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: Section 230

2023 Quick Links: Section 230

[My Quick Links publication process is broken. Once-a-year postings aren’t very useful LOL.] * Palmer v. Savoy, 2021 N.C. Super. LEXIS 236 (N.C. Superior Ct. July 28, 2021). Snap qualified for Section 230 protection despite the plaintiffs’ invocation of the Lemmon design…

SAD Scheme Cases Are Always Troubling--Betty's Best v. Schedule A Defendants 😠

SAD Scheme Cases Are Always Troubling–Betty’s Best v. Schedule A Defendants 😠

Every SAD Scheme lawsuit is problematic, though the specific reasons may differ. Each lawsuit creates dozens or hundreds of individual dramas, few of which receive any public scrutiny, and usually comes at the cost of due process and the rule…

Section 230 Helps Amazon Defeat False Advertising Lawsuit Over Printer Ink Cartridges--Planet Green v. Amazon

Section 230 Helps Amazon Defeat False Advertising Lawsuit Over Printer Ink Cartridges–Planet Green v. Amazon

The plaintiff sells remanufactured printer ink cartridges. The plaintiff claims that Amazon listings falsely claim that other merchants’ cartridges are “remanufactured” or “recycled.” For reasons unclear to me, the plaintiff thought it would be a good idea to sue Amazon…

Amazon May Be Liable for Merchant's Spycam--M.S. v. Amazon

Amazon May Be Liable for Merchant’s Spycam–M.S. v. Amazon

This case involves an “embedded pinhole camera” “disguised” as a “mountable hook” that a Doe merchant offered in Amazon’s Marketplace. Allegedly, Amazon inspected the item three times: Amazon’s Product Safety Team inspected it to confirm it couldn’t be used to…

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…

Facebook Faces Contributory Trademark Liability for Marketplace Listings--Car-Freshner v. Meta

Facebook Faces Contributory Trademark Liability for Marketplace Listings–Car-Freshner v. Meta

This case involves the hanging “car freshener” (which usually smells worse than any odors it tries to mask) in the shape of a tree. The rightsowner has trademark registrations for the tree-shaped outline: Armed with protectable rights in tree outlines,…

Apple's App Store Can Reject Unwanted Apps--Coronavirus Reporter v. Apple

Apple’s App Store Can Reject Unwanted Apps–Coronavirus Reporter v. Apple

Apple rejected two of the plaintiffs’ apps, “Coronavirus Reporter” and “Bitcoin Lottery,” for its app store. Apple rejected the Coronavirus Reporter app because it wasn’t associated with a government entity or medical institution; and it rejected the Bitcoin Lottery app…

Copyright Lawsuits Over Product Shots Are Still Stupid--SMS v. Pharmaaid

Copyright Lawsuits Over Product Shots Are Still Stupid–SMS v. Pharmaaid

SMS has copyright registrations in photos of its pump dispensers. It claims that a rival, Pharmaaid, is selling identical products and displays SMS’s photos in its Amazon store and on product packaging. Here’s SMS’s purported visual proof of Pharmaaid’s infringements:…

Does California's Anti-Discrimination Law Ban Ad Targeting?--Liapes v. Facebook

Does California’s Anti-Discrimination Law Ban Ad Targeting?–Liapes v. Facebook

This opinion indicates that Facebook–and by implication, every other ad network–could violate California’s Unruh Act (an anti-discrimination law) by targeting third-party ads based on age, gender, or other protected criteria. The court reaches this shocking conclusion by cutting several analytical…