CLIP-ings: July 26, 2019

Internet Governance

Facebook Under Further FTC Scrutiny: After it was granted authority last month to investigate Facebook for antitrust violations, it was confirmed this week that the FTC formally opened an antitrust investigation of the social network.


Facebook, SEC, Reach Settlement Over Disclosures About Risks Of User Data Misuse: Facebook will pay a $100 million fine for allegedly presenting the risk of misuse of user data as hypothetical when it knew user data had actually been misused; in the wake of its settlement with the FTC over privacy violations, Facebook also announced this week that a bug in its code allowed partners access to limited friend data, even though Facebook purportedly cut off such access late last year.

New York City Bill Proposes Ban On Sale Of Location Data: The bill would prohibit cellphone companies and mobile app developers from sharing location data collected within the five boroughs; if the legislation passes, New York would become the first city to ban the sale of geolocation data to third parties.

Information Security & Cyberthreats

Equifax Data Breach Investigations To Settle For $700 Million: Equifax is close to reaching a settlement with federal and state regulators over a 2017 data breach that exposed the personal information of more than 147 million Americans; the proposed settlement amount is the largest ever for a U.S. data breach and includes a restitution fund of up to $425 million to compensate affected individuals.

Intellectual Property

PTAB Invalidates Patent Claims On Electronic Messaging: The Board found that media company TriPlay’s patent for a cross-platform electronic messaging system, which TriPlay alleged WhatsApp to have infringed, was invalid for obviousness in light of three examples of prior art.

Free Expression & Censorship

Tinder Announces New LGBTQ Safety Feature: The dating app will notify LGBTQ users when they open the app in an area that criminalizes same-sex consensual activity and will hide the users’ profiles by default; users will then have the option to make their profile public.

Practice Note

PTAB Releases New Edition Of Trial Practice Guide: The new edition offers guidance for filing multiple petitions challenging the same patent, addresses the practice of patent owners submitting testimonial evidence in their responses to petitions, and emphasizes the importance of prompt adjudication.

On the Lighter Side

Hoverboard Channel Crossing Attempt Fails After Ten Minutes: A Frenchman sought to cross the English Channel on a jet-powered hoverboard that reached an average speed of 87 miles per hour, but the attempt failed halfway through the planned 20-minute crossing.

Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Alison Gordon
Editorial Fellow