Section 230 Helps VRBO Defeat Claim Over Fraudulent Listing–Hiam v. Homeaway

[It’s impossible to blog on Section 230 rulings right now without acknowledging that Section 230 is facing its most serious threat to date. I doubt the bills would change the result in this ruling, but the bills would so radically…

1H 2017 Quick Links, Part 5 (Advertising, Contracts)

Advertising * David A. Hyman et al, Going Native: Can Consumers Recognize Native Advertising? Does It Matter?, 19 Yale J.L. & Tech. 77 (2017): “We tested sixteen examples of native advertising. For fifteen of the sixteen examples, fewer than 50% of…

1H 2017 Quick Links, Part 1 (Trademarks, Keyword Ads)

Trademark * Viacom Int’l Inc v. IJR Capital Investments LLC, 2017 WL 107141 (S.D. Tex. Jan. 11, 2017): “Because “The Krusty Krab” is a recurring element of the “SpongeBob SquarePants” show, the court finds that the mark is eligible for…

1-800 Contacts Charges Higher Prices Than Its Online Competitors, But They Are OK With That--FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

1-800 Contacts Charges Higher Prices Than Its Online Competitors, But They Are OK With That–FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

As you recall, the FTC has taken the position that 1-800 Contacts’ agreement with competitors, via settlement agreements, not to bid on each other trademarks as keywords violates antitrust laws. Prior blog posts: * FTC Sues 1-800 Contacts For Restricting…

VPPA Still Doesn't Protect App Downloaders--Perry v. CNN

VPPA Still Doesn’t Protect App Downloaders–Perry v. CNN

Plaintiff sued CNN under the Video Privacy Protection Act, alleging that CNN wrongly disclosed plaintiff’s viewing records without plaintiff’s consent. The allegation is that plaintiff used the CNN app, which records viewing history, and CNN sent this information to Bango, a…

Catching Up On Some Recent Click Fraud Rulings

After all of the excitement over click fraud a decade ago, we don’t often see click fraud cases any more. However, just in the past couple months I’ve seen 3 rulings that I wanted to share with you. Wickfire, LLC…

How Should a Lawyer Respond to a Yelp Review Calling Him "Worst. Ever."?--Spencer v. Glover

How Should a Lawyer Respond to a Yelp Review Calling Him “Worst. Ever.”?–Spencer v. Glover

(Spoiler alert: suing the client is not the correct answer). The Opinion Glover hired and then fired Spencer as his divorce lawyer. Glover then posted this Yelp review: Worst ever. Had to fire him after I gave him a chance…

FTC Explains Why It Thinks 1-800 Contacts' Keyword Ad Settlements Were Anti-Competitive--FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

FTC Explains Why It Thinks 1-800 Contacts’ Keyword Ad Settlements Were Anti-Competitive–FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

As you may recall, the FTC is pursuing 1-800 Contacts for antitrust violations based on 1-800 Contacts having sued and then settled with competitors who bought keyword ads on 1-800 Contacts’ trademarks. Recently, the FTC filed its “Complaint Counsel’s Corrected…

A Complaint’s Silence About Section 230 Helps It Survive Judgment on the Pleadings–Moretti v. Hertz

This is a class action lawsuit against car rental companies for an alleged “currency exchange rate scam.” Allegedly, the rental car companies quote foreign rentals in dollars but then actually charge customers in the local currency at an inflated exchange…

Trademark Lawsuit Claiming Organic Search Results Create Initial Interest Confusion Falls Apart–Larsen v. Larson

Disclosure note: I provided an expert report in this now-dismissed case, so you might consider my comments to be advocacy. I’ll explain my expert role in a bit. The Court Opinion Susan Larsen practices business law in the Denver, Colorado…