Communications & Media Civil Remedies

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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To The Relief of Sergeants Everywhere, Forever 21 Challenges Adidas’ Three Stripe Marks

On March 3, Forever 21, Inc. sued Adidas American, Inc. in the Central District of California (2:17-cv-01752), asking for a declaration that its clothing decorated with stripes does not infringe Adidas’ trademarks, and...more

Federal Court of Appeal upholds interlocutory injunction directed at retailers of set-top boxes loaded with copyright-infringing...

As reported previously, the Federal Court issued an interlocutory injunction on June 1, 2016 directed at retailers of set-top boxes that are configured, or “pre-loaded”, with various applications that provide their users with...more

Photographer hits retailer over photo of player hitting Joey Bats

One of the best sports photographs in recent history captured a 2016 incident where Texas Rangers’ second baseman Rougned Odor hit Toronto Blue Jay José Bautista in the face. That memorable image is at the center of a new...more

Finding of Exceptionality Leaves Unsuccessful Infringement Plaintiff Liable for Over $50 Million in Attorney Fees and Costs

Needless to say, a finding of exceptionality under 35 U.S.C. § 285 can have crippling consequences. Just ask Rembrandt Technologies, LP, which recently was slapped with an order to pay the prevailing defendants in a...more

Your DMCA Safe Harbor Questions Answered

Do you need the answer right now to one particular question about the DMCA and its (so-called) “Safe Harbors”? Here you go! But be warned: we’re painting with a broad brush, so you will have to go further – including seeking...more

FCC Stay of Broadband Privacy Rules Foreshadows Deregulatory Measures

As anticipated, the Republican members of the Federal Communications Commission are taking steps to pare down the 2016 Broadband Privacy Order now that they are in the majority. The FCC has released an order staying the data...more

Autodialing and Pre-Recorded Messages: the TCPA’s Trap for Unwary Lenders and Debt Collectors

In February 2015, a federal judge approved a $75 million Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) class settlement involving Capital One and three debt collectors.[1] The plaintiffs (debtors) alleged that Capital One and...more

Community Banks Should Be Wary of ADA Claims

A number of community banks have recently received an unpleasant delivery: a demand letter from a law firm stating the bank is not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA) and suggesting a proposed...more

Don’t Friend My Friends: Nonsolicitation Agreements Should Account for Social Media Strategies

As social media becomes an important part of many companies’ sales and branding strategies, issues relating to companies’ ability to protect their investments in such strategies are emerging. Indeed, this blog has previously...more

Rare Interlocutory Injunction Issued by Federal Court in Trademark Case

In a significant decision issued last week, Sleep Country Canada Inc v Sears Canada Inc, 2017 FC 148, the Federal Court issued rare interlocutory relief to a Plaintiff in a trademark case. ...more

Sixth Circuit Drops the Beat: Social Media Relevant in Determining Likelihood of Confusion

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment, holding that the plaintiff provided insufficient evidence to find that relevant consumers were likely to confuse the sources of his and the...more

The Yellow Pages Live On

Calling the district court’s action an “abuse of discretion,” the 11th Circuit reversed a decision that cut by more than 90 percent a successful copyright infringement plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and costs. Yellow...more

CFPB files complaint alleging defendants ran unlawful debt relief operation

The CFPB has filed a complaint in a California federal district court against three law firms and two individual attorneys alleging that they offered debt relief services to consumers in violation of the Telemarketing Sales...more

Texas Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Jackson Walker Media Clients in Important Free Speech Case

Houston partner John K. Edwards argued before the Texas Supreme Court in September 2016 on behalf of a newspaper and reporter in an important libel case that started in 2003 concerning an article published in a Fort Bend...more

Using a Person's Image for Commercial Purposes: Lessons Learned from the Chipotle $2.2 Billion Lawsuit

This month, a California woman sued Chipotle for $2.2 billion based on the burrito chain's unauthorized use of her photograph in its promotional materials. The $2.2 billion demand represents Chipotle's profits from 2006, when...more

New Lawsuits Challenge Qualcomm’s Allegedly Anticompetitive Patent Practices

The Federal Trade Commission filed suit last week in federal court against Qualcomm, Inc., following its investigation launched in September 2014. The FTC alleges that the semiconductor manufacturer illegally maintained a...more

Trademark Infringers Can Limit The Damages They Must Pay If The Trademark Owner Fails To Prove That The Parties' Marketing Areas...

It has long since been the rule that an infringing trademark use may only be prevented in the geographic areas where use of the infringing mark and owner's trademark overlap.i In the recent case of Variety Stores, Inc. v....more

Central District of California Finds Prerecorded Call Was Not Telemarketing Under TCPA

Last week, the Central District of California granted summary judgment in a TCPA case involving a single prerecorded call from the plaintiff’s medical insurance company. In Smith v. Blue Shield of California, the plaintiff...more

EU Court Strikes Down Security Legislation Over Privacy Concerns

In a decision published on 21 December 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) invalidated legislation in two EU member states – the UK and Sweden – requiring telecommunication operators to retain users’...more

CFPB Consent Orders with Consumer Reporting Agencies Focus on Marketing Practices not Credit Reporting

Marketing practices remain at the forefront of CFPB activity as evidenced by two recent consent orders entered into with TransUnion and Equifax. The consent orders combine to require the CRAs to pay more than $17.6 million...more

UVA Administrator Opposes Rolling Stone’s Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law

On December 27, 2016, University of Virginia Associate Dean of Students Nicole P. Eramo opposed Rolling Stone’s Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law. On November 7, 2016, following a two-week trial, a jury sitting in U.S....more

Personal and Corporate Reputation: Five Lessons from 2016

On November 19, 2014, Sabrina Erdely’s Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA” went viral. The article depicted the violent gang rape of a University of Virginia student...more

FCC Settles Largest Lifeline Enforcement Case for $30 million and Permanent Ban from the Program

We reported last spring on the FCC’s accusations against Total Call Mobile and proposed fine of more than $51 million relating to agent misconduct and the failure of company management to take sufficient and early corrective...more

Three Point Shot - December 2016

In Partial Trademark Victory over Chinese Sportswear Company, MJ Posterizes Unauthorized User of Chinese Version of His Name - In Game 3 of the first round of the 1991 NBA Eastern Conference playoffs between the New York...more

When Imitation Goes Beyond Flattery

In a lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Missouri today, Energizer Brands complained about Spectrum Brands’ “imitation” of its packaging, raising claims of trade dress infringement, false designation of origin, unfair...more

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