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.).
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.).
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).
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.).
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).
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.).
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).
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).
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.).
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.).
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).
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).
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.).
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).
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).
CHICAGO - In a July 19 ruling, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed discovery sanctions against an attorney in a "porno-trolling collective" for what it called egregious and obstructive behavior in failing to comply with a trial court's sanctions awards against it in the wake of a dismissed file-sharing lawsuit (Lightspeed Media Corp., et al. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 15-2440, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13195).
NEW YORK - Applying Cartoon Network LP v. CSC Holdings, Inc. (536 F.3d 121, 130 [2nd Cir. 2008]) (Cablevision) and related cases, a New York federal judge on July 15 concluded that "no reasonable juror" could find that a defendant Internet service provider "acted volitionally" when it hosted an online community that allowed users to save and display copyrighted photographs (BWP Media USA Inc. v. Polyvore Inc., No. 13-7867, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92121).
CHICAGO - A man who was once the defendant in an online file-sharing copyright suit filed a citation of additional authority in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals July 11, asserting that admissions in a Minnesota Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding supported a trial court's award for discovery sanctions against that same attorney in the current case (Lightspeed Media Corp., et al. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 15-2440, 7th Cir.).
CHICAGO - A man who was once the defendant in a an online file-sharing copyright suit filed a citation of additional authority in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals July 11, asserting that admissions in a Minnesota Supreme Court attorney disciplinary proceeding supported a trial court's award for discovery sanctions against that same attorney in the current case (Lightspeed Media Corp., et al. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 15-2440, 7th Cir.).
LANSING, Mich. - Responding to a question certified by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court on July 6 unanimously concluded that a user of Pandora Media Inc.'s online streaming service did not constitute a "customer" because he did not "rent" or "borrow" the service under the state's Video Rental Privacy Act (VRPA) (In Re Certified Question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Peter Deacon v. Pandora Media Inc., No. 151104, Mich. Sup.; 2016 Mich. LEXIS 1385).