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James is a shareholder in Weintraub Tobin’s litigation section.  He represents corporate and individual clients in both state and federal courts in various business litigation matters, including trade secret misappropriation, unfair business competition, stockholder disputes, and intellectual property disputes.

The Ninth Circuit was recently called upon to decide a case of first impression for it involving the interplay between immunity granted to website providers under the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) and potential civil liability under The Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2018 (“FOSTA”). In the case, Jane Does v. Reddit, Inc., decided October 24, 2022, the Court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ class action complaint against Reddit for allegedly hosting child pornography in its forums after analyzing the interplay between the CDA and FOSTA.
Continue Reading The Interplay Between Section 230 Immunity and The Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2018

You are likely familiar with the children’s game, Connect 4, in which players drop red and black checker pieces into an upright rack trying to get four of their pieces in a row to win. Some of you may have even seen enlarged outdoor versions of the Connect 4 game at various venues. On August 24, 2022, the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in P and P Imports, LLC v. Johnson Enterprises, LLC, in which the parties were battling a trade dress infringement claim involving these large outdoor Connect 4-like games.

Continue Reading Connect 4: Trade Dress Infringement and Secondary Meaning

In Lang Van, Inc. v. VNG Corporation (decided July 21, 2022), the Ninth Circuit addressed the issue of how to evaluate whether a U.S. District Court can exercise personal jurisdiction over a foreign defendant with regard to a copyright infringement suit. Lang Van is a California corporation that produces and distributes Vietnamese music and entertainment, owning the copyrights to thousands of songs and programs. VNG is Vietnamese corporation that created the Zing MP3 website that makes copyrighted music available for download. In 2011-2012, VNG released Zing MP3 apps with Apple and Google.
Continue Reading Copyright Infringement and Personal Jurisdiction Over Foreign Defendants

Trademark law was developed to help protect a seller’s “brand” in connection with the marketing and labeling of products for sale to avoid “consumer confusion.” One rarely litigated aspect of trademark law is that the use of the trademark must be for a lawful purpose. The Ninth Circuit recently tackled this issue in AK Futures LLC v. Boyd Street Distro, LLC (decided May 19, 2022), a case that involved e-cigarette and vaping products derived from cannabis.
Continue Reading Trademark Protection and the Lawful Use Requirement

Over two and a half years ago, this column analyzed a Ninth Circuit case titled HiQ Labs, Inc. v. LinkedIn Corporation, in which the Court agreed with a lower court that had issued a preliminary injunction against LinkedIn from taking certain technical measures to prevent HiQ, a data analytics company, from “scraping” information from publicly available profiles on LinkedIn’s site. The Ninth Circuit concluded then that HiQ was not violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) because its activities were directed at publicly available information and therefore, it was not accessing LinkedIn’s computer systems either without authorization or in excess of such authorization as required to establish liability under the CFAA.
Continue Reading The Continuing Battle Over LinkedIn Profiles and the Applicability of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act