Communications & Media Civil Procedure Science, Computers & Technology

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Preemption: Oregon Has Not Gone Bananas

Can you get sued over a picture of a banana? It seems the answer might depend on where you live and probably not in Oregon. That is one takeaway from a good preemption case that came out of the District of Oregon last week,...more

Google Books Survives Legal Challenge - Supreme Court Declines to Address Book-Digitization Project

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari over a Second Circuit decision (Authors’ Guild v. Google Inc.) affirming that Google’s project of digitizing, and making available online for searching, tens of millions of...more

From Ashley Madison to the Panama Papers: Is Hacked Data Fair Game?

We’ve previously written about the distinctions between hacking credit and other financial data in comparison to hacking private information. (See Ashley Madison and Coming to “Terms” with Data Protection.) The issue of how...more

Everything but the Kitchen Sink: New Data Types and E-Discovery

Almost any activity we take part in creates data; it no longer resides just on email servers or your laptop or mobile phones. Data resides in the cloud, in apps, on social media, in your watch or fitness tracker. For...more

Apple’s Quest for the “Ownable” Mark

No company’s branding strategy is studied more meticulously than Apple, Inc.’s — and of late, Apple has taken a turn for the descriptive with its various operating systems. Every company wants its brands to be...more

Shutterfly settles Illinois biometrics case

We previously reported that Shutterfly’s effort to dismiss the proposed biometrics class action case against it was unsuccessful. The proposed class action suit alleged that Shutterfly violated the Illinois Biometric...more

Mixed Messages: Courts Grapple With Emoticons and Emoji

Emoticons—such as :-)—and emoji are ubiquitous in online and mobile communications; according to one study, 74 percent of Americans use emoticons, emoji and similar images on a regular basis. Given their popularity, it...more

TPPs Fail to Put Their Money Where Their (Litigation) Mouth Is and Lose

In third party payor litigation over prescription medical products, we have often marveled at the causation arguments that plaintiffs have offered and the willingness of some courts to accept collective proof over what really...more

Ashley Madison attorney-client communications leaked in data breach

We all remember the Ashley Madison data breach. The hackers, calling themselves “The Impact Team” requested that the Ashley Madison extramarital affair site, and Cougar Life and Established Men sites be “taken down.” When...more

Summary Judgment for Defendants in FCA Action: No Admissible Evidence of False Claims

How much is “enough?” Will we have enough money to retire someday? Did the Drug and Device Law College Sophomore study enough for her computer science midterm? Is there enough salt in the matzo ball soup? In the realm of...more

Government Seeks Civil Forfeiture of Funds Stolen in Business E-Mail Fraud

On April 14, 2016, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York filed a civil forfeiture action seeking to recover nearly $100 million stolen from an unidentified U.S. company through a form of wire fraud or...more

FLANAX: Protecting Foreign Marks from US Unfair Competition Under Section 43(a)

In today’s increasingly global economy, trademark owners are more frequently butting up against the territorial limitations of trademark law. It has long been a matter of black letter law that trademark rights are...more

Accessibility of Retailer Websites Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)

Title III of the ADA provides that “no individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disabilities in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or any accommodations of...more

California Court Rules That Retailer Must Make Its Website Accessible For Users With Visual Disabilities Under the ADA

In a significant decision for all businesses that maintain an online presence, a California court recently ruled that a luggage retailer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and California state law by failing...more

District Court Asks Google and Oracle to Consent to Ban on Internet Research of Jury Panel

Following up on the district court's previous ruling barring the use of jury questionnaires, the district court addressed the issue of whether any Internet research of the potential jurors should be permitted. After analyzing...more

Friend Request Denied: Judge Asks Attorneys to Refrain from Social Media Searches of Jurors

In late March 2016, a California federal judge asked both Google, Inc. and Oracle America, Inc. to voluntarily consent to a ban against Internet and social media research on empaneled or prospective jurors until the...more

In 10-1 Verdict, Jury Finds No FCA Violation by Abbott Laboratories

On April 7, 2016, after just three hours of deliberations following a three-week trial, a federal jury dismissed False Claims Act (“FCA”) claims against Abbott Laboratories brought by a whistleblowing former employee.  The...more

Advertising Law - April 2016

Yahoo's Deal on E-Mail Scanning: More Warnings, No Cash - A California federal court judge granted preliminary approval of a settlement agreement in a lawsuit accusing Yahoo of reading e-mail messages for ad-targeting...more

Florida District Court Holds Calling System Sufficiently Configured to Avoid TCPA Liability

As lawsuits asserting claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (the “TCPA”), continue to rise in the wake of the consumer-friendly Declaratory Ruling and Order issued by the Federal Communications...more

Google and Oracle Agree to Ban Internet Research on Jurors … this Time Around

In a March 25, 2016 Order, Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California gave Google and Oracle the choice between agreeing to a ban on conducting Internet and social media research on jurors until the trial is...more

The First Circuit’s “Scungy” Backpage: Copyright And Right Of Publicity Claims Ineffective Against Sex Trafficking

In Doe v. Backpage.com, the First Circuit affirmed the District of Massachusetts in holding that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) shields from civil liability a website used by third parties to facilitate...more

Google latest defendant in biometrics case

We have been following and reporting on the Facebook and Shutterfly biometrics cases in Illinois and California. Google was recently sued by a potential class in Illinois alleging that it violated the Illinois Biometric...more

Fourth Circuit Extends Section 43(a) Lanham Act Standing to Companies Not Selling Their Product or Using Their Mark in the U.S.

Last week, an appellate court held that a plaintiff has standing to bring a false association and false advertising claim under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, even though it did not use its mark or sell its competing...more

Fourth Circuit Holds No Use in the U.S. Required to Bring Claims Under the Lanham Act

On March 23, 2016, the Fourth Circuit reversed the district court’s decision in Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG, 84 F. Supp. 3d 490 (E.D. Va. 2015) and remanded the case....more

Wearable device data discoverable in the courtroom?

One in five U.S. consumers are tracking their every movement, from their heart-rate, skin temperature, respiratory rate to their activity levels, food intake, weight, and sleep patterns. With this so-called ‘black box’ for...more

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