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News & Analysis as of

Online Advertisers Take Notice – Recent Canadian Decisions

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) has released two important decisions this year on online behavioural advertising (OBA or interest-based advertising) so far this year. On March 25, 2015, the OPC released its...more

California Teams-Up with Internet Search Engines to Block Unlicensed Payday Lender Advertising

On April 7, the California Department of Business Oversight announced a new initiative to prevent unlicensed payday lenders from advertising on major Internet search engines, including Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo....more

Status Updates - April 2015 #2

Bad ads. New research shows that 5% of the people visiting Google-related websites are using computers infected with programs that insert illegitimate ads onto web pages; as a result, these web surfers see ads that site...more

What is Your Privacy Worth?

$29 per month, according to AT&T. The telecommunications giant launched its high-speed internet service, GigaPower, in Cupertino, California this week.  GigaPower boasts network speeds so fast that users can “download...more

Status Updates - April 2015

Dueling for ad dollars. U.S. companies will spend $52.8 billion on digital advertising this year, 2.5% more than they spent on it in 2014. And, while television advertising is still king—corporate marketers will invest almost...more

Mobile Targeted Ad Enforcement to Begin This Summer

The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) recently announced two new mechanisms that will allow consumers to manage ad preferences on their mobile devices. (We summarized the new mechanisms in an Alert.) These new consumer...more

Software Company to Face Suit Over Contract Restructuring

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California sustained a securities fraud complaint alleging that the defendants, a software company and its executives, had defrauded investors by failing to...more

The New Frontier in Interest Based Advertising: FTC Shifts Focus to Cross-Device Tracking

As consumers increasingly connect to the Internet using multiple devices—such as mobile phones, tablets, computers, TVs and wearable devices—advertising technology companies have rapidly developed capabilities to reach the...more

Do Your Due Diligence – Security Concerns May Lurk in Unexpected Places

In 2014, Lenovo began selling its laptops bundled with a piece of software known as SuperFish, which enabled Lenovo to display more targeted advertising content to its users to “enhance [the] user experience” of its...more

The Most Important Issue Involving Superfish Isn’t Superfish

Many of the media reports around the recent Superfish debacle completely miss the main issue. First, though, let's recap what's been alleged about Superfish and similar types of pre-installed software. The allegation...more

Viacom and Google Win Important Dismissal in Online Tracking Class Action

Last week the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey dismissed, with prejudice, class action claims against Google and Viacom concerning targeted advertising and the online tracking of children through...more

Status Updates - February 2015

Snap decision. The National Arbitration Forum has refused to transfer the domain name snapchatcheck.com to the company behind the popular messaging app Snapchat. The NAF panel decided that the respondent, Dreamhost, the...more

Quoth the Maven: “Without More!” Federal Judge Dismisses Dow Jones VPPA Class Action, While Hulu Parties Square off Over...

A Growing Chorus of Federal Courts Finds User IDs, by themselves, Do Not Count as Personally Identifiable Information under the VPPA Recently, a federal district judge joined a number of his colleagues around the country who...more

In Need of a Tune Up: Wisconsin’s Court of Appeals Considers Personal Jurisdiction in the Internet Age

Last year, we wrote about the Seventh Circuit’s interpretation of the emerging issue of personal jurisdiction in the context of internet activity. Courts understandably have been wary of subjecting businesses to broad...more

FTC Director Rich: Greater Transparency Needed in Post-Mad Men Era of Online Advertising

The world of the popular television show Mad Men may be glamorous, but according to the Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Jessica Rich, it depicts more fiction than fact about modern...more

Canadian Privacy Compliance: Time for your Online Checkup

In a previous post on online behavioural advertising (OBA), we wrote about the Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s ”call to action” to stakeholders in the advertising industry on OBA, and we discussed the industry’s response...more

Top five shifts in Internet law in 2014

Internet law is always changing. Here’s my impressionistic list of five of the most significant 2014 shifts affecting businesses that operate in the Internet space. David Letterman will be off the air soon, so I won’t follow...more

BBB Issues OBA Warning: What You Should Know and What to Do About It

The Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program just released another compliance warning, stating that the use of Interest-Based Advertising (IBA) in native advertising must comply with the Digital Advertising...more

What Are the Rules of the Advergame in the UK?

Advergames are online video games that are created in order to promote a brand, product or organization by immersing a marketing message within the game. They are typically accessed via an organization’s website or app, or...more

Alice was a Game-Changer: Federal Circuit Changes Course on Advertising Patent

The third time is the charm in Ultramercial v. Hulu: After twice finding that an advertising method patent was directed to patent eligible subject matter, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s third Ultramercial...more

Status Updates - November 2014 #10

Commercial free content. Would you pay to diminish the number of ads that appear on your screen while you surf the Web? Google is testing a service that will allow users to do just that. The service, called Contributor, will...more

Three Rounds to Knock Out Ultramercial’s Patent on “Advertising as Currency”

After sparring three separate rounds at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in a panel opinion authored by Judge Lourie, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of Defendant WildTangent’s pre-answer...more

IP Newsflash - November 2014 #3

DECISIONS ON PATENTABLE SUBJECT MATTER UNDER ALICE CORP. - Federal Circuit Invalidates Patent Using the Supreme Court’s Alice Corp. § 101 Analysis - On November 14, 2014, the Federal Circuit held a patent...more

OBA Accountability Program Enforcement

On October 28, 2014, the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program issued a press release detailing several decisions that commence the promised enforcement of its 2013 Compliance Warning to website publishers...more

A “New World” of Fashion and Food

In a world of Instagram, Facebook and SMS text marketing, being fleet of foot in an ever-changing world of retail advertising and sales is the name of the game. As retailers and restaurateurs navigate the treacherous waters...more

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