More Plaintiffs (and Lawyers) Need To Be Reminded That YouTube Isn't a State Actor--Divino v. Google

More Plaintiffs (and Lawyers) Need To Be Reminded That YouTube Isn’t a State Actor–Divino v. Google

This lawsuit, like many others before it, claims that UGC services like YouTube commit illegal discrimination based on how they moderate content. Despite its lack of novelty, this lawsuit got some media coverage for two reasons: (1) most of the…

FTC’s Confusing Guidance on How Merchants Should Manage Their Consumer Reviews

This blog post covers an FTC closing letter. A few words about FTC closing letters if you’re not familiar with them. When the FTC staff open an investigation but then decide not to take action, staff issues a “closing letter”…

2H 2020 Quick Links, Part 3 (Trademarks)

* John Bean Technologies Corp. v. BGSE Group, LCC (D. Utah Aug. 13, 2020). Plaintiffs are still litigating keyword metatag cases in 2020… JBT asserts likelihood of confusion under a distinct theory known as initial-interest confusion. “Initial-interest confusion ‘results when…

Google Isn't Liable for Allegedly Problematic Search Results--Diez v. Google

Google Isn’t Liable for Allegedly Problematic Search Results–Diez v. Google

Diez claims to be a “naturist” (note: these facts are taken from Diez’s complaint). He conducted Google image searches for the keywords “family naturist females,” “family naturist girls,” “family nudist females,” and “family nudist girls.” [PLEASE DO NOT INDEPENDENTLY INVESTIGATE…

Domain Name Lawsuits Are Stupid (and the Initial Interest Confusion Doctrine Is Too)--Wooster Floral v. Green Thumb

Domain Name Lawsuits Are Stupid (and the Initial Interest Confusion Doctrine Is Too)–Wooster Floral v. Green Thumb

This case concerns the domain name WoosterFloral.com. It was initially owned by Wooster Floral, a florist in Wooster, Ohio. However, in 2014, the owner wound down the business and didn’t renew the domain name. The store manager then bought out…

Can Influencers' Failure to Disclose Sponsorship Constitute False Advertising?--EIS v. WOW Tech (Guest Blog Post)

Can Influencers’ Failure to Disclose Sponsorship Constitute False Advertising?–EIS v. WOW Tech (Guest Blog Post)

by guest blogger Prof. Alexandra J. Roberts This decision has everything—from sex toys with proprietary air pulse technology to Instagram influencers and Amazon astroturfing to illicit meetings inside the sauna of a well-known Las Vegas hotel.  Most exciting for this…

A Rare Case of a Judge Relying on the Initial Interest Confusion Doctrine (Boo)--Nike v. Warren Lotas

A Rare Case of a Judge Relying on the Initial Interest Confusion Doctrine (Boo)–Nike v. Warren Lotas

This case involves Warren Lotas sneakers that claimed to reinterpret one of Nike’s allegedly iconic sneaker stylings. The Fashion Law summarized the case, including this depiction: The sneaker similarities are obvious, which isn’t surprising because Warren Lotas styled its product…

Op-Ed: Social Media Companies Should Permanently Ban Political Advertising

[This op-ed ran in the San Francisco Chronicle on December 8, 2020. I co-authored it with my colleague Irina Raicu from SCU’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Irina and I don’t agree on very much, so it’s always a mitzvah…

CRM Software Vendor Didn't Qualify for Section 230--Tan v. Konnektive

CRM Software Vendor Didn’t Qualify for Section 230–Tan v. Konnektive

This is a complex consumer protection lawsuit with dozens of defendants. This early-stage opinion is 62 pages. The case involves allegedly bogus “free trial” programs for cosmetics. The plaintiff alleges that she was duped into signing up for a free…

YouTube Defeats Lawsuit Over Cryptocurrency Scam--Ripple v. YouTube

YouTube Defeats Lawsuit Over Cryptocurrency Scam–Ripple v. YouTube

Ripple Labs developed a cryptocurrency called XRP. Scammers phished verified YouTube accounts and then used the hijacked accounts to post YouTube videos–seemingly from Ripple–inducing consumers to transfer their XRP, where they were stolen. YouTube allegedly responded to takedown notices slowly….