Here is a summary of legal developments in five federal and state court cases last week that involved technology companies, or alleged activities by their users.
Samsung Cries Foul, Claiming Jury Foreman in Apple iPhone $1B+ Lawsuit Was Biased
In a motion filed last Tuesday, Samsung’s lawyers asked U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh to set aside the jury’s $1.05 billion iPhone lawsuit verdict in favor of Apple. They alleged that jury foreman and retired computer engineer Velvin Hogan failed to disclose that his former Silicon Valley employer Seagate Technology Inc. sued him in 1993, despite being asked by the judge whether he had been involved in any lawsuits.
Photographer Christopher Boffoli has filed a lawsuit against Twitter in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, claiming infringement of copyrighted photographs. The complaint alleges that “Twitter users copied numerous photographs from the Disparity Series without license or permission from Boffoli . . . . [and] were hosted either on Twitter or on third-party servers.”
Boffoli claims that Twitter could have removed the copyrighted photos from its own servers or “disable[d] each Tweet advertising or linking to” the photographs on its own or third-party servers.
Twitter’s Copyright Policy states that “We will respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement that comply with applicable law and are properly provided to us.” However, according to Boffoli’s complaint, despite repeated requests that Twitter take down the copyrighted materials, “Twitter has not removed or disabled access to the [copyrighted photos].”
On July 19th, Rick Quereshi filed a Notice of Opposition against Twitter’s application for the mark TWEET. Although Twitter applied for trademark protection of TWEET back on April 16, 2009, and the application was published for opposition later that year, Quereshi opposes the registration for the following reasons: 1) Twitter filed its application under an intent to use basis, yet no Allegation of Use has been filed to date; 2) Twitter has not used the TWEET mark in commerce with the identified classes of services from the application; and 3) Quereshi has been openly and notoriously using the TWEET mark in commerce via a mobile computing device since July 23, 2009. Thus, under the doctrine of common law, Quereshi claims ownership of the mark TWEET due to its prior senior use.
Twitter libel (‘twibel’) cases are growing. Courtney Love just paid $430,000 to settle a twibel case filed by a fashion designer who accused the rocker of defaming her in a series of tweets with incredible accusations. A Welsh politician in the U.K. recently admitted to twibeling his city council opponent on election day. The cost of his settlement? Damages of £3,000, plus £50,000 in legal fees.
Although we’re not aware of any twibel case that went to verdict, we’re confident that day will inevitably come.
Bill Spooner has officiated over 1,000 regular season games and over 50 play-off games. During the game, Spooner called a foul on Minnesota during the second period. Timberwolves head coach Kurt Rambis loudly disagreed with the call.
Shortly thereafter AP reporter Jon Krawczynski tweeted: “Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he’d “get it back” after a bad call. Then he made an even worse call on Rockets. That’s NBA officiating folks.” The Tweet is still online.
Comedians, satirists, and Fake Steve’s everywhere, take note: under California’s new anti-Internet impersonation law, you want to make sure that you show your intent to tickle your reader’s funny bones on the Web.
That’s because under California Penal CodeSection 528.5, someone who “knowingly and without consent” uses the Internet to “credibly impersonate another actual person” with the intent of “harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
Some high-profile personalities and companies in California could put the new law through its paces in court. Here’s why.
As Courtney wrote in her year-end review, one of the big trends of 2010 was the emergence of social media and its integration into the work of legal professionals. While I’m sure many of our readers may already have a blog, a Facebook page, LinkedIn Profile or Twitter account (to name but a few of these types of tools and platforms), many folks may still feel a bit unsure how this all works. For that latter group, we’re going to post articles on Onward throughout the year that provide basic social media “how-tos” and resource links to help you get started. This post is going to focus on Twitter and also briefly cover Justia’s Twitter community Legal Birds – a place we hope that those of you who are already in the social media mix might join up and participate in.
2010 is almost gone–it’s been a very eventful year here at Justia. Indulge us while we review this year’s contributions to legal information on the internet. And, we are getting plans ready for 2011–if you have any ideas about things you’d like to see at Justia.com, please let us know in the comments!
First of all– we have to talk about Law.gov. This movement really took off in 2010, and we are very proud to have been a part of the effort. There have been meetings and conferences across the United States, from which a Principles and Declaration was drafted. Google granted Public.Resource.Org $2M in furtherance of the law.gov effort, and most recently, the Report of Current Opinions was announced. RECOP will distribute current caselaw from the 50 states and the federal courts freely on the internet.
It’s election day and all of us here at Justia hope you get out and vote! Given that we’ll have a new Congress at the beginning of the year, we’d like to point you to some iPhone apps you can download to keep informed on what’s going on in the U.S. Senate and House. Note: All of these apps are FREE.
C-Span Radio – Listen to Congressional hearings along with audio streams of public affairs programming from C-SPAN Radio, C-SPAN and C-SPAN2.