Mark Sableman

Mark Sableman

Thompson Coburn LLP

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Latest Publications


Keyword ads — Only infringing if they’re confusing

Neighbors can be helpful. Our Canadian neighbors may have just helped U.S. trademark owners who wonder about the legality of use of their trademarks in Google AdWords ads, and other search-engine keyword ads....more

3/24/2017 - AdWords Canada Google Keyword Advertising Keyword Search Likelihood of Confusion Trademark Infringement Trademarks

When good copyright laws go bad: Indictment lays out porn ‘trolling’ scheme

What happens when you use legitimate means to achieve despicable ends? In the case of two attorneys at the center of a high-profile copyright enforcement scheme involving pornographic movies, you end up on the receiving end...more

3/9/2017 - Copyright Copyright Enforcement Copyright Litigation Pornography The Copyright Act

Trump libel win based on Trump libel loss

President-elect Donald Trump just won a libel case against a critic — for the very same reason that real estate developer Donald Trump lost a libel case against a critic, more than 30 years ago. And yes, the precedent of...more

1/17/2017 - Defamation Disparagement Libel Trump Administration Twitter

Trademark Office warns about deceptive trademark-related solicitations

The recent focus on fake news should remind trademark owners of the special care they need to take with communications about their trademark applications....more

1/5/2017 - Trademark Application Trademark Ownership Trademarks USPTO

Copyright Office changes procedures for DMCA agent designations

If users ever post anything on a website you operate, you need to protect yourself from any copyright infringement they commit. And a new rule just enacted by the Copyright Office imposes a few new hoops and hurdles for that...more

12/9/2016 - Copyright Copyright Infringement Copyright Office DMCA Websites

How to combat the risks of impersonation emails, imitative domains

Amid the headlines and legitimate concern about massive data breaches, we too often overlook the danger of targeted fraudulent emails, and imitative domain names and websites....more

10/14/2016 - Cyber Attacks Cybersecurity Cybersquatting Data Breach Domain Names Email Malware Spoofing

Securing assent: The Internet twist of electronic contracts

If any area of the law could be shielded from the all-consuming influence of the Internet, it ought to be the age-old law of contracts. Nothing about the Internet changes basic elements of contract law, like requirements of...more

10/11/2016 - Consumer Contracts E-SIGN Oral Contracts UETA

Beyoncé’s copyright case was destined for dismissal

For an entertaining education in how to analyze copyrightable similarity, you can’t do much better than U.S. District Cout Judge Jed S. Rakoff’s decision in Fulks v. Knowles-Carter (which you may wish to think of as Fulks v....more

9/30/2016 - Audio Recording Beyonce Copyright Infringement Young Lawyers

The serious security vulnerabilities of mobile devices

If you have wondered about security threats to your mobile device, a recent report of the National Institute of Standards and Technology may answer some of your questions — and increase your fears. The report,...more

9/28/2016 - Cybersecurity Data Security Mobile Devices NIST Popular Supply Chain

In Pegasus-related copyright suit, judge sidelines as art critic

The analysis in an art copyright case can sound like a class discussion in Art Appreciation 101. Take the case of Croak v. Saatchi & Saatchi, which could also be called Pegasus I v. Pegasus II....more

9/20/2016 - Copyright Motion to Dismiss Pegasus Toyota

FTC sets new standard for mobile app location tracking – indirectly

If you have wondered how users' physical locations can be tracked when they use mobile devices, a new white paper explains the process. It's actually an FTC complaint, and thus a white paper only indirectly. But...more

9/14/2016 - Advertising APIs COPPA FTC Geolocation iPhone Tracking Location Data Mobile Apps Popular Tracking Systems Wifi

Higher ed faces ADA challenges over accessibility of university websites

Websites are vitally important to institutions of higher education for a variety of reasons. They serve as a real-time brochure for prospective students, provide important academic and administrative resources to students and...more

8/4/2016 - ADA Class Action Colleges E-Commerce Equal Access Higher Education Act Public Accommodation Terms and Conditions Title III Truth in Consumer Contracts Laws Universities Websites

Political campaigns face copyright and robocall liabilities

Though it seems to come as a surprise to many of them, politicians — even presidential candidates — have to live with the same intellectual property and communications laws that bedevil the rest of us....more

7/26/2016 - Copyright Copyright Infringement Copyright Litigation Damages License Agreements Music Music Industry Political Campaigns Presidential Elections Robocalling TCPA Telemarketing Trademark Infringement

Do you have privacy rights on social media?

True or False: Your privacy rights are diminished in social media. Most people would probably say this is true, and there are certainly court decisions asserting that people give up privacy interests once they post otherwise...more

7/12/2016 - Consent Convictions Facebook Fourth Amendment Harassment Invasion of Privacy MySpace Privacy Settings Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Social Media Totality of Circumstances Test

Trade secrets law in the Internet age

How do you maintain a trade secret in the Internet age? As in the punch line to an old joke, “VERY CAREFULLY.”...more

7/1/2016 - CA Supreme Court Decryption Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) DVDs First Amendment Free Speech Injunctions Internet Public Disclosure Trade Secrets Twitter UTSA

Is everyone’s website illegal?

Your website consists of visible text and graphics, geared to the sighted reader. Its terms and conditions include legal disclaimers and limitations of liability, which, it explains, apply unless they are specifically...more

5/7/2016 - ADA Class Action Disclaimers Internet Limitation of Liability Clause Popular Public Accommodation Terms and Conditions Websites

Electronic marketing’s Internet twist: Use e-mail, not faxes or texts

The name of the CAN-SPAM Act scares some people. They think it severely regulates, or maybe even prohibits, e-mail marketing. In a somewhat surprising twist of Internet law, however, e-mail marketing is less heavily regulated...more

3/15/2016 - Anti-Spam Legislation CAN-SPAM Act Canada CASL Email FCC Internet Marketing TCPA Telemarketing Unsolicited Faxes

Rapper rumble leads to legal rumble over use of tweet

If you have any remaining doubts that even tiny tweets can lead to major litigation, consider the “Ri-Ri’s Rumble” case. The case has everything: rappers, Rihanna, an eruption at a nightclub and the threat (or maybe...more

2/8/2016 - Libel Misleading Impressions Omissions Reputational Injury Social Media Twitter

Is the Internet expanding privacy expectations?

Is the Internet invading privacy, or expanding privacy? The conventional wisdom is that the Internet is eviscerating privacy. But in some ways a heightened focus on privacy in the digital era may be creating new and greater...more

1/25/2016 - Email FTC Internet Privacy Invasion of Privacy Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Young Lawyers

Will the Zippo sliding scale for Internet jurisdiction slide into oblivion?

Though Internet communications seem to occur in a mystical electronic ether (which we once called cyberspace), authors of Internet messages can be held accountable for them in that very traditional physical place known as a...more

1/12/2016 - Cloud Computing Corporate Counsel Defamation Internet Jurisdiction Minimum Contacts Websites Young Lawyers Zippo

Agencies’ experts make privacy regulation a serious threat

Now it is the time to get smart about privacy and technology, because your government regulators are smart and savvy in those areas. No, that’s not a misprint. Though government regulators are often far behind on the...more

12/9/2015 - Class Action Data Privacy FCC FTC Google Personal Data Privacy Policy


In a world where people go online to tell friends and strangers alike how they feel about everything from their newest mobile device to a restaurant down the street, it’s tough to know why opinions are shared in social media....more

9/23/2015 - Disclosure Requirements False Advertising FTC FTC Endorsement Guidelines Hashtags Online Endorsements Pinterest Social Media Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices Xbox

Can you be sued for posting your opinions on the Internet?

A restaurant tells customers it may sue them if they post unfavorable reviews on the Internet. A flooring company sues a customer who complained on social media that he had an “absolutely horrible experience” with the...more

9/8/2015 - First Amendment Free Speech Libel Online Reviews Statement of Opinion Terms and Conditions

The changing faces of facial recognition

The new technology of facial recognition is starting with a smile. But as it develops, people may begin picturing it with a frown, or maybe a furrowed brow....more

8/11/2015 - Biometric Information Facial Recognition Technology FTC GAO Photographs Privacy Concerns Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Social Media

Duke of Brunswick rule strikes out for Internet lawsuits

If you publish something on the Internet, would it be fair if someone could sue you for it many years later? Of course not. Because of statutes of limitation, a claimant has only a limited time period after any...more

7/30/2015 - Internet Libel Publication Requirement Single Publication Rule Statute of Limitations

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