Archives: In the Courts

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Indianapolis Colts Set Their Eyes for Home-Field Advantage in Second Class Action Complaint

As a follow-up to our previous article, the Indianapolis Colts are moving to move venues in a federal class action lawsuit to Indiana.  The plaintiff alleges that the beacon technology integrated in the Colts mobile application secretly recorded all user’s audio, including private oral conversations, for purposes of targeted advertising.  In the latest development, the … Continue Reading

What’s In A Name? Unwanted Kardashian Affiliation Dooms High-End Cosmetic Product

The Eleventh Circuit recently denied the Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian’s (the “Kardashians”) motion to compel arbitration related to a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by upscale cosmetics company, By Lee Tillett (“Tillett”). The parties are now set to litigate the matter in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.  Tillet produces … Continue Reading

Tennessee Court Awards $1.9 Million in Mapco Express Data Breach Class Action Suit

Last month, a Tennessee Federal court ordered Mapco Express, Inc. (“Mapco”) to pay approximately $1.9 million to settle class action claims arising from a 2013 data breach of its retail computer systems. The lawsuit was brought in 2014 by Winsouth Credit Union and First National Community bank and alleged that Mapco failed to adequately protect … Continue Reading

Three States Introduce Bills to Legalize Sports Betting While SCOTUS Decides Whether to Hear Suit Challenging Existing Federal Ban

As the Supreme Court weighs whether to hear a New Jersey challenge to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PAPSA”) – a 1992 federal law that banned sports wagering in all states where it was not already in existence – legislators in New York, Michigan, and South Carolina have introduced legislation seeking to legalize … Continue Reading

Cause of Action Joins Defense of Electronics Maker in FTC Privacy Suit

The advocacy group Cause of Action has stepped in to help defend electronics maker D-Link in a suit brought by the Federal Trade Commission over the company’s purportedly insufficient protection of customers’ privacy. The FTC is targeting D-Link for making representations that its products, including wireless routers and Internet protocol cameras, feature strong security, even … Continue Reading

The Quarter Ham: California Court of Appeal Affirms Judgment in Unfair Competition and False Advertising Case

You can still get your quarter ham “STARTING AT $23.99” from Honey Baked Ham, Inc. according to the California Court of Appeal in its unpublished decision on November 8, 2016.  The Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court’s judgment that Honey Baked Ham, Inc. did not engage in unfair competition or in false or deceptive … Continue Reading

Subway Turns Back Class Action Over Free Sandwich Text Message Promotion

Subway scored a recent victory when a federal court dismissed a putative class action brought by two customers over a free sandwich promotion alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) after allegedly receiving a text message offering a free 6” Oven Roasted Chicken sub. Subway moved to compel arbitration, seeking to enforce the … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Upholds Indiana Ban on Robocalls

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld an Indiana statute banning robocalls, concluding that the statute was evenly applied in an effort to prohibit unsolicited calls made without a recipient’s consent regardless of the content of the message or the identity of the caller. Patriotic Veterans, Inc. brought suit arguing … Continue Reading

Court Allows Copyright Infringement Claims to Live Long and Prosper Against Trekkie

A federal judge recently held that an unauthorized “Star Trek” fan film created by Axanar Productions was “objectively substantially similar” to Star Trek. The court found that Axanar sought to make a “professional production” with a trained crew, including many individuals who had worked on authentic Star Trek productions, while raising over $1 million in … Continue Reading

New Jersey Prohibits Company from Contractually Banning Online Customer Reviews

This week, NJ Attorney General Christopher Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs settled with Fertility Bridges, Inc., a fertility clinic operating in California and Illinois, over the clinic’s practice of contractually barring consumers from posting online reviews of their experiences with the clinic and its personnel. The provisions, set forth in the Terms of … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Data Breach Case with AshleyMadison for $1.6 Million

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) settled with online dating website AshleyMadison.com for $1.6 million stemming from FTC and state actions brought against the company as a result of a July 2015 data breach that exposed the profile and account information of approximately 36 million users. In addition to the settlement, AshleyMadison.com must also implement a … Continue Reading

FTC Settles with Vemma Nutrition for $238 Million Arising from Pyramid Scheme

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) settled with Vemma Nutrition Company for allegedly engaging in deceptive business practices and sales tactics akin to a pyramid scheme. According to the FTC, the company made deceptive income claims to its distributors and unsubstantiated health claims about its products, specifically representing that consumer demand for the products … Continue Reading

Louis Vuitton Loses Lawsuit Against Maker of Parody Tote Bags

Parody consumer-goods brands and fans of tongue-in-cheek humor have reason to be relieved after a federal court of appeals affirmed a grant of summary judgment against luxury handbag maker Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. (“Louis Vuitton”), dismissing its lawsuit against My Other Bag, Inc. (“MOB”), a seller of parody canvas tote bags. Louis Vuitton brought suit … Continue Reading

Jamming Out Costs New York Auto Dealerships Millions

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently announced a $1.6 million settlement with two auto dealerships, SG Hylan Motors and Best Auto Outlet, Inc., who were found to have engaged in jamming schemes between 2010 and 2014. “Jamming” is the deceptive practice known in the auto-dealership industry whereby dealers unlawfully charge consumers for hidden … Continue Reading

Cell Phone Manufacturer and Firmware Provider Hit with Consumer Class Action Over Extracting and Transmitting User Information Without Consent

A recent class action lawsuit is alleging that cell phone manufacturer Blu Products, Inc. (“Blu”) and firmware providers Shanghai Adups Technology Co., Ltd. and Adups USA LLC (“Adups”) violated several federal privacy laws by selling cell phones containing firmware that collected user’s sensitive personal information and transmitted that information to servers in China. This complaint … Continue Reading

Michigan Attorney General Intervenes in Suit Against Consumer Reports to Defend Constitutionality of Michigan Privacy Laws

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a brief this week intervening in a federal lawsuit between a subscriber of Consumer Reports magazine and publisher Consumers Union of the United States (“Consumers Union”) to defend the constitutionality of the Michigan Preservation of Personal Privacy Act. The Act prohibits businesses “engaged in the business of selling at … Continue Reading

Former Member of The Commodores Sued For Using Band’s Name to Promote Solo Career

A Florida federal court enjoined Thomas McClary, an original member of famed Motown band the Commodores, from branding himself as “COMMODORES’ Founder Thomas McClary” in his booking advertisements for solo gigs. McClary left the band in 1984 to pursue a solo career. In 2014, Commodores Entertainment Corporation (“CEC”), the band’s legal entity, filed suit against McClary … Continue Reading

FTC Settles With Sales Lead Generators For $100,000

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) settled a claim against the Consumer Education Group for $100,000 regarding alleged violations of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”) and Section 5(a) of the FTC Act. The FTC alleged that Consumer Education Group made millions of illegal telemarketing calls, including unlawful robocalls, to consumers in an effort … Continue Reading

Still On The Line: FCC Refuses to Hang Up $20 Million Fine for False Advertising Levied Against Calling Card Companies

Last week, the FCC decided not to reduce the $20 million in fines it levied against four pre-paid calling card companies in 2015. The fines arise out of the companies’ deceptive marketing practices whereby they marketed calling cards that would provide thousands of minutes for low, prepaid prices.  The FCC found, however, that consumers were … Continue Reading

It Was a Matter of Seconds: Putative Class Action Complaint Filed Over Facebook Video Metric Error

A putative class action lawsuit has been filed against Facebook, Inc. just one month after Facebook announced that an erroneous formula had caused it to inflate a key video metric for the past two years. Facebook admitted the error in a September 23, 2016 post on the Facebook business page.  The metric at issue—the average … Continue Reading

Lyft Faces Second Wave of TCPA Litigation for Sending Autodialed Texts

Lyft, Inc. – the popular ride hailing service featuring the iconic pink moustache – is facing a second class action lawsuit in California alleging violations under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). The complaint alleges that Lyft sent unwanted and unsolicited text messages to cellphones using an automated dialing system without first obtaining express written consent … Continue Reading

And the dream lives on: DraftKings and FanDuel Settle Remaining False Advertising Claims with New York AG

In June, we covered Daily Fantasy Sports (“DFS”) operators’ major legislative victory in New York: a bill legalizing and regulating their business, ending the potential for an outright prohibition on DFS in the state. That bill’s passage was akin to clinching the pennant. With the New York Attorney General (“NYAG”) announcing yesterday that it settled … Continue Reading

Class Action Filed Against Indianapolis Colts Over App

This month, the Indianapolis Colts, app developer Yinzcam, Inc., and ultrasonic technology provider Lisnr, Inc., were hit with a federal class action lawsuit in Pennsylvania for violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act by allegedly allowing the Colts fan app to listen in on users’ personal phone conversations, and use that information for advertising purposes without … Continue Reading

Starbucks Puts Another False Advertising Lawsuit On Ice

On Friday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed a class-action lawsuit against Starbucks. The class alleged a violation of Illinois’ Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, among other claims.  Specifically, the class alleged that Starbucks is engaging in unfair acts and practices … Continue Reading
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