Privacy Class Action Against Twitter, Yelp, Instagram, Foursquare May End in $5.3 Million Settlement In 2012, The New York Times and others reported that Silicon Valley companies had been accessing iOS address books without users’ knowledge or consent. These practices raised questions and concerns in Congress and at the Federal Trade Commission  – and also caught the attention of customers. The FTC filed a complaint, charging that the user interface in mobile social media network Path's...
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Privacy
Supreme Court Issues Landmark Ruling on Fashion and Design Copyright Star Athletica L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., 580 U.S. ___, 197 L. Ed 2d 354 (2017). The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-2 opinion drafted by Justice Thomas, affirmed a 6th Circuit decision regarding whether features incorporated into the design of a useful article are eligible for copyright protection. The Court clarified the rule by creating a two-part test, holding...
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Copyright Supreme Court Fashion
Flash Digest: News in Brief New York Court of Appeals Rules Against Facebook Challenge to Warrants             Since 2013, Facebook has been fighting broad search warrants issued by the Manhattan District Attorney's office pursuant to the Federal Stored Communications Act, requesting private messages, friend lists, and other non-public content from 381 Facebook accounts. The warrants relate to a disability fraud scheme involving more than 10...
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Flash Digest
Supreme Court Hears Case on Patent Exhaustion Doctrine and Post-Sale Restrictions Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in their review of the Federal Circuit’s decision in Lexmark Int’l Inc. v. Impression Products, Inc., No. 2014-1617, 2014-1619 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 12, 2016) hosted by scotusblog.com. Lexmark, a large manufacturer and distributor of printers and toner cartridges, sells some of its cartridges with a single-use or no-resale restriction, requiring that customers return...
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Patent Infringement Decisions Supreme Court
Congress Rolls Back FCC Broadband ISP Privacy Rules Last week on March 23, 2017, the US Senate voted 50-48 to roll back the Federal Communication Commission’s broadband privacy rules adopted last October under former Chairman Tom Wheeler. The House has also passed the resolution, and President Trump signed the bill on Monday. The rules were scheduled to go into effect later this year, and would have required Internet...
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Legislation Telecommunications Federal Comm. Commission
Federal Circuit Flash Digest: Cases in Brief Federal Circuit Reaffirms that Sending Patent Demand Letter is Insufficient for Specific Personal Jurisdiction Last month, the Federal Circuit reaffirmed its precedent that federal courts lack specific personal jurisdiction over foreign actors who only send patent demand letters. The controversy in Xilinx, Inc. v. Papst Licensing GMBH & Co. KG, No. 2015-1919 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 15, 2017), began when Pabst...
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Jurisdiction Federal Circuit Decisions
Flash Digest: News in Brief Minnesota Judge Granted Search Warrant Demanding User Information on Anyone Who Googled Crime Victim’s Name The Police Department of Edina, a suburban town outside of Minneapolis, won a court order commanding Google to provide “any/all user or subscriber information” of anyone who searched for a crime victim’s name. A photocopy of the warrant was first posted by public records researcher...
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Flash Digest
Amazon Argues that the First Amendment Protects Its Alexa Voice Service State of Arkansas v. James A. Bates, Case No. 2016-370-2 (Ark. Cir.). Memorandum of Law in support of Amazon’s Motion to Quash Search Warrant (hosted by Regmedia). Amazon filed a Motion to Quash in response to a search warrant for the recordings and transcripts from one of its Alexa Voice Service-enabled Echo devices ("Echo”). The records are stored on Amazon...
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First Amendment State Courts
Ropes & Gray Announces Plans to Split Off Its Patent Prosecution Practice On March 7th, Boston-based firm Ropes & Gray announced plans to restructure its intellectual property practice. Over the coming months, roughly 100 lawyers and staff led by Ropes & Gray partner Joseph Guiliano will leave Ropes & Gray to establish a new spin-off firm specializing in patent prosecution and related matters. Ropes & Gray will retain its IP litigation and...
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Patent