Category Archives: Free Speech, Intellectual Property, & the Internet

Protecting the Expressive Use of Trademarks

An amicus curiae brief filed today on behalf of three former clients whose right to use trademarks for purposes of parody we defended on a number of occasions over the past two decades, urges the Supreme Court to uphold the Rogers v. Grimaldi standard as a screen to weed out weak trademark infringement claims brought […]

Notorious trademark bully deliberately infringes artist’s copyright

The New York Times reports that Louis Vuitton, perhaps the most notorious trademark bully of them all, used a Joan Mitchell painting in one of its advertisements after her foundation repeatedly refused permission because she had, and it has, a strict policy against commercial use of her work.  The Joan  Mitchell Foundation has sent a […]

New trolls on the block: Prepared Food Photos and Daniel DeSouza / CopyCat Legal

AdLife Marketing and Communications, a company specializing in photographs of food for use in grocery story advertisements, has a sorry history of abusive copyright infringement claims. In 2021, it moved from Rhode Island to Florida, changed its name to Prepared Food Photos, and began to be represented by Florida lawyer Daniel DeSouza, through a firm […]

May Anonymous Speakers Invoke the Texas Anti-SLAPP Law to Oppose Efforts to Identify Them?

A disturbing decision from a Texas court of appeals held last year that an anonymous person, who allegedly called several of the advertisers in D Magazine and accused the magazine of being “racist,” and who has been sue for defamation, could not file a motion to dismiss under the Texas anti-SLAPP law contending that the […]

An Ohio City and Its Police Chief using defamation claims to identify chief’s critics

Late last week we filed an amicus brief in an Ohio court case in which the City of Beachwood is financing litigation, purportedly seeking to recover damages for the police chief based on an anonymous email and a handful of anonymous posts to the police department’s Facebook page that denigrated the police chief’s leadership. We […]

Meta (aka Facebook) is changing its ad algorithm to address charges that it facilitated housing discrimination

Meta is changing its ad distribution system, as required by a settlement with the US Department of Justice, to prevent discriminatory advertising in violation of the Fair Housing Act. The settlement, entered into last June, resolved a lawsuit filed in New York by DOJ last June, which alleged that Meta’s system allowed advertisers to exclude […]

Federal court rejects First Premier Bank’s bid for a gag order against credit-card-comparison site; subprime credit-card issuer surrenders

Just two days after a federal judge in South Dakota rejected a bid by First Premier Bank for a gag order against the credit-card-comparison site, the subprime credit card issuer abandoned its controversial lawsuit in a one-sentence document filed late on Friday. First Premier’s surrender comes after a backlash of criticism over its litigation […]

Judge Rakoff Strikes Down New York’s Credit-Card Surcharge Law

by Deepak Gupta Back in June, I blogged about my firm's constitutional challenge to New York's credit-card surcharge law — a law that aims to protect credit card company profits by preventing merchants from communicating the true cost of credit to consumers.   This morning, U.S District Judge Jed Rakoff issued a fantastic 35-page opinion agreeing […]

Do graphic tobacco warnings affect consumers’ perceptions of taste?

My colleagues Greg Beck and Brian Wolfman have blogged here several times about the fight over the FDA's graphic cigarette warnings, which were invalidated by the D.C. Circuit on First Amendment grounds.  Other countries, however, are continuing to require graphic warnings. And now from Australia comes the fascinating news that the new graphic warnings there […]

A New Front in the Battle Over Swipe Fees: A Constitutional Challenge to New York’s Credit-Card Surcharge Law

by Deepak Gupta Whenever consumers use credit cards, merchants pay swipe fees, which are typically passed along to all consumers in the form of higher prices. American consumers pay the highest swipe fees in the world—eight times those paid by Europeans. These fees, which amount to about $50 billion annually, are highly regressive: low-income and minority cash […]