Q3 2012 Quick Links, Part 1 (Trademarks/Domain Names, Patents, Trade Secrets)

By Eric Goldman and Jake McGowan Trademarks/Domain Names * AdAge: “Consumers Don’t Really Know Who Sponsors the Olympics.” This reminds us that trying to protect against “sponsorship confusion” is futile. For example: 16% believed Google sponsors the Olympics; and of…

Ripoff Report and Topix Postings Protected by California’s Anti-SLAPP Law–Chaker v. Mateo

By Eric Goldman Chaker v. Mateo, 2012 WL 4711885 (Cal. App. Ct. Oct. 4, 2012) Chaker and Nicole Mateo had a baby together. After the messy breakup, Nicole and Nicole’s mom Wendy allegedly posted derogatory statements about Chaker and his…

Battle Over LinkedIn Account Between Employer and Employee Largely Gutted–Eagle v. Morgan

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani, with comments from Eric] Eagle v. Morgan, 2012 WL 4739436 (E.D. Pa.; Oct. 4, 2012) We’ve repeatedly posted about employer-employee (or ex-employee) disputes involving social media accounts (PhoneDog; Maremont; Kremer; Insynq). Eagle v. Morgan is in…

Judge Dismisses Claims Against Pandora for Violating Michigan’s Version of the VPPA – Deacon v. Pandora Media

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] Deacon v. Pandora Media, Inc., 2012 WL 4497796 (N.D. Cal.; Sept. 28, 2012) The plaintiffs sued Pandora for improperly disclosing their “listening history” and related information (bookmarked tracks, stations, recent activity, and bookmarked artists). Plaintiffs alleged…

Big Problems in California’s New Law Restricting Employers’ Access to Employees’ Online Accounts (Forbes Cross-Post)

By Eric Goldman Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed two laws restricting demands for social media accounts or login credentials.   Senate Bill 1349 restricts schools’ access to students’ social media accounts.  Assembly Bill 1844 restricts employers’ access to employees’…

If You’re a Prisioner Trying to Hide Your Unauthorized Phone, Don’t Brag About the Phone on Facebook! — Lloyd v. Shartle

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] Lloyd v. Shartle, 11-1419 (JBS) (D.N.J.; Sept. 21, 2012) We’ve posted a ton about people imprudently posting stuff to their Facebook account that comes back to haunt them in litigation. (Eric has catalogued some of these…

Marilyn Monroe’s Image is Cast Into the Public Domain — Sort Of (Guest Blog Post)

by Guest Blogger Tyler Ochoa [check out Prof. Ochoa's casebook on publicity rights / affiliate link] In 2011, Marilyn Monroe was #3 on Forbes magazine’s annual list of top-earning dead celebrities, earning $27 million for her estate. Next year, however,…

Recent Ruling in Triple Town/Yeti Town Game App Dispute Provides Cautionary Lessons for Both EA and Zynga (Partial Forbes Cross-Post)

By Eric Goldman Spry Fox LLC v. Lolapps, Inc., 2:12-cv-00147-RAJ (W.D. Wash. Sept. 18, 2012).  The complaint. Even with all of the media coverage over EA’s ($EA) recent copyright infringement lawsuit against Zynga ($ZNGA) (including my blog post on the case), there was…

Do You Think Software Patents Are a Problem? Then Come to This Conference, SCU, Nov. 16

By Eric Goldman I’m sure you are feeling the ongoing angst associated with software patents. In the past few months, Google, Judge Posner, and the opinion pages have all expressed dismay about software patents and how they’re being used. Ancedotally,…