U.S. Ninth Circuit - The FindLaw 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

9th Circuit February 2018 News

The innovative, too good to be true, movie ticket service, MoviePass has filed a patent infringement action against its new competitor Sinemia. And while MoviePass may not be able to prevent competitors from entering into the newly created space, it can certainly try to stamp out those competitors that steal their tech.

If you like going to the movies (but hate the rising price of movie tickets), and haven't heard of MoviePass, you'll want to read on to learn how this innovative service works.

FTC Wins Major Ruling Over AT&T

The FTC may have lost the legislative battle to the big corporate interests, but the Ninth Circuit recently handed the agency a big win in its second appeal against AT&T. The case started back in 2014 with the FTC filing a lawsuit related to AT&T's throttling of mobile data for certain customers.

Interestingly, in 2015, the FCC ruled that providers of mobile data/internet service were in fact common carriers. Notably, the common carrier distinction removed AT&T from the regulatory purview of the FTC. However, with the anticipated repeal of the net neutrality rules, mobile data providers will no longer be considered common carriers for providing mobile data services.

Judge Dismisses Copyright Case Against Taylor Swift

Everybody loves Taylor Swift songs, right?

The Grammy academy just waits for her next song to nominate for an award. Even random people break records singing and dancing to her tunes, like "Shake It Off."

So why did two songwriters sue her for copyright infringement over the song? Well, as Taylor's own lyrics suggest: haters gonna hate, hate, hate.

In a case that has entertained those who follow the entertainment industry, IMDb has won summary judgment against the state of California and the Screen Actors Guild. Generally, the case challenged a new law that would have prevented IMDb from publishing the ages of actors and actresses, upon a thespian's request, in order to fight against age discrimination in the industry.

The law was basically struck down last year when the district court issued a preliminary injunction preventing the law from being enforced. And now, with the court's summary judgment ruling, the law is all but dead (unless it can be revived by some miraculous appeal, which will likely be filed based on SAG's response).

When one of the nation's largest beer producers decided to rebrand one of the worst beers in the country, they probably didn't think it could get any worse. However, MillerCoors may now be fighting an uphill legal battle as, not surprisingly for MillerCoors, the rebranding team clearly isn't into craft beer and seems to have clearly infringed on one of the biggest craft brewery's IP.

Stone Brewing Company filed suit against MillerCoors as a result of its Keystone beer being rebranded as just Stone. As Stone Brewing explains in the federal complaint, the mass produced beer not only confuses consumers with this rebranding, it harms the craft beer company's reputation because it is an inferior product. Interestingly though, in a video posted by the craft brewery's CEO, he claims that the lawsuit would go away if Keystone just put the Key back in the name.

San Francisco, known for its steep hills, foggy cold weather, high hippies, and high rent, has successfully defended a challenge to its landlord buyout law. It's no secret: Because of the critical lack of housing in San Francisco, as well as the high demand from high income earners, the rent and housing prices are simply out of control.

Complicating matters for landlords, San Francisco has some of the strongest renters' protections in the country, including such strong eviction restrictions that landlords often will pay tenants to move out rather than go through an eviction. And, as you may have guessed, San Francisco even has protections for renters negotiating a buyout with their landlords.

Court: Wyland Didn't Infringe for Crossing Dolphins Art

Peter A. Folkens drew a picture of two dolphins crossing underwater. Robert Wyland painted a similar picture.

The artists appreciate the same marine animals, but they have had different commercial successes. Folkens' drawing, adapted for a Greenpeace card, sells for 1.50 Euros. Wyland's art sells for a lot more.

Folkens thought he could capture some of Wyland's earnings by suing for copyright in Folkens v. Wyland Worldwide. A federal appeals court said there is no copyright in a naturally occuring scene.

Immigration is a hot button issue across the nation, particularly in the current political climate where strict travel restrictions and a border wall are being sought after.

Relying on anecdotes and without citing actual evidence, the acting Director of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has stoked the flames and placed blame on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for basically encouraging undocumented immigration.

9th Rejects Terror Case Against Twitter

Lloyd Fields and James Creach were training police in Jordan when a local officer started shooting at them.

The Americans were in the country to teach basic police skills, but they died that day in 2015. The Islamic State, a terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Back in the United States, the families of the slain men sued Twitter for supporting ISIS by allowing the group to use Twitter accounts. In Fields v. Twitter Inc., a federal appeals court said the plaintiffs didn't show a connection to their deaths.