SAN FRANCISCO - In a March 25 order leading up to a copyright retrial, a California judge championed the benefits of instituting a ban preventing the counsel of Oracle America Inc. and Google Inc. from running Internet and social media searches on potential jurors, stressing a need to protect jurors' privacy (Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc., No. 3:10-cv-03561, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39675).
PHILADELPHIA - An administrative law judge (ALJ) on March 14 ruled that Chipotle Services LLC's (doing business as Chipotle Mexican Grill) social media code 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 Judges Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Virginia federal judge did not err in confirming a jury's verdict of patent noninfringement in favor of defendant Facebook Inc., the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Feb. 25 (Rembrandt Social Media L.P. v. Facebook Inc., No. 14-1812, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3287).
NEW YORK - Vivendi Universal S.A. has agreed to pay $775 million to Liberty Media Corp. to settle claims that Vivendi misrepresented its dire financial condition in order to push through a proposed merger deal with Liberty Media in violation of federal securities law, according to a press release issued Feb. 26 (Liberty Media Corp., et al. v. Vivendi Universal S.A., et al., No. 03-2175, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - Two counterclaim defendants won a summary judgment Feb. 22 of patent ineligibility under 35 U.S. Code Section 101, when a New York federal judge agreed that the invention asserted in the action - a method for correlating the advertisements that consumers view with their purchasing behavior - claims an abstract idea under Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank (134 S. Ct. 2347, 2354 ) (TNS Media Research LLC, et al. v. TRA Global Inc., No. 11-4039, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21218).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Efforts by four cigarette manufacturers to revisit the majority of corrective statements for dissemination to the media already endorsed by the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals were rejected by a District of Columbia federal judge Feb. 8 as "ridiculous" and a "waste of precious time, energy and money" (United States, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 99-2496, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14744).
CHICAGO - An adult entertainment firm failed to provide evidence that an accused defendant downloaded and shared 24 of its copyrighted movies, an Illinois federal magistrate judge ruled Feb. 8, granting the defendant's motion for summary judgment (Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe, No. 1:13-cv-06312, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14798).
INDIANAPOLIS - A provider of online content and services filed a trademark infringement suit against a competitor in Indiana federal court on Jan. 29, asserting that the defendant's use of the trademark "Verge" violated its common-law and federal rights in the mark (Indy Founders LLC v. Vox Media Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-00265, S.D. Ind.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Although finding that portions of a plaintiff's hypertext markup language (HTML) code meet the requisite level of creativity to be copyrightable, a California federal judge on Jan. 12 nonetheless granted dismissal of an infringement complaint (Media.net Advertising FZ-LLC v. Netseer Inc., No. 14-3883, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3784).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A media and entertainment industry expert may not testify on damages suffered by cable subscribers because his testimony erroneously amounts to legal conclusions, a New York federal judge ruled Dec. 28, excluding the testimony in a class action lawsuit against Cablevision Systems Corp. (Theodore Pearlman, et al. v. Cablevision Systems Corp., No. 10-4992, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172080).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 15 granted a motion filed by the owner of a dating social media network application to dismiss claims asserted by a user for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and Dating Service Contracts Act (DSCA) but permitted him leave to amend the complaint (Mark Howell, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Grindr LLC, No. 15cv1337, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167669).
CHICAGO - A man that had previously been the defendant in an adult entertainment firm's copyright infringement suit told the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in his Nov. 30 appellee brief that a trial court properly sanctioned two of the firm's attorneys for obstructing discovery and for making misleading statements regarding their ability to pay previously issued sanctions against them (Lightspeed Media Corp., et al. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 15-2440, 7th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In light of the provision of previously unknown and possibly responsive records pertaining to its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking to compel communications related to Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email account during her tenure as secretary of State, news and entertainment media website operator Gawker Media LLC moved in District of Columbia federal court on Nov. 18 to compel affidavits from certain government personnel regarding the email use and record production of former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philippe Reines (Gawker Media LLC, et al. v. Department of State, No. 1:15-cv-00363, D. D.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Los Angeles woman on Nov. 13 filed a putative class action against Vizio Inc. in California federal court, alleging violation of the federal Video Protection Privacy Act (VPPA) through the inclusion of tracking software in Vizio's "high-definition and internet connected televisions (smart TVs) (Palma Reed v. Cognitive Media Networks Inc., et al., No. 3:15-cv-05217, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Nov. 4 granted in part a motion for a protective order by the U.S. government related to an upcoming deposition of a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent in a Privacy Act case related to emails that were leaked to the media, while also directing the FBI to provide responses to previously unanswered deposition questions and written discovery requests (Gilberte Jill Kelley, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, et al., No. 1:13-cv-00825, D. D.C.).
CHICAGO - Two attorneys, who represented an adult entertainment firm in a 2011 lawsuit over purported online copyright infringement, argued in an Oct. 29 appellant brief to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a lower court's assessment of discovery sanctions and contempt against them were improper and out of proportion with the harm supposedly caused by their purported misconduct (Lightspeed Media Corp., et al. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 15-2440, 7th Cir.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A couple that owns federal copyrights in a number of songs from before 1972 filed a complaint against satellite radio firm Sirius XM Radio Inc. and online streaming service Pandora Media Inc. in New Jersey federal court on Oct. 19, asserting that the companies have been airing their recordings without paying proper royalties (Arthur Sheridan, et al. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-07576, D. N.J. and Arthur Sheridan, et al. v. iHeartMedia Inc., No. 2:15-cv-07574, D. N.J.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Oct. 2 answer filed in District of Columbia federal court, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) deny that they violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by denying requests from The Associated Press (AP) for documents related to investigations in which the government impersonated media organizations for the purpose of tracking down suspected criminals (The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, et al., No. 1:15-cv-01392, D. D.C.).
LANSING, Mich. - In a Sept. 25 order, the Michigan Supreme Court said it would consider whether to answer a question certified to it by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals as to whether the online music-streaming service provided by Pandora Media Inc. constitutes "renting" or "lending" 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.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Social media giant Facebook Inc. told a California federal court in a Sept. 18 motion that the named plaintiffs in a five-year-old putative class action do not have standing to bring their privacy claims under Article III of the U.S. Constitution because they have not established any third-party access of their personal information or any injury in fact, thus meriting dismissal of the case (In Re: Facebook Privacy Litigation, No. 5:10-cv-02389, N.D. Calif.).