Articles Posted in January, 2012


GOP candidate Newt Gingrich and his campaign were sued for copyright infringement in federal court yesterday for reportedly playing the band Survivor‘s “Eye of the Tiger” song at Gingrich campaign events, but without obtaining rights to do so (Read the lawsuit below).

Plaintiff Rude Music, Inc. is a music publishing company created by Survivor band member Frank M. Sullivan, III, and holder of rights to the song.

The defendants have some explaining to do, especially since Gingrich argued at a recent South Carolina GOP debate that copyright holders should sue to protect their intellectual property rights:


A lawsuit filed by current and former employees of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration charges that the agency accessed and spied on their personal e-mail accounts after scientists and doctors alerted Congress and the media that certain radiation-emitting computer detection devices may not be safe or effective.

The lawsuit filed by scientists and doctors charges that nine FDA employees (the “FDA Nine”) had their private, personal, password protected email accounts on Google and Yahoo secretly recorded by the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the government agency to which the FDA reports.

Why? Because the FDA scientists and doctors engaged in whistleblower-protected conduct by voicing concerns about radiation-induced cancer risks allegedly involving medical devices that the agency regulated.

Tagged: email, FDA, HHS


Facebook is readying its initial public offering (IPO) by preparing an S-1 registration statement for filing with the S.E.C. next week, and is said to be anticipating a $75 – $100 billion valuation for the social networking giant.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, unnamed sources maintain that Morgan Stanely is likely to be chosen as the lead underwriter for the public offering, beating out Goldman Sachs and others.

Will Facebook’s IPO be the largest tech IPO ever?


Our Daily Opinion Summaries writers chose these cases to highlight this week.

From the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, we have In Re FEMA Trailers Formaldehyde Products Liability Litigation (1/23/12). This case is about the “toxic trailers” issued by FEMA in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Plaintiffs sued under the Federal Tort Claims Act for injuries related to their exposure to formaldehyde in the trailers, but the Court held that the voluntary, cost-free provision of the trailers to disaster victims was immunized conduct under the FTCA, and affirmed the district court’s motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

From the U.S. Court of Appeal for the 10th Circuit comes SECSYS, LLC v. Vigil (1/23/12). This corruption case involves government officials in New Mexico. In it, the plaintiff sued for discrimination because they were denied a bid-rigged contract, since they would not pay the full “allegedly extortionate demand.” The Court in this case affirmed the district court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s case.

Posted in: Legal News


Facebook and Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna filed lawsuits today (see below) accusing affiliate marketer Adscend Media, LLC along with company co-founders Jeremy Bash and Fehzan Ali of engaging in ‘likejacking’ a/k/a ‘clickjacking’ to deceive and trick users into giving out their personal information.

“Likejacking” describes the sleazy practice of tricking Facebook users into clicking a Facebook “Like” button that triggers a malicious activity, like posting a status update in order to spam them and their friends.


Some football players consider concussions to be part of the game, much like sprains, strains, and other common football injuries. When the San Francisco 49ers benefitted from a collision that sent New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas out with a concussion, its players characterized the hit as an effective way to send a message. However, when an opposing team reportedly targeted a 49er wide receiver with a history of concussions, the perspective of the local media changed.

While some players are willing to hide their concussions, such decisions bear long-term consequences, as seen in the numerous complaints recently filed by retired NFL players.

Posted in: Legal News


Don’t the patent wars involving Apple, Samsung, and Motorola Mobility feel like they’re being waged almost daily?

Motorola Mobility filed the latest salvo with a new patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in a Florida federal court (see below).

The new case accuses Apple of, among other things, violating its patent for a "Receiver Having Concealed External Antenna." Motorola Mobility claims that it’s got a lock on all mobile phones with hidden antennas.

Really? Have they sued every mobile device manufacturer over this claim? When was the last time that you actually saw a mobile phone with a visible antenna attached?


The Supreme Court ruled today that the government cannot use warrantless GPS tracking devices because doing so violates a suspect’s Fourth Amendment rights against unwarranted search and seizure.

Writing for the Court, Justice Scalia held:

that the Government’s installation of a GPS device on a target’s vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constitutes a “search”

in violation of the Fourth Amendment.


You would think that Silicon Valley giants would compensate their employees well, support their professional growth, and know that a time will come when they leave for greener pastures.

C-level execs at Apple, Google, Adobe, Pixar, Intel, Intuit, and Lucasfilm apparently thought, acted, and communicated differently, however, according to newly revealed legal documents in an employee class-action lawsuit (see below).


Here’s a round-up of interesting cases from this week, as reported by our Daily Opinion Summary writers.

From the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, Ochoa v. Workman, which looked at the Atkins standard of mental retardation in a capital case. In that case, the petitioner argued that the trial court erred in applying the Atkins test to his mental condition at the time of trial instead of at the time of the crime. The Court denied his petition.

From the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, we have Higgins v. R.I. Hosp.

This case offered an interesting application of the firefighter’s rule, which bars public-safety officials from “maintaining a negligence action against a tortfeasor whose alleged malfeasance is responsible for bringing the officer to the scene of [an]…emergency where the officer is injured.” The plaintiff here brought a patient to the hospital while working as an EMT/firefighter. After he delivered his patient, he assisted a nurse with a disorderly patient, who seriously injured the plaintiff. The district court and Supreme Court found the firefighter’s rule barred the plaintiff’s recovery even though the plaintiff’s injury did not arise from the same circumstances that originally brought him to the scene.

Posted in: Legal News