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Martin Samson, author of the Internet Library of Law and Court Decisions

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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...

Zoning - Internet Library of Law and Court Decisions - Updated March 11, 2008

265 F.3d 1232 (11th Cir., September 21, 2001)

Plaintiffs operate the web site, at which subscribers, for a price, can view the activities of five women in a house located in Tampa, Florida, including those that occur in bedrooms, bathrooms and showers. Reversing the decision of the District Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that plaintiffs' operation of this web site does not constitute a violation of the Tampa City Code, which prohibits the operation of an adult entertainment establishment in the residential neighborhood in which the house at which plaintiffs' filming activities took place is located.

Quick Hits

In re TJX Companies Retail Security Breach Litigation
Civil Act. No. 07-10162-WGY (D. Mass., December 18, 2007)

Apply Massachusetts law, a Federal District Court holds that conversion claims will not lie against defendants as a result of their mishandling of cardholder and account data maintained in electronic format.  To pursue such a claim in Massachusetts requires conversion of a tangible chattel, or intangible property rights that have merged into a document, such as a bank passbook or stock certificate.  As the electronic data in question was intangible property, a claim for conversion could not be stated, and the Court denied plaintiffs’ motion for leave to amend the complaint to assert such a claim.  Said the Court:

This Court follows the law as stated by the vast majority of courts that have addressed the issue and concludes that a claim for conversion based on the type of intangible property at issue here likely is not cognizable in Massachusetts.

In reaching this result, the Court declined to follow the holding of the New York Court of Appeals in Thyroff v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., 864 N.E.2d 1272 (NY 2007), which allowed an employee to pursue conversion claims arising out of his employer’s retention of personal correspondence and business related information on company related equipment leased to him.  The New York Court of Appeals held that plaintiff could pursue conversion claims arising out of the alleged improper retention of such “electronic records.”

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