 (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. Vimeo LLC, et al., No. 16-771, U.S. Sup.).
Buzzfeed Seeks Dismissal Of Defamation Suit Over Russian Hacking Article
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - In a March 14 motion in Florida federal court, New York media firm Buzzfeed Inc. seeks dismissal of a defamation lawsuit over its January online publication of an article over purported Russian attempts to hack the Democratic National Committee (DNC), asserting a lack of jurisdiction because the dispute "has nothing to do with Florida" (Aleksej Gubarev, et al. v. Buzzfeed Inc., et al., No. 0:17-cv-60426, S.D. Fla.).
Russian Railcar Firm Seeks Jurisdictional Discovery Over Trade Secret Defendant
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In conjunction with its pending motion for discovery to establish California jurisdiction over a former employee accused of trade secret violations, a Russian railcar company on Jan. 17 filed a proposed order in California federal court, permitting it to subpoena Google Inc. to obtain information about the defendant's Gmail email account (OOO Brunswick Rail Management, et al. v. Richard Sultanov, et al., No. 5:17-cv-00017, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8374).
Judge: Trade Secret Claim Valid Against Facebook, Others Related To Data Centers
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Feb. 10 partially granted and partially denied a motion to dismiss a trade secret misappropriation claim against Facebook Inc. and some of its affiliates, concluding that a claim under the Lanham Act was not valid, but that other claims for breach of contract were (Bladeroom Group Limited, et al. v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 15-1370, N.D. Calif.).
Uber Sued For Trade Secret, Patent Violations In California Federal Court
SAN FRANCISCO - Waymo LLC - a Google Inc. division devoted to the development of self-driving cars - accused Uber Technologies Inc. of "calculated theft" in a patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Feb. 23 (Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 17-939, N.D. Calif.).
Federal Circuit Upholds Rulings In Patent Dispute Between Sprint, Prism
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 6 affirmed a Nebraska federal judge's denial of various post-trial motions in a patent dispute that led to a $30 million infringement verdict (Prism Technologies LLC v. Sprint Spectrum L.P., Nos. 16-1456, -1457, Fed. Cir.).
Federal Circuit Sides With Apple, Says Patent Claims Are Ineligible
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge erroneously denied Apple Inc. judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on its assertion that three data storage patents claim ineligible subject matter, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 1 (Smartflash LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 16-1059, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3833).
Federal Circuit: Review Of Computer Security Patent Was Error
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a computer security patent is obvious never should have been reached because the board erroneously determined that the invention at issue qualifies as a covered business method (CBM), a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 21 (Secure Axcess LLC v. PNC Bank National Association, et al., No. 16-1353, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2902).
Federal Circuit Upholds Ineligibility Ruling Of Data-Processing Patent
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge properly dismissed allegations that Sprint Nextel Corp., Apple Inc., Twitter Inc. and others infringed two patents directed to data processing on grounds that the patents in suit are invalid under the Patent Act, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Feb. 17 (Evolutionary Intelligence LLC v. Sprint Nextel Corp., et al., Nos. 2016-1188, -1190, -1191, -1192, -1194, -1195, -1197, -1198, -1199, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2784).
Supreme Court Denies Certiorari In 4G LTE Patent Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Feb. 27 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court indicated that it will let stand an August 2016 ruling in favor of Apple Inc., which was accused in 2013 of infringing two wireless patents belonging to Wi-LAN USA Inc. and Wi-LAN Inc. (Wi-LAN, collectively) (Wi-LAN USA Inc. and Wi-LAN Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 16-913, U.S. Sup.).
Google Petition For Review Of Programming Language Patent Granted
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on March 8 granted a petition for inter partes review (IPR) of a patent claiming a system for programming mobile communication devices based on a "high-level code comprising operative language" (Google Inc. v. IXI Mobile R&D Ltd., No. IPR2016-01669, PTAB).
Texas Magistrate Judge Denies Broadcom Bid To Transfer Patent Litigation
MARSHALL, Texas - A Texas infringement plaintiff prevailed Feb. 27 in response to a motion by Broadcom Ltd. and several other defendants to transfer the dispute to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1 v. Broadcom Ltd., et al., No. 16-134, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26755).
Delphi Seeks Inter Partes Review Of USB Switching Hubs Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a petition for inter partes review (IPR) filed Feb. 23, Delphi Technologies Inc. asserted that all 21 claims of a patent covering Universal Serial Bus (USB) switching hubs are unpatentable as anticipated or obvious (Delphi Technologies Inc. v. Microchip Technology Inc., IPR2017-00970, PTAB).
Patent Board Grants Apple Petition For Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Feb. 22 found that Apple Inc. has established a likelihood that it will prevail on assertions that various claims of a virtual private network (VPN) patent would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art (Apple Inc. v. VirnetX Inc., No. IPR2016-01585, PTAB).
Apple Takes Aim At University's Channel Coding Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent issued to the California Institute of Technology covering channel coding and error-correcting codes would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art, Apple Inc. asserts in a Feb. 16 petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Apple Inc. v. California Institute of Technology, No. IPR2017-00702, PTAB).
Enabling ADA Compliance At Institutions Of Higher Education
By Kevin Gumienny, PhD On Wednesday, March 1, 2017, the University of California at Berkeley announced that, in response to a Department of Justice demand to make its publicly available courses fully accessible to individuals with hearing, visual, or manual disabilities, it would pull the courses from the internet.1 Late last year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) had found that the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) was in violation of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) because "significant portions of its online content" were not accessible. In addition, "UC Berkeley's administrative methods have not ensured that individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to use UC Berkeley's online content." Specifically, the Department of Justice was concerned with the courses that were publicly available on Berkeley's edX channel, YouTube channel, and iTunes U platform.2 (DOJ's investigation did not look at how Berkeley serves its own students, only whether its public courses were accessible.3)
Blockchain For The Insurance Practitioner
By Shari Lewis William Savino and Jay Kenigsberg "Look, I know I'm not the wizard you were expecting, but I might just be the wizard you need." - - Oz The Great and Powerful.
9th Circuit Finds Usenet Provider Not Liable For Infringement Of Adult Pictures
PASADENA, Calif. - An adult entertainment site operator failed to establish that a usenet provider acted volitionally in or obtained any direct financial benefit from its users' infringing of the site's copyrighted images, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 23, affirming dismissal of direct and indirect infringement claims against the defendant (Perfect 10 Inc. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 15-55500, 15-55523 and 15-56026, 9th Cir.).
University, Publishers Argue Fair Use In Electronic Works Posting In 11th Circuit
ATLANTA - On the second appeal regarding the alleged copyright infringement of educational materials by electronic posting of their excerpts by Georgia State University (GSU) faculty, the university argues in a Feb. 6 appellee brief that a trial court judge correctly determined fair use of the works at issue by finding that the postings had not led to market substitution of the works (Cambridge University Press, et al. v. Georgia State University, et al., No. 16-15726, 11th Cir.).
Porn Firm Tells 6th Circuit Downloader Failed To Show Prejudice In Dismissal
CINCINNATI - In a Jan. 13 appellee brief filed in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, an adult entertainment company says that its abandoned infringement claim against an accused file sharer was properly dismissed with prejudice because of the defendant's dilatory discovery conduct and to serve judicial economy (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 16-3628, 6th Cir.).
Lanham Act Claims Over Political Ad Dismissed; Copyright Claims Survive
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Jan. 31 refused to decide the question of whether inclusion of an altered, copyrighted song in a 30-second advertisement critical of former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold qualifies as a fair use under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 107, deeming such a determination inappropriate in response to a motion to dismiss (Roger Nichols, et al. v. Club for Growth Action, No. 16-220, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12820).
11th Circuit Finds Fired Employee's Email Access Violated CFAA, SCA
MIAMI - Concluding that a former employee was properly terminated for cause, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 25 ruled that he violated both the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and the Stored Communications Act (SCA) by accessing the emails of other employees without authorization (Brown Jordan International Inc., et al. v. Christopher Carmicle, No. 16-11350, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1310).
$500M Verdict Returned In Trade Secrets Trial Involving Virtual Reality Software
DALLAS - A Texas federal jury on Feb. 1 ordered four defendants - including Facebook Inc. - to pay a combined $500 million in actual damages to two virtual reality (VR) technology companies for copyright and trademark infringement, conversion, violations of a nondisclosure agreement and false designation (ZeniMax Media Inc., et al. v. Oculus VR Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-1849, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).
Panel Says Company Met Burden Of Proving Source Code Is Trade Secret
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 11 determined that a company alleging violations of the California Uniform Trade Secret Act (CUTSA) against a former employee met its burden of proving that the company's source code is a trade secret (Integral Development Corp. v. Viral Tolat, No. 14-16629, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 514).
Company: Trade Secret Claim Against Google Alleged 'With Sufficient Particularity'
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Space Data Corp. filed a brief in a California federal court on Jan. 12 contending that its misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of written contract lawsuit against Alphabet Inc. and Google Inc. adequately alleges its claim and identifies its trade secrets "with sufficient particularity" to survive a motion to dismiss (Space Data Corp. v. Alphabet Inc., et al., No. 5:16-cv-03260, N.D. Calif.).
4th Circuit Finds Domain Registry's Lanham Claims Fail Without Expert Testimony
RICHMOND, Va. - Without expert testimony, a seller of internet domain name rights could not establish the elements of its deceptive advertising claim against a rival firm, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 8, affirming a trial court's finding that there was no evidence that the seller suffered an actual injury as a direct result of the defendant's conduct (Verisign Inc. v. XYZ.com LLC, et al., No. 15-2526, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2264).
9th Circuit: Computer Program Copyright Does Not Extend To Program Output
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly rejected claims by the owner of a copyrighted computer-aided design (CAD) program that its copyright extends to images and files produced by the program, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 9 (Design Data Corp. v. Unigate Enterprise Inc., et al., Nos. 14-16701, No. 14-17317, 9th. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2333).
Oracle Appeals Java Fair Use Ruling To Federal Circuit In Google Copyright Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Feb. 10 appellant brief in the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Oracle America Inc. asserts error in a trial court's finding that Google Inc.'s copying of certain elements of its Java technology constituted fair use, arguing that the court failed to consider Google's misrepresentations and harm to the Java market (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 17-1118 and 17-1202, Fed. Cir.).
Judge Denies Software Maker's Effort To Add Copyright Claim To Suit Against IBM
NEW YORK - International Business Machines (IBM) Corp. on Feb. 6 won summary judgment on allegations that it committed breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing; in the same ruling, a New York federal judge agreed with a New York federal magistrate judge that the plaintiff in the case should not be granted leave to add a claim of copyright infringement against IBM (MPI Tech A/S v. International Business Machines Corporation, No. 15-4891, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16432).
Software Developer Asks High Court To Abandon PTO's Review Procedures
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court should review an appellate court ruling that the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board's (PTAB) final decision in an inter partes review (IPR) did not need to address every challenged patent claim but rather only some, an analytic software developer says in a Jan. 31 petition (SAS Institute Inc. v. Michelle K. Lee, director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and ComplementSoft LLC, No. 16-969, U.S. Sup.).
Video-Streaming Firm's Filtering Service Violates DMCA, Studios Tell 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - Several movie studios tell the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Feb. 8 appellee brief that a video-streaming service provider blatantly violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by circumventing the technological protection measures (TPMs) on DVD and Blu-ray copies of their movies to offer edited versions to customers, also arguing that the defendant's defenses under the Family Movie Act (FMA) are incompatible with that statute's purposes (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 16-56843, 9th Cir.).
Music Industry Groups Support Review In Dispute On DMCA Immunity For Pre-1972 Works
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Music industry groups argue in a Jan. 17 amicus curiae brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should take up a petition from a group of record labels asking for a review on whether the safe harbor protections from copyright infringement liability that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides for internet service providers apply to sound recordings from before 1972, which are governed by state law, rather than federal copyright law (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. Vimeo LLC, et al., No. 16-771, U.S. Sup.).
11th Circuit: Dismissal With Prejudice Of Suit Against Tinder Was Too Extreme
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 17 reversed a trial court's dismissal with prejudice of a proposed class complaint accusing an online dating site of misleading business practices such as automatic renewals and unlawful price discrimination, holding that there was no clear finding that the lead plaintiff engaged in "contumacious conduct" or a showing that lesser sanctions would have been insufficient (Billy Warner, et al. v. Tinder, Inc., No. 16-10537, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 754).
Lenovo Spyware Class Defends Standing To Bring New York Consumer Claim
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Opposing a motion for partial dismissal by computer manufacturer Lenovo (United States) Inc. in a Feb. 10 brief, the plaintiffs in a class action over purported laptop spyware told a California federal court that they had standing to bring a New York law deceptive acts claim based on a choice-of-law provision in their sales agreements (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02624, N.D. Calif.).
Apple Seeks Rehearing In 9th Circuit IPhone App Store Antitrust Class Action
SAN FRANCISCO - In a Jan. 26 brief, Apple Inc. asks the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to rehear, or rehear en banc, a putative class action alleging price fixing and monopolization related to the selling of iPhone apps in its App Store, arguing that a panel decision did not properly apply controlling case law and unnecessarily created a circuit split (In re Apple iPhone Antitrust Litigation, No. 14-15000, 9th Cir.).
Patent Owner Seeks Review In Lawsuit With Apple Over Claim Construction
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Patent owners ask the U.S. Supreme Court in a Dec. 22 petition for writ of certiorari to answer whether claim construction presumes that "the ordinary meaning as understood by a person of skill in the art is the correct construction for claim terms, absent a redefinition or disclaimer in the patent specification" and whether the specification limits "the scope of claim terms to capture the 'actual invention' as implemented in the exemplary embodiments provided in the specification" (Wi-LAN USA Inc. and Wi-LAN Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 16-913, U.S. Sup.).
Inter Partes Review Request Filed By Facebook, Instagram
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Just three months after seeking inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of a media delivery patent, Facebook Inc. and Instagram LLC on Jan. 15 filed a second petition for IPR of the same patent (Facebook Inc., et al. v. Skky LLC, No. IPR2017-00688, PTAB).
Making Technology Accessible To People With Disabilities: Section 508 Refresh Incorporates Internationally Recognized WCAG Standards
By Hiram Kuykendall Access Board Updates Information And Communication Technology Standards And Guidelines On January 18, 2017, the United States Access Board, also known as the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, updated two acts related to making technology accessible to people with disabilities.1 The first modification is to the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards within Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 508 stipulates requirements on how federally funded entities develop, procure, maintain, or otherwise use information technology. The second modification is to the Telecommunications Act Accessibility Guidelines within Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934. This Act broadly applies to telecommunications products and services and to manufacturers of telecommunication equipment. Together, the updates to these Acts constitute updated Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines. Updates can be found in the 2 Federal Register, Volume 82, No. 11, Page 5790.2