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

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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 (FilmOn.com 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, Amazon.com 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. Amazon.com 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 Backpage.com 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 Backpage.com 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 Amazon.com 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. Amazon.com 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.).



D.C. Circuit Denies En Banc Review Of FCC's Net Neutrality Order
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a May 1 order denying several petitions for rehearing en banc, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals majority let stand a 2016 ruling, in which a panel majority declined petitions to review a 2015 report and order by the Federal Communications Commission based on a finding that the FCC had the authority to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service in its effort to "compel Internet openness," commonly known as "net neutrality" (United States Telecom Association, et al. v. Federal Communications Commission, et al., No. 15-1063, D.C. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7663).



Employee's Profane Facebook Post Protected By NLRA, 2nd Circuit Finds
NEW YORK - Even though a fired employee's Facebook post was vulgar and offensive, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 21 found that it constituted protected, union-related speech under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), leading the panel to grant a petition to enforce by the National Labor Relations Board, which found the man's firing to be retaliatory in violation of the act (National Labor Relations Board v. Pier Sixty LLC, No. 15-1841, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6974).



9th Circuit Sides With Google In Genericide Dispute
SAN FRANCISCO - An Arizona federal judge did not err in concluding that a plaintiff failed to establish that the primary significance of the word "google" to the relevant public is as a generic name for internet search engines, instead of as a trademark identifying the Google Inc. search engine in particular, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 16 (David Elliott and Chris Gillespie v. Google Inc., No. 15-15809, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8583).



8th Circuit Affirms $80M Settlement In Symantec Download Insurance Suit
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 28 affirmed a settlement with Symantec Corp. totaling more than $80 million in consumer payments, awards, costs and fees and settling a consumer fraud class action over the firm's download insurance product (Erin C. Caligiuri and Devi Khoday, et al. v. Symantec Corp., et al., No. 16-2015 and 16-2113, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7538).



Suit Over Legitimacy Of Online University Program Is Dismissed With Prejudice
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on April 18 issued an opinion finding that a class complaint over the legitimacy of a university's online-only program belongs in federal, not state, court and then dismissed the complaint with prejudice, finding that it was time-barred (Brice Bradford, et al. v. The George Washington University, No. 16-858, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58590).



Jerk.com Operator Calls FTC Compliance Provision Overbroad
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a May 15 remand brief, the former manager of the website www.jerk.com tells the Federal Trade Commission that a proposed revision to a 2015 order in which he was found liable for deceptive conduct fails to address the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' finding that a compliance-monitoring provision was overbroad and not reasonably related to the violations at issue (In the matter of Jerk LLC, et al., No. 9361, FTC).



Computer Fraud Defendant Tells Supreme Court CFAA Is Anti-Hacking Statute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A man whose conviction under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) was upheld by a divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on May 5, arguing that the circuit courts are split as to whether computer fraud under the statute should be based on a user's access to a computer or on the "intentions, expectations, and contractual or agency relationships" of a computer's owner (David Nosal v. United States of America, No. 16-1344, U.S. Sup.).



Government Opposes Certiorari In Dispute Over YouTube Video Takedown
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a May 4 amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. government voiced its opposition to a YouTube user's petition for certiorari, opining that a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling on good faith related to a copyright holder's Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice does not conflict with existing case law, also stating that key issues regarding the copyright owner's "mental state" were not properly before the lower courts (Stephanie Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., et al., No. 16-217, U.S. Sup.).



Defaulting Web Host To Pay $62,624 In Damages, Fees On Copyright Claims
NEW YORK - A New York federal magistrate judge on April 21 recommended that a photographer be awarded $10,000 for each of five images infringed by web host Lycos Inc. - far less than the statutory maximum of $150,000 per infringed work originally sought in the case (Leif Skoogfors v. Lycos Inc., No. 16-2742, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61926).



Amici Urge 9th Circuit To Maintain Vicarious Copyright Liability Standard
PASADENA, Calif. - In an April 17 amicus curiae brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, four internet and technology organizations oppose an adult entertainment firm's bid for rehearing its copyright infringement suit against a usenet provider, arguing that the existing panel ruling identified the proper causal connection standard for determining vicarious liability in online and technological contexts (Perfect 10 Inc. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 15-55500, 15-55523 and 15-56026, 9th Cir.).



Twitter Prevails Before Federal Circuit In Patent Eligibility Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New York federal judge properly granted Twitter Inc. a summary judgment that five direct message publishing patents claim ineligible subject matter, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 12 (EasyWeb Innovations LLC v. Twitter Inc., No. 16-2066, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8436).



On Remand, Samsung Seeks Vacated Award, New Trial In Apple Design Patent Suit
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. on April 21 filed a remand brief in California federal court, contending that, in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the basis for a $399 million infringement damages award against it, a new damages trial is merited in the long-running smartphone design patent dispute with Apple Inc. (Apple Inc. v, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 5:11-cv-01846, N.D. Calif.).



Web Ad Patent Fails Section 101 Analysis, Patent Board Rules
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Google Inc. prevailed April 24 when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed with the software giant that various claims of a patented method for detecting fraudulent clicks on web advertisements are obvious or claim patent-ineligible subject matter (Google Inc. v. Patrick Zuili, No. CBM2016-00008, PTAB).



In Final Decision, Patent Board Rejects Google Claims Of Invalidity
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Although it found in April 2016 that Google Inc. demonstrated that it would likely prevail on allegations that two claims of a vector-based traffic information patent would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on April 21 confirmed the patentability of both claims (Google Inc. v. Ji-Soo Lee, No. IPR2016-00045, PTAB).



SimpleAir, Google Again Square Off In Patent Appeal To Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On the heels of a March ruling that confirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board holding that one SimpleAir Inc. patent is valid, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is poised to decide the propriety of a Texas federal judge's decision to dismiss a lawsuit against Google Inc. over two different SimpleAir patents (SimpleAir Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 16-2378, Fed. Cir.).



Petition For Rehearing Filed With Federal Circuit In Section 101 Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A February ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that affirmed findings that two data-processing patents claim ineligible subject matter was erroneous, the patent owner told the Federal Circuit in an April 19 combined petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc (Evolutionary Intelligence LLC v. Sprint Nextel Corp., et al., Nos. 2016-1188, -1190, -1191, -1192, -1194, -1195, -1197, -1198, -1199, Fed. Cir.).



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).



Yahoo In New Petition For Inter Partes Review Says Patent Is Obvious
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patented system and method relating to a method of prompting action between interconnected devices on April 24 was targeted for inter partes review (IPR) by Yahoo Inc. in a new filing before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Yahoo Inc. v. Intent IQ Inc., No. IPR2017-01299, PTAB).



Uber Enjoined From Using Stolen Waymo Files In Self-Driving Car Trade Secret Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - Finding "compelling evidence" that a former Waymo LLC employee misappropriated confidential files and provided them to Uber Technologies Inc., a California federal judge on May 15 granted in part Waymo's motion for a preliminary injunction, ordering Uber to cease using any of the stolen materials in the development of its self-driving car technology (Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-00939, N.D. Calif.).



Google Seeks Dismissal Of Balloon-Based Wireless Network Trade Secrets Suit
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Three months after a wireless services and solutions firm's trade secret claims against it were initially dismissed as insufficiently pleaded, Google Inc. on May 11 again moved for dismissal in California court, arguing that the plaintiff's amended complaint still fails to properly identify the trade secrets that were purportedly misappropriated (Space Data Corp. v. Alphabet Inc., et al., No. 5:16-cv-03260, N.D. Calif.).



Olive Garden Denies ADA Violation Allegations Over Website Accessibility
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Citing a lack of legal or regulatory guidelines governing how to determine if a website is accessible for visually impaired persons, Olive Garden Holdings LLC on May 5 filed an answer to a putative class action in Florida federal court, denying claims that its website violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Dennis Haynes v. Olive Garden Holdings LLC, No. 0:17-cv-60643, S.D. Fla.).



San Bernardino Victims' Families Sue Twitter, Facebook, Google For Terror Aiding
LOS ANGELES - Family members of three victims of the December 2015 terror attack in San Bernardino, Calif., filed suit in California federal court May 3 against Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google Inc., alleging that the three internet firms provided support to the terrorists via their online platforms in violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) (Gregory Clayborn, et al. v. Twitter Inc., et al., No. 2:17-cv-03344, C.D. Calif.).



The Practical Role Of Automated Web Accessibility Testing Tools In A Robust Accessibility Compliance Program
By Hiram Kuykendall With the proliferation of actions taken against organizations with websites and web applications that are not perceivable and usable by someone with a vision, hearing, mobility and / or cognitive disabilities, it is only natural that institutions would respond by seeking out automated testing tools that can scan an entire web based experience and report accessibility issues. At first this strategy of remediating errors detected by automated scanning proved effective as many of the entities bringing actions used the same tools to identify organizations to focus on. This led to a distinctive pattern where organizations were only remediating the automated test defects which only identify ten to thirty percent of accessibility issues. It was therefore predicted that actions against organizations that solely focused on automated testing would increase as the evaluation techniques of concerned parties extended beyond what could be identified by automated testing and individuals with assistive needs voiced their objection to inaccessible experiences despite the passage of code by automated testing tools. True to form, we are now seeing actions brought against public and private sector entities that have zero automated failures as identified by the most popular testing tools. As such, organizations are struggling to understand the nature of the seventy percent failure issues and where automated testing falls in a robust accessibility compliance program. The remainder of this article will outline some of the most contentious of the seventy percent issues and how automated testing can be used in a robust accessibility compliance program.