Courts Still Have No Clue How to Determine Who Owns Social Media Accounts--JLM v. Gutman

Courts Still Have No Clue How to Determine Who Owns Social Media Accounts–JLM v. Gutman

This is the latest entry in a long-running legal battle between Hayley Paige Gutman, a bridalwear designer, and JLM Couture, her one-time employer. Gutman created a Pinterest account in 2011 and an Instagram account in 2012, shortly after she began…

N.D. Cal. Judge Pushes Back on Copyright SAD Scheme Cases--Viral DRM v. YouTube Schedule A Defendants

N.D. Cal. Judge Pushes Back on Copyright SAD Scheme Cases–Viral DRM v. YouTube Schedule A Defendants

My SAD Scheme paper provided some data indicating that 88% of SAD Scheme cases involved trademarks, with only 6% each in copyright and patents. So SAD Scheme copyright cases aren’t unheard of, but they are rare. * * * A…

2023 Internet Law Year-in-Review

2023 Internet Law Year-in-Review

My roundup of the top Internet Law developments of 2023: 10) California court bans targeted advertising (?). Regulators have sought to suppress online targeted advertising for years, with only minimal success. Then, in Liapes v. Facebook, a California appeals court…

Cloned-and-Revised Legal Documents Aren't Copyrightable--UIRC v. William Blair

Cloned-and-Revised Legal Documents Aren’t Copyrightable–UIRC v. William Blair

This case revisits the venerable topic of if, and when, cloning-and-revising a legal document can be copyright infringement. The plaintiff gets an expensive lesson in the law of derivative works. * * * UIRC offers bonds using a private placement…

Web Page Framing Isn't Trespass to Chattels--Best Carpet Values v. Google

Web Page Framing Isn’t Trespass to Chattels–Best Carpet Values v. Google

This case is an old-school turn-of-the-century throwback (and not the good kind). Google’s search app framed the web pages users visit, and the frame included ads. Some screenshots depicting the framing (the first image shows Google’s superimposed frame on the…

Why Online Marketplaces Don't Do More to Combat the SAD Scheme--Squishmallows v. Alibaba

Why Online Marketplaces Don’t Do More to Combat the SAD Scheme–Squishmallows v. Alibaba

This appears to be a SAD Scheme case involving Squishmallows, a stuffed animals brand. The brand owner, Kelly Toys, sued 90 e-commerce merchants in a sealed complaint and got a TRO. For unclear reasons, Kelly Toys expanded the litigation to…

2023 Quick Links: IP, Keyword Ads

* For over a decade, I’ve implored people to stop using the term “Soft IP.” Amanda Levendowski now provides another reason: the term has problematic gender implications. * After II Movie, LLC v. Grande Communications Networks, LLC, 2023 WL 1422808…

Should Copyright Preemption Moot Anti-Scraping TOS Terms? (Guest Blog Post)

by guest blogger Kieran McCarthy Many characterize the law of copyright preemption of contracts as a circuit split. But that undersells the level of inconsistency in courts’ interpretations of the law of copyright preemption. It’s not that half of federal…

512(f) Doesn’t Restrict Competitive Gaming of Search Results–Source Capital v. Barrett Financial

This case involves two “hard money lending” competitors, Source Capital and Barrett. Allegedly on behalf of Barrett, an SEO vendor sent DMCA takedown notices to Google, alleging that Source Capital had copied some of Barrett’s copyrighted material. Source Capital alleges…

Now Available: the Published Version of My SAD Scheme Article

Now Available: the Published Version of My SAD Scheme Article

I’m pleased to share the final published version of my article, “A SAD Scheme of Abusive Intellectual Property Litigation.” The article explains how IP rightsowners are twisting the rule of law to obtain ex parte TROs that prompt online marketplaces…