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Proskauer’s perspective on developments and trends in commercial litigation.

Category Archives: Commercial Litigation

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Is Your Class Action Settlement Reasonable? A Look Inside the Court’s Approval of the Yahoo! Data Breach Settlement May Shed Some Light

A federal court recently issued a decision approving a class action settlement resolving litigation stemming from five Yahoo! data breaches that occurred from 2012 to 2016 and affected at least 194 million Yahoo! customers. The company agreed to establish a $117.5 million settlement fund and institute numerous business practice changes designed to prevent future data … Continue Reading

Hallmark Win in Greeting Card Trademark Dispute: Court Finds Unauthorized Sale of Cards Meant for Destruction Infringing

It is generally understood that trademark law protects against a third party’s use of your mark or a confusingly similar mark to mislead consumers into thinking goods manufactured by someone else were made by your company. But what happens if those goods were in fact made by your company, but you didn’t authorize their sale?  … Continue Reading

Are Antitrust Claims Against Licensors of Standard Essential Patents Dead On Arrival?

If the September 2020 Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. opinion is any indicator, the answer seems to be “yes,” at least where an alleged violation of fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (“FRAND”) terms and conditions is concerned. Following on the heels of F.T.C. v. Qualcomm Inc., the Northern District of Texas dismissed a complaint in which Continental … Continue Reading

Tolling Statutes of Limitations in Products Liability Cases: Latent Injury or Unknown Cause?

Consider a hypothetical person named Jane, who bought a chair twenty years ago. The chair was designed to help relieve back pain, but it actually made it worse. Because Jane was trying many different remedies, she did not associate the chair with the new pain. Additionally, the problems with the chair were not discovered for … Continue Reading

Happy Prime Day: Trump Directs Federal Government to Pursue Legislation Making E-Commerce Platforms Liable for Counterfeit Sales

In a recent post, we summarized recent developments in litigation and legislative activity concerning whether online marketplaces may be directly liable for the sale of defective and counterfeit products on their platforms. Now the executive branch has weighed in, with President Trump issuing (on Prime Day, no less) a Memorandum on Stopping Counterfeit Trafficking on … Continue Reading

The (Potentially) Shifting Landscape of Online Marketplace Liability

Consumers are doing more and more shopping online. But when a consumer buys a product that is defective or counterfeit, are online marketplaces liable for misconduct by third-party sellers? E-commerce platforms have generally avoided being treated like their brick-and-mortar counterparts by arguing that they do not actually “sell” goods, but rather provide services (e.g., payment … Continue Reading

Recent Decisions Spotlight Arbitration Agreements in Online Delivery Service Terms and Conditions

The global pandemic has brought about countless changes, including, for many households, increased reliance on online retail and delivery services, such as Amazon. When consumers sign up for these services or place their orders, they are likely to see a notice regarding terms and conditions, which may include an arbitration agreement pursuant to which the consumer … Continue Reading

11th Circuit Rejects Litigant’s “Creative Effort” To Escape Forum Selection Clause Requiring Federal Forum

Common practice dictates that plaintiffs often prefer to be in state court – and will sometimes go to great lengths to avoid federal court jurisdiction. That was the case in Deroy v. Carnival Corporation, a recent Eleventh Circuit decision, wherein the court rejected a plaintiff’s “creative effort” to escape a forum-selection clause requiring her to … Continue Reading

“Hold Up, Wait A Minute”: D.C. Circuit Rejects Copyright Board’s Categorical Exclusion of Internet Transmissions from Grandfathered Royalty Rates

On August 18, the D.C. Circuit directed the Copyright Royalty Board (“CRB”) to reconsider what royalties are owed to artists by Music Choice for its streaming services, vacating the final determination of the Copyright Royalty Board.  In the Court’s view, the CRB wrongfully excluded internet transmissions from the grandfathered royalty rate paid by some music … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Issues a Splintered Ruling on the Eleventh Amendment Immunity and Rule 19 Joinder Analysis

On July 24, 2020, a panel of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued splintered precedential opinions surrounding the interplay of state sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment and required joinder of parties under Rule 19 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in a patent-in-suit infringement case in Gensetix, Inc. v. Baylor … Continue Reading

District Court Affirms Order Requiring Production of Cyber-Investigation Report after Considering Totality of Circumstances

As we previously reported, the Magistrate Judge in In re: Capital One Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, found that a forensic report that Capital One had claimed was protected by the privilege and work product doctrines needed to be produced because Capital One had not met its burden under the dual-purpose doctrine to show that … Continue Reading

Appellate Court in New York Confirms Civil Conspiracy is Not an Independent Cause of Action

In early April 2020, the First Department affirmed the dismissal of a complaint by a Russian lawyer who had received an L.L.M. from Fordham University alleging “civil conspiracy” against Fordham and several American attorneys, reasoning that New York does not recognize a stand-alone claim of civil conspiracy.… Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Holds Failure to Mitigate is No Bar to Statutory Damages Under Copyright Act

Recently, copyright owners suing in the jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit were given a new reason to seek statutory damages instead of actual damages under the Copyright Act. Failure to mitigate damages is not an absolute defense to a claim for statutory damages, the Court ruled on Wednesday, … Continue Reading

State Liquor Law Tossed: Industry Changes Ahead

In a decision with major implications for fans of wine, liquor, or free trade, the Supreme Court has affirmed a ruling that struck down a Tennessee law, which imposed certain residency requirements to operate retail liquor stores, as impermissibly violating the Commerce Clause. Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Assn. v. Thomas. Justice Alito, writing for the majority … Continue Reading

2018 Amendments to Rule 23 – Summarized

Effective December 1 of this year, Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure – governing class action lawsuits – was amended. Among other things, the amendments modernize the rule with respect to electronic communications, set forth a more unified approach to approving settlements, and discourage bad faith objectors to class action settlements.… Continue Reading

Divided New York Court of Appeals Restricts Freedom of Information Law Disclosures

A divided New York Court of Appeals recently held that Civil Rights Law § 50-a bars disclosure of police officer personnel records except under very limited circumstances, eliminating access to such records by the press or advocacy groups under the Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”) even if the police department itself is willing to release them … Continue Reading

The Lynyrd Skynyrd Texting Case: Spoliation and Non-Party Texts

It was a tragedy. The 1977 plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant and Steven Gaines almost ended the band Lynyrd Skynyrd forever. In the wake of the crash, the survivors swore an oath never again to perform as “Lynyrd Skynyrd.” That oath made its way to court where it would be memorialized in a … Continue Reading

Florida’s Fiduciary Lawyer-Client Privilege Adopted by the Florida Supreme Court

Last week, the Florida Supreme Court adopted section 90.5021, Fla. Stat. – Florida’s fiduciary lawyer-client privilege – to the extent it is procedural and held that the decision is retroactive to the Florida legislature’s enactment of the statute in 2011. The statute provides for application of the lawyer-client privilege when that client is a fiduciary, … Continue Reading

Putative Class Complains that Annie’s “Strawberry Fruit Snacks” Lack Strawberries

On August 1, 2017, plaintiff Raymond Alvandi filed a putative class action in California federal court against Annie’s, Inc., seeking damages and injunctive and declaratory relief. Alvandi alleges that Annie’s misrepresented the strawberry content and nutritional and health qualities of its “Summer Strawberry” Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks. Alvandi seeks to represent a nationwide class of all … Continue Reading
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