Yelp

News & Analysis as of

California Supreme Court Denies Review of Ruling Allowing Restaurant Owner’s False Advertising Claims to Proceed Against Yelp

On November 12, 2014, the California Supreme Court denied review of the California Court of Appeals decision in Demetriades v. Yelp, Inc., 2014 WL 3661491 (Cal. App. July 24, 2014), which allowed a restaurant owner to proceed...more

Negative Online Reviews- What Amounts to Defamation?

Online review can impact a medical practice more than ever in today’s digital world and no one is policing what patients post online or how truthful it is. All it takes is a cell phone and in a few minutes a review can be...more

Internet Free-Speech and the Push Towards Unmasking Online Anonymity

Internet heavyweights including Google, Facebook, and Twitter are backing the popular business review site Yelp in a Virginia Supreme Court case that has gained country-wide attention as having the potential to significantly...more

Ninth Circuit Knocks Down Unfair Competition Case against Yelp!

For those few of you who don’t know already, Yelp! (“Yelp”) is a wildly popular website where people can share their reviews, opinions, experiences, and ratings of businesses across the country. This service is invaluable...more

COPPA Compliance is Important for General Audience Websites, Too

Yelp’s $450,000 settlement with the FTC in September should serve as an important reminder for all owners and operators of websites or mobile apps – even if your site is not for kids, you need to know and abidge by what the...more

Status Updates - October 2014 #10

..Time change. Until now, Twitter has made a clear distinction between people you follow and people you don’t follow: You only saw tweets from those whom you followed. Now, the service, in what it calls a “timeline...more

Advertising Law - October 2014

SPECIAL FOCUS: The Impact of eBay on Lanham Act False Advertising Litigation - A recent opinion by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in eBay is...more

Yelp and TinyCo Settle FTC Charges of COPPA Violations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced a settlement with online review site, Yelp, Inc., and mobile app developer, TinyCo, Inc., against separate charges that the companies were collecting children’s...more

Caution: Your Mobile App May Unintentionally Violate COPPA

As online activity shifts to mobile devices, regulators are watching. Last week, Yelp agreed to settle a claim with the FTC for $450,000 for its alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). As...more

Time to Step Up Your COPPA Compliance

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has made good on its promise to actively enforce the recently amended Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Here is what you should know about the latest enforcement actions...more

Digital Marketing Minute: A Bad Review for Yelp

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced last week that Yelp – the online service through which consumers can read and write reviews about local businesses, has agreed to pay $450,000 to settle the FTC’s charges that Yelp...more

Litigation Alert: California Bans Non-Disparagement Clauses in Consumer Contracts

On September 9, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 2365, popularly referred to as the “Yelp” bill. The new law, codified at California Civil Code section 1670.8, will prohibit the use of “non-disparagement” clauses...more

COPPA Update: Ask and Ye Shall Receive…Actual Knowledge

Online services that ask for the age of users as part of the registration process will be deemed to have “actual knowledge” of that information. Whether or not one’s site is directed to children, a registration process that...more

Breaking News: The COPPA Enforcement Actions Are Here!

As we predicted in prior blog posts, the Federal Trade Commission has begun its vigorous enforcement of the Amended COPPA Rule. And one of the players is not a child-related site, so read on. The Commission just announced ...more

Yikes, Yelp! Targeted In FTC’s Stepped Up Enforcement of Children’s Privacy – General Audience Services Take Heed

Signaling a predicted renewal of enforcement of the federal children’s privacy law following broad expansion last year of who and what is covered by the rules, the FTC has filed and settled two recent law suits against mobile...more

Status Updates - September 2014 #4

..Disappearing ink. Facebook is testing, for a small group of users, a feature that will permit a user to schedule a post for automatic deletion after a specified period of time. It seems that the period can range from an...more

Website Marketing Statements: The Achilles’ Heel to CDA Protection?

It’s no secret that local directory/consumer review websites are popular among consumers looking for recommendations before dining out, hiring a contractor, or even picking a dentist or day spa. Yelp reported around 138...more

Status Updates - September 2014 #2

Lawsuit panned by Court. The popular ratings app Yelp has been cleared by a federal appeals court of allegations in a class action lawsuit that the company extorted advertising dollars from businesses by threatening to remove...more

Week in Review

Some popular online services made legal headlines this week. After years of litigation, a federal appeals court held that Yelp did not extort businesses by manipulating user reviews to coerce advertising purchases. While Yelp...more

Doctor’s Slapp at Yelp Reviewer Largely Dismissed by DC Superior Court

Yelp, and websites like it, have certainly added to the development of law in the First Amendment area. The Virginia Supreme Court is poised to decide the standard for unmasking anonymous commentators on websites like Yelp. ...more

Creating Fake Customer Reviews Site Could Be False Advertising and Trade Libel

As evidenced by the success and robust market capitalization of the consumer review site Yelp, Internet users are increasingly turning to "regular people" as a lodestar for whether to purchase goods or services. This is...more

Dealing with the Dangers of Online Reviewing

Law tries to find the line between protecting speech and punishing defamation - Online review websites, such as Yelp or Angie’s List, have become a common forum for griping. They give a voice to past customers to...more

Week in Review

Some high profile companies, including two technology giants, made headlines this week after former employees filed lawsuits against them alleging discrimination and harassment. The case against Yahoo is likely to be...more

Virginia Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Appeal in Yelp Users Defamation Case

Yelp.com (Yelp) labels itself an "online urban guide." Specifically, the website allows users to write reviews about experiences at businesses they've visited. It also permits users to browse the posted reviews. The...more

Week in Review

How did you commute to work this morning? Google's self-driving car prototype unveiled this week may soon change your answer. Google is hoping that, within the next decade, these cars may alleviate the most miserable part...more

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