Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • May 14, 2024

    Judge Orders Discovery In Bid To Enforce $1.5M Award Against Bankrupt German CEO

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge refused to dismiss a video game streaming platform’s petition to confirm a JAMS award worth nearly $1.5 million against two German entities and their shareholder, the former CEO of the original award-debtor, and ordered further jurisdictional discovery to determine whether the court can exercise jurisdiction over the German defendants.

  • May 14, 2024

    Kiwi Farms Operator Can’t Persuade High Court To Hear Copyright Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 13 said it won’t weigh in on a reversal by the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of a Utah federal judge’s decision that dismissed copyright infringement claims leveled against the owner and operator of the Kiwi Farms website.

  • May 13, 2024

    Supreme Court Rejects Petition Over Apple’s ‘Censorship Of Software’

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — After twice denying an application for a writ of injunction by the creator of a coronavirus tracking app, which Apple Inc. declined to carry in its App Store, the U.S. Supreme Court on May 13 denied the creator’s petition for certiorari in which it raised seven questions related to Apple Inc.’s purported anticompetitive behavior.

  • May 10, 2024

    9th Circuit Says Plaintiffs In Loot Box Gambling Suit Failed To Allege Injury

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 9 found that two video game players who brought California unfair competition law (UCL) claims against a Finnish developer for illegal gambling based on in-game “loot box” sales lacked standing due to failure to allege a cognizable injury.

  • May 10, 2024

    Data Scraper Prevails In Spat With X Corp., Judge Finds Copyright Preemption

    SAN FRANCISCO — Dismissal in full, with leave to amend, was granted May 9 in a breach of contract and unfair competition action by X Corp., with a federal judge in California declaring that “the extent to which public data may be freely copied from social media platforms, even under the banner of scraping, should generally be governed by the Copyright Act,” and not by “conflicting, ubiquitous” terms of use.

  • May 09, 2024

    Ad Customers Accuse Reddit Of ‘Click-Through Fraud’ In Class Complaint

    SAN FRANCISCO — A tech company on May 8 filed a putative class action in California federal court against Reddit Inc., operator of a popular social media platform, accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of contract by allegedly charging fraudulent fees per click on digital advertisements to it and other companies while allowing fraudulent clicks on its platform.

  • May 09, 2024

    6th Circuit Reverses Dismissal Of Trademark Case On Jurisdiction Grounds

    CINCINNATI — Findings by a Tennessee federal judge that his court lacks jurisdiction over an Arizona-based trademark infringement defendant were reversed May 8 by a divided Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which said “longstanding precedent establishes that a company’s choice to welcome customers from and regularly sell products into a state subjects the company to that state’s jurisdiction.”

  • May 09, 2024

    Doe Victims Tell 9th Circuit Twitter Isn’t Immune From Sex-Trafficking Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — On their second appeal before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, two John Does who were featured in child sexual abuse material (CSAM) that was posted and distributed on Twitter contend in an opening appellant brief that their sex-trafficking, child pornography and negligence claims were wrongly dismissed as barred by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) because their claims were based on Twitter Inc.’s own actions and not on treating the social network operator as the publisher or speaker of the CSAM, which was posted by third parties.

  • May 08, 2024

    Judgment Entered Dismissing UCL Suit Against OnlyFans For Automatic Renewals

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on May 7 entered judgment dismissing a putative class action against two entities that own and operate the adult entertainment website OnlyFans after granting a motion to dismiss claims that the company violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by failing to notify subscribers that they would be automatically charged monthly for subscriptions to various OnlyFans models.

  • May 08, 2024

    Discretionary Denial Of Apple Petitions Warranted, Patent Owner Asserts

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Infringement litigation in Texas federal court over several fraud detection patents is too far along to institute inter partes review (IPR), the patent owner told the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on May 7, urging a discretionary denial of the challenges to its technology by Apple Inc.

  • May 08, 2024

    TikTok Sues Over ‘Obviously Unconstitutional’ Law Banning Its Platform In U.S.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Making good on recent public statements that it would challenge a newly enacted federal law targeting the operation of its popular social media platform in the United States, TikTok Inc. on May 7 filed a petition for review in which it asks the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to deem the new law unconstitutional and to enjoin it from being enforced.

  • May 03, 2024

    On Remand, Judge Dismisses Putative Class Action Against Google For Banner Ads

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — On remand from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a federal judge in California dismissed with prejudice putative class claims brought against Google LLC by two website owners for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws in relation to Google’s former practice on its Android search app of superimposing its logo and a “Related Pages” banner on the plaintiffs’ websites, which featured links to competitors’ websites.

  • May 03, 2024

    Judge Denies Letter Rogatory To Name ‘Civil Society’ Members Targeted By Spyware

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A spyware maker’s attempt to demonstrate that its surveillance software targeted terrorists and criminals, rather than members of “civil society,” can be made without obtaining discovery from a research lab, a California federal judge ruled May 2, denying the defendant’s motion to issue a letter rogatory on the nonparty Canadian entity while seeking to defend itself from computer fraud claims brought by WhatsApp Inc.

  • May 03, 2024

    Production, Brief Ordered In Nonparty Discovery Disputes In Apple Antitrust Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — In response to recently filed briefs concerning discovery plaintiffs seek from two nonparties in their iPhone app monopolization class action against Apple Inc., a California federal magistrate judge issued an order partly granting their motion to compel certain records from app developer Rocket Money, while addressing the company’s concerns about discovery burdens and protecting the confidentiality of its records.

  • May 03, 2024

    City Manager, Critic Ordered To Brief 6th Circuit On Social Media State Action Test

    CINCINNATI — The parties in a dispute over when a public official’s social media use constitutes state action were ordered by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to submit briefs discussing how the U.S. Supreme Court’s recently issued state action test in the remanded suit affects the appeals court's previous ruling or the standard it should use in the future.

  • May 03, 2024

    Discovery Sought In Abuse Suit Against Care Home Over Demeaning Snapchat Videos

    LEWISBURG, Pa. — The attorney-in-fact for a resident of a personal care home moved a Pennsylvania state court to compel discovery in a negligence suit against the care home, related entities, administrators and staff, alleging that the care-dependent resident incurred abuse when staff purportedly posed the resident and took photos and videos of her that were uploaded to Snapchat “for no legitimate reason other than to demean” her.

  • May 02, 2024

    9th Circuit Orders Briefing In Remanded Social Media Blocking Suit

    PASADENA, Calif. — Complying with a directive from the U.S. Supreme Court in a dispute over freedom of speech implications related to being banned from a public official’s social media page, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ordered the parties in the remanded lawsuit to submit briefs on the impact of the high court’s ruling in a parallel case on the present suit.

  • May 02, 2024

    Officer’s ‘Hateful’ Facebook Posts Violated Public Policy, Pennsylvania Panel Rules

    PHILADELPHIA — Reversing an arbitrator’s award that reinstated a police officer to his position on a university’s patrol, a Pennsylvania appeals court panel on May 1 found that the Facebook posts for which he was fired violated dominant public policy against discrimination, making his termination not without just cause and, therefore, not in violation of the governing collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

  • May 01, 2024

    Website Owner Asks High Court About Scope Of Contributory Copyright Infringement

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The owner and operator of the Kiwi Farms website, who was found liable for contributory infringement over site users’ posting of copyrighted materials, tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a petition for certiorari that the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling improperly expanded secondary liability by holding that receiving a takedown notice sufficiently establishes knowledge of infringement meriting action by a site operator.

  • April 30, 2024

    FTC Seeks Evidence Of Amazon’s Use Of Self-Destructing Messages In Antitrust Suit

    SEATTLE — Asserting that Inc. executives, including Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, have been discussing “sensitive business matters,” including the present monopolization lawsuit against it, via an encrypted-messaging app that “irrevocably destroys messages,” the Federal Trade Commission filed a motion in Washington federal court seeking to compel the online retailer to produce any corporate documents related to “preservation notices and its instructions about the use of ephemeral messaging applications.”

  • April 30, 2024

    Roblox Moves To Dismiss Or Arbitrate ‘Child Labor’ Claims In Class Action Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The online gaming company Roblox Corp. filed motions in a California federal court to dismiss and compel arbitration of claims brought against it by parents of Roblox players who accuse it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by designing its game to addict kids and allegedly profiting off of a “child labor market” wherein minor users perform online tasks in return for Robux.

  • April 29, 2024

    Chipmaker Urges 9th Circuit To Affirm Dismissal Of Consumers’ UCL Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — A modem chipmaker on April 26 filed an appellee brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals urging the court to find that consumers’ putative class claims against it for violating antitrust laws and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) were properly dismissed.

  • April 29, 2024

    Google Search Antitrust Judge Unseals Some Court Records For New York Times

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The New York Times Co. was partly successful in its ongoing effort to obtain unsealed versions of court documents in the government’s antitrust lawsuit against Google Inc., when a District of Columbia federal judge issued a document-by-document ruling directing the parties and two nonparties to provide unredacted versions of certain documents related to Google’s agreements that purportedly contributed to its dominance in the internet search engine market.

  • April 26, 2024

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Fortnite Purchasers’ UCL, Antitrust Claims Against Apple

    SAN JOSE, Calif. —A California appellate panel on April 25 affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of two consumers’ claims against Apple Inc. for removing the game “Fortnite” from its App Store and allegedly monopolizing the app market and artificially increasing prices on apps for users of its devices in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and the state’s antitrust law.

  • April 25, 2024

    9th Circuit Issues Mandate In 3 Social Media Terror-Aiding Suits

    SAN FRANCISCO — Three weeks after it affirmed the dismissal of three lawsuits in which terror victims’ family members alleged violation of the Antiterrorism Act (ATA) by social media platform operators, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 24 issued a mandate announcing that the judgment has taken effect.