• On June 15, 2011, Facebook lost its motion to dismiss Lamebook LLC’s declaratory judgment action in Texas federal court. Lamebook filed its Texas case approximately eight months after Facebook sent it a cease-and-desist letter claiming that the site, which parodies content posted by Facebook users, infringes Facebook’s trademark. Four days after Lamebook filed its complaint, Facebook filed a competing lawsuit against Lamebook in California federal court, and then moved to dismiss Lamebook’s Texas case. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas held that Lamebook gets to keep its case in Texas. The court noted that the “question comes down to whether Lamebook filed its declaratory judgment action in order to prevent Facebook from enforcing its rights in its forum of choice – an improper reason for filing a declaratory judgment suit warranting dismissal – or Lamebook filed its suit to clear up an eight-month dispute about Lamebook’s right – a proper reason for filing.” The court concluded that “This is a textbook case of the purpose of a declaratory judgment suit – to clear up a cloud of unresolved dispute.” Lamebook, LLC v. Facebook, Inc., W.D. Tex. No. 10-cv-00833-SS.
  • On June 10, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit largely upheld the FCC’s order preventing cable companies, like appellant Cablevision, from blocking competitors’ access to programming delivered terrestrially, such as local sports programming. The order implements the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act, which makes it unlawful for cable companies to refuse to sell satellite-delivered content to competitors. The challenged FCC rules essentially close the so-called “terrestrial loophole” in that law by making the ban apply regardless of whether the content was distributed via satellite or terrestrially. The Court of Appeals affirmed the bulk of the order, but found the portion stating that all exclusive territorial distribution programs are “unfair” was arbitrary and capricious. That issue was remanded back to the FCC for further proceedings. Cablevisions Systems Corp. v. FCC, No. 10-1062