Internet of Things Security Claims

Internet of Things security claims have caught the attention of lawmakers and regulators. The Internet has been interesting to follow and work with as a realm of process and information exchange.  As the devices used to transmit information increase in our lives and work, protecting what is transmitted from unwanted eyes is not necessarily going…

Internet Advertising Under FTC Eyes

Internet advertising has become intricate and keen.  Internet advertising may involve multiple participants.  The purpose is essentially to sway readers to purchase products by making representations that at times appear too good to be true.  That is what the Federal Trade Commission and the State of Connecticut determined prior to suing  LeanSpa.  The claims embraced…

FTC Advertising Guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission under its Act, particularly Section 5, is seeking advertisers to be clearer about how they convey their ads.  Advertising disclosures required by the Federal Trade Commission are addressing numerous issues about enhancing disclosures of sources of the statements and claims made in an advertisement.  As creativity increases so will the efforts for the…

Internet Speech Immunity

Internet speech immunity exceptions are sought frequently by individuals and businesses who are affected by someone else’s comments about them via an online site.  Online sites are today’s marketplace of ideas to enhance the “competition of the market.”[1]  And so, the claim usually asserted is a defamation claim directed to the website from where the…

Website Crawling and Data Scraping Thoughts

Website crawling and data scraping have burdened the growth of e-commerce as website owners are witnessing their data scraped.  The legal questions have lingered.  Many questions stand out.  The prevalence of crawling and scraping has become too of the norm for those using web content for business, research, or marketing purposes. The common theme is…

Advertising Disclosures

Advertising disclosures required by the Federal Trade Commission are addressing numerous issues with regard enhancing disclosures of sources of the statements being made in an advertisement.  As creativity increases so will the efforts for the FTC to find aspects, not to their liking.  As the FTC pursues companies using native advertisers or influencer programs, restrictions will…

Trademark Nominative Fair Use and Confusion

Trademark use and the element of fair use in business snags many businesses trying to market their service or product, while seemingly using a competitor’s trademark. Liability may not be avoided by relying on the fair use defense.  Words and their message are usually held to a standard regarding the possibility of consumer confusion.  There…

Trademark Misrepresentation in Advertising

Trademark misrepresentation rather than respecting the appearance of a marks brand through advertising runs the risk of using creative naming.  Courts will look at advertising’s subjective effect on consumers.  The query for concern is to determine if the advertising seeks for the consumer to make the association with an existing unrelated brand of a product. …

Website Safe Harbor Copyright Notice Designation

Website safe harbor takedown requirements by the Copyright Office is soon to undergo changes.  According to the Copyright Office, it is the responsibility of a website owner or online service entity to make it easy for a copyright holder to contact the website regarding the possibility of content infringement.  The agent designation requirement[1] process form,…

Cybersquatting by Website Designer

Cybersquatting by a website designer is seldom a thought of concern by potential clients who are in the midst of working or are considering the work of a website designer for their start up a business.  Terms are rarely dickered with to ensure the handling of the domain selection and eventful registration.  When an unauthorized…

Right of Publicity

Publicity of one’s identity without permission frequently happens to sports figures, actors, and to possibly world record holders, including Hacky Sack world, records holders.  The latter persona is the type actually who filed a district court action in Illinois claiming invasion of privacy and false advertising.  As argued, a commercial ran showing that an individual…

Privacy Issue of FCC over ISPs

Privacy is a late to-come-by issue of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as Internet Service Providers (ISP) were reclassified.  As part of the push for net neutrality, ISPs were soon to be treated as common carriers by the FCC.  This has left the door open for broadband providers to access customer information that is proprietary…

Trademark Internet Use Collides Regionally in Florida

A trademark used in a particular region of the country may not be absolutely alone with the existence of the Internet.  Marketing a business on the Internet has a ubiquitous presence to the service seeking potential customer.  Whether your business is in the southeast, such as Florida, and there is the existence of a wider…

Music Access Going Offline

Music Access in time past was always a concern for the nostalgic music enthusiast, especially the desire to hold on to music treasures from one’s growing up years. There was the concerned about scratching and breaking and not being able to find another issue.  The digital innovation has liberated the music industry allowing for creative…

Broadcasting Competition of Distribution Agreements

Broadcasting competition of distribution agreements has been in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) cross-hairs.  While under less than unusual circumstances a provider can enter into a contract to distribute its product exclusively or non-exclusively, the same cannot be said regarding agreements of communications content provider.  The concerns is with content that could draw an overwhelming…

Trademark Infringement and Sibling Rivalries

Trademark infringements may be common in the business world, but they are as well not unheard of among family members in business who are competing in the same products.  The Southern District Court in Ohio heard a case between siblings which touched on pivotal points regarding trademarks. The court wrestled with the issue of ‘use’…

Free Speech in Trademarks

Free speech in trademarks has been a long existing principle only to be recently circumscribed.  Ideas in naming something personal, such as exercising an expression for a trademark, could otherwise be prohibited if it were not for the constitutional principle of free speech. Imagine starting a company and devising a slogan to register as a…

Digital Economy Fighting Copyright Piracy

Digital economy partnerships drawing close to fight copyright piracy have struck a chord that could have a significant impact to prevent Internet digital media piracy.  The piracy of digital media is an international cottage industry costing billions.  From content creators, ISPs, advertising agencies, network systems, and search engines, to data managers, and e-payment platforms, have…

Advertising Guidelines from FTC

Advertising guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission underscore the deceptive features of ‘native’ advertising.  Prior to Christmas the FTC released its “Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements.”  The attention was towards the use of native advertising which is ‘dressed’ or ‘tailored’ to appear as if it is an actual editorial.  The FTC notes the…

Internet Product Listing Infringing on Trademark

Internet product listing was argued to be infringing on the trademark of a watch manufacturer.  The watch manufacturer argued that it did not sell its watches to Amazon for resale nor did it authorize resale through the online retailer. The plaintiff in this case, Multi Time Machine (MTM), argued that the online retailer, Amazon was…

Internet Freedom of Speech at Risk

Internet freedom of speech is not given the attention it merits while the EU ponders on its EU Data Protection Regulation.  Many rightfully fear that censorship is looming near and is nearer than one imagines.  While the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has lingered since the 1990s, many countries have followed the EU aspiration of…

IP address and You

An IP address and you are central to how the Internet functions.  The IP address reveals information about you, your trends, location, and a whole lot more.  By use of an email, say sending an email, the recipient can learn your location.  Through the IP address your internet service provider can be learned as well.…

Cross Device Tracking

The Federal Trade Commission has noted that cross device tracking which is a consequence of the Internet of Things (IoT) falls essentially within its auspices.  Considering the concerns with transparency and the required notices to consumers, cross device tracking is just not getting attention for purposes of enhancing consumer protection.  The advertising industry representatives as…

Copyright Basis

Copyright basis draws the question of whether copyright law is based on government granting a monopoly, if you will, vis-à-vis against any other potential entrepreneur.  Many see it that way and tend to deny copyrights having a proprietary property right for the creator of the work.  Historically the value of crafting an idea composed was…

Developing Apps

Developing Apps Developing apps could be thrilling and troubling.  Of course, it is the thrilling aspect or expectation that drives the creative ideas.  But what is not thought of is the necessary planning that is crucial for it to be successful.  Simple creation is not enough.  Long before that, just the thought of an idea…

Internet is Changing Business Models

Internet is changing business models on daily business operational practices from brick-n-mortar constructs to digital information transfers, from a letter or phone call to a “textmail” or “e-mail.” The process has brought a down scaling in what used to be large administrative organizations to efficient self-employed entrepreneurs. The latter is the future and it is…

eCommerce and the FTC

eCommerce and the FTC For businesses seeking to engage commercially in the realm of cyber space ‘eCommerce’, their eCommerce efforts will be under the eyes of the FTC – Federal Trade Commission. While it was established in the early 1900s, the FTC has been focused on protecting consumers and enforcing their rights. There has been…

Marketability of Hashtags

As hashtags are increasingly filed for registry as trademarks, courts are balancing the nominative use of hashtags and the descriptive use of the marketability of hashtags.  So far over 50 hashtags have been granted federally registered trademark status. The difficulty is that the descriptive use may be heightened by the courts amid the value of…

Review Websites Being Questioned

Review websites being questioned for claiming to be a “passive conduit” of comments about service providers.  The matter of consumer trust in reviews provided by these sites run the risk of being manipulated by subscriber agreements. What stands in the fulcrum is the ability for these sites to bolster the transparency of their policies in…