LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's IP/Tech - Buzzfeed Seeks Dismissal Of Defamation Suit Over Russian Hacking Article

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - In a March 14 motion in Florida federal court, New York media firm Buzzfeed Inc. seeks dismissal of a defamation lawsuit over its January online publication of an article over purported Russian attempts to hack the Democratic National Committee (DNC), asserting a lack of jurisdiction because the dispute "has nothing to do with Florida" (Aleksej Gubarev, et al. v. Buzzfeed Inc., et al., No. 0:17-cv-60426, S.D. Fla.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Accused File-Sharer Calls Declaratory Judgment Counterclaim Useful

CINCINNATI - Even though a copyright holder dismissed its infringement claim against him, a man accused of downloading adult movies tells the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a March 10 reply brief that his declaratory judgment counterclaim should proceed because a continued threat of liability exists (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 16-3628, 6th Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Patent Board Grants Netflix Petition For Inter Partes Review

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A request for inter partes review of a patented invention covering systems and methods for navigating hypermedia was granted March 6 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Netflix Inc. v. Convergent Media Solutions LLC, No. IPR2016-01811, PTAB).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Chicago Moves To Quash Some Discovery In DPPA Suit Against Newspaper

CHICAGO - The city of Chicago on Feb. 28 asked an Illinois federal court to quash some of the discovery requests served on it by a newspaper alleged to have violated the Drivers Privacy and Protection Act (DPPA), arguing that some of the documents are protected by an earlier court order and the attorney-client privilege (Scott Dahlstrom, et al. v. Sun-Times Media LLC, No. 1:12-cv-00658, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - High Court Hears Case On Constitutionality Of Sex Offender Law's Social Media Ban

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 27, lawyers for a convicted sex offender and North Carolina debated whether that state's sex offender registry law runs afoul of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by imposing an across-the-board ban on anyone on the registry from accessing social networks or other websites that minors are known to use (Lester Gerard Packingham v. State of North Carolina, No. 15-1194, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Bars Testimony On Education Lead-Generation Industry's Customs, Practices

TAMPA, Fla. - A lawyer is not qualified to opine on the educational lead-generation industry's customs and practices because the lawyer failed to explain why her experience is a sufficient basis for her opinion and how her experience is reliably applied to the facts of a trade secrets and breach of contract case, a Florida federal judge ruled Feb. 13, excluding the testimony (Connectus LLC v. Ampush Media Inc., et al., No. 15-2778, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19829).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Plaintiffs In Philadelphia Building Collapse Agree To $227 Million Settlement

PHILADELPHIA - The defendants found responsible for the 2013 collapse of a Salvation Army building in Philadelphia on Feb. 8 agreed to pay a total of $227 million to the 19 plaintiffs, those who were injured and the families of those killed in the collapse, according to a press release and media reports (Angelo Harmon, et al. v. The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia, et al., No. 130700720, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - $500M Verdict Returned In Trade Secrets Trial Involving Virtual Reality Software

DALLAS - A Texas federal jury on Feb. 1 ordered four defendants - including Facebook Inc. - to pay a combined $500 million in actual damages to two virtual reality (VR) technology companies for copyright and trademark infringement, conversion, violations of a nondisclosure agreement and false designation (ZeniMax Media Inc., et al. v. Oculus VR Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-1849, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Porn Firm Tells 6th Circuit Downloader Failed To Show Prejudice In Dismissal

CINCINNATI - In a Jan. 13 appellee brief filed in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, an adult entertainment company says that its abandoned infringement claim against an accused file sharer was properly dismissed with prejudice because of the defendant's dilatory discovery conduct and to serve judicial economy (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 16-3628, 6th Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Inter Partes Review Request Filed By Facebook, Instagram

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Just three months after seeking inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of a media delivery patent, Facebook Inc. and Instagram LLC on Jan. 15 filed a second petition for IPR of the same patent (Facebook Inc., et al. v. Skky LLC, No. IPR2017-00688, PTAB).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Porn Firm Tells 6th Circuit Downloader Failed To Show Prejudice In Dismissal

CINCINNATI - In a Jan. 13 appellee brief filed in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, an adult entertainment company says that its abandoned infringement claim against an accused file sharer was properly dismissed with prejudice because of the defendant's dilatory discovery conduct and to serve judicial economy (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 16-3628, 6th Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit: Dismissal Of Karaoke Company's Trademark Case Was Proper

SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations by a karaoke music producer that a defendant's practice of "media-shifting" karaoke tracks from physical compact discs to digital files violates the Lanham Act were correctly dismissed by an Arizona federal judge, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 18 (Slep-Tone Entertainment Corporation v. Wired for Sound Karaoke and DJ Services LLC, No. 14-17229, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Finds California Law Provision In Facebook Terms Is Enforceable

SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that a California choice-of-law clause in Facebook Inc.'s terms of service is enforceable, a California federal judge on Jan. 9 granted the social media's company's motion to dismiss claims for violation of the New Jersey Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty, and Notice Act (TCCWNA) (Jose Palomino, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 16-cv-04230, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2971).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Accused Downloader Appeals Dismissal Of Claims Against Him Without Prejudice

CINCINNATI - A federal magistrate judge erred in granting voluntary dismissal of an adult movie studio's copyright infringement claims without prejudice, an Ohio man argues in a Dec. 21 brief in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that the disposition deprived him of the ability to seek a fees award as prevailing party for the studio's baseless lawsuit (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 16-3628, 6th Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit Won't Rehear Computer Fraud Suit Against Social Media Aggregator

SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 9 declined a social media aggregator's petition to rehear an appeal in which the panel found that the aggregator violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) by sending solicitation messages to users of Facebook Inc. after being told to cease and desist such actions (Facebook Inc. v. Power Ventures Inc., et al., No. 13-17154, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21944).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Lawyer In File-Sharing Case Again Sanctioned For Discovery Violations

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - After an appeals panel partly dismissed sanctions against an attorney as not properly reflecting the harm incurred by a copyright defendant due to the attorney's discovery misconduct and misrepresentations, an Illinois federal judge on Nov. 23 deemed the attorney's actions to be civil contempt and sanctioned him in amount equivalent to the defendant's remaining costs related to the misconduct (Lightspeed Media Corp. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 3:12-cv-00889, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162981).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Lawyer In File-Sharing Case Again Sanctioned For Discovery Violations

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - After an appeals panel partly dismissed sanctions against an attorney as not properly reflecting the harm incurred by a copyright defendant due to the attorney's discovery misconduct and misrepresentations, an Illinois federal judge on Nov. 23 deemed the attorney's actions to be civil contempt and sanctioned him in amount equivalent to the defendant's remaining costs related to the misconduct (Lightspeed Media Corp. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 3:12-cv-00889, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162981).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Supreme Court To Hear Challenge To Sex Offender Social Media Ban

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 28 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to a registered sex offender who asserts that a North Carolina sex offender registry law's prohibition on access to social networking websites constitutes a violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Lester Gerard Packingham v. State of North Carolina, No. 15-1194, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Sacramento Settles For $15 Million After Death Of Girl Allergic To Peanuts

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The City of Sacramento and an organization that operates a camp associated with it on Oct. 5 settled for $15 million a wrongful death case filed in California state court by the parents of a girl with a peanut allergy who died after eating a crisped rice treat that had peanut butter in it, according to media reports (Joanne M. Giorgi, et al. v. City of Sacramento, et al., No. 34-2014-00162222, Calif. Super., Sacramento Co.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Hypermedia Navigation Patent Is Invalid, Netflix Says In New Petition

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Citing four pieces of allegedly invalidating prior art, Netflix Inc. on Sept. 15 sought inter partes review before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of a patent relating to the use of one device to select content for playback on another device (Netflix Inc. v. Convergent Media Solutions LLC, No. IPR2016-01812, PTAB).

Mealey's IP/Tech - NLRB: Chipotle's Social Media Policy Violates Labor Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Labor Relations Board on Aug. 18 enforced, with some modifications, a decision by an administrative law judge (ALJ) finding that the social media code of Chipotle Services LLC (doing business as Chipotle Mexican Grill) violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and that the fast food chain committed further violations by directing an employee to delete certain tweets, prohibiting the employee from circulating a petition challenging the chain's break policy and terminating the employee for his actions (Chipotle Services LLC d/b/a Chipotle Mexican Grill and Pennsylvania Workers Organizing Committee, a project of the Fast Food Workers Committee, Nos. 04-CA-147314 and 04-CA-149551, NLRB).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - NLRB: Chipotle's Social Media Policy Violates Labor Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Labor Relations Board on Aug. 18 enforced, with some modifications, a decision by an administrative law judge (ALJ) finding that the social media code of Chipotle Services LLC (doing business as Chipotle Mexican Grill) violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and that the fast food chain committed further violations by directing an employee to delete certain tweets, prohibiting the employee from circulating a petition challenging the chain's break policy and terminating the employee for his actions (Chipotle Services LLC d/b/a Chipotle Mexican Grill and Pennsylvania Workers Organizing Committee, a project of the Fast Food Workers Committee, Nos. 04-CA-147314 and 04-CA-149551, NLRB).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - NCAA, Frostburg College Agree To Pay $1.2 Million To Concussion Foundation

ROCKVILLE, Md. - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Frostburg State University on Aug. 8 agreed to pay $1.2 million to a concussion foundation created by the family of a Frostburg State University football player who died during football practice from a traumatic brain injury, according to media reports and a statement by the NCAA (Kristen Sheely, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., No. 380569V, Md. Cir., Montgomery Co.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Patent Board Turns Away Fitbit Petition For Inter Partes Review

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Allegations of invalidity by FitBit Inc. with regard to a patented system for collecting health, wellness and fitness data with a sensor device were rejected Aug. 4 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (FitBit Inc. v. BodyMedia Inc., IPR IPR2016-00543, PTAB).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 9th Circuit Affirms Pandora Privacy Suit Dismissal Per Michigan High Court Ruling

SAN FRANCISCO - Two weeks after the Michigan Supreme Court determined that the lead plaintiff in a putative class action against Pandora Media Inc. did not constitute a customer of Pandora's online streaming service per Michigan's Video Rental Privacy Act (VRPA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 21 affirmed a lower court's dismissal of the suit (Peter Deacon v. Pandora Media Inc. No. 12-17734, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13333).