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News & Analysis as of

FTC Prevails in Action against Amazon for Unlawfully Billing Parents for Children’s Unauthorized In-App Purchases

In the wake of thousands of parental complaints about unauthorized in-app purchases made by their children, resulting in millions of dollars in disputed charges, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) brought suit against...more

Intellectual Property Law - June 2016

Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: An Overview - Why it matters: The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) was signed into law on May 11, 2016 and gives trade secret owners a federal cause of action for injunctive...more

Amazon’s clear labelling defeats MTM trademark claims

The US Supreme Court has denied certiorari for the Ninth Circuit decision in Multi Time Machine Inc (MTM) v Amazon.com Inc on February 29 2016, which held that Amazon did not infringe MTM’s trademark in its presentation of...more

Weekly Web Wrap-Up

Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by Social Media & Games Team.  Here are some of the...more

Screening Room Alone Won’t Save AMC-Carmike

Last month, AMC and Carmike announced plans to merge. They would form the nation’s largest cinema chain with over 8,000 screens. Also last month, Napster founder Sean Parker announced a new product—Screening Room—which will...more

Weekly Web Wrap-Up

Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by Social Media & Games Team.  Here are some of the...more

European Court of Justice to Rule on Legality of Online Sales Bans

An appeal court in Frankfurt has asked the European Court of Justice to clarify the application of the competition rules to online sales. The Frankfurt court made its request in the context of a dispute between a leader in...more

Federal Court Finds Amazon Liable for Kids’ In-App Purchases

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that Amazon is liable for permitting unauthorized in-app purchases incurred by children. Amazon is the last in a series of actions brought by the FTC against third-party platforms related to...more

Weekly Web Wrap-Up

Friend a Bot on Facebook? Messenger Launches Business Chatbots - At Facebook’s annual developers conference F8 this week, Facebook confirmed that Messenger will allow brands and companies to build bots that interact...more

Three Point Shot - March 2016

California Court to PGA Tour Caddies: You'll Get Nothing and Like It! As the full swing of the PGA season rounds the corner, and with the azaleas blooming at Augusta, the trusted confidants of golf's premier players...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: FLANAX, Fishing Tackle, Football Players and More

Summaries of Recent Precedential and Informative Appellate Opinions - Trademark Opinions - Owners of Foreign Marks May Sue Under Lanham Act Without Using Marks in the US: Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG,...more

Patent Venue Legislation Could Have A Dramatic Impact on Popular Patent Venues

This March, three United States Senators introduced the “Venue Equity and Non-Uniformity Elimination Act of 2016.” The bill would dramatically narrow the venue statute that applies to patent cases and, it appears, prevent...more

Self-Publishing Platforms Deemed Distributors, Not Publishers in Privacy Suit over Unauthorized Book Cover

We live in a world that has rapidly redefined and blurred the roles of the “creator” of content, as compared to the roles of the “publisher” and “distributor” of such content. A recent case touches on some of the important...more

Functional Claim Language Does Not Render Apparatus Claim Indefinite For Including Both Method And Apparatus

Patent applications involving electrical and/or computer related inventions often involve functional claim language. For example, software may be claimed in terms of its function. One or more components of an electrical...more

Potential Antitrust Implications of Most Favored Nation Clauses

Both in the automotive and other industries, parties have turned to most favored nation (MFN) clauses—or clauses having the same effect—as a means to assure the lowest possible input costs. MFN clauses offer pro-competitive,...more

Supreme Court Denies Review of Ninth Circuit Decision Finding no Trademark Infringement for Amazon Search Results

On February 29, 2016, the Supreme Court declined to review a Ninth Circuit decision holding that there was no likelihood of confusion, and therefore no trademark infringement, where Amazon.com responded to consumer searches...more

Undead as a Service: Tips to Help Ensure Your IT Agreements Can Withstand a Zombie Apocalypse

Do the undead read the small print? In our experience, zombies are typically more concerned with fresh brains than with forum selection, but Amazon Web Services (AWS) has helpfully updated its AWS Service Terms for anyone who...more

Sports Streaming Quickly Becoming the Way to Watch Your Team

Just about everyone knows Netflix, Amazon Video and Hulu, the Big Three of “over the top” (OTT) streaming services that offer a wide variety of entertainment programming. But what many people don’t know — yet — is that...more

Why is the Government Interested in my Drone?

Everyone has heard of drones. Amazon is going to use them to deliver packages soon, right? What is a drone and what do individuals and businesses need to know about drone usage? Drones are defined simply an unmanned,...more

2015 IP Law Year In Review

Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 1920 (May 26, 2015) - ..Does a defendant’s belief that a patent is invalid serve as a defense to charges of inducing infringement? NO - ..Inducement requires...more

Summary Judgment Of Noninfringement Is Recommended

Thynge, C.M. J. Report and Recommendation recommending that defendant’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement be granted and that its motion for leave to submit a sur-reply be denied as moot....more

"Global Antitrust Enforcement in the Digital Age: Recent Developments in E-Commerce"

Competition authorities worldwide ramped up scrutiny of e-commerce business practices in 2015. The European Commission (Commission) launched an expansive sector inquiry in May 2015 aimed at identifying anticompetitive...more

Frying Small Potatoes: Will Amazon’s Pursuit of Individual Fake-Review Writers Pay Off?

Amazon’s customer reviews have long been a go-to resource for consumers researching prospective purchases. Unfortunately, fake customer reviews—product critiques commissioned by merchants and manufacturers in an effort to...more

The Future of Hoverboards: Federal Safety Standards or Voluntary Safety Standards?

Over recent weeks, national media outlets have reported extensively on multiple claims from consumers that hoverboards—self-balancing scooters growing immensely in popularity, particularly over the holiday period—have caught...more

2015 End-Of-Year Wrap-Up

On November 19, 2015, Benesch’s 3D printing group quarterbacked a well-attended presentation sponsored by the Association for Corporate Growth-Cleveland. In addition to Mark Avsec from Benesch (and Ira Kaplan’s...more

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