Archives: In the Courts

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Kentucky Fried Justice: Court Dismisses KFC Bucket Dispute

A New York District Court dismissed the complaint of Anna Wurtzburger against fast food staple KFC over the size of KFC’s $20 “fill up” bucket. Wurtzburger alleged she purchased KFC’s “fill up” bucket meal advertised as consisting of “an eight piece bucket of chicken,” relying on the advertisement’s depiction of a bucket that may have … Continue Reading

Illinois Biometric Lawsuit Against Facebook Moves Through Court System

A 2015 lawsuit brought by Facebook users over the company’s alleged unauthorized collection of their facial features and other facial biometric data pursuant to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) is slowly moving through the courts. The BIPA requires written notice and consent for the collection of biometric identifiers or biometric information of Illinois … Continue Reading

Keeping Your Biometrics Private

Suparossa Restaurant Group LLP, a Chicago-based restaurant company, has been served with a class action complaint alleging that the company has violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). The BIPA is an informed consent statute that establishes standards for employers that collect and store the biometric information of Illinois citizens. The act makes it … Continue Reading

Kirkland FACTA Case May Create Circuit Split

Kirkland, Inc. will face a putative class action for allegedly violating the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”). The plaintiffs filed their complaint against Kirkland in April 2017 for displaying the first six and the last four digits of their credit card or debit card numbers on their purchase receipts.  According to the plaintiffs, … Continue Reading

Court Says Don’t Cry Over Steamed Milk

A federal court granted Starbucks’ motion for summary judgment in a putative class action in which plaintiffs alleged Starbucks underfills lattes and mochas. The plaintiffs alleged that the underfilling of Starbucks drinks was a breach of warranty and constituted unfair competition and false advertising based on three arguments: (1) consumers should receive beverage volume equal … Continue Reading

Class Action Aims to Catch Canned Salmon Manufacturer for False Advertising

A class action complaint was recently filed against Bumble Bee Foods, LLC (“Bumble Bee”), the makers of canned fish and seafood. The false advertising lawsuit stems from the plaintiff’s assertion that Bumble Bee falsely implies its Premium Select Medium Red Smoked Salmon Filets in Oil are high quality, wild-caught, and naturally smoked.  The plaintiffs believe … Continue Reading

Judge Hits Ctrl+Alt+Delete on Facebook User Tracking MDL

Judge Edward J. Davila of the Northern District of California recently administered the coup de grâce to an expansive multidistrict litigation over Facebook’s data use policy filed in 2012. The plaintiffs alleged that Facebook’s data use and privacy policy violated the federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Communications Act, California’s Invasion of Privacy Act, California consumer … Continue Reading

Preliminary Injunction Could Hinder Equinox Hotel Opening

Luxury fitness chain Equinox recently announced that it will be debuting its first fitness-oriented hotel in New York City in 2019, with additional sites planned for Los Angeles and other major cities. Certainly aware of this announcement was the San Francisco-based hotel company Equinox Hotel Management Inc., which already has existed in the hotel industry … Continue Reading

Just Like Grandma Used to Infringe: Trademark Battle Sparks Over “Nana”

Granny can’t catch a break. In the food and beverage industry, “NANA”-formative trademarks are plentiful.  However, the owner of several such marks has overstepped its bounds, asserts Nana Joe’s LLC in its complaint filed earlier this month in the Eastern District of Texas.  Nana Joe’s makes vegan and gluten free granola products, and has branded … Continue Reading

Montel Williams Aims Pot Shot at Cannabis Trademark Infringers

Talk show host and cannabis mogul Montel Williams recently filed suit against multiple medical marijuana retailers under the Lanham Act and Florida state law for trademark infringement, false advertising, violations of the right to publicity and right to privacy, and unfair business practices. Williams markets a line of medical-grade cannabidiol, or CBD, oils for use … Continue Reading

Ride Sharing App Lyft Hit With TCPA Claim Based on Marketing Partner

Lyft, Inc. was hit with a putative class action under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) this month. The plaintiffs allege that Lyft is liable for text messages sent by Jobcase, Inc., Lyft’s marketing agency. Notably, the plaintiffs believe that Jobcase sent text messages to prospective drivers on behalf of Lyft, including “Maria, START NOW: … Continue Reading

Celebrity Chef Sued By Certification Organization Over “Gluten-Free” Labelling

Last month, gluten intolerance advocacy group Gluten Intolerance Group (“GIG”) sued celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for trademark infringement and unfair business practices under the Lanham Act and state consumer protection laws in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. According to the complaint, GIG is an independent organization that certifies food producers … Continue Reading

Chipped Away: Frito-Lay Removes “All Natural” Label from Products Containing GMOs

The plaintiffs in a five year old consumer class action against Frito-Lay North America and its parent company PepsiCo, Inc. got their wish earlier this month when Frito-Lay agreed to remove the “All Natural” label from its products containing genetically modified organisms (“GMOs”). In July 2012, a proposed class of consumers who purchased Tostitos tortilla … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Denies Review of Indiana Anti-Robocall Law

The U.S. Supreme Court denied nonprofit Patriotic Veterans, Inc.’s petition for review of Indiana’s ban on the use of technology that automatically dials residential phone numbers and plays prerecorded messages. Patriotic Veterans, based in Illinois, uses this “robocall” technology to disseminate pre-recorded messages about political candidates’ positions on issues affecting veterans.  In 2010, however, the … Continue Reading

Ka-pow! 9th Circuit Finds Social Media Gag Order Unconstitutional in COMIC CON Trademark Dispute

In a previous post, we analyzed the battle over the trademark COMIC CON, which is owned by the San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC) but has been used by over 100 other comic book convention organizers.  SDCC brought suit against one of these alleged infringers, Dan Farr Productions, in 2014, but failed to secure summary judgment … Continue Reading

Florida Supreme Court Denies Copyright Protection for Sound Recordings Predating Coverage Under the Federal Copyright Act

In a major victory for media and broadcast entities, the Supreme Court of Florida recently established that Florida law does not recognize exclusive copyright protections for sound recordings that were “fixed” before February 15, 1972. Sound recordings fixed after this date are governed by federal copyright law. This decision arose out of a copyright infringement … Continue Reading

Quaker Oats Succeeds in Maple Syrup Suit

The Central District of California granted Quaker Oats Company’s Motion to Dismiss a Consolidated Class Action Complaint on October 10. Plaintiffs alleged Quaker Oats Company was liable for labeling its “Maple & Brown Sugar”-flavored instant oatmeal as “Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Maple & Brown Sugar” alongside an image of a pitcher of maple syrup.  The plaintiffs … Continue Reading

U.S. District Court Sanctions Weight-Loss Supplement Marketers for Violating Past Court Order

A judge in the Northern District of Georgia has found a number of defendants, comprising a larger company named Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Hi-Tech”), in contempt for repeated violations of court orders prohibiting the defendants from making deceptive marketing claims about weight-loss supplements and erectile dysfunction products. As a result of the order, Hi-Tech is required … Continue Reading

Arrgh! Social Media Post Lands “Pirate Joe’s” in Hot Water

In the highly-publicized case about unauthorized reselling of Trader Joe’s merchandise by renegade Canadian merchant “Pirate Joe’s,” social media provided the powder keg for Trader Joe’s arbitration enforcement demand. The case set sail in May 2013, when Trader Joe’s sued Pirate Joe’s proprietor Michael Hallatt for federal trademark infringement and violations of Washington state consumer … Continue Reading

Cracking Open a Cold One: Plaintiffs’ False Advertising Suit Against Brewer Survives Dismissal

Earlier this year, two plaintiffs launched a putative class action against Portland-based Craft Brew Alliance, the fifth largest brewing company in the U.S. and parent company of Kona Brewing Co. Craft Brew acquired Kona in 2010, emblazoning its bottles and cans with images and text that conjure Hawaii’s scenery and lifestyle.  There’s just one issue:  … Continue Reading

Judge Agrees – YouTube Mockery Protected by Fair Use

Readers may be aware of YouTube celebrity couple Ethan and Hila Klein, better known by their social media moniker @h3h3productions. They rose to Internet fame producing comedic “reaction” videos that ridicule and comment upon other Internet content, boasting 4.9 million subscribers on their YouTube channel.  Not everyone laughed along though, particularly fellow YouTuber Matt Hosseinzadeh, … Continue Reading

Gatorade Agrees to Stop Hating On Water

Gatorade recently handed $300,000 to California to settle false advertising and unfair competition claims that boil down to making water look bad. The company released an app in 2012 called “Bolt!” that featured an animation of Jamaican Olympic gold medalist, Usain Bolt, racing to recapture gold coins from pirates. Gatorade icons boosted performance and water … Continue Reading
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