LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Affirms: Facebook Not Liable For Patent Infringement

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).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Vivendi To Pay $775M To Settle Securities Suit Over USA Networks Acquisition

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.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - On Remand From Federal Circuit, Judge Sides With Patent Defendants

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 [2014]) (TNS Media Research LLC, et al. v. TRA Global Inc., No. 11-4039, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21218).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Proposed Preamble In Tobacco Case Adopted By D.C. Federal Judge

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).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Magistrate Finds No Evidence Doe Defendant Downloaded Copyrighted Adult Films

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).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Indianapolis Firm Sues Over Use Of 'Verge' Trademark, Domain

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.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Indianapolis Firm Sues Over Use Of 'Verge' Trademark, Domain

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.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - California Judge Dismisses Copyright Claims, But Grants Leave to Amend

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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Precludes Testimony In Class Action Suit Against Cable Company

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).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Dismisses UCL And Dating Contract Law Claims Against Grindr

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).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses UCL And Dating Contract Law Claims Against Grindr

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).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Former File-Sharing Defendant Defends Attorneys' Sanctions, Awards To 7th Circuit

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.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Gawker Seeks To Compel State Department Affidavits In Clinton Emails FOIA Suit

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.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Vizio Hit With Class Actions Over Tracking Software On Smart TVs

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.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Vizio Hit With Class Actions Over Tracking Software On Smart TVs

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.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - FBI Agent's Deposition In Leaked, Collected Email Suit Partly Limited By Judge

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.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Attorneys In Copyright Suit Appeal Discovery Sanctions, Contempt To 7th Circuit

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.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Attorneys In Copyright Suit Appeal Discovery Sanctions, Contempt To 7th Circuit

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.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Illinois Couple Sues Pandora, XM Sirius Over Royalties For Pre-1972 Songs

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.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - U.S. Government Denies FOIA Violations Asserted By The Associated Press

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.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Michigan High Court To Consider Whether Pandora's Streaming Service Is 'Lending'

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.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Facebook Seeks Dismissal Of Lead Plaintiffs In Privacy Class Action

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.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Partly Affirms, Partly Reverses Noninfringement Holding

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New York federal judge's determination on summary judgment that two categories of accused products did not infringe three patents was reversed, in part, by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 16 (TNS Media Research LLC d/b/a Kantar Media Audiences, et al. v. TiVO Research and Analytics Inc., d/b/a TRA Inc., No. 14-1668, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Vacates Attorney Fee Award In Patent Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The same day it vacated findings that three patents were not infringed, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 16 in a contemporaneous ruling vacated as "premature" a New York federal judge's award of attorney fees in the case (TNS Media Research LLC d/b/a Kantar Media Audiences, et al. v. TiVO Research and Analytics Inc., d/b/a TRA Inc., No. 15-1252, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Denies Cosby's Discovery Motion Over Release Of Sealed Deposition

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 4 denied a motion by comedian William H. "Bill" Cosby Jr. to take discovery to determine if the counsel and plaintiff from a prior sexual assault case violated a court order by releasing a confidential transcript from that case to the media (Tamara Green, et al. v. William H. Cosby Jr., No. 2:15-cv-00144, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118216).