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October 2015 Archives

UPS Settles Delivery Fraud Claims for $4 Million

Guaranteed next-day on-time delivery was a false claim and now United Parcel Service is paying. UPS workers illegally recorded inaccurate delivery times on packages sent by government customers, prompting a $4 million settlement, the New York State Attorney General announced yesterday.

The shipping giant violated the false claims acts of 14 states and three major US cities. NY AG Eric Schneiderman stated, "Corporations that improperly profit at the expense of taxpayers will be held to account."

'Back to the Future' Car Lawsuit Settled

The DeLorean estate settled a lawsuit over use of its name just in time for Back to the Future Day, or October 21, 2015. The DeLorean car was made famous by Michael J. Fox playing Marty McFly in the Back to the Future movies.

The car creator's widow sued the DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) -- not legally associated with the original vehicle -- for illegally using the DeLorean name to sell hats, pens, notebooks, key chains and other items of far less value than the famous winged car. The lawsuit also claimed that DMC illegally licensed the name and images to other companies including Nike, Urban Outfitters, and Apple.

For the past decade, Google has been scanning collections of books. And for the past decade, Google has faced legal opposition to its book-scanning project. But that opposition might finally be over.

A U.S. Appeals Court ruled that Google's book-scanning project provides a public service without violating intellectual property law. The case tested "the boundaries of fair use," and for now Google will be free to continue pushing those boundaries.

Sony Loses Santa Claus Song Rights, Better Not Cry

Sony better watch out and better not pout. I'm telling you why. Santa Claus may keep coming to town, figuratively speaking. But the company won't make money from people singing about it starting in 2016.

Last week, a Second US Circuit Court of Appeals panel of judges ruled that the rights to the song "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" will revert back to the owner's heirs under copyright law. The song was written in 1934 by John Frederick Coots.

Copyright Case Puts Freeze on Bikram Hot Yoga

Hot yoga guru Bikram Choudhury has to chill now, legally speaking. He is not entitled to copyright protection for his 26-position exercise sequence done in hundred-degree heat.

Bikram, a name now associated with hot yoga, has been fighting this legal battle since 2011. Two former students opened a studio in New York teaching the poses they learned from the master in 2009. The guru filed suit two years later, claiming he owned "graceful flow" yoga. He was wrong.

The Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments for its October term on Monday, and if you want a rundown of the biggest cases on the docket this month, we've got it for you.

But just as important as the cases that the Court will hear this term are those that it won't. By declining to review certain cases on appeal, the Supreme Court is essentially saying the lower court got it right, or there is no issue for the highest court in the land to figure out. Here are some of the big cases the Supreme Court passed on:

You may have been annoyed by receiving a barrage of "Add Connections" emails from LinkedIn users. But imagine how they felt when they found out the professional networking site had hijacked their email contacts to spam those messages out. They were not pleased.

In response, users filed a class action lawsuit against LinkedIn, claiming the emails damaged their reputations. And now the company has agreed to pay $13 million to settle the suit. So check your Inbox to see if you'll get some of the settlement.