Nikola Corporation agrees to pay $125 million to settle SEC investor fraud case

In December 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that Nikola Corporation (“Nikola”) agreed to pay $125 million to settle charges that the company allegedly defrauded investors and misled them about its products, technical advancements, and commercial prospects. Nikola did not admit or deny the SEC’s findings.   Earlier that same year, the SEC filed … Continue reading

Think using common terms on social media posts is no sweat? Think again.

On November 11, 2021, fitness-tech company iFIT, Inc. (“iFIT”) filed a complaint in the U.S. District  Court for the district of Utah, claiming that lingerie and beauty retailer Victoria’s Secret infringed upon its registered SWEAT trademarks by prominently using “SWEAT” in its social media promotions for its fitness apparel and services.… Continue reading

Federal Reserve and social media

In November of 2021, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) issued its Federal Reserve Financial Stability Report, a biannual report focused on potential risks to the financial system.  In this issue, the Fed highlighted the role of social media and retail investors in equity market volatility.… Continue reading

Employer’s tweet may be unfair labor practice

Can a tweet be an unfair labor practice? On November 10, 2021, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals entertained oral arguments to determine just that. The tweet at issue: “[F]irst one of you tries to unionize I swear I’ll send you back to the salt mine.” According to the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), this … Continue reading

Social media regulation on the horizon: how should your business prepare?

Big changes are coming to social media. No, we are not referring to the rise of “super apps” or Facebook’s retreat from the facial recognition space. This time, changes are coming from the top-down in Canada and businesses would be wise to take note.… Continue reading

Positively negative: Lack of social media helps defeat default judgment motion

On November 2, 2021, a federal trial court in New York issued an opinion that combined breakfast restaurants, social media, trademarks, and COVID.  The judge ultimately ruled against the registered trademark owner’s request for a default judgment, in part based upon the defendant’s lack of social media advertising.  BYC, Inc. v. Broken Yolk, civ. no. … Continue reading

Social Media and Jurisdiction under FRCP 4(k)(2

On August 27, 2021, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in an international trademark dispute where U.S. jurisdiction hinged on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(k)(2).  Reversing the trial court, the Ninth Circuit ruled that personal jurisdiction existed over an Australian skin care product company, based in part on that company’s actions on … Continue reading

Twitter tests new Safety Mode

Twitter is testing a new safety feature aimed at reducing unwanted interactions. As explained in a Twitter Safety blog on 1 September 2021, Safety Mode temporarily blocks accounts (Author Accounts) found by Twitter’s artificial intelligence (AI) to be sending harmful or uninvited Tweets to a user (User). Author Accounts may be automatically blocked from interacting with a … Continue reading

Embedded Content: Copyright Infringement or Permissible Use Under the Server Rule?

The Southern District of New York recently considered whether the unlicensed embedding of a video originally posted to a social media platform constituted copyright infringement. The case, Nicklen v. Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., et al., No. 20-10300 (S.D.N.Y. July 30, 2021), concerned the re-posting of a copyrighted video of a starving polar bear, taken by … Continue reading
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