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Designer Skin LLC v. S & L Vitamins, Inc., et al.
Unauthorized internet reseller of plaintiff’s products is not guilty of trademark infringement, and does not cause actionable initial interest confusion, by using plaintiff’s trademarks in meta tags of website at which plaintiff’s and its competitors’ products are sold, and in...

Identity Theft - Internet Library of Law and Court Decisions - Updated July 29, 2008

Case No. 07-5739 SC (N.D. Ca., March 24, 2008).

Court allows job applicant to proceed with putative class action, arising out the theft of two lap top computers containing personal information, including social security numbers, provided to the Gap by job applicants, including plaintiff.  The Court held that plaintiff had sufficiently alleged that he sustained the requisite injury in fact needed to confer standing to pursue such claims by alleging that he was at increased risk of identity theft as a result of the theft of these lap tops.  Notably, the Court reached this conclusion notwithstanding the fact that plaintiff’s identity had not, as of the filing of the complaint, actually been stolen.

The Court further held that plaintiff had validly pled negligence claims arising out of the theft of the laps tops, by alleging that the Gap had breached its duty to plaintiff to take adequate steps to protect the confidential information he and other job applicants provided.

The Court also held that plaintiff had pled a valid claim under California Civil Code Section 1798.85, which prohibits web site operators from requiring users to supply their social security numbers to access a website unless a password or other authentication device is also required to access the site.  The Court noted, however, that such a claim would fail if the job applicant was only required to provide his social security number to submit his job application, and not to access a website.

The Court did dismiss so much of plaintiff’s complaint which asserted claims for bailment, violations of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, which prohibits unfair competition, and invasion of privacy, arising out of the theft of the lap tops at issue.

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