Archives: In the Courts

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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

Khloe Kardashian Sued By Photographer Over Instagram Photo

Xposure Photos Ltd., a U.K. photography company, filed suit in the Central District of California last week against Khloe Kardashian, alleging that she infringed its copyright when she posted a photo of herself and her sister, Kourtney Kardashian, to her Instagram without authorization or appropriate copyright notice. Xposure is seeking an injunction against Kardashian for … Continue Reading

Federal Court Enters FTC Settlement in Fake Prize Mail Scheme

Recently, a California federal court has entered into a stipulated order reflecting a settlement between the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and a defendant charged with operating a mail fraud scheme. In September 2016, the FTC filed charges against Defendant Ian Gamberg and two other individuals, alleging that the group conspired to print and mail false … Continue Reading

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
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