Another Gambling Class Action Fails – Court Finds Social Casino Games Not Gambling

A Federal Court in Washington state dismissed a Plaintiff’s class action claims that social casino games using purchasable virtual casino chips  constitute gambling under Washington state law. The Court found that the virtual chips have no “value” and therefore the game did not constitute gambling because Plaintiff was not “staking or risking something of value.” Continue Reading

Court Rules Virtual Currency Casino Not Illegal Gambling Despite Secondary Market

A Maryland Court recently dismissed a case in which Plaintiff alleged that a virtual currency casino within a social game constituted illegal gambling, despite the existence of a secondary market for the player accounts. For purposes of assessing whether the game was skill or chance-based game, the Court found that the social game, as a whole, was a game of skill, and refused to adopt the Plaintiff’s approach of considering the “casino” itself a chance-based game. This ruling is significant for social game companies that use virtual currency to engage in gamblification (i.e., the use of gambling mechanics for non-gambling purposes). Continue Reading

‘I Got 5 On It’: UFC Fighter’s Suspension for a Positive Marijuana Test Reeks of Controversy

At the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) hearing on September 14, 2015, UFC star Nick Diaz sat in silence as he heard state commissioners Francisco V. Aguilar, Skip Avansino, Pat Lundvall, and Anthony A. Marnell III deliberate on the future of his career. Commissioner Lundvall suggested a lifetime ban from professional fighting. Commissioner Avansino balked; a lifetime ban seemed excessive. After all, although this was his third offense, Diaz had only tested positive for marijuana during his post-fight drug test, whereas his opponent, former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, had reportedly tested positive for steroids that same night, provoking a one-year ban and a $380,000 fine from NSAC.

This article was originally published in the Sports Litigation Alert. To read the entire article please click here, or visit the Sports Litigation Alert website.


US Safe Harbor Regime Invalidated by Europe’s Highest Court

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled this morning that the Safe Harbor regime, which enables transatlantic data transfers from the European Union to the United States, is invalid, thereby giving each national supervisory authority the chance to revisit the question of whether the U. S. provides an adequate level of protection for EU citizens’ data.  A copy of the decision be found here. Continue Reading

New Jersey Congressman Questions Legality of Daily Fantasy Sports

There is something to be said for keeping a low profile. Apparently, daily fantasy sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel are not fans of the idiom, as viewers that tuned in to week 1 action of the NFL were inundated with commercials from both companies. The volume of the ads apparently caught the attention of New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone who, as this article notes, has called for a hearing to explore the relationship of fantasy sports and gambling. Continue Reading

California Relaxes Its “Made in the U.S.A.” Law

To the consternation of many, California law has long imposed a “Made in the U.S.A.” standard that has been more stringent than the federal standard, requiring manufacturers of all types who wanted to make a country of origin claim to adopt duel sets of packaging and labeling materials – one for California and one for the rest of the country. But California has now amended its “Made in the U.S.A. law” and taken a step toward the mainstream. On Tuesday, September 1, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 633, amending a portion of California’s Business & Professions Code known as the “Made in the U.S.A.” law. This amendment marks a break for California manufacturers and marketers, as it relaxes California’s standard for merchandise labeled as “Made in the U.S.A.” and aligns the state’s requirement more closely with the federal standard, widely followed by other states.   Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit to False Advertising Class Actions: Drop Dead

On June 23, 2015, the Ninth Circuit in Cabral v. Supple LLC, — Fed. Appx. –, 2015 WL 3855142 (9th Cir. June 23, 2015) placed a significant hurdle in the path of false advertising class actions.  Specifically, the Court held that in class actions “based upon alleged misrepresentations in advertising and the like,” in order for common questions to predominate—an essential Rule 23(b) inquiry—“it is critical that the misrepresentation in question be made to all of the class members.” Continue Reading

Beacons at Retail – So What?

Beacons have been around for years in online and mobile media channels, but they now seem poised to dramatically impact brick-and-mortar businesses. A growing list of major companies are currently vying to bring Bluetooth-enabled beacon hardware and/or software to brick-and-mortar businesses and the customers they serve. Continue Reading

Second Circuit Clarifies the Use of Legal Presumptions of Consumer Confusion and Injury in Certain Lanham Act Cases

On Tuesday, July 29, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit “clarified certain aspects of [its] false advertising jurisprudence” and held that, where literal falsity and deliberate deception have been proved in a market with only two players, it is appropriate to use legal presumptions of consumer confusion and injury for the purposes of finding liability in a false advertising case brought under the Lanham Act.[1]

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False Advertising and Antitrust Law: Sometimes the Twain Should Meet

Imagine that a drug manufacturer figured out how to compete with a blockbuster drug by making a cheaper and more effective alternative. The pharmaceutical company that makes the blockbuster drug starts flooding the market with false advertisements about the safety of the alternative drug before it is even available to consumers, effectively taking away the new drug’s ability to compete. In this hypothetical, there are two potential victims: the new manufacturer that could have competed on the merits and the consumers (and possibly third-party payors) that lost the ability to choose a potentially better product or benefit from the price decrease of the blockbuster drug. Should antitrust law remedy this situation?

This article was originally published by CPI Antitrust Chronicle. To read the entire article, please click here.