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

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

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


Proximate Causation Lacking In Twitter Terror-Aiding Suit, 9th Circuit Rules
SAN FRANCISCO - Affirming a trial court's dismissal of two terror victim's families' Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) claims against Twitter Inc., a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 31 found that the plaintiffs failed to establish that their injuries were caused "by reason of" Twitter's purported provision of resources to terrorists (Tamara Fields, et al. v. Twitter Inc., No. 16-17165, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2445).

Google Says Lack Of Direct Relationship Dooms Terror-Aiding Complaint
OAKLAND, Calif. - Citing a recent Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling, Google LLC in a Feb. 6 reply brief supporting its motion to again dismiss claims that it provided aid to the terrorists that carried out the 2015 Paris attacks asserts that the family of a victim failed to establish the necessary direct relationship to bring a claim under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) (Reynaldo Gonzalez, et al. v. Google LLC, No. 4:16-cv-03282, N.D. Calif.).

4th Circuit Vacates $25 Million Judgment Against ISPs In File-Sharing Case
RICHMOND, Va. - In a Feb. 1 ruling, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a Virginia federal judge's determination that two internet service providers (ISPs) are not entitled to a safe-harbor defense to allegations of contributory copyright infringement, but vacated and reversed a jury's $25 million statutory damage award upon finding that jurors were presented with erroneous instructions (BMG Rights Management [US] LLC, et al. v. Cox Communications Inc., et al., No. 16-1972, 17-1352 and 17-1353, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2487).

10-Year MP3tunes Copyright Suit Settles For $39 Million
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 26 approved an agreement and consent judgment, settling a decade-long copyright infringement lawsuit brought by a group of record labels and music publishers against the founder of now-defunct online music-sharing service MP3tunes LLC, assessing an agreed-upon $39 million judgment against the defendant and adjourning the case (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. MP3tunes LLC, et al., No. 1:07-cv-09931, S.D. N.Y.).

BitTorrent Copyright Case Rejected In Oregon On Standing Grounds
PORTLAND, Ore. - The author of the screenplay for the motion picture "Fathers & Daughters" is not the "legal owner" of the film, with standing to sue for infringement, because the exclusive rights to the work were transferred in a license granted within a distribution agreement, an Oregon federal judge ruled Jan. 17 (Fathers & Daughters Nevada LLC v. Lingfu Zhang, No. 16-1443, D. Ore., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7435).

22 States File Challenge To Net Neutrality Order With D.C. Circuit Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Twenty-two states on Jan. 16 petitioned the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality (State of New York, et al. v. Federal Communications Commission, et al., No. 18-1013, D.C. Cir.).

Montana, New York Governors Issue Statewide Net Neutrality Executive Orders
In a pair of executive orders issued Jan. 22 and 24, respectively, the governors of Montana and New York each established statewide requirements that government offices contract only with internet service providers (ISPs) that agree to abide by the "free and open internet" principles known collectively as "net neutrality."

9th Circuit: Undelivered Apple Text Messages Did Not Violate Wiretap Act
SAN FRANCISCO - Affirming dismissal of a putative Wiretap Act class action against Apple Inc., a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 29 held that certain misclassified and undelivered text messages from Apple iMessage users were not intercepted in transit and, thus, did not violate the statute (Adam Backhaut, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-17523, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2207).

Calif. Appeals Panel Reinstates Unruh, UCL Claims Over Tinder Age-Based Pricing
LOS ANGELES - A California appellate panel on Jan. 29 "swipe[d] left" and reversed a trial court's ruling for Tinder Inc., finding that the lower court erred when it ruled that the dating application company did not violate the Unruh Act or California's unfair competition law (UCL) by charging older users more for its premium service than younger users (Allan Candelore v. Tinder, Inc., No. B270172, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3, 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 71).

Google Sued For Fraudulent Mobile Data Service Billing Practices
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a Feb. 5 putative class complaint in California court, a Colorado man claims that Google North America Inc. violates California's unfair competition law (UCL), false advertising law (FAL) and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) by billing its mobile service customers for data service obtained from other sources and providers (Gordon Beecher v. Google North America Inc., No. 5:18-cv-00753, N.D. Calif.).

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Follow-Up Certiorari In Spokeo
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 22 denied a petition for certiorari filed by an online data aggregator seeking review of a follow-up question related to standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution that it claimed was not resolved in a 2016 ruling by the Supreme Court in the same case (Spokeo Inc. v. Thomas Robins, No. 17-806, U.S. Sup.).

Rhode Island City Sues Intel For Meltdown, Spectre Security Vulnerabilities
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The city of Providence, R.I., on Feb. 12 filed a consumer protection class action complaint against Intel Corp. in California federal court, charging the microprocessor chip manufacturer with unfair competition and warranty violations related to the recently discovered "Meltdown" and "Spectre" security vulnerabilities that can reportedly affect millions of computers and devices worldwide, resulting in the exposure of users' sensitive information (Providence v. Intel Corp., No. 5:18-cv-00894, N.D. Calif.).

Blind Man's ADA Suit Over Credit Union's Website Dismissed By Federal Judge
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Because a blind man failed to establish that he was a member of a defendant credit union, a Virginia federal judge on Jan. 26 ruled that he failed to claim a concrete and particularized injury to support the claim that the credit union's website was inaccessible in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Keith Carroll v. Northwest Federal Credit Union, No. 1:17-cv-01205, E.D. Va.).

Blind Law Students, Bar Exam Prep Service Settle Website ADA Suit
DALLAS - Three blind law students and a bar exam preparation services provider filed a consent decree in Texas federal court Jan. 22, memorializing changes that the defendant will enact to make its website equally accessible to visually impaired persons and to bring it into compliance with standards the plaintiffs say meet guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Claire Stanley, et al. v. Barbri Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-01113, N.D. Texas).

Blind Patron, Domino's Debate Dismissal Of Website ADA Suit In 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - A blind man who sued Domino's Pizza LLC for purportedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with a website that is inaccessible to the visually impaired tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Feb. 9 reply brief that his complaint was improperly dismissed amid due process concerns despite the pizza chain's ample notice of its website accessibility obligations (Guillermo Robles v. Domino's Pizza LLC, No. 17-55504, 9th Cir.).

Amazon Sues Tech Firm Over Patent Suits Targeting Amazon Cloud Customers
SAN FRANCISCO - In the wake of at least 50 federal patent infringement lawsuits filed against its cloud-computing customers, Inc. on Feb. 5 sued the plaintiff in those suits in California federal court, seeking declarations of noninfringement and claim preclusion due to a previous judgment it obtained against the technology firm ( Inc., et al. v. PersonalWeb Technologies LLC, et al., No. 3:18-cv-00767, N.D. Calif.).

California Federal Judge: Search Engine Optimization Patents Are Invalid
SAN FRANCISCO - In a Jan. 19 holding, a California federal judge rejected, pursuant to Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 101, five patents covering the process of search engine optimization (SEO) (BrightEdge Technologies Inc. v. Searchmetrics GmbH, et al., No. 14-1009, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9007).

Appeal Of Ineligibility Ruling Submitted On The Briefs To Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A patent owner whose invention was declared ineligible for patent protection under Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 101, challenges the findings in a case that was submitted to the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on the briefs on Feb. 8 (Patrick Zuili v. Google Inc., Nos. 17-2161, -2258, -2267, Fed. Cir.).

Apple Tells Federal Circuit Wisconsin Patent Trial Was 'Fraught With Error'
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Jan. 17 appellee brief filed in the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) defended the propriety of an October 2015 jury verdict that Apple Inc. infringed a computer processor patent, in contrast to the software giant's recent assertion that "no reasonable jury could find that Apple's processors operate exactly as the asserted claims require" (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation v. Apple Inc., Nos. 2017-2265, -2332, -2380, -2400, Fed. Cir.).

Patent Board: 8 Claims Of Cellular Communications Patent Are Obvious
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a Jan. 23 final written decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board sided squarely with several petitioners seeking inter partes review of a Cellular Communications Equipment LLC patent relating to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless communication system (Apple Inc., et al. v. Cellular Communications Equipment LLC, No. IPR2016-01480, PTAB).

Nokia Seeks Review Of Blackberry Mobile Communication Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Nine claims of a Blackberry Ltd. patent were anticipated by a patent application filed and published in 2006, Nokia of America Corp. tells the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in a Feb. 6 petition for inter partes review (IPR) (Nokia of America Corporation v. Blackberry Ltd., No. IPR2018-00583, PTAB).

Apple Petitions Board For Review Of Battery Current Control Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A Uniloc USA Inc. patent disclosing, among other things, a method of discharging a battery once a battery hits a predetermined temperature threshold would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art (POSITA), Apple Inc. asserts in a Jan. 23 petition for inter partes review (Apple Inc. v. Uniloc USA Inc., No. IPR2018-00523, PTAB).

Coram Nobis, Documents Sought In Remanded Trade Secret, Computer Fraud Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - In a pair of Feb. 7 reply briefs, a man found guilty of federal computer fraud and trade secret misappropriation charges asks a California federal court to grant him a writ of coram nobis to reconsider his prison sentence, in light of subsequent trade secret theft carried out by his former employer, which was his purported victim (United States v. David Nosal, No. 3:08-cr-00237, N.D. Calif.).

Software Developer Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison For Trade Secrets Theft
NEW YORK - A Chinese national and former software developer will spend five years in prison after pleading guilty to criminal charges of economic espionage and theft of trade secrets in connection with his theft of proprietary source code from his former employer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey S. Berman said in a Jan. 19 press release (United States of America v. Jiaqiang Xu, No. 16-cr-0010, S.D. N.Y.).

Apple, Qualcomm Debate $25,000-A-Day Discovery Sanction In FTC Antitrust Suit
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Qualcomm Inc. in a Jan.. 26 brief asks a California federal judge to affirm a $25,000-a-day discovery sanction that Apple Inc. called "unduly harsh" in a motion for relief, with Qualcomm arguing that the sanction amount is appropriate in light of Apple's pattern of discovery noncompliance in the antitrust lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission (Federal Trade Commission, et al. v. Qualcomm Inc., et al., No. 17-cv-00220, N.D. Calif.).

California Federal Judge Orders YouTube, Google To Show Cause For Removal
LOS ANGELES - A recent removal by YouTube LLC and Google Inc. of a purported copyright action to California federal court and subsequent request for dismissal prompted a California federal judge on Jan. 22 to enter an order to show cause for why the case should not be returned to Los Angeles County Superior Court (Akiko Kijimoto v. YouTube LLC, et al., No. 17-8184, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9918).

Introducing VPAT 2.0, The More Stringent Accessibility Reporting Tool Required For Federal Procurement
By Hiram Kuykendall (Complete version of commentary with images available. Document #24-180215-199X.) How Tighter Reporting Requirements for Government-Purchased ICT Products and Services Affect Vendors, Purchasers, and People with Disabilities.

Divided FCC Announces Repeal Of 2015 Net Neutrality Order
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In what it described as a restoration of internet freedom, the Federal Communications Commission on Dec. 14 announced the repeal its 2015 order that had established rules protecting what has become popularly known as "net neutrality." The newly adopted framework, which was approved by a 3-2 vote, includes "robust transparency requirements" and "effective government oversight of broadband providers' conduct," the FCC said.

Supreme Court Will Consider Enforceability Of South Dakota Internet Sales Tax Law
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Jan. 12 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to South Dakota in its challenge of the continued applicability of a 25-year-old case that bars the state's ability to enforce a new law requiring certain out-of-state internet retailers to collect and remit sales tax on sales to South Dakota residents (South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc., et al., No. 17-494, U.S. Sup.).

IPhone User Seeks Transfer, Consolidation Of Apple 'Performance Throttling' Suits
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California woman who sued Apple Inc. in the wake of its admission of intentionally slowing the performance of certain older iPhone models filed a motion Jan. 2 with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) to consolidate and transfer the growing number of similar class actions to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (In re: Apple Inc. Device Performance Litigation, No. 2827, JPMDL).

Parties Debate Whether Follow-Up Certiorari Is Merited In FCRA Article III Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Jan. 3 reply brief supporting its certiorari petition, an online data aggregator that has twice received adverse rulings on a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) complaint against it asks the U.S. Supreme Court to grant review to address a follow-up question pertaining to standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution that it says was not resolved in a 2016 ruling by the high court in the same case (Spokeo Inc. v. Thomas Robins, No. 17-806, U.S. Sup.).

Google Granted Default Judgment, Permanent Injunction From Canadian Court's Order
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Finding that Google LLC would be irreparably harmed by the enforcement of a Canadian order requiring it to delist websites associated with a company found guilty of misappropriating trade secrets, a California federal judge on Dec. 14 permanently enjoined domestic enforcement of the order (Google LLC v. Equustek Solutions Inc., No. 5:17-cv-04207, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206818).

Music Publisher Sues Spotify For $1.6 Billion For Unpaid Songwriter Royalties
LOS ANGELES - A music publishing firm on Dec. 29 sued Spotify USA Inc. for $1.6 billion in California federal court, asserting that the online music-streaming provider has failed to obtain proper licenses to cover royalties to songwriters who hold the copyrights in the compositions for songs that Spotify users have streamed billions of times (Wixen Music Publishing Inc. v. Spotify USA Inc., No. 2:17-cv-09288, C.D. Calif.).

9th Circuit Partly Affirms, Partly Reverses In Oracle, Rimini Copyright Case
SAN FRANCISCO - In a Jan. 8 decision, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a Nevada federal judge's determination that a third-party software support company committed copyright infringement when it relied on a license granted to one customer to copy software from the Oracle USA Inc. website to provide services to other customers who had no such license (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., Nos. 16-16-832 & 16-16905, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 463).

Microsoft To Supreme Court: SCA Does Not Permit Seizure Of Foreign-Stored Emails
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Jan. 11 respondent brief, Microsoft Corp. asks the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' finding that the Stored Communications Act (SCA) does not permit the government to seize, via warrant, emails that are stored abroad, arguing that altering of the 30-year old statute's reach to address such modern technological matters should be handled via legislation, not litigation (United States v. Microsoft Corp., No. 17-2, U.S. Sup.).

Winn-Dixie, Blind Patron Debate ADA Applicability To Websites In 11th Circuit
ATLANTA - In a Dec. 27 reply brief, Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. argues to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a complaint over its website's purported inaccessibility to visually impaired customers should have been dismissed by a trial court because websites do not constitute places of public accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. v. Juan Carlos Gil, No. 17-13467, 11th Cir.).

Social Media Aggregator, CEO Appeal Computer Fraud Judgment For Facebook
SAN FRANCISCO - A now-defunct social media aggregator and its CEO have filed a second appeal with the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals over a ruling in favor of Facebook Inc. under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), arguing in a Jan. 1 brief that a trial court's damages award failed to comply with guidelines laid down by the Ninth Circuit in the first appeal (Facebook Inc. v. Power Ventures Inc., et al., No. 17-16161, 9th Cir.).

Joint-Defense Privilege Bars Disclosure In Computer Fraud Suit, Magistrate Rules
PORTLAND, Ore. - Because a Washington state tech firm and a former employee entered into a joint litigation and confidentiality agreement prior to an internal interview about claimed computer fraud against the employee's previous employer, an Oregon federal magistrate judge on Dec. 21 found that the tech firm was barred from proffering the interview to support its defense under the joint-defense privilege (Columbia Sportswear Co. v. 3MD Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-00342, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 210777).

Google Seeks Dismissal Of Suit Alleging Liability For Paris Terror Attacks
OAKLAND, Calif. - Family members of a terror attack victim failed to cure flaws in their complaint alleging terror aiding under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), Google LLC argues in a Dec. 21 motion to dismiss their amended complaint, maintaining that, as a judge previously held, it is immune from liability for terrorists' postings on YouTube under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Reynaldo Gonzalez, et al. v. Google LLC, No. 4:16-cv-03282, N.D. Calif.).

Judge Denies GoDaddy's Request For Restraining Order In Infringement, UCL Case
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 20 denied a request by GoDaddy Operating Co. LLC, which asserts causes of action for trademark infringement and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) against a graphics company and others, for a temporary restraining order, finding that the issue would be better decided on fully briefed motions for an injunction rather than a temporary restraining order (GoDaddy Operating Company, LLC v. Usman Ghaznavi, et al., No. 17-cv-6545, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209386).

Federal Circuit Affirms: Malware Detection Patent Is Patent-Eligible
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although upholding a California federal judge's determination of patent eligibility, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 10 deemed a defendant entitled to judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) with regard to a separate patent on grounds that an accused malware detection product does not perform a claimed "policy index" limitation (Finjan Inc. v. Blue Coat Systems Inc., No. 16-2520, Fed. Cir.).

Pokemon GO Maker Prevails In California Patent Litigation
SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations by the owner of four mapping patents that Niantic Inc., developer of the popular Pokemon GO app, committed infringement were rejected Dec. 19 by a California federal magistrate judge, who deemed the underlying technology patent-ineligible under Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 101 (Location Based Services LLC v. Niantic Inc., No. 17-4413, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208677).

Patent Board Sides With Apple, Deems All Challenged Claims Obvious
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a Jan. 11 final written decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board deemed all 24 challenged claims of a data compression patent obvious under Section 103(a) of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. § 103(a) (Apple Inc. v. Realtime Data LLC, No. IPR2016-01366, PTAB).

Overturning Achates, Federal Circuit Says Time-Bar Rulings Are Appealable
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a divided Jan. 8 ruling, an en banc Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that the bar on judicial review of decisions to institute inter partes review (IPR) does not extend to determinations that a petition for IPR is time-barred under the America Invents Act (AIA), 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) (Wi-Fi One LLC v. Broadcom Corp., Nos. 15-1944, -1945, -1946, Fed. Cir.).

Barnes & Noble Appeals Taxation Of Costs In EReader Patent Litigation
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New York federal judge erroneously deemed a patent infringement plaintiff the "prevailing party" in calculating and awarding taxation of costs, Barnes & Noble Inc., LLC and NOOK Media LLC (B&N, collectively) recently told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Adrea LLC v. Barnes & Noble Inc., et al., No. 17-2462, Fed. Cir.).

SEC Halts Trading Of Chinese-Based Cryptocurrency Shares
WASHINGTON, D.C. - For the second time in two months, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 5 issued an order of suspension of trading to a cryptocurrency trading company over concerns about the company's business operations and market activity (In The Matter Of UBI Blockchain Internet Ltd., File No. 500-1, SEC).

Tech Company To Pay More Than $1.3M To Settle Stock-Drop Claims
BOSTON - A digital audio and video editing software marketer will pay nearly $1.33 million to settle claims that certain of its executive officers misrepresented the company's business and financial condition the wake of its launch of a new software product offering in violation of federal securities laws, the lead plaintiff in the action says in a motion for preliminary approval of settlement filed Nov. 30 in Massachusetts federal court (Prakash Mohanty v. Avid Technology Inc., et al., No. 16-12336, D. Mass.).

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.).