Archives: In the Courts

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Jewelry Company Sues Macy’s for Copyright Infringement

California-based jewelry company Brighton Collectibles LLC (“Brighton”) filed suit against Macy’s Inc. (“Macy’s”) for copyright infringement. According to the complaint, Brighton alleges that Macy’s infringed copyrighted designs for Brighton’s Reno heart bracelet and necklace products. Brighton alleges that Macy’s damaged its brand, reputation and goodwill by continuing to sell the alleged copies, despite receiving a … Continue Reading

SoulCycle Settles Gift Card Lawsuit For Up To $9.2 Million

Popular indoor cycling company SoulCycle Inc. recently settled a nationwide putative class action in an agreement valued between $6.9 million and $9.2 million. The suit alleged that SoulCycle defrauded customers by selling gift certificates with expiration dates (and keeping the expiring, unused balances), in violation of state and Federal law. According to the complaint, SoulCycle … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Grants Review of Federal Ban on Sports Gambling

In one of its final acts of the October 2016 term, the Supreme Court of the United States recently agreed to hear a New Jersey challenge to the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PAPSA”), a federal statute banning states from authorizing and regulating gambling on sporting events.[1] As we reported earlier … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Concludes No First Amendment Issue with California Ban on Paid in-Store Alcohol Advertisements

Last month, the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, upheld a California “tied house” law prohibiting manufacturers and wholesalers from providing anything of value to retailers in exchange for advertising their alcohol products. Retail Digital Network, LLC, (“RDN”) an advertising agency that placed advertisements in wine and spirit retail stores, alleged that alcohol manufacturers and wholesalers … Continue Reading

Sugarfina Sues Candy Competitor for Trademark Infringement

Sugarfina Inc. (“Sugarfina”), a high-end candy retailer, recently filed suit against competitor Sweet Pete’s LLC (“Sweet Pete’s”) alleging copyright, trademark, and trade dress infringement of its products and packaging. Sugarfina considers itself a candy retailer known for its unique and luxurious products. The complaint alleges that Sweet Pete’s uses several design elements of Sugarfina’s distinctive … Continue Reading

Bob Marley’s Estate Wins $2.4 Million in Trademark Lawsuit

A federal district court ruled last week that Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd. and Hope Road Merchandising, LLC, companies controlled by family members of late musician Bob Marley (collectively the “Marley Companies”), will receive $2.4 million in damages for trademark infringement from Jammin Java Corp., a California-based coffee company founded by one of Marley’s sons. … Continue Reading

Caffeine Crash: Court Denies Class Certification for Consumers Contesting Caffeine Content

A United States district court recently tossed a certification bid by a putative class of consumers who alleged that popular energy-shot, 5-Hour Energy, deceptively marketed its effectiveness. The action arises out of what appears to be a unique take on a traditional “slack fill” claim—that is, a case where the core allegation is that a … Continue Reading

Customers Sue Darden Restaurants Over Information on Receipts

A class action lawsuit was recently filed against Darden Restaurants, Inc. (“Darden”), alleging that Darden violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”). Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Darden, which includes Olive Garden among its restaurant chains, violated FACTA by printing the full expiration date on credit card receipts, allowing potential identity thieves to … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Strikes Down Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

Earlier this week, a unanimous but fractured Supreme Court ruled that a controversial provision in the Lanham Act prohibiting the registration of trademarks that disparage “persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols” violates the First Amendment. This decision may be most remembered for the impact it may have on the NFL’s Washington Redskins, … Continue Reading

Consumer Protection Class Action Lawsuit Over “Free” Candy Crush Plays Will Proceed

A class action lawsuit against the developer of Candy Crush will continue in Illinois federal court. According to the complaint, Candy Crush, a popular mobile game, entices users into sharing the game with Facebook friends in exchange for free “lives” (or plays) only to have those lives promptly deleted.  The plaintiffs allege that the lives … Continue Reading

Color Run Sues Competitive Race for Trademark Infringement

Running-event company The Color Run, LLC filed suit last week against rival company My School Color Run, LLC for willful trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false designation of origin. Color Run asserts that My School Color Run’s similar name, branding, events, and apparel violate both federal and state law. According to the complaint, My School … Continue Reading

Athletic Tape Manufacturer Settles False Advertising Litigation for $1.75 Million

A class action lawsuit recently settled with KT Health LLC and KT Health Holdings LLC (“KT Health”). The plaintiffs alleged that certain advertising claims regarding KT Health’s KT Tape (kinesiology tape) was false and deceptive. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that KT Health claimed that its KT Tape “can be used for hundreds of common injuries” … Continue Reading

Kardashian Sisters Embroiled in Trademark Fight Over Makeup Line

An attorney for a cosmetics company engaged in an ongoing legal battle with the Kardashian sisters argued earlier this month that the sisters have “unclean hands” and there should not be a preliminary injunction against the sale of the makeup. Following a 2016 suit by Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian against Hillair Capital Management LLC … Continue Reading

Hotels Shake Off Vicarious Liability Claim In TCPA Suit

Plaintiffs attempting to hold hotels vicariously liable for telemarketing calls placed by another company selling timeshares have failed in their efforts. VIP Travel Services and United Shuttle Alliance Transportation Corp., known collectively as USA, had allegedly placed several dozen calls to the plaintiffs, telling them they had won a Disney vacation and directing them to … Continue Reading

Consumers Sue Chocolatier Fannie May Over Empty Space In Chocolate Boxes

A putative class filed a false advertising claim against the Chicago chocolatier Fannie May Confections Brands Inc. earlier this month. Fannie May allegedly sells 7.0 oz. products in opaque boxes.  According to the complaint, consumers are deceived because the size of the boxes are larger than the volume of the products contained inside, leaving consumers … Continue Reading

San Francisco’s Mass Transit Agency Accused of Illegally Collecting and Transmitting Smart Phone Data Through Security App

San Francisco’s public transportation agency and the creator of the agency’s suspicious activity reporting smart phone application have been accused of illegally collecting, tracking, and storing users’ personal information and location data without their consent, in violation of California statutory and constitutional protections. A putative class action complaint, which was filed this week in a … Continue Reading

Irish Butter Shortage Spreads Trademark Battle in Wisconsin

A Wisconsin federal judge issued a temporary restraining order last month against a Wisconsin creamery for their use of the “Irishgold” Irish butter trademark and associated packaging. Irish dairy distributor Ornua Foods North America Inc. filed suit for willful trademark infringement against Old World Creamery LLC and Eurogold USA LLC, asserting that Old World’s butter … Continue Reading

Popcorn Makers Fight Over Use of “Skinny”

Last month, snack food company Snyder’s-Lance filed a declaratory judgment action in North Carolina against Amplify Snack Brands and its SkinnyPop popcorn. Hours later, Amplify brought suit against Snyders-Lance in Texas, alleging trademark infringement over Snyders’ “Metcalf’s Skinny” popcorn and other snacks sold under the “Metcalf’s Skinny” brand name.  At issue is whether the term … Continue Reading

CarSure Sued For DPPA Violations

CarSure, LLC, a Texas-based aftermarket automotive warranty seller, faces a lawsuit brought by a group of Wisconsin car owners who claim that the company violated the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (“DPPA”) by purchasing the motor vehicle records of Wisconsin car owners from third-party data suppliers. According to the suit, CarSure purchased data from a third-party … Continue Reading

Vitamin Shoppe Sued Over Supplement Claims

Last week a class action lawsuit was filed against Vitamin Shoppe, Inc. The plaintiffs asserted that Vitamin Shoppe misled consumers and made scientifically inaccurate claims with regard to its garcinia cambogia weight loss supplement in violation of California’s unfair competition law, false advertising law, and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. The lawsuit relies on the … Continue Reading

Health Care Providers Pay $1.35 Million in TCPA Fax Settlement

Although the spotlight is usually on unwanted phone calls and text messages when it comes to class actions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a recent settlement over the sending of faxes is a reminder to advertisers that all communications should be scrutinized for compliance. Medical & Chiropractic Clinic Inc. had sued radiology provider … Continue Reading

Proposed Class Action Targets Advertising to Drivers Using DMV Info

A class action filed this month alleges that car warranty company NRRM LLC used information obtained from Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) records to market to consumers in violation of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (“DPPA”). The complaint alleges that NRRM’s third-party data suppliers provide it with personal information about drivers and their cars that … Continue Reading

Digital Copyright Ruling Creates New Vulnerabilities for Moderated Online Platforms

A recent federal appeals court decision may lead online platforms that post user-generated content filtered by moderators to think twice before posting copyrighted material. In Mavrix Photographs, LLC v. LiveJournal, Inc., the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (“DMCA”) safe harbor for “infringement of copyright by reason of … Continue Reading

FTC Extension of Robocalling Rules Is Approved By Federal Court

Last week, a D.C. District Court declined to find the Federal Trade Commission’s decision to extend robocalling restrictions to telemarketing calls that use “soundboard” technology unconstitutional or in violation of any procedural rules. The Soundboard Association, a telecommunications interest group, argued that the FTC rule was unconstitutional because the FTC bypassed the notice-and-comment requirements typically … Continue Reading
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