The Ninth Circuit was recently asked to address the “public interest” exemption to California’s anti-SLAPP law in a class action lawsuit brought by a Plaintiff whose photo and personal information were used without her consent to advertise subscriptions to a website. The case, Martinez v. ZoomInfo Technologies, Inc. (decided Sep. 21, 2023), posed interesting substantive and procedural issues concerning the interplay between one’s intellectual property rights and California’s anti-SLAPP law.Continue Reading IP Rights and the “Public Good” Exemption to California’s Anti-SLAPP Law

The word that comes after the period in a domain name is referred to as a topScott-Hervey-10-web level domain (“TLD”) and there seems to be a TLD for everything. There are TLDs that reflect geographic regions such as “.ASIA” for the Asia-Pacific region and .IRISH for the global Irish community. There are numerous other TLDs that reflect a wide variety of interests, including professions (“.ACTOR” for actors and “.ACCOUNTANTS” for accountants). Just when you think you have seen everything, along comes a proposed new TLD that causes a huge uproar among trademark owners.

Vox Populi Registry Inc. was granted the right to operate the registry for a “.SUCKS” TLD. The stated purpose of the .SUCKS TLD is to facilitate First Amendment criticism of companies, organizations or products.   Trademark owners say that Vox is a shakedown artist and the sole purpose of the .SUCKS registry is to cause trademark owners to purchase expensive domains in order to defend their brands. In support of this allegation, trademark owners point to the fact that Vox will charge trademark owners approximately $2500 and up to register a .SUCKS domain name during the Sunrise Period. (A Sunrise Period is a period of time during the rollout of a new TLD in which trademark owners have the right to register domain names which reflect their brands in the new TLD.) Trademark owners argue that when compared to the registration fee of $249 charged by Vox during the general availability period and when compared to the few hundred dollars charged by other TLD registrars during their Sunrise Period, it is obvious that this scheme is nothing more than “predatory, exploitative and coercive.”Continue Reading That Would .SUCK

By: Dale Campbell & Brittany Shugart

The Federal Civil Rules Advisory Committee (the “Committee”) has proposed numerous rule revisions, several of which are designed to address discovery problems related to electronically-stored information (“ESI”). ESI discovery has become extremely complex and expensive as technology continues to expand into numerous and varying communication devices and data storage. ESI is located not only on the client’s main computer servers but also on each employee’s desktop, smart phone, and tablet device.

The complications of ESI discovery have led to what this writer considers to be a disturbing trend in commercial litigation. Litigation is frequently no longer focused on the facts of the case but, instead, on burdensome discovery fights frequently related to ESI, where one side or the other hopes to win the suit by trapping their opponents in an expensive discovery quagmire, unintentional deletion of historical ESI, or a simple good faith oversight in producing ESI.

Continue Reading PROPOSED RULE CHANGES REGARDING E-DISCOVERY