Communications & Media Business Torts

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Some Like It Infringed? Monroe Estate Continues Intellectual Property Battles Despite Lack of Publicity Rights

On Wednesday, November 9, 2016 the estate of Marilyn Monroe filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York against Fashion Central. The Monroe Estate claims that Fashion Central infringes its intellectual property...more

qech wej QaD trademark nIH (Trademarks Don’t Protect Ideas)

Lucas Film Limited has sued Michael Brown and his Light Saber Academy for trademark infringement, unfair competition, dilution, cybersquatting, state unfair competition, and dilution, arising from Mr. Brown’s running an...more

A Diamond is Forever. What About Your Advertising Claim?

An advertising slogan like “A Diamond is Forever” may be eternal, but the same cannot be said about some comparative advertising claims. If a company advertises its product as superior to a competitive product, the ad claim...more

Empty spaces causing big problems: the rise of slack-fill litigation

Last month, a district court judge in California dismissed a highly publicized lawsuit in which the plaintiff claimed that Starbucks’ iced beverages contained too much ice and not enough coffee. The suit was the subject of...more

POM Wonderful Returns – Lanham Act False Advertising Claim Against Home Pregnancy Tests Not Precluded by FDCA

On September 9, 2016, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an interesting decision in a false advertising case involving a dispute between competitors in the home pregnancy testing market. Church & Dwight Co. v....more

Federal Court Serves Up Big Win for Email Marketers in Spam Lawsuit

A recent decision in Silverstein v Keynetics, Inc. et al, by a federal judge in the Northern District of California has provided a glimmer of hope to email marketers that the seemingly limitless reach of California’s...more

Third Time’s the Charm? Court Rejects Parties’ Second Settlement Agreement for Failure to Provide Sufficient Value to Class...

District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel recently considered and rejected—for the second time—a proposed class action settlement involving false advertising claims against a defendant jeans manufacturer. Hofmann v. Dutch, LLC,...more

Gladys Knight Files Unfair Competition Lawsuit Against Her Son

This Monday, seven-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist Gladys Knight commenced a federal unfair competition lawsuit against her own son and his businesses in connection with a chain of Atlanta-area chicken and waffle...more

Nature’s Way Can’t Slide Out of Coconut Oil Suit

On August 12, 2016, Southern District of California Judge William Q. Hayes denied most of a motion to dismiss and motion to strike in Hunter v. Nature’s Way Products, LLC, Case No. 16cv532-WQH-BLM. The putative class action...more

"Assuming" the Obvious: Exclusion for “Assumption of Liability in a Contract” Does Not Apply to Breach of Professional Services

In what it described as a case of first impression, the Northern District of California ruled that a professional liability policy that excluded the insured’s “assumption of liability obligations in a contract or agreement”...more

Can Using Social Media Lead to a Lawsuit? (Part 2)

In part 1 of this blog series, I discussed the potential legal implications of social media as it pertains to defamation, privacy rights, and ownership rights. As we pick back up with our discussion, I want to address the...more

Overdraft Service Program Costs Bank $10M in CFPB Fine

Overdraft services practices were the basis for a $10 million fine from the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) in a recent action against a national bank operating primarily in the northeast....more

NYAG Announces Settlement with Synergy Fitness for Improper Billing

This week, the New York State Attorney General (the “Attorney General”) announced that it had settled with nine Synergy Fitness (“Synergy”) health clubs over alleged deceptive and improper billing practices. Specifically,...more

Switching Consumer Device to Ad-Supported Environment Is Not Deceptive under New York Law

If your company sells a smart device to a consumer, can it later turn the device into a paid advertising platform? Can it do so without advanced disclosure?  A recent court ruling suggests the answer is “yes,” at least in New...more

Advertising Law - August 2016 #2

Electric Toothbrushes Battle It Out Before NAD - In a battle over electric toothbrushes, the National Advertising Division determined that Procter & Gamble can support superiority claims for its Oral-B models challenged...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Fraud-Based UCL Claims Based on Lack of Reliance

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Haskins v. Symantec Corp., Case No. 14-16141 (9th Cir. June 20, 2016), supports the requirement that plaintiffs must allege exposure to and reliance on specific...more

Advertising Law - August 2016

Court Awake To Plaintiff’s Deceptive Sleep-Tracking Claims Against Fitbit - A challenge to Fitbit’s claims that certain models of its exercise monitoring device tracked users’ sleep patterns will move forward after a...more

What Can Go Wrong When You Offer Public Internet Access

By providing public internet access, a business owner may find that he or she is responsible for activity conducted by patrons who use that access. While this area of law is still very much unsettled, a business owner may be...more

Food Manufacturer Sued for Allegedly Deceptive ”Slack-Fill”

Last Thursday, four New York City residents commenced a federal lawsuit and prospective class action against the world’s leading pasta maker, Barilla S.p.A., and its subsidiaries Barilla America, Inc. and Barilla USA...more

In re Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation: An IP Address is Not Always Personally Identifiable Information

What’s the Case About? In re Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation is a multi-district consolidated class action filed on behalf of children under the age of thirteen alleging that Viacom used child directed websites it...more

NYAG Announces Deceptive Advertising Settlements

Last week, the New York State Attorney General (the “Attorney General”) announced settlements with two separate companies relating to claims involving allegations of deceptive advertising and billing practices. The...more

Advertising Law - July 2016 #3

Wikipedia Link Trips up Ninth Circuit False Ad Suit - Ruling that a California federal court incorrectly relied upon a Wikipedia link when considering a summary judgment motion in a false advertising suit, the Ninth...more

Facebook v. Vachani – User Authorization Can Be Revoked By Service Providers

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently issued a decision that could have far reaching implications for the relationships between companies that provide online services, their customers or users, and third...more

Advertising Law - July 2016 #2

VW Will Pay $14.7B in Largest FTC False Ad Suit - Volkswagen made a $14.7 billion deal with the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and the California Attorney General over charges that the auto...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Sham Citizen Petition Claim, Summary Judgment on False Advertising Claims **WEB ONLY**

Addressing Sherman Act and Lanham Act claims arising out of an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA), the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ Sherman Act claim...more

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