HILARY J. SUMNER
Creating Assets from Innovations

LAW OFFICE OF  

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IP In the News

Freedom of Speech is not Absolute - Negative Yelp Reviewers are Revealed

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

While the 9th Circuit recently held that bloggers are protected by freedom of speech, internet reviewers may not enjoy those same freedoms.  The Virginia Court of Appeals recently acknowledged that anonymous speech is protected by the First Amendment but held that where there is a good-faith belief that commercial speech is defamatory, the identity of anonymous reviewers may be revealed.  In this particular case, seven people posted negative reviews of a carpet cleaning business.  The business filed a defamation suit against the seven individuals and issued a subpoena requsting that Yelp reveal the indentity of the seven anonymous reviewers.  Yelp refused but the VA Court of Appeals held that where a reviewer is not a geniune customer of the business it is reviewing, that review is based on a false statement of fact and the reviewer is not entitled to First Amendment protections.  Click here for full article

Publicity Rights Held to Expire 50 years after death

Posted on February 18, 2013 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

General Motors recently ran an ad featuring the head of Albert Einstein placed on a very masculine body with the quote "ideas are sexy too."  The Hebrew University, owner of the rights, filed suit against GM claiming infringement.  The court held that rights of publicity expire fifty years after the individual's death.

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Satellite Navigation Units May Determine Your Insurance Premiums

Posted on February 9, 2012 at 3:40 AM Comments comments (0)

 PC Pro reports that insurance companies are teaming up with GPS providers to find out how you're driving.

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