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IP Law Alert

Practical Perspectives on Intellectual Property Legal Developments

Category Archives: E-Commerce

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Updated California Online Privacy Laws Require Disclosure of “Do Not Track” Policies

Posted in E-Commerce, Privacy
Recently, California Assembly Bill No. 370 (AB370) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. AB 370 amends California's Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003 (OPPA) to require that the privacy policy provided by the operator of a website and online service describe how the operator will respond to consumer-initiated mechanisms for controlling the collection of consumer personally identifiable information (PII)… Continue Reading

gTLDs Pose New Threats in Cyberspace

Posted in Dilution, E-Commerce, Trademark
On January 12, 2012, ICANN, the Internet's domain name registration watch dog, began accepting applications for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) to add to those already in existence, including .com, .net, .biz and others. Under the new scheme, any company can apply for a gTLD, thereby expanding the domain name system (DNS). Ultimately, this expansion will change the Internet forever. Each new gTLD poses an incremental risk for trademark owners who are already under heavy assault in cyberspace from cybersquatting (registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark owner), brandjacking (assuming the online identity of another entity for the purposes of trading on another's brand equity), and typosquatting (registering URLs with common misspellings) by those seeking to generate illicit profits. According to the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA), cybersquatting already costs trademark owners more than $1 billion each year due to lost sales, lost goodwill, and increased enforcement costs. However, with a major increase in gTLDs, many corporations fear an expansion in expensive litigation to enforce their brands and trademarks… Continue Reading

Risky Business: Cybercrime in the New Economy

Posted in E-Commerce, Privacy
Cybercrime has increased tremendously in the digital economy. "According to the American Society for Industrial Security, American businesses [are] losing $250 billion a year from intellectual property theft since the mid-1990's." There is a clear and growing threat of Chinese industrial espionage targeted at American companies. In a recent case, a Michigan couple was accused of stealing $40 million worth of trade secrets from General Motors and selling them to a Chinese car maker. Aside from hackers, the threat also exists within organizations from insiders. A recent study commissioned by Cisco found that "[i]n the hands of uninformed, careless, or disgruntled employees, every device that accesses the network or stores data is a potential risk to intellectual property or sensitive customer data."… Continue Reading

Gibbons Director Catherine Clayton to Host Roundtable on Internet Privacy and Emerging Issues Relating to Online and New Media Enforcement

Posted in Copyright, E-Commerce, Privacy, Trademark
Gibbons is pleased to announce that Catherine M. Clayton, a Director in the firm's Intellectual Property Department, will host a roundtable on internet privacy and emerging issues relating to on-line and new media enforcement on September 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm. This program is part of the International Trademark Association's (INTA) roundtable series, and will take place at the firm's Newark office… Continue Reading

District Court Awards Tory Burch $164 Million in Anti-Counterfeiting Litigation

Posted in E-Commerce, Trademark
Tory Burch LLC ("Tory Burch"), the makers of women's apparel, designer shoes and fashion accessories, recently obtained a $164 million damages award against forty-one defendants accused of selling counterfeit versions of its products through numerous websites. This decision confers the largest award ever granted to a fashion company in a counterfeiting action… Continue Reading

Farouk Systems Wins $300 Million Damages Award Against On-Line Chinese Counterfeiting Ring

Posted in E-Commerce, Trademark
On October 14, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted what is reportedly the largest judgment ever awarded in an action involving on-line counterfeiting. In Farouk Systems, Inc. v. Eyou Int'l Trading Co., Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt entered a default judgment and permanent injunction against more than seventy defendants, who were operating an Internet counterfeiting ring out of China. The judgment required that each of the defendants pay Farouk statutory damages of $4 million, resulting in an award of approximately $300 million. In addition to being significant because of the amount of the damages awarded, this decision is noteworthy for the pragmatic approach that the court took to ensure that the relief awarded to the plaintiff would be meaningful… Continue Reading

Thunderstorms on the Horizon for Cloud Computing

Posted in E-Commerce, Licensing, Privacy
With the U.S. economy still reeling from the aftershock of what is now known as the "Great Recession," companies large and small are evaluating cloud computing as a means of reducing IT costs. The National Institute of Standards and Technologies ("NIST") and the Cloud Security Alliance have defined cloud computing as a model for on-demand network access to a shared pool of computing resources over the internet, namely software applications, data servers, networks and other services. Just as businesses and consumers now pay for gas, electricity and other utilities, cloud enthusiasts predict that the cloud will be sold on demand as a pure IT service… Continue Reading

Copy Machine or Copy Service? “Volitional Conduct” and Direct Copyright Infringement

Posted in Copyright, E-Commerce
Is a technology provider liable for direct copyright infringement when it provides the means for infringement instructed by its users? In the Cablevision case, Cartoon Networks LLLP v. CSC Holdings, Inc., 536 F.3d 121 (2d Cir. 2008), the Second Circuit endorsed a line of cases holding that the provider is not liable absent "volitional conduct" that causes the copying to take place. Two recent district court decisions in the Southern District of New York appear to have applied this rule in seemingly inconsistent fashion… Continue Reading
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