You Need An Internet Lawyer Specializing in Internet Law, Technology Company Representation & On-Line Legal Issues

You have a specific problem arising on the web.  We have an Internet lawyer who understands your specific problem, how the Internet works and the back-end technology required to get the problem solved. In fact, we represent some of the largest players in the Internet space concerning legal issues arising in the on-line world. Because we are a niche law firm, we know how to move the ball down the field in an efficient, cost-effective manner.

1ese1 Founding Attorney Enrico Schaefer:  "An Attorney who specializes in Internet law understands the challenges which arise when legal issues occur in cyberspace.  Because the Internet is still relatively new, the application of traditional legal principles in areas of jurisdiction, venue, breach of contract, e-commerce, trademarks, copyrights, patents and a host of other issues is often challenging for both attorneys and courts.  Most lawyers do not understand DNS, IP protocol, web hosting, proxies and other Internet technologies required to deliver results to the client. As important, an Internet lawyer must understand how the Internet works on both the network and software sides in order to investigate Internet law issues on behalf of their technology clients."

If you have a legal matter which arose on the Internet, you need to speak with us.  Contact an Internet lawyer today for a no risk consultation by calling international toll free (866) 936-7447.

December 01, 2013

Michigan Passes Law Protecting Student's and Employee's Social Media Accounts

House Bill 5523 was passed by Michigan's House of Representatives was signed into law by Michigan governor Rick Snyder. This bill,"prohibit[s] employers and educational institutions from requiring certain individuals to grant access to, allow observation of, or disclose information that allows access to or observation of personal Social mediainternet accounts." In other words, no boss or school can force its workers or students into giving them the login information to their social media accounts. The hope is that this will protect the internet privacy of these individuals in a more social media-centered world. 

Several other states have also began to make changes to their laws concerning internet privacy. Delaware, California, and Maryland have all taken steps in protecting students and employees from online privacy violations by their schools or workplaces

November 30, 2013

What's in a name? Starbucks v Charbucks

Starbucks-logo Starbucks recently lost in a lawsuit with the small New Hampshire Coffeehouse, Black Bear Micro Roastery, because it used names like "Mister Charbucks" and the "Charbucks Blend". In a decision by the 2nd Circuit Court, Starbucks was denied injunctive relief initially because the first judge believed that there was enough difference between the names for consumers to differentiate between the two. A three-judge panel reaffirmed this decision when they then found that through use of the names as one amongst many coffee blends on their website, as well as through the use of the Black Bear logo on the packaging, there was sufficient differentiation between Black Bear products and Starbucks.

In the case, Starbucks was unable to show that Black Bear intended for an association to be made between the two. Starbucks attempted to use a survey to help them show that consumers made an association between Starbucks and Charbucks. However, these results were discredited because the people surveyed reacted to "Charbucks" as an isolated word, not in the context of the Charbucks Blend in relation to Black Bear Micro Roastery, as well as the fact that the number of people who noted an association between the two companies was fairly small. In terms of company size, Starbucks is a huge national company that has over 8,700 locations within the United States and made more than $5.4 billion dollars in 2004. In comparison, Black Bear is a small New Hampshire based coffee company that sells out of one retail location and via the internet, it is not likely the two could be mixed up.

For further reading:

http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/11/19/63029.htm

November 22, 2013

What Legal Terms Do I Need To Include In My EULA (End-User License Agreement)?

App storeIf you are an app developer looking for an app lawyer, you have found the right place. Our law firm regularly helps application developers with their End-User License Agreement (EULA) requirements.

A EULA for your app is a great place to protect yourself from liability. You do not want to be sued for a variety of issues. Your end-user might complain that the app isn't as good as they wanted, doesn't do what they wanted, or somehow failed them. Perhaps they will argue that the failure of the app to perform caused them damages. The EULA is a great place to preclue users from suing you for damages.

The EULA is also a place to protect yourself from intellectual property issues. If your EULA allows people to upload photographs or other user generated content (UGC), then you need to make sure that you do not end up being liable for trademark or copyright infringement. All that liability will be pushed back onto the user by a good app developer attorney.

The last thing you need to know about your EULA is that the Apple store requires certain things to be included in order to qualify to get your app into the store. Of course, many of these things simply protect Apple from any liability to either you, the end user, or any third party. It should not be surprising that Apple does not want to be sued as a result of your app, the use of your app by a customer, or some third party that complains about the app's functionality or use in action.

An app developer attorney can assess your business, review the functionality of your app, and help you understand "what legal terms need to be included in your EULA"

November 03, 2013

I Need A Lawyer Who Represents Domain Name Registrars and Registries

For those clients who are registrars or registries, we have a variety of different approaches, fee structures, and representation models to choose froms. Our internet law attorneys have handled a broad range of domain name registrars and registries as clients. There are a variety of different contract issues between the registrar and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the registree and ICANN, and upstream data providers. Understanding the specific issues that registrars and registries face is very important. Choosing a lawyer who understands the ins and outs of how registrars and registries work is critical. Feel free to contact one of our experienced internet lawyers for more information.
October 27, 2013

Email Hacking Remains A Serious Problem

Email hacking Email_logoshas become more and more commonplace. With all the different gmail, yahoo, and other platforms supporting email, it is not hard for hackers to launch an attack on random email addresses hoping to score a hit. Email hacking not only compromises your emails, but all accounts associated with that email address. Once inside  your email inbox, a hacker can see what is there in terms of other account login information, reset passwords, and do a lot of other damage. They can gain access to your domain name registrar account, and take control of your domain names and websites. They will often be able to get at credit card information as a result of hacking your email.

While strong passwords are always a good thing, the best way to prevent against email hacking is to change your passwords regularly, consolidate your emails into a single account and ensure that no one else has access to your email username and password. 

October 17, 2013

Why should I Enter My Trademark Into the Trademark Clearinghouse?

    The trademark clearinghouse will be an important part of your global protection if you have a registered trademark or other trademark recognized by a proper court or authority. The best reason to make sure that enter your trademark into the trademark clearinghouse is that thee will be endless new gTLDs rolling out all of the next decades. Every kind of new domain extension rolls out; there will be an opportunity for cyber squatters to register your trademarks as a domain name in order for your business, revenue, customers and web traffic. The trademark clearinghouse is forever. New domain extensions are going to be rolling out for a long time in the future. There’s no reason you should wait before entering your name into the trademark clearinghouse database and or to get its primary protections. The firs is notice of all sunrise. So you can register your domain before the general public. The second is providing domain registrants actual notice of your registered trademark before they register your trademark as a domain name.

October 01, 2013

What To Do When You Are A Victim Of Revenge Porn

Revenge-porn

Revenge porn occurs when an ex-lover posts nude or otherwise sexual photos and/or videos of the person who broke up with them online. It often occurs when an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or even an ex-wife/husband, decides to post intimate photos or videos that were taken while the relationship still existed. These photos may be posted on any kind of website, which makes them accessible and viewable by any user with an internet connection. Once these are discovered, the victim of the revenge porn often wonders what they can do to remove the material.

It is first important to recognize that an internet attorney will be able to help guide the analysis that needs to take place in order to determine what resolution may be possible. First, it is important to recognize that determining who owns the photographs may allow for various courses of action. If, for example, you are the owner of the photograph, you may have copyright rights which can be excersized by a DMC (Digital Millennium Copyright) takedown request through a web period. However, if the photo was taken by your ex, copyright infringement claims may not be your best course of action. Second, you need to identify the likelyhood of the particular web host and internet service provider cooperating with any takedown request. There are several laws that provide immunity to web hosts and internet service providers based on the content posted by third parties. Whether there is a way around those laws becomes a critical issue for analysis. 

It is also important to determine whether or not you were a minor at the time these photos or videos were taken. If so, you may have additional rights. If you were not a minor, you may have an invasion of privacy or other claim you can assert against the person that posted the photos or videos. However, having to file a civil law suit can be very expensive. Therefore, there may be other ways you can try to remove the photos. For example, New Jersey has passed a law that makes it a felony to share a person's nude images without consent. Therefore, you may be able to notify the poster of its potential liability and demand that any photos are removed. Moreover, you may be able to have criminal prosecuters get involved. California is also proposing a law that would make revenge porn a misdemeanor.

Ultimately, the difficulty with online photos and videos is how rapidly they may spread to various websites, thus requiring various letters or a lawsuit to result in an order against any and all web hosts or internet service providers. Therefore, it is critically important to take action as soon as you identify that you are a victim of revenge porn. 

How To Erase Information Posted Online

Facebook-twitter

The state of California recently enacted a law that requires websites, mobile applications, and other online service providers that provide services online aimed at minors, and collect their information, to provide these minors an option to delete or remove the information they post. It essentially allows minors to have an online eraser. This bill has been nicknamed the "Eraser Button Bill" in California and would provide a major legal avenue for any minor who wishes to have information they made available on a website, mobile app, or any online service, be deleted or removed. All too often minors, especially when they reach the age of maturity, wish that they could remove things they posted online. This regret only grows as a younger generation continues to mature, especially since that younger generation grew up using online media. While there are social media providers like Twitter and Facebook that already give people a delete button option, not all websites offer this, especially with the required notification to minors of this eraser option. California has typically led the way with privacy legislation, including that which mirrors some of the protection under the Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

It will be interesting to see if this legislation gets signed into law. If it does, perhaps the next legislation may not pertain only to minors. Internet users regularly contact internet attorneys wondering how they can remove information they have posted. While some websites will cooperate and will remove it at the request of the poster, or even make such removal function available to the user itself, not all websites currently allow that. This becomes particularly problematic when allegedly unlawful content is posted online, whether it be defamatory, invasion of privacy, or some kind of infringement. Recognizing that laws are being consistently being passed to address various online issues including the potential to erase online content, it is critical for any internet attorney and any individual or business entity looking to have any information posted online deleted.  

September 30, 2013

Obtaining IP Address Information From An Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Comcast

So, you can see the IP address of the person who posted information about you on the internet, infringed your copyright, used your trademark without permission, or posted internet libel about you on a website, social media site, or blog. Now what do you do? Identifying an account holder through an IP address is certainly possible. An internet law attorney will understand how to go about matching an IP address to a real person. There is good news and bad news for clients. 

The bad news is that more often than not you have to file a law suit in order to get suppoena power. You need to send the subpoena to the ISP identifyng the IP address and the exact date and time at which the relevant internet activity occurred. They can then tell you who the account holder is for that IP address. There are two types of IP addresses. First, there are static IP addresses, which are assigned to a single account holder and don't change. Seconds,there are dynamic IP addresses which the ISP will rotate amongst various customers depending on who wants a connection. As long as you have a date and time for a dynamic IP address, the ISP can tell you who was using that address at any particular time.

Filing a law suit can be an expensive endeavor with attorney's fees ranging between five and twenty thousand dollars typically to get through the subpoena process. There are a lot of variables which affect the overall attorney fee, even when your primary goal is to locate or identify a particular person related to an IP address.

Keep in mind that you also may have to identify not only the account holder but the person who was using the account at the particular time. If the account is a business account, then anyone working at that business could have been using the internet at that time. There is subpoena data by which you can identify which computer generated a particular internet transaction that may or may not require another subpoena

The good news is that sometimes IP addresses can be linked to people in other ways. An internet attorney who understands the back end of the internet will be able to do their own research and potentially identify the person without having to send the subpoena. If the IP address is a static IP there are databases will sometimes list the account holder specifically. 

Contact an internet lawyer for more information about how to sub poena an internet service provider for IP address account holder information. 

List of the Top Ten Internet Service Providers:

  1. Comcast
  2. AT&T
  3. Time Warner Cable 
  4. CenturyLink
  5. Charter
  6. Verizon
  7. Cox
  8. Optimum
  9. Frontier
  10. Suddenlink

July 31, 2013

Unsolicited Text Messages, E-Mails, and Other Correspondence

Marketing is absolutely critical in today's day and age. However, it is important to recognize that the sending of any unsolicited text message, e-mail, or other correspondence can subject one to various forms of liability. While many have heard of the CAN-SPAM Act, others may not be as familiar with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, also known as the TCPA. The TCPA does not have some of the same liability maximums as the CAN-SPAM Act, and therefore could subject any entity who violates its provisions to significant monetary damages. Class Action lawsuits across the country have sought and recovered millions of dollars as a result of the unsolicited sending of text messages, e-mails, phone calls, or faxes. Understanding the rules of the TCPA and how to comply with them can help insulate your company from liability. However, it is also critically important to understand that the rules as promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission, are set to change in October 2013.

In particular, whereas the exception for an established business relationship was often times relied upon to show compliance with the TCPA, the FCC is set to require businesses to obtain unambiguous written consent before making any automated telemarketing phone call or automated text message, e-mail, or fax. This requirement will have far reaching implications in the consumer marketing and advertising industries. Recognizing these pitfalls, entities have often times outsourced the marketing services to a third party. However, in light of the possibility for the vicarious liability under the TCPA, not only do the advertising companies need to be aware of the TCPA's requirements but the businesses utilizing such advertising companies and telemarketers must also. Noone wants to be responsible for $500.00 for each violation of the TCPA, which could balloon to $1500.00 for each willful violation. Therefore, prior to sending any unsolicited text message, e-mail, phone call, fax, or any other correspondence, you would be well served speaking with an internet attorney who understands the TCPA.

 

 

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Events & Conferences:
  • International Trademark Association 2011, San Francisco, California
  • Cyber Law Summit 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Game Developers Conference 2011, San Francisco, California
  • DOMAINfest 2011, Santa Monica, California
Recent Attorney Speaking Engagements:
  • South By Southwest 2010 SXSW Interactive Conference, Austin, Texas
  • West LegalEdcenter Midwestern Law Firm Management, Chicago, Illinois
  • Internet Advertising under Part 255, Altitude Design Summit, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Online Defamation and Reputation Management, News Talk 650 AM, The Cory Kolt Show, Canada Public Radio Saskatewan Canada
  • Alternative Fee Structures, Center for Competitive Management, Jersey City, New Jersey
  • FTC Part 255 Advertising Requirements, Mom 2.0 Conference, Houston, Texas
  • Webmaster Radio, Cybersquatting & Domain Monetization, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Notable Complex Litigation Cases Handled By Our Lawyers:
  • Trademark Infringement, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Cybersquatting Law, Trademark Law and Dilution Detroit, Michigan
  • Internet Defamation & Online Libel Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Trade Secret Theft, Chicago, Illinois
  • Cybersquatting Law, Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act Miami, Florida
  • Cybersquatting Law, Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act Eastern Dist. of Virginia, Alexandria
  • Stolen Domain Name, Orlando, Florida
  • Commercial Litigation, Tampa, Florida
  • Copyright Infringement and Cybersquatting Law, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Mass Tort Litigation, Los Angeles, California
  • Stolen Domain Name, Detroit, Michigan
  • Adwords Keyword Trademark Infringement, Los Angeles, California
  • Trademark Infringement & Unfair Competition, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Non-Compete Agreement and Trade Secret Theft, Detroit, Michigan
  • Mass Tort, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Mass Tort, Tyler, Texas
  • Insurance Indemnity, New York
  • Copyright Infringement, Detroit, Michigan