Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • December 08, 2023

    Judge Dismisses UCL Suit Against Amazon For Fake Recycled Ink Cartridge Sales

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit accusing Amazon.com Inc. and its subsidiaries of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by permitting third-party sellers to post allegedly deceptive listings for recycled printer ink cartridges, thereby diverting business from authentic ink cartridge recyclers, after finding the claims barred by Amazon’s statutory immunity as an online publisher.

  • December 08, 2023

    Trump:  Mooting Of Twitter 1st Amendment Row Requires Vow To Not Repeat Actions

    PASADENA, Calif. — Referring to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Acheson Hotels LLC v. Laufer in a citation of supplemental authority, Donald J. Trump told the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a declaration of mootness in his censorship lawsuit against Twitter Inc. necessitates a promise by the social network operator that it will not repeat the behavior that led the former president to level claims against it for violation of the First Amendment.

  • December 07, 2023

    9th Circuit Finds Crypto Firm’s Delegation Provision Not Unconscionable

    SAN FRANCISCO — A cryptocurrency exchange customer, who lost funds in a phishing incident, failed to establish that the delegation provision in the exchange’s arbitration agreement is unconscionable and unenforceable, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled, reversing a trial court’s denial of the exchange’s motion to compel arbitration of the customer’s Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) putative class claim against it.

  • December 07, 2023

    San Francisco Says Online Companies Are Violating Flavored E-Cigarettes Ban

    SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office filed a lawsuit in California state court against three e-cigarette distributors based in California that the office claims are violating San Francisco’s bans on e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco by selling flavored e-cigarette products online and shipping the products into the city, seeking penalties under California’s unfair competition law (UCL).

  • December 07, 2023

    Judge Preliminarily Enjoins Montana’s TikTok Ban

    MISSOULA, Mont. — Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen failed to establish that a newly enacted law banning the TikTok social network from being used anywhere in the state is primarily a consumer protection law, a Montana federal judge held as he granted preliminary injunction motions to prevent the law from going into effect, which were filed by TikTok Inc. and a group of the social network’s users.

  • December 07, 2023

    New Jersey Federal Magistrate Judge Denies ‘Vast Expansion’ Of Copyright Case

    TRENTON, N.J. — A request to add more than 320 copyrighted works to existing copyright infringement litigation was largely denied Dec. 6 by a federal magistrate judge in New Jersey, who said the proposed amendments would be prejudicial.

  • December 06, 2023

    9th Circuit Reverses, Remands $5.2M Settlement Of Tinder Age-Bias Class Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 5 reversed and remanded a $5.2 million settlement to resolve claims accusing a dating app of discriminatory age-based pricing in violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act and California’s unfair competition law (UCL), ruling in favor of objectors who contended that the class representative was inadequate.

  • December 06, 2023

    Google, YouTube Subscriber Agree To Dismiss UCL Suit Over Automatic Renewals

    SANTA CLARA, Calif — A California state court judge entered a stipulated order dismissing with prejudice a plaintiff’s putative class complaint accusing Google LLC and YouTube LLC of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and automatic renewal law (ARL) based on its renewals of YouTube Premium and YouTube music memberships after the court sustained a defense demurrer to the complaint.

  • December 06, 2023

    9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of UCL, Libel Claims For Anti-Qatar Disinformation

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed a district court’s order striking claims against several entities and individuals for allegedly violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and committing trade libel by spreading disinformation online casting the state of Qatar in a negative light, while also affirming the dismissal of the defendants’ counterclaims.

  • December 05, 2023

    Supreme Court Vacates, Remands ADA Hotel Website Tester Suit As Moot

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Although a U.S. Supreme Court majority found today that the plaintiff in an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit against a hotel “singlehandedly generated a circuit split” with the many similar lawsuits she filed over hotels’ failure to provide information about their accommodations for disabled customers on their websites, it concluded that her dismissal of the suit, after certiorari was granted, mandated that the case be vacated as moot.

  • December 04, 2023

    Flight Attendant Seeks Affirmance Of Jury Verdict In Protected Speech Case

    NEW ORLEANS — A flight attendant in her principal and response brief filed in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals argues that a jury verdict and the trial court’s judgment finding that she was fired by Southwest Airlines Co. due to discrimination caused by the union representing flight attendants because of her religious beliefs, observances and practices must be upheld as her social media messages about abortion were protected.

  • December 01, 2023

    Shareholders: Lending Platform Misconstrues Judge’s Order In Motion To Reconsider

    CINCINNATI — A lending platform and certain related defendants, accused by shareholders of making inaccurate claims about the platform’s use of artificial intelligence to approve loans, indicated in a notice in an Ohio federal court no opposition to several investment funds’ motion to intervene in the suit, a day after the shareholders filed a memorandum in opposition to the lending platform’s motion to reconsider an order partially dismissing the suit.

  • December 01, 2023

    Law Firm Tells 9th Circuit Rival’s Use Of Mark In Keyword Ad Was Infringing

    SAN FRANCISCO — Asking the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court’s summary judgment finding that a competitor’s use of its trademark in a Google keyword advertisement did not infringe, an Arizona law firm in its appellant brief expressed its concern that if the judgment is permitted to stand, it will “severely erode the ability of trademark holders to protect against the misuse of their marks online.”

  • November 30, 2023

    In GitHub AI Copyright Suit, Parties Told To Meet, Confer Not Move To Compel

    SAN FRANCISCO — While a California federal court mulls a second round of motions from OpenAI Inc., GitHub Inc. and Microsoft Corp. seeking dismissal of claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) related to allegations of improper attribution in the development of an artificial intelligence tool, a magistrate judge denied the plaintiffs’ motion to compel discovery responses in favor of a directive for the parties to meet and confer about discovery disputes.

  • November 28, 2023

    Mothers Say Section 230 Doesn’t Bar UCL Suit Against Roblox For ‘Illegal Gambling’

    SAN FRANCISCO — Two mothers bringing putative class claims in California federal court against Roblox Corp., the operator of an online video game platform played by millions of children, filed a brief opposing its motion to dismiss, urging the court to reject its defense that federal law bars their claims or that it provided only “neutral tools” to third-party companies that allegedly operated gambling games on Roblox.

  • November 28, 2023

    Terror-Aiding Plaintiffs Defend Remand Requests In 9th Circuit Briefs

    SAN FRANCISCO — Countering briefs in which X Corp Inc. (formerly Twitter Inc.), Meta Platforms Inc. (formerly Facebook Inc.) and Google LLC ask the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm dismissal of two lawsuits seeking to hold them liable for terrorist attacks under the Antiterrorism Act (ATA), the plaintiffs argue that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in two other ATA cases does not foreclose them from seeking remand in the present cases.

  • November 15, 2023

    COMMENTARY: Developments In The Use Of AI In Financial Investigations

    By Keith Williamson and Robert Cruse

  • November 22, 2023

    As High Court Mulls Tester’s Suit, 4th Circuit Vacates Sanction Of Her Ex-Counsel

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A self-appointed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) tester filed a letter with the U.S. Supreme Court in a recently argued appeal focusing on testers’ standing in such suits, informing the high court that a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel had recently vacated a disciplinary ruling against her former attorney, whom she had described as a “distraction” and one of her reasons for unsuccessfully seeking to dismiss the case as moot prior to argument.

  • November 21, 2023

    Google, Consumers, States Reach Final Settlement Of Play Store Antitrust Suits

    SAN FRANCISCO — More than two months after announcing a tentative settlement of monopolization and unfair competition claims centering on Google Inc.’s Play Store, a group of consumers and a coalition of U.S. states, comprising the plaintiffs from two of the antitrust suits consolidated with one filed by Epic Games Inc., teamed up with Google on a notice of executed settlement, informing a California federal court that the parties had finalized the settlement.

  • November 21, 2023

    Judge Dismisses ‘Nonsensical’ Copyright Claims For Meta’s Use Of Books To Train AI

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Nov. 20 granted a motion to dismiss the bulk of claims brought by authors in two related putative class actions against Meta Platforms Inc. for copyright infringement based on its use of their written works to train its artificial intelligence software, calling the plaintiffs’ “derivative works” argument “nonsensical.”

  • November 20, 2023

    Dismissal, Protective Order Denied In WhatsApp, NSO Spyware Suit

    OAKLAND, Calif. — An Israeli spyware firm saw two of its motions denied by a California federal judge in a computer fraud suit brought against it by WhatsApp Inc., as she denied a motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens and declined to issue a protective order barring much of the discovery sought by the plaintiff.

  • November 20, 2023

    Judge Certifies Class Of Child Victims In Trafficking Suit Against Pornhub Owners

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on Nov. 17 certified a class and subclass of victims who were in child sexual abuse material (CSAM) distributed through pornography websites, including Pornhub, that are owned by several Canadian and U.S. entities, writing that a class proceeding would lead to greater “efficiency” in the litigation of the victims’ claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), child trafficking laws and other statutes, and denied defense motions to exclude two experts.

  • November 17, 2023

    Real Estate Law Firm Sues Cyber Security Insurer For Breach Of Contract

    ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A real estate law firm sued its insurer and a third-party administrator in a North Carolina court, seeking cyber security coverage for gross negligence and obstruction of justice cross-claims arising from a “cyber incident” in 2021 that resulted in the misdirection of funds.

  • November 17, 2023

    Man Allegedly Defamed By ChatGPT Appeals Attorney Fee Ruling

    ATLANTA — A man said in a Nov. 16 notice that he is appealing to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a decision by a federal judge in Georgia not to award him attorney fees after OpenAI LLC conceded that it could not defend removal of a defamation case alleging that ChatGPT incorrectly named him as a defendant in a financial misconduct suit.

  • November 17, 2023

    Teens’ Social Media Addiction Claims Partly Dismissed In Products Liability MDL

    OAKLAND, Calif. — In a lengthy and detailed ruling, the California federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation alleging products liability claims against the operators of the major social networks partly granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss assertions that they intentionally designed their platforms to be addictive for adolescent users.