In the Courts: Match.com, Acai Berry, Initial Interest Confusion and Text Modifications

Unsafe Dater Class Action Draws Attention

The online dating sector is one of the fastest growing segments of the internet today.  So everyone took notice when Match.com was sued by a woman who claims to have been raped by a Match.com user who was a repeat sex offender as part of a class action that claims that the site has not done enough to weed out sex offenders.  Plaintifff’s lawyer Mark Webb is seeking to block Match from signing up new members until it addresses this problem.  Match.com has responded by indicating it would being screening for sex offenders, but critics call their plan “deeply flawed”.  

Mark Webb will be on Cyber Law and Business Report on Wednesday to talk about the lawsuit and its implications.  

More Info: In Lawsuit’s Wake, Match.com to Screen Predator Databases, Wall Street Journal; Sexual Predators, Please Check Here: Match.com’s Deeply Flawed Plan to Screen for Sex Offenders, Electronic Frontier Foundation

FTC Seeks to Shutdown Fake News Sites Promoting Acai Berry

The Federal Trade Commission is requesting federal courts to temporarily halt the allegedly deceptive tactics of deceptive tactics of 10 sites using fake news websites to market acai berry weight-loss products.  According to the FTC, the defendants operate websites that are meant to appear as if they belong to legitimate news-gathering organizations, but in reality the sites are simply advertisements aimed at deceptively enticing consumers to buy the featured acai berry weight-loss products from other merchants.

FTC Press Release

Contract Requiring Written Modification Can be Modified by Text

Be sure to advise your sales team that text messages can have legal effect, as a Florida court has held that such messages were sufficient to meet a contract’s requirement that modification be in writing.

CX Digital Media, Inc. v. Smoking Everywhere, Inc., 09-62020-CIV-Altonga (S.D. Fl.; Mar. 23, 2011)

Ninth Circuit Restates Keyword Search Liability 

After creating the doctrine of Initial Interest Confusion for using competitors trademarks in metatags and keyword search, the Ninth Circuit most recent decision may have abandoned the doctrine and its antiquated analogies as it instead resorts to traditional trademark analysis.

Network Automation, Inc. v. Advanced System Concepts, Inc.
, 2011 WL 815806 (9th Cir. March 8, 2011)