Nonconsensual Pornography & Revenge Porn


Kronenberger Rosenfeld can help you with your nonconsensual pornography distribution or revenge porn case.

Nonconsensual pornography distribution can take many forms, but at its core it involves a person sharing with third parties a nude photo of a victim without the consent of the victim. The person sharing, distributing, or publishing the nude photograph may be an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, ex-spouse, or an employee of a company that wrongfully accessed an account, drive, or other location where the victim's nude photo was stored. The sharing can occur over the internet, through mobile apps, or by sharing a non-digital photograph.

Revenge porn cases have been a significant part of our practice for years.

The motive of the person sharing the nude photos can be to take revenge against the victim (which is the basis for the common phrase, "revenge porn"), for financial gain, to swap with others, or for other reasons that may or may not have anything to do with the victim.

More importantly, the consequences can be devastating and life-altering. Nonconsensual pornography distribution involves a breach of  privacy of the highest magnitude, and it can negatively affect family and professional relationships forever. While legal damages resulting from nonconsensual pornography distribution may be difficult to quantify, the years of emotional distress and harm to employment can easily lead to damages in the seven figures.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld represents victims of nonconsensual pornography distribution and revenge porn by suing those responsible for the distribution of the victims' nude photographs or video. In fact, in 2014 the firm obtained the first civil revenge porn jury verdict in the State of California. Following that verdict, firm founder Karl Kronenberger testified in front of the California Assembly's Judiciary Committee in support of a revenge porn civil statute (AB 2643), which is now law in California. The firm continues to represent victims of nonconsensual pornography distribution, in California and across the country, and Karl Kronenberger was named to the Cyber Law and Business Report's "Hero's List" for his work representing victims of revenge porn.

If you are a victim of nonconsensual pornography distribution, or revenge porn, contact our firm at ((415) 955-1155, ext. 120, or submit your matter using our online case submission form.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE


ADA Website Compliance


Traditionally, the regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) were restricted to physical businesses open to the public. Today, that’s no longer the case. The ADA was passed in 1990 to increase the ease with which people with disabilities could access and enjoy business spaces. However, many businesses don’t realize that their websites are also subject to those standards. With the growth of the Internet and business websites, ADA lawsuits against corporate websites have ballooned. While the ADA does not afford monetary damages to private parties bringing such a lawsuit, it does provide for a “reasonable” attorney’s fee, which can be astronomical.

Plaintiffs claim that business websites are “places of public accommodation” and are therefore subjected to the ADA. They file lawsuits on the basis that these websites are not accessible to those with disabilities, such as the blind or hearing impaired. However, that consensus hasn’t been reached in the courts. The Department of Justice, who is responsible for issuing such guidelines, has pushed back releasing the regulations until 2018.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld navigates businesses through these vague laws by:

Businesses should not allow themselves to be taken advantage of by career plaintiffs looking for an easy target. Kronenberger Rosenfeld has more than ten years of experience defending companies in Internet-related lawsuits, and can help you and your business in dealing with any individual or class action lawsuits relating to ADA compliance.

To learn more about ADA website compliance defense, we welcome you to contact us through our online case submission form or call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.



Amazon Seller Webinar


This webinar covers a multitude of legal issues that Amazon Sellers face, including issues for startup Amazon sellers, and those Amazon sellers generating seven figures per month.

 

Here are the slides for the presentation:

Calling All Amazon Sellers – Learn How to Protect Yourself and Your Business from KRLaw


Motions to Quash


Coming soon



Discovery on U.S. Companies, Based on Foreign Lawsuits


Kronenberger Rosenfeld regularly serves discovery in California based on lawsuits pending in foreign courts.

Silicon Valley is the hub of the world’s technology industry, as well as home to Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Twitter, and many other Internet and social media companies. So naturally in litigation filed internationally, parties often seek information, documents and data from Silicon Valley companies for use in their international litigation.

For international litigation, foreign litigants may use a federal discovery statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1782, to gain access to information located in the United States.  The statute is labeled, “Assistance to Foreign and International Tribunals and to Litigants before such Tribunals.”  That statute allows a party involved in a foreign proceeding to petition a federal court for a subpoena for information or the testimony of witnesses located in the court’s district. As the federal court covering the Bay Area, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California sees a constant stream of requests for subpoenas to web hosting services, web-based email services, and social networking services.

The statute provides some protection for evidence that is privileged, and also allows the federal court to implement procedures and protections that would be applicable in the courts of the jurisdiction where the proceeding is pending. However, in practice, those discretionary protections are not usually applied by the local courts. Instead, foreign litigants are typically granted a wide degree of latitude in seeking and obtaining information hosted locally, notwithstanding the fact that the laws and procedures of their own courts would not have allowed access to the information.

Whether you’re looking to use 28 U.S.C. § 1782 to get documents for a foreign case, or you’re trying to keep your own information out of the hands of an overseas litigant, it is essential that you retain counsel familiar with the tools available under U.S. and foreign law to protect your interests. As leaders in the Internet and technology-related litigation arena, Kronenberger Rosenfeld, LLP is uniquely prepared to provide you with the best possible representation in this arena. The firm has handled these international discovery issues under 28 U.S.C. § 1782 in the past, at both the trial court and appellate level, and we’d be happy to bring that experience to bear for you.

For more information about how Kronenberger Rosenfeld can assist you with 28 U.S.C. § 1782 or other international discovery matters, call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120, or you can submit your case through our online case submission form



Silicon Valley Subpoenas


Coming soon



Startups


Starting a company is exciting, but fraught with many choices.

Should you form an LLC or a corporation? California or Delaware? Kronenberger Rosenfeld attorneys give entrepreneurs pragmatic advice to help them navigate these questions, and guide them throughout the process. The end result: a solid foundation for building a successful startup.

FINANCING

Whether you’re just beginning to think about raising money or you’ve just received a term sheet, experienced counsel is key to a successful startup financing. Our attorneys will help you:

IP PORTFOLIO STRATEGY AND PROTECTION

Kronenberger Rosenfeld assists our startup clients in developing, registering, and enforcing their unique intellectual property rights. We work with you to:

OPEN SOURCE LICENSING AND COMPLIANCE

Open source is more important than ever in software, and today almost all technology startups leverage the work of open source communities. Understanding the license terms of the components your team incorporates into your software is essential. Not doing so can mean costly remediation efforts or, in the worst-case scenario, litigation. We help startups identify and minimize licensing risks proactively, ensure compliance, analyze existing codebases, publish projects as open source, and commercialize open source offerings.

COMPLIANCE: ADVERTISING, SPAM, TELEMARKETING, AND OTHER REGULATIONS

We routinely ensure that clients stay compliant with the latest rules and guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission and other regulators. For example, we assist our clients in:

WEBSITE AND APP AGREEMENTS

Startups’ websites must have well-drafted agreements—specifically, the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy. This is just as important for mobile apps, as recent enforcement efforts by the California Attorney General and other regulators have shown. Kronenberger Rosenfeld tailors these agreements to each business, taking care to assess risks and create agreements to give every client the best protection.

SAAS AGREEMENTS

As data and software move away from on-premises deployments and into the cloud, software-as-a-service agreements (SaaS agreement) and service level agreements (SLAs) setting uptime expectations and guarantees have become very important. Many government and enterprise customers will demand robust SLAs, and it is critically important to understand the responsibilities under these documents. We draft and negotiate favorable SaaS agreements and SLAs for your company.

DATA PRIVACY AND SECURITY

User privacy and company information should always be at the forefront of startup executives’ thinking. Our attorneys are skilled at dealing with the aftermath of a data breach. Several state laws—especially California—impose strict requirements on notifying users if their personal information has been disclosed. In addition, we have litigated cases under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and related laws, and have used the discovery process to help uncover anonymous hackers.

From beginning to end, Kronenberger Rosenfeld guides entrepreneurs through all legal aspects of creating a thriving startup company. Regardless of what stage your startup company is in, call our attorneys today, we carry the technical know-how and the legal expertise to help you build a solid foundation for business’ future.

To learn more about our services for business startups, we welcome you to contact us through our online case submission form or call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.



Local Counsel for Domesticating Out-of-State Subpoenas in California


We can help you serve your out-of-state subpoenas in California.

If litigants in state court lawsuits filed outside of California desire to serve document subpoenas, or deposition subpoenas, on companies or individuals in California, the litigants must comply with California law.  The Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act was created in 2007 as a model statute, and since then it has been adopted by over thirty U.S. states.  California adopted the statute in January 2010, and the California version of the model act is found at Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 2029.100, et al., entitled the Interstate and International Depositions and Discovery Act.  Under this California statute, out of state counsel engaged in state court litigation outside of California do not need to open up a case in any California court, or file anything with any California court; instead, the out of state counsel need only retain California counsel and provide their California counsel with a copy of a valid out of state subpoena.  Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 2029.350.  Thereafter, California counsel may issue a California subpoena merely by serving a California subpoena form, along with the out of state subpoena, on the California subpoena recipient.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld routinely serves as California counsel for out of state litigants, for the purpose of serving and enforcing state court subpoenas in California.  In particular, our firm has served and, when needed, enforced subpoenas on Google, Facebook, Yahoo, PayPal, Glassdoor, Twitter, and many other technology companies in California.  Our firm can act quickly with minimal expense to get your out-of-state subpoena served and enforced in California.

To discuss your need to serve a subpoena on a California company, call Kronenberger Rosenfeld at 415-955-1155, ext. 120, or submit your matter to us now using our online case submission form.



Open Source Licensing


Technical Background is Essential for Attorneys Advising on Open Source Software Licensing

Open source touches almost every piece of software today, but understanding all the licenses and the obligations they impose is a complex task. Experienced attorneys are essential to a company's open source compliance and planning.

"Our combination of legal expertise and technical experience is what sets us apart when counseling on Open Source projects."

Our team engages in open source conflict analysis and compliance audits.  When risks are identified, we can provide a variety of risk minimization and remediation strategies for the client.

Black Duck Legal Specialist CertificationSometimes, during the diligence phase of an acquisition, a sophisticated purchaser will require an audit of a company's software to understand how much Open Source—and, more importantly, what kind of Open Source—is in the target company's code base. This is no easy task.  Kronenberger Rosenfeld attorney Ansel Halliburton is trained as a Black Duck Legal Specialist, and can both help manage the Open Source audit process and interpret its results.

Companies also sometimes wish to publish their own projects as open source. There can be many reasons for this, including developer relations, trust and security, and interoperability. We understand these motivations, and can help companies select an appropriate license for projects they wish to open source.

Engineering Background

Ansel worked as a software engineer before law school, and has been contributing to open source projects for more than a decade. He contributed the Mechanical Turk module to Boto, the reference implementation of Amazon Web Services for Python.  His own code is on GitHub.

To discuss your open source software matter, call Kronenberger Rosenfeld at 415-955-1155, ext. 120, or submit your matter to us now using our online case submission form.



IP and Content Licensing


Carefully Drafted Internet Content Licenses Are Key to Maximizing Revenues and Limiting Liability

Whether you create content or distribute content created by others, you are a party to a content license. Knowing what that license should and should not say can be the difference between profits on the one hand, and losses and legal liability on the other. Kronenberger Rosenfeld has the experience to negotiate the content license that is right for your business.

Well-drafted Internet content licenses not only protect your businesses but help maximize your profits.

The key provision of any content license is the grant of rights. If you are a content owner, Kronenberger Rosenfeld can help maximize the value of your assets by negotiating content licenses that grant only those rights that you are paid for. If you license content from others, we can help make sure you receive all the rights that your Internet or wireless business needs.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld can also help you assess the risk of content transactions and to avoid unnecessary web content distribution-related disputes. Even in areas where the potential for disputes is high, such as end-user created content, we can help craft protections that let you take advantage of legal safe harbors and that otherwise maximize your chances of avoiding liability.

Whether you are negotiating with an online record label or a wireless content distributor, an ebook publisher or a video game developer, Kronenberger Rosenfeld can help. For more information, submit your content licensing matter using our online case submission form, or call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.



Online Impersonation


Kronenberger Rosenfeld Represents A Range Of Clients Who Have Been Impersonated On Websites And In Emails.

Today, it only takes a few minutes for a bad actor to create an email address or a social media account that appears to be associated with another person. Once created, these fake accounts can be used to impersonate the victim, whether to defraud friends and family of the victim, to embarrass the victim with false or private details, or just to create mayhem.

A patchwork of federal laws, state laws, and common laws prohibits unauthorized online impersonation. As an example, California Penal Code section 528.5 makes it unlawful to knowingly impersonate another person on a website or other electronic means for the purpose of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person. A person who violates this California law can be punished for up to a year in jail. However, California is on the forefront of online impersonation laws and not every state has adopted similar statutes. Experienced counsel can help you find the right law for the right circumstance.

Even when a state does not have a law that specifically prohibits online impersonation, other laws may be used to obtain relief. As an example, most states have laws that prohibit others from using your name or picture for their commercial advantage. While these laws most commonly apply in the context of celebrities, they have been extended to general online impersonation. Similarly, all states prohibit a person from making intentional misrepresentations, which can also apply in the context of online impersonation.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld has considerable experience in representing victims of online impersonation. In these lawsuits, the firm has attained both the immediate termination of the impostor accounts and compensatory damages for the victim.

If you have been the victim of online impersonation, call us at (415) 955-1155, ext. 120.  Or submit your matter through our online submission form.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE
Read More
  • Represented a large non-profit organization in which a board member was impersonated in online discussion groups. The impostor had the board member making extreme and objectionable statements. The firm brought a “John Doe” lawsuit, discovered the perpetrator of the impersonation, and obtained a favorable settlement for the client.
  • Represented an international education organization in a fraud matter involving the defendant’s impersonation of an executive of the client to embezzle money.
  • Advised multiple executives of different businesses on how to address impersonation in social media. For many of these clients, the firm was able to stop the impersonation without the need to turn to litigation.




Click Fraud


Our Tech Experience Gives Us an Advantage Over Other Firms

Click fraud refers to a form of Internet misconduct where a person or computer program clicks on an Internet advertisement either solely to hurt a competitor or solely to generate pay-per-click revenue for the fraudulent clicker (and not out of interest in the advertised goods or services).

Our experience in conducting forensic investigations serves us well in click fraud disputes.

For example, a company can impose significant costs on a competitor by clicking on the competitor’s PPC advertisements in search engines over and over again. In these situations, an advertiser or search engine may rely on principles of unfair competition law, interference law, and trespass law as legal avenues for recourse against click fraud perpetrators.

In pay-per-click advertising, advertisers pay search companies each time a user clicks on an ad displayed by the search company. Publishers who run websites may display these ads, in return for a portion of the pay-per-click revenue. One form of click fraud occurs when the website owner clicks on the ads displayed on his or her own website. The owner of the website can generate significant revenue through this misconduct. In this situation, the website owner has typically breached the contract with the search company displaying the ads. As a consequence, the search company can terminate the contract and sue the website owner for breach of contract.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld has considerable experience in designing creative legal solutions to combat click fraud. To discuss a click fraud matter you may be facing, you can call Kronenberger Rosenfeld at 415-955-1155, ext. 120. Or you can submit your matter to us using our online case submission form.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE


Data Breaches


Top Attorneys for Advice on Data Breach Notification Laws

Should someone hack or otherwise gain unauthorized access to your business’s computer network where you store personal information about your customers, you may be required to disclose this security breach to the affected individuals. Most states have enacted legislation requiring notification of data breaches involving personal information, and these states have a multitude of different requirements about when and how you must notify your customers. Importantly, failure to notify the affected individuals of a security breach may result in significant penalties and other liability for you or your business.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld can assist in analyzing a breach under a variety of state laws. Notably, the requirements of California's breach notice law are some of the strictest, and these requirements are placed on any person or business that does business in California, which includes most businesses that operate in the United States over the Internet.

When a company suffers a data breach, the consequences can be severe. We focus on thorough factual analysis in the critical hours and days following a data breach so our clients know their potential financial exposure as soon as possible.

The California Database Security Breach Notification Act (“Act”) requires those who own, license, or maintain computerized data that includes “personal information” to disclose breaches of security in certain circumstances. 

DEFINITION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION UNDER CALIFORNIA LAW.

“Personal information” is any unencrypted information that can be used to identify a person (such as an individual's first name or first initial and last name) in conjunction with any of the following: a Social Security number; a driver's license number or California identification card number; an account number, credit or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password that would permit access to an individual's financial account; or a username or email address in combination with a password or security question and answer that would permit access to an online account.

TRIGGERING THE DUTY TO DISCLOSE BREACH OF SECURITY.

The Act requires any person or business that owns or licenses computer data including “personal information,” and which is conducting business in California, to notify each California resident of a breach of the security of the data if the individual's private information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization. The Act also requires any person or business that maintains (but does not own) computer data including personal information, to notify the owner or licensee of the information (as opposed to the affected individual/California resident) of a breach of the security of the data if the information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization.

In each instance, the Act requires that notifications be made in “the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay.” Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.82(a).

If a data breach involves access to, use or disclosure of patient medical information, then California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act and federal law may require reporting within days to government agencies, and may result in significant governmental fines and potential liability from class action lawsuits.

Businesses that experience a breach of security need to take prompt and decisive action to determine whether they need to notify their customers and how to provide the notification. Kronenberger Rosenfeld brings its experience to bear for your company on the issue of breaches of security. You can call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120, or you can submit your case through our online case submission form


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE


Anonymous Defamation


When You Are Harmed By Anonymous, Unlawful Defamation, Kronenberger Rosenfeld Helps Strip That Anonymity And Obtain Relief

The Internet makes it easy for any person to anonymously publish statements about your business or about you personally. While the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects anonymous speech generally, that protection does not extend to defamation, which is unlawful. Thus, where somebody publishes a provably false statement of fact about you or your business, that statement may be actionable as defamation. The fact that the statement was published anonymously does not make the statement lawful, and it does not protect the author from liability.

However, when dealing with anonymous defamation, a whole new set of issues arises. In particular, how do you seek legal relief from somebody when you do not know who that person is? Kronenberger Rosenfeld is at the forefront of representing plaintiffs, defendants, and third-party interactive computer services in anonymous defamation cases. In representing plaintiffs, we employ a range of judicial and non-judicial techniques to identify the publisher of the unlawful statements. Often, anonymous defamation cases have required us to file lawsuits against anonymous “John Doe” defendants and request that the court authorize our firm to conduct sufficient discovery to lift the anonymity. Once we have identified the publisher of the defamatory statements, we can convert the “John Doe” lawsuit into a conventional lawsuit and pursue maximum legal relief for our client.

When our firm represents defendants and third-party interactive computer services, we rely on our extensive experience with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act along with our experience with the general First Amendment right to speak anonymously. Invoking this experience, our firm has been able to quash subpoenas or force plaintiffs to withdraw subpoenas issued to identify the publisher of an online statement.

Regardless of whether you are the subject of the defamation, the publisher of a statement on the Internet, or an affected interactive computer service, it is important to engage qualified Internet attorneys as soon as possible. This is particularly true in the case of anonymous defamation because these matters are very time sensitive. Once a publisher’s identity is revealed or protected by a court, the nature of the dispute will fundamentally change. The following are representative examples of Kronenberger Rosenfeld’s work in the area of anonymous defamation.

To discuss your anonymous defamation matter, call us at (415) 955-1155, ext. 120. Or submit your matter using our online case submission form.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE
Read More
  • Represented the U.S. Chess Federation in a lawsuit involving unknown parties hacking into the email account of a member of the board of directors of our client, stealing information regarding the internal investigation of two other directors of the organization, and publishing false and defamatory statements about members of the organization. After multiple rounds of subpoenas, the firm identified the person responsible for the hacking, which led to the criminal indictment of such employee and an eventual resolution of the case.
  • Represented the anonymous publisher of a blog and filed a motion to quash a subpoena on his behalf. The subpoena was designed to reveal the blogger’s identity. The firm persuaded the court that the blogger’s identity was not relevant to the underlying lawsuit. Thus, the court quashed the subpoena, finding that the plaintiff had issued the subpoena solely to reveal the identity of a publisher of protected speech and not to advance its claims.




Anonymous Fraud


Unmask Fraudulent Anonymous Actors on the Internet.

The Internet provides a cloak of anonymity to those seeking to do you or your business harm. If you have an Internet fraud complaint about an unscrupulous competitor, a disgruntled former customer, or a common thief with designs on your bank account, Internet fraud lawyers at Kronenberger Rosenfeld can help you fight back.

We can root out the identities of those committing anonymous Internet fraud. Our digital forensics experience is key in identifying anonymous wrongdoers.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld uses an array of investigative processes and technologies to track and identify those who engage in anonymous Internet fraud. We are also adept at leveraging the subpoena powers of state and federal courts to discover the server logs and other digital footprints of online perpetrators. Unlike most traditional firms, we relish the challenge of investigating, identifying, and bringing those who engage in Internet fraud to justice - often before they even know we are onto them.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld utilizes its Internet forensics capabilities to unmask different types of anonymous Internet fraud campaigns.

To discuss your anonymous Internet fraud matter, call Kronenberger Rosenfeld’s Internet fraud lawyers at (415) 955-1155, ext. 120. Or submit your matter using our online case submission form.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE


Hacking And Unauthorized Access


Top Attorneys to Assist in Responding to Hacking and Unauthorized Access

Any business that has a computer with access to the Internet or that has an internal network used by employees should be aware of the laws addressing hacking, computer theft, cyber-trespassing, and other unauthorized access to computers and networks. If another person or entity, such as a competitor, has hacked into your computer network, or if your business has been accused of unauthorized access of a network, we have the experience and knowledge to help you navigate through the relatively new laws in this area.

Our experience is invaluable in responding quickly and decisively to hacking or unauthorized access events.

Most states have their own laws regarding hacking, which is also known as “unauthorized access” of computer systems. There is also a federal statute which prohibits hacking and unauthorized access. The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) is a criminal statute that also allows for private lawsuits upon violations. If someone has compromised the security of your system, or if you are accused of unauthorized access, you need to be aware of this law.

The CFAA deals not only with hackers but also with persons who have exceeded the scope of their authorized access. For example, consumers who share their passwords, competitors who use web “spiders” or other bots to gather information on your website, and current or former employees who copy files on your network that they were prohibited from accessing, all could be liable for exceeding the scope of their access under the CFAA.

The CFAA recognizes that a hacking incident or other cyber-attack can both damage your business directly as well as cause you to incur a significant amount of costs in responding to the hacking or unauthorized access. Kronenberger Rosenfeld has the experience to put you on the best footing possible in taking legal action under the CFAA or defending yourself from allegations of hacking. Furthermore, we can help you identify the real parties responsible for the wrongdoing, as often the hacking is done anonymously or by those who have attempted to cover their digital footprints. Using our in-house forensic analysis, select outside experts, and court-sanctioned discovery tools, we can help to identify the real parties behind the wrongdoing.

If someone has hacked or otherwise gained unauthorized access to your server and gained access to the personal information of your customers, there are some other important legal considerations for your business. Specifically, under the privacy protection laws of most states, businesses must notify consumers upon any breach of security where the hacker gains access to certain confidential or otherwise personally identifying information of the businesses’ customers. Importantly, states impose significant penalties on companies that do not comply with these laws. For more information on notification requirements, click here.

Our experience in handling unauthorized access cases is of great benefit to our clients, especially due to the highly technical nature of most unlawful access cases. We are also sensitive to our clients’ business concerns following an unauthorized access event, and we can act quickly with the courts or otherwise to address our clients business needs.

If someone has accessed your computer network without authorization, please call us to address how our firm can help you respond. You can call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120, or you can submit your case through our online case submission form.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE


Payment Systems and Digital Currencies


For many years, accepting credit card payments—either directly, or through a service such as PayPal—was the only means of payment available to Internet-based businesses. 

Today, the landscape is rapidly changing, and online merchants have their choice of accepting payment through such alternative means as:

Different procedures, risks, and legal requirements apply depending upon the Alternative Payment System (APS) used.  Kronenberger Rosenfeld is experienced with APS and stays up to date on the legal and practical issues affecting each category.  

If you require legal advice regarding use of an APS, give Kronenberger Rosenfeld a call at (415) 955-1155, ext. 120, or submit your matter to us confidentially online.



Payment Processing


As Internet lawyers, Kronenberger Rosenfeld has substantial experience in the payment processing industry.

The firm is readily familiar with the merchant regulations issued by the card associations, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express (AMEX), the various parties involved (such as the acquirer, ISO, gateway, and so forth), and the problems that can arise. We regularly advise clients on their payment processing agreements and help to resolve disputes when they arise.

Tap into our payment processing litigation experience and technical savvy for your credit card or payment processing dispute. And our experience in handling disputes is of great benefit to our clients when we draft or advise on payment processing contracts.
PAYMENT PROCESSING CONTRACTS

The typical payment processing agreement is a dense contract of adhesion—meaning the merchant has little to no bargaining power on its terms—and is filled with boilerplate legalese—meaning it can be difficult to understand if you are not familiar with the jargon. However, all payment processing contracts are not the same, and unfortunately, many payment processing agreements contain draconian provisions that can prove ruinous to the merchant if the processing relationship takes a bad turn. Such provisions include, but are not limited to:

With the multitude of processors in the industry, no merchant, regardless of credit history, should be required to enter into such an agreement. Yet because payment processing agreements are densely worded, it is difficult for merchants to identify these provisions on their own, and many are surprised to learn they exist only after said provisions have been enforced to the merchant’s detriment. The best way to identify such terms in a processing agreement is to seek legal review by an experienced law firm, such as Kronenberger Rosenfeld, before entering into the agreement.

DISPUTES

Even the best of Internet merchants inevitably has a dispute with its processor. Kronenberger Rosenfeld has successfully resolved merchant processing disputes for many of its clients, including by negotiating rolling early releases of funds held in reserve and repairing the processing relationship. If you have a dispute with your payment processor, give Kronenberger Rosenfeld a call.

We welcome you to submit the details of your payment processing matter using our online case submission form or by calling us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.



Affiliate Agreements


We can draft your Affiliate, Advertiser, or Network Agreements.

For over a decade we have represented companies involved in the affiliate marketing industry, including ad networks, advertisers, affiliates, and sub-affiliate publishers. We have also dealt with many types of disputes, including both private and FTC lawsuits, involving companies in the affiliate marketing industry.

Due to this experience, our firm is uniquely qualified to draft the agreements that govern the relationships between the different players in this industry, and our goal is to create agreements that protect our clients and either eliminate or greatly reduce the possibility of future litigation. When we draft agreements, we draw upon our years of experience in addressing issues such as:

If you need our help in creating affiliate or advertiser agreements, please call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120. You may also submit your matter to us in our online case submission form.



Technology & Saas Deals


Technology services agreements should not be entered lightly.

Every deal is different, and an analysis of the parties, deal objectives, and potential future disputes is essential in order to minimize risks associated with the deal. Unwise decisions regarding choice of forum and dispute resolution can cost thousands in unexpected expenses later. More importantly, though, sloppy drafting of statements of work or provisions dealing with intellectual property rights can have devastating effects on a party in the event of a dispute.

Drafting complex agreements for business conducted over the Internet has been a core part of our practice for years.

Cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS) deals are becoming more common. With SaaS deals, the focus is less on licensing and more on the service agreement, specifically the Service Level Agreement (SLA) that covers topics like uptime requirements, speed, and responsiveness.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld’s approach to drafting technology and SaaS agreements is twofold. First, as litigators, we ensure that we have created multiple layers of protection for our clients from the costs of being forced to litigate in unexpected jurisdictions or of being forced to litigate various types of so-called nuisance lawsuits. Second, we draft our agreements with the goal of increasing value for our client’s projects, relating to its intellectual property rights and to revenues and profits generated from the agreements.

To discuss a particular technology services contract that you may need, call Kronenberger Rosenfeld at 415-955-1155, ext. 120, or submit your matter to us now using our online case submission form.



Privacy Policies


Privacy Policies Should Be Carefully Drafted to Comply with an Array of State and Federal Regulations

Some of the most valuable assets of any business are its customers and the information that the business maintains about those customers. As the type and number of regulations governing consumer privacy increases, so do the risks of gathering and storing customer data. Kronenberger Rosenfeld can help you to assess those risks and craft a privacy policy designed to avoid exposure.

We have years of experience in navigating the ever growing patchwork of state and federal privacy laws that are applicable to websites and mobile apps.

A privacy policy is more than an explanation of what information a business collects and what it does with that information. Increasingly, privacy policies are expected - if not required - to address how information is gathered, when and with whom it is shared, how customers may interact with it, and what is done to protect it. Certain types of businesses, including healthcare, financial, child-oriented companies, and businesses with overseas customers face even greater regulation. Any business that ignores customer privacy may find itself the butt of jokes at best, and the subject of a lawsuit or enforcement action at worst.

Recent FTC and state Attorney General regulations have mandated privacy policies for all mobile apps, and they have also recommended best practices for app developers for when to provide additional notice about personal data collection. We ensure that your company stays abreast all of the new regulations and recommended best practices.

The State of California has perhaps the most stringent privacy standards, reflected in the California Online Privacy Protection Act. The law requires that website operators conspicuously post a privacy policy if they collect personally identifiable information from Californians. Further, the law has been amended to include, among other things, requirements that website operators give notice of how they respond to consumers’ “do not track” requests.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld can help you craft a website privacy policy that complies with the law and also balances your business's need for flexibility with your customers' wishes to have their information treated responsibly. We can also help you structure your business and website so as to make the most of your customer information resources, all while helping keep your collection, use, disclosure, and data security practices in compliance with the law.

As aggressive and seasoned litigators, Kronenberger Rosenfeld also represents clients in the event of an FTC or state Attorney General action against you and relating to your privacy practices.

We welcome you to submit your privacy matter to us using our free online case submission form, or call us directly at 415-955-1155, ext. 120



Terms Of Service


The Importance of Well-Drafted Website Agreements

You have a legal relationship with everyone who visits your website, regardless of whether they buy anything or even identify themselves. It is to your advantage to set the terms of that relationship through a website agreement. Kronenberger Rosenfeld tailors a terms and conditions agreement to your business and implements that website agreement in a way that maximizes its ability to protect you and your assets. You can learn more about how our firm can help with navigating privacy laws and drafting privacy policies here.

View a Replay of Our Webinar: Essential Elements of Business Website Terms and Conditions

Poorly drafted Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies can result in a business needlessly incurring thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Poorly drafted end-user website terms and conditions agreements can cause businesses to incur thousands of dollars in wasted legal fees or, even worse, enforcement actions by the FTC or state Attorneys General. Terms and conditions agreements are especially important to Internet and wireless companies that sell products, distribute content, permit end-users to post messages, or do any other thing that raises the potential for third-party liability. Kronenberger Rosenfeld helps you understand the legal risks specific to your business and drafts an end-user terms and conditions agreement designed to address those risks without inconveniencing your customers or end-users.

A terms and conditions agreement is only good to the extent it can be enforced. Accordingly, Kronenberger Rosenfeld works with its clients to implement their website agreements, as well as privacy and DMCA policies, in the way most likely to permit their enforcement.

If you need help drafting website agreements, contact us today at (415) 955-1155, ext. 120, or submit your matter using our online case submission form.



Domain Name Legal Services


Large Domain Name Portfolios Have Unique Legal Issues

Kronenberger Rosenfeld offers an array of services to owners of large portfolios of domain names. These services include handling a variety of domain-related trademark disputes, dealing with vendor contracts, negotiating purchases and sales of individual domain names, licensing domain names, and disputes with registrars.

Our firm is uniquely positioned to deal with the legal matters that arise for owners of large domain name portfolios.

We can help if you are seeking financing for your domain portfolio business or if you simply are interested in selling an equity stake in such a business.

We would be happy to discuss how our firm’s domain legal services could assist you as a domain portfolio owner. For more information, please submit your matter using our online case submission form, or call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE


Domain Name Theft


Domain Names Can be Stolen, Just Like Other Types of Personal Property

Domain names, once registered, are the private property of the registrant. In other words, domain name registrants are owners of domain name property, and this property can be stolen or misappropriated just like any other type of property.

We can take rapid legal action to recover your stolen or hijacked domain names.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld has represented parties in multiple types of domain theft cases, and we have taken legal action both against domain name thieves and against registrars that were either complicit or negligent. We have also litigated various types of partnership disputes involving domain names.

Feel free to submit your domain name theft or misappropriation matter to our domain name theft attorneys using our online case submission form or call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE


UDRP Domain Name Arbitrations


Our Experience Makes All the Difference in UDRP Domain Name Arbitrations

Kronenberger Rosenfeld represents the range of trademark holders and alleged cybersquatters in ICANN UDRP domain name arbitrations. We have appeared in all the major forums (including the National Arbitration Forum and World Intellectual Property Organization), and we've battled over the spectrum of top-level domains from .com to .uk. We bring that experience to bear in every ICANN arbitration we handle.

Tap into our experience in representing both trademark holders and alleged cybersquatters in domain arbitrations.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld has succeeded in the hard cases, such as those on behalf of individuals seeking to seize domain names that infringe their common law trademark rights in their personal names. In one such case, we seized AnthonyQuinn.com on behalf of the Academy Award winner’s estate after devising a creative process of proving the deceased actor’s common law trademark rights in the Anthony Quinn name.

We have also succeeded against large and established trademark owners, such as Royal Caribbean, which attempted to unfairly leverage its size and brand against one of our clients, whose business depended on its use of a non-infringing domain name.

To learn more details about Kronenberger Rosenfeld's broad experience in the area of ICANN UDRP domain name arbitrations, submit your case using our online case submission form, or call us at (415) 955-1155, ext. 120.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE


Cybersquatting


“Cybersquatting” Involves Inserting Another’s Trademark into a Domain Name

Kronenberger Rosenfeld handles all forms of domain name disputes, including cybersquatting, “typo-squatting” and other domain-based trademark infringement. Our anti-cybersquatting lawyers also handle domain name theft (aka domain hijacking) and domain transfer fraud matters. Kronenberger Rosenfeld is a leader in domain name litigation, creating new Ninth Circuit law concerning the ability to seize domain names as property.

Litigating and arbitrating domain name disputes has been at the core of our practice for over 10 years.

There are two primary options if a third party has registered a domain name with your trademark, business name, or personal name.

ICANN'S UNIFORM DOMAIN NAME DISPUTE RESOLUTION POLICY (UDRP)

The first option is to file a complaint with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) under its arbitration procedures and request that the domain be transferred to you. When a domain is registered, the individual or business registering the domain submits to mandatory arbitration in the event of a future dispute. ICANN arbitrations are substantially cheaper than federal litigation. Another advantage of ICANN arbitrations is that results can be obtained more quickly than in litigation (sometimes in 60 days). Kronenberger Rosenfeld handles many ICANN arbitration cases on a flat fee basis. Click here for more on our experience with ICANN arbitrations, or you can submit your matter to us now using our online case submission form.

ANTICYBERSQUATTING CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT (ACPA)

The federal ACPA is a second option for trademark owners. Under the ACPA, trademark owners can seek not only transfer of the disputed domain but also monetary damages. Our firm has experience in federal court with this fairly new statute. If you would like more information, please submit your matter using Kronenberger Rosenfeld's online case submission form.

NO FEDERAL TRADEMARK, BUT STILL A VICTIM?

If you feel that someone has registered a domain (containing, say, your business or product name) and is competing against you unfairly, you may be able to assert your “common law trademark rights,” even though you have not registered a trademark with the federal government. Common law trademarks have been the basis for both ICANN arbitration complaints and complaints under the federal ACPA. If you would like to know whether you can assert common law trademark rights in your domain dispute, please submit your matter using our online case submission form.

For additional details on domain law matters, please call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120, or submit your matter online.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE
Read More
  • Represented a major MMO game company in a dispute involving a domain name containing an exact version of its primary trademark, resulting in the client eventually obtaining the domain name.
  • Represented online marketplace of high-end furniture and artwork in a dispute over a domain name that a third party owned containing our client’s primary trademark.
  • Defended website developer against claims of copyright infringement and brought counterclaims against the plaintiff for cybersquatting. Prevailed on all claims and counterclaims on behalf of the defendant-client during a five day jury trial, and received an award of statutory damages under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act along with attorneys’ fees.
  • Represented car rental business in cybersquatting claim against competitor that had registered confusingly similar domain name to divert client’s Internet traffic.
  • Represented true owner of domain name against an anonymous party who had hacked into our client’s domain registry account and stole a valuable domain name. Our firm prevailed on our claim for conversion of the domain name and obtained a court order requiring the registrar to transfer the domain name back to our client. The court’s decision reinforced the jurisprudence that domain names constitute property subject to common law conversion.
  • Defended an Internet advertiser client against a Southern home improvement company in a case concerning state and federal unfair competition claims. Resolved the case early through favorable settlement that required no monetary payment from client.
  • Defended a lead generation company in cybersquatting suit brought by its customer. Defeated the plaintiff’s request for prohibitive and one-sided preliminary injunction. Resolved case through settlement that repaired the parties’ fractured business relationship.




Motion To Quash Subpoena


We Can Help with Your Motion to Quash

If you want to discover the identity of someone who posts to a website anonymously or emails to others anonymously, court subpoenas are often the most effective tools for obtaining this information. However, courts must balance, on the one hand, the rights of companies who have been defamed or otherwise injured, and, on the other hand, the First Amendment and other rights of people posting or emailing over the Internet anonymously.

Litigating Internet speech cases has been a significant part of our practice for over 10 years.

When a subpoena is issued in an attempt to identify an anonymous Internet actor, the anonymous party can file a Motion to Quash a Subpoena, relying upon the First Amendment and other constitutional and statutory grounds. The anonymous party may also file his or her Motion to Quash anonymously, and if the Motion to Quash is granted, the anonymous party remains anonymous.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld has handled countless subpoenas in this area of anonymous Internet activity. If a service provider has informed you that it has received a subpoena and will disclose your identity unless you file a motion to quash the subpoena, contact us today at (415) 955-1155, ext. 120, or submit your matter using our online case submission form.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE


Business Disparagement & Defamation


There is a fine line between protected expression and actionable Internet defamation.

Internet defamation is also known as libel or, in some instances, trade libel. Kronenberger Rosenfeld understands the difference and what to do about the latter when it threatens the hard-earned reputation of your business.

From trade libel to “gripe sites,” we use our Internet defamation experience to get decisive results for our clients.

It takes little time and even less money to create a defamatory website or a disparaging review that quickly ranks high on search engines. Kronenberger Rosenfeld is experienced in utilizing a variety of federal and state Internet defamation laws to vindicate the rights of commercial clients who are the victims of online defamation. Whether the perpetrator is a rogue or former employee or a disgruntled customer, we act quickly and aggressively to root them out and to put an end to their defamatory practices.

Typically, Kronenberger Rosenfeld's primary objective is getting the offending material removed from websites on which it appears and from search engine caches. Where appropriate, however, Kronenberger Rosenfeld also takes legal action, including through civil litigation geared toward recovering damages and other fees.

We have handled cases where defendants used bogus “gripe sites” to post defamatory reviews and redirect Internet traffic to competitors; disgruntled customers using negative reviews to extort a refund out of a company; and former employees using bogus customer reviews to extort higher severance or simply to spite a company.

We would be happy to bring our experience to bear on your legal matter. If you would like to discuss what Kronenberger Rosenfeld can do for you, please submit your matter using our online case submission form, or call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE
Read More
  • Represented an education foundation in an anti-SLAPP appeal on the issue of whether disparaging web speech is subject to an anti-SLAPP motion despite a previously executed non-disparagement clause in a settlement agreement.
  • Represented an international nonprofit organization in anonymous defamation matter.




False Advertising


False Advertising Can Be Particularly Harmful When it Occurs on the Internet

There are a variety of types of false advertising on the Internet. For example, a company may be engaging in false advertising if it makes false statements about a competitor or if it makes false statements about its own products or services.

We have deep and broad experience in handling false advertising cases occurring on websites, in social media, and in mobile apps.

The concept of false advertising appears in a variety of federal and state laws. Generally under these laws, “false advertising” refers to a representation or omission that is likely to mislead a consumer who is acting reasonably under the circumstances. These state and federal laws exist to safeguard consumers from being misled, as well as protect competitors from inaccurate statements that would tarnish their brands, goods, or services.

PRIVATE LITIGATION TO ADDRESS FALSE ADVERTISING

If a competitor steps over the line and engages in false advertising, there are remedies available under federal and state laws. Injunctive relief (i.e. a permanent judicial order to cease and desist from certain activities deemed to be false advertising), actual damages in the form of disgorgement of profits, and monetary amounts to fund corrective advertising are examples of potential remedies against competitors who engage in false advertising. Consumers also have standing to sue under most state false advertising statutes.

GOVERNMENT ENFORCEMENT

At the federal level, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the agency responsible for investigating false advertising and prosecuting actions against false advertisers. At the state level, state Attorneys General take the lead role in such investigations and prosecutions. Kronenberger Rosenfeld has experience representing clients who are under FTC or state attorney general investigations and working with these government organizations to achieve fast and sensible solutions.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld has experience litigating unique Internet-related false advertising cases. We would be happy to discuss any Internet false advertising issues that you may have. Please contact us at (415) 955-1155, ext. 120, or submit your matter using our online case submission form.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE
Read More
  • Represented a professional registered agent service as the plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against a competitor for false advertising. The competitor had published a press release stating that the firm’s client was on the brink of bankruptcy and that its customers should consider switching registered agent services.
  • Represented a state-licensed professional service provider in a false advertising claim. The defendant, a competitor of our firm’s client, had prominently advertised its services throughout the U.S. though it was not licensed to provide those services in some states. The parties ultimately settled the case in favor of the firm’s client.
  • Represented a financial planner in a false advertising claim against a competitor. The firm’s client alleged that the competitor had falsely advertised its annuity products, including by conflating annuities with securities and by falsely advertising its certification by an ethics organization.
  • Represented a top-tier registered agent and corporate services company against direct competitor that had instructed its call center employees to make false statements about the firm’s client.




Email Spam Class Action Defense


When Faced With A Spam Class Action, Turn To Kronenberger Rosenfeld: A Firm That Has Been At The Forefront Of Spam Litigation.

Over the past few years, we have witnessed a resurgence in spam litigation. Some of this new litigation includes spam class actions, where the recipient of the email is not just suing on his/her behalf, but also on behalf of all others who received similar emails. Because businesses typically send out thousands if not millions of emails, and because spam laws may allow class members to recover up to $1,000 per email, spam class actions quickly become “bet-the-company” lawsuits.

We are aggressive and tech-savvy in our approach to combating what some call spam “shake-down” operations.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld has been at the forefront of defending spam litigation since the enactment of the spam laws and is responsible for groundbreaking rulings in this area. We have handled more than 100 separate spam law cases, including in both federal and state courts, brought by plaintiffs in California, Georgia, Washington, Ohio, Florida and other states. This is perhaps more than any other spam litigation defense law firm in the country. Most importantly, our firm has achieved excellent litigation results for our clients in spam litigation, reflected in victories at motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment, some who we defended and upheld on appeal. Our experience at the forefront of spam litigation translates directly into lower costs and top results for our clients.

When faced with a spam class action, it is essential that you engage experienced counsel immediately. You need a firm that is not only familiar with the relevant case law and the legislative history of the spam statute, but you also need a firm that understands the mechanics of the affiliate marketing industry and the applicable settlement points. Kronenberger Rosenfeld brings that experience.

To learn more about spam litigation class actions, we welcome you to contact us through our online case submission form or call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE


SMS / TCPA Class Action Defense - TCPA Lawsuit


More and more businesses are relying on automated telephone calls and text messages to reach their customers.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) places restrictions on telephone solicitations and the use of automated telephone equipment. Moreover, the TCPA authorizes recipients of certain types of unsolicited phone calls, faxes, and text messages to file civil lawsuits and recover up to $1,500 per violation. Thus, if a business faces a lawsuit where multiple calls or text messages are at issue (including a class action), these damages can quickly swell to a massive exposure.

Over the last several years, there has been a surge in TCPA class action litigation. A significant portion of these lawsuits involve mass text messages, where the plaintiffs allege that the sender did not obtain the recipients’ consent to send the messages. Often in these cases, the advertiser in the text messages at issue did not send the text messages. Even still, plaintiffs have argued (successfully in some circumstances) that the advertiser still had sufficient control over the sender of the text messages to impute responsibility under the TCPA. An advertiser named in a TCPA lawsuit must be prepared to immediately rebut that argument.

Because commercial text messages are typically sent out in very high volume, and because the TCPA allows each class member to recover between $500 and $1,500 in damages, TCPA class actions quickly become “bet-the-company” lawsuits. Kronenberger Rosenfeld has extensive experience defending TCPA class actions. The firm has employed a variety of pre-litigation and litigation tools to successfully attack such TCPA claims.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE


Consumer Class Action Defense


Tap into our experience defending class action lawsuits.

The stakes can be high in class action lawsuits filed over Internet-related conduct. In stark contrast to offline businesses, in the online context marketing and billing practices are often identical for every consumer who purchases online, and small, moderately capitalized companies may engage in tens or hundreds of thousands of transactions with consumers. So, a class action lawsuit that seeks damages for all consumers who transacted with a company may threaten to bankrupt the company. This is especially the case in lawsuits that allege statutory damages for each consumer who transacted with a company online.

Companies who are sued in a class action choose Kronenberger Rosenfeld because our firm has over 10 years of experience representing a multitude of types of Internet related companies. Knowledge and understanding of complex Internet business models and technical processes is what differentiates our firm. We have had success in defending class actions by immediately delving into the complicated factual allegations and identifying problems with the plaintiffs’ cases before plaintiffs’ counsel has much invested in the case, making an early resolution of the case much easier. Simply put, our experience with Internet-related companies and business models has led to better results for our clients in class action lawsuits.

We are relentless and aggressive litigators but also have the judgment to know when to craft a creative settlement. Often clients sued in class action lawsuits are in bet-the-company situations, and they have chosen our firm due to our experience and judgment in defending class action lawsuits.

If you have been named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit, please call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120. You may also submit your matter to us in our online case submission form.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE
Read More
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal by plaintiffs of putative consumer class action lawsuit alleging insufficient disclosures of billing practices, with no payment by the defendant client.
  • Successfully defended a marketer of short-term loans in a TCPA class action, obtaining a dismissal prior to class certification and without payment by the client.
  • Successfully defended seller of nutraceutical products in class action alleging false advertising and involving dueling research reports about the effectiveness of the product. Obtained early dismissal at minimal expense to the client.




Online Dating Websites And Apps


We are key advisors to clients running online dating websites and mobile apps, or running marketing campaigns promoting online dating.

The online dating industry generates billions of dollars per year in revenues, and there are thousands of different companies running online dating websites and mobile apps. Because of the massive business opportunity, companies are continually testing new business models and technologies to facilitate online dating.

There are also significant legal risks for businesses running online dating websites and apps. The large amount of personal information that consumers upload to online dating services creates a legal minefield for businesses. For example, competition creates incentives for profile sharing among different dating services in order to quickly amass large groups of user profiles; however, inadequate disclosure of information-sharing practices can result in significant liability under state privacy laws.

The increase of mobile dating apps and services that use the geographic location of users also creates privacy issues if there are inadequate disclosures of information-gathering practices. The Federal Trade Commission and the California Attorney General have each released guidelines on how mobile apps should disclose information-gathering practices, with a particular focus on geo-targeting data, and compliance with these recommendations is highly advised.

Many online dating websites and apps contain fake profiles and bots posing as real people, which give rise to a variety of legal problems. Fake profiles in some circumstances may be misleading and may violate state or federal laws. Moreover, fake profiles promoting third party services often hurt the credibility of a dating site and stress the technical infrastructure of the site. Regardless of an online dating service's position on fake profiles and bots, a clear legal strategy coupled with well-drafted website agreements and disclosures can reduce legal and business risks significantly.

Affiliate marketing is a popular marketing strategy for many online dating services and apps. However, affiliates can create a multitude of legal problems for a dating site, from unlawful email and SMS spam to a variety of unlawful techniques of generating web traffic. Clear policies and well-drafted affiliate agreements not only reduce future legal costs but also lead to more profitable affiliate marketing programs.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld's experience in representing a variety of online dating websites, apps, and affiliate marketers, including in a wide variety of niche online dating services, and the firm's significant experience in web and mobile privacy matters, are of great benefit to our clients.

If you run an online dating website or mobile app, we welcome you to contact us through our online case submission form or call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.



Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)


We can help you navigate the FCRA.

If your business publishes online reports about individuals, you need to understand the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S. Code § 1681. One of the most widely applicable laws for online businesses, the FCRA applies to:

The combination of our years of experience representing Internet marketers and our depth of knowledge concerning the application of the FCRA is of great benefit to our clients.

The federal government often seeks penalties under the FCRA for six or even seven figures against companies in these industries if they publish personal information online without proper safeguards and procedures in place. Companies sued under the FCRA that settle often face costly, burdensome court-supervised compliance programs. These programs include considerable reporting and compliance requirements.

Our clients rely on us for FCRA advice that helps them stay complaint with the law and safeguarded from costly enforcement actions. We monitor the courts and federal agencies, equipping our clients with the keys to compliance.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld offers the following services:

For additional details about our firm’s FCRA services, we welcome you to contact us through our online case submission form or call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.



Amazon Marketplace Sellers


For decades, Internet merchants have run their businesses without the expense and inconvenience of operating a brick and mortar storefront.

Over the past few years, this trend has progressed to Internet merchants foregoing the expense and hassle of maintaining their own website and payment processing relationships, and instead selling their products exclusively through third-party auctions and marketplaces, particularly the Amazon Marketplace.

View a replay of our webinar, Legal Issues for Amazon Sellers.

The evergreen area of e-commerce requires a law firm like Kronenberger Rosenfeld to navigate entrepreneurs through the Amazon Marketplace and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) business models, their profitability, competition amongst sellers, and issues that can arise along the distribution and shipping chain. The following are just a few services the firm provides to Amazon Sellers through a fixed-fee model. 

STARTUP AND BRAND ESTABLISHMENT

We create and maintain businesses, so you can minimize time and expense related to business matters and focus your time on making money. We offer three fixed-fee options for startup assistance:

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 

We support clients in developing, registering and enforcing custom intellectual property rights that will set them apart from other sellers using the same supplier. Our firm advises clients on properly marking products with trademark and copyright notices, and avoiding claims of infringement in packaging and marketing. We offer:

NEGOTIATIONS AND COMPETITOR RESOLUTION

We help clients avoid and minimize disputes through negotiations with domestic and international suppliers, distributors and marketplace managers, as well as competitors. Clients turn to us for legal guidance when competitors post fake bad reviews or hijack marketplace listings. Our fixed-fee services include:

In our experience, many marketplace sellers overlook legal formalities, such as corporate formation and trademark registration, to their own detriment. If you are a marketplace seller or own an Internet-based business, the Internet lawyers of Kronenberger Rosenfeld can help you formalize your business and protect your rights at a cost that is comfortable to you.

We welcome you to submit the details of your Amazon Marketplace matter using our online case submission form or by calling us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.



Weight Loss Products


At Kronenberger Rosenfeld, we represent manufacturers, sellers, and advertisers of weight loss products and are familiar with the unique legal and compliance issues faced by any company doing business in the weight loss industry.

The time-honored maxim of caveat emptor—or “let the buyer beware”—is no longer the governing principle when it comes to the sale of weight loss products. During the past decade, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has brought numerous cases in the weight loss arena and has recently announced the possibility of prosecuting media outlets that do not refuse advertisements for so-called “bogus” weight-loss products. More recently, state and county law enforcement authorities, including Attorneys General and District Attorneys, have undertaken their own investigations regarding the online advertising of weight loss products. Finally, there has been a gradual rise in consumer class actions against companies that market and sell weight loss products. The cumulative result of these legal actions has been to rewrite the rules of marketing. To paraphrase the FTC’s comments on a recent press conference regarding certain weight loss products, it is no longer “let the buyer beware,” but rather, “let the buyer be educated.”

Kronenberger Rosenfeld has extensive years of experience helping its clients in the weight loss industry navigate and stay on top of this ever-changing regime of regulations. We routinely conduct reviews of weight loss websites and advertising material for clients to ensure they are compliant with state and federal regulations, including the FTC Act. Among the points of review used are:

If you have not had your website or advertising campaigns reviewed by an attorney, or if a significant amount of time has passed since your last review, you should obtain such a review to identify any areas of concern. The costs of a compliance review are minor compared to the defense of an FTC or consumer action. Kronenberger Rosenfeld, LLP is experienced in advising clients on FTC compliance issues, including with respect to weight-loss products, dietary supplements, and nutraceuticals. We understand your business model and the desire to achieve compliance while maintaining acceptable conversion rates, and are willing to work with you toward that goal.

We welcome you to submit the details of your Weight Loss Product matter using our online case submission form or by calling us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.



Supplements and Nutraceuticals


We Can Help Ensure Your Supplement Sales Comply with State and Federal Laws and Regulations.

Supplements (also known as “nutraceuticals”) refer to dietary or herbal supplements that contain products derived from food and natural sources. Popular types of supplements include, but are not limited to, weight loss and weight management supplements, memory and focus enhancers, and sports nutrition supplements.

Supplements are separate and apart from pharmaceuticals and are regulated by the FDA less stringently than conventional food and drug products. Regardless, the FDA is charged with taking action against any unsafe product on the market, and the FTC has taken action against supplement companies for misleading consumers about the product and its benefits. The advertising, labeling, and scientific substantiation requirements for supplements are complex and frequently change in small but important ways through court cases and amendments to existing law. In addition, many states have their own regulatory framework for nutraceuticals, which are based on FDA regulations, but applied differently. Accordingly, it is important for those engaged in the sale or promotion of supplements to obtain legal review of and advice on their product and marketing materials.

Our knowledge of FDA and FTC regulations and our years of experience representing Internet marketers are of great benefit to our clients marketing nutraceuticals online.

Our knowledge of FDA and FTC regulations and our years of experience representing Internet marketers are of great benefit to our clients marketing their products online.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld has ample experience advising clients in the supplements industry, including in the following areas:

FTC AND FDA COMPLIANCE

The sale of nutraceuticals touches on both the FTC Act and the FDA’s Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). Determining which Act applies in certain circumstances can be difficult. Our firm regularly navigates this constantly-changing landscape. Among other services, we often review clients’ products and advertising materials for compliance with FTC guidelines and FDA regulations, and we provide counsel on how to achieve and maintain compliance. Where applicable, we advise clients on any modifications that need to be made to the product to stay within exceptions to the FDA regulations regarding dietary supplements. We stay apprised of recent developments in the law, including “trends” in FTC and FDA litigation regarding categorical subsets within the vast array of nutraceuticals. Our work helping clients achieve and maintain compliance avoids not only unwanted and costly government investigation, but potential consumer class action lawsuits as well.

ADVERTISING AND PRODUCT CLAIMS

One of the primary tenets to be considered by any nutraceutical merchant is the claims about the product made to existing and potential consumers. Under the law, all such claims must be backed by peer-reviewed scientific studies published in reputable journals. Many advertisers and resellers rely on the manufacturer to ensure this requirement is met without doing any follow-up research of their own to ensure it is sufficient under the law. Another common mistake is gross exaggeration of the findings in these studies—often by affiliate advertisers or others that do not understand the legal risks involved. To avoid such pitfalls and the resulting liability, Kronenberger Rosenfeld reviews the product, the product claims, and the relevant studies for regulatory compliance. In addition, we draft and/or review advertising agreements with third parties to ensure that (1) only approved product claims and advertising content may be used and (2) use of unapproved content shifts legal liability to the third party.

BILLING PRACTICES

Supplements are often sold in bulk or on a subscription plan to ensure a continuing supply to the consumer. However, the enactment of the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA) and recent crackdowns by the FTC have made the practice of “continuity” or “rebilling” a highly risky venture. We are familiar with and experienced in advising on ROSCA and the FTC’s requirements and often review clients’ websites to ensure the necessary “clear and conspicuous” billing disclosures are made.

USE OF CONSUMER TESTIMONIALS

The most compelling endorsements of a product often come directly from those who have used the product. However, using consumer testimonials in advertising can lead to a wealth of legal problems, including right of privacy and copyright infringement claims, or investigation by the FTC. We provide our clients with the knowledge and forms necessary to ensure consumer testimonials are obtained and used in a legal manner.

MANAGING COMPLAINTS

Just as consumer testimonials help sell a product, a negative complaint can be incredibly detrimental, especially when it is posted in an online forum. We work with our clients to set up policies and procedures to avoid complaints, resolve consumer issues, and generally maintain a high approval rating. When needed, we act as liaisons with government authorities or entities such as the Better Business Bureau to resolve complaints initiated by consumers.

Unfortunately, we are also aware of an uptick in the use of false online complaints by a competitor to drive the client’s consumers to the competitor’s own product. We have experience litigating these matters to identify the source of the false complaints and hold the source accountable for the client’s resulting losses.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Even resellers of generic nutraceuticals invest substantial time and money developing the name of their product as well as the look and feel of their advertising and labeling. This Intellectual Property (IP) is valuable and worth protecting. We regularly file copyright and trademark applications for our clients and assist in managing their IP portfolios. When needed, we send Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices and cease-and-desist letters to combat copyright and trademark infringement. We also have substantial experience litigating trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and cybersquatting disputes.

MARKETPLACE ISSUES

Online marketplaces managed by known retailers—such as Amazon Marketplace or Sears Marketplace—are growing in popularity for the sale of nutraceuticals due to their ability to reach new consumers and allow them to purchase the product through a familiar sales channel. However, trademark and copyright infringement is common on these websites as infringers capitalize on the client’s brand recognition by purporting to sell the client’s product, using the client’s product name and images, but mailing the consumer a different product entirely. Needless to say, in addition to infringement, this unlawful practice can result in an increase in consumer complaints and decrease in client’s sales. Tracking down infringers through marketplaces can be difficult, but our firm has been successful in this endeavor. We have developed a series of investigative procedures to document the activity, identify the wrongdoer, and hold them accountable, thereby protecting the clients’ IP, sales, and reputation.

If you are a seller or advertiser of nutraceuticals and are in need of legal assistance, please call us at (415) 955-1155, ext. 120, or submit your matter using our online case submission form.



Online Sweepstakes & Gaming


We can help you build a legally compliant online sweepstakes promotion.

Online businesses often rely on social media sweepstakes and skills games to raise brand awareness and showcase products and services to consumers. If your company’s marketing team is planning an online contest to expand your visibility, Kronenberger Rosenfeld can advise you on the right way to run a compliant competition and avoid common and burdensome pitfalls.

The combination of our years of experience representing clients in the performance marketing industry and our FTC defense practice is what distinguishes our firm when providing legal advice on online sweepstakes and promotions.

For years, sweepstakes have been heavily regulated by a multitude of state laws, based on the degree to which they resemble games of chance, which are generally prohibited. Some state laws even treat sweepstakes as lotteries if cash prizes are large enough. And most states require your company to prohibit officers, employees, and certain individuals from participating in the contest. Your company may be required to file official rules upfront, pay fees, post bonds, and file a detailed winners’ list. Penalties can include significant civil penalties and even criminal sanctions.

In addition to this patchwork of state regulations, social media sweepstakes are increasingly considered “promotional” in nature by the Federal Trade Commission, and thus subject to FTC jurisdiction. For example, the FTC has warned companies that exchanging social media “Likes” for contest entries creates additional disclosure requirements under the FTC’s consumer protection laws. FTC enforcement actions carry more than just financial penalties – your company may end up being subject to a court injunction and a mandatory compliance program, in addition to financial penalties.

We can help your business navigate state or federal regulations and avoid these negative outcomes by offering the following services:

For additional details about our services regarding online sweepstakes and contests, we welcome you to contact us through our online case submission form or call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.



FTC & Government Regulation Compliance


Top Attorneys to Advise on Internet-Related Regulation Compliance

A lawsuit by a government regulator, such as the FTC or a state Attorney General, can be devastating to a business. For this reason, we recommend the implementation of thorough preventative measures to avoid receiving government regulator attention in the first place.

Our years of experience fighting the FTC in court puts us in a favorable position when it comes to providing ongoing compliance advice to clients so they can stay out of court in the future.

Many of the FTC’s enforcement actions relate to “unfair” or “deceptive” advertising, and to the violation of privacy rights, which are areas where we can help build an FTC-compliant marketing program, eliminating problems before they even arise. Some of our work in creating compliance programs for clients has included:

For more than a decade, our firm has dealt with a wide variety of government compliance issues for many types of Internet business activity. Clients seek advice from us due to our experience in limiting risk to the lowest possible level while maintaining their profitability.

If you need help in complying with government regulations, please call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120. You may also submit your matter to us in our online case submission form.



FTC / Attorney General Lawsuits.  FTC Attorney.


Top Attorneys for Defense of Internet-Related FTC / Attorney General Actions

Kronenberger Rosenfeld is an invaluable asset if the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or a state Attorney General is investigating your company, has served a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) on your company, or has filed a lawsuit against your company due to alleged Internet-related wrongdoing. The FTC is an independent, civil law enforcement agency, and FTC enforcement actions can result in asset freezes, the appointment of a receiver, and court-ordered restitution to consumers. The FTC derives these broad powers from the FTC Act, particularly at sections 43 and 45(a)(1), and the agency is authorized to act in a wide variety of consumer protection matters. State Attorneys General (AGs) also have broad statutory powers to investigate and take action against companies on behalf of consumers in their states.

View a Replay of our Webinar: Tips for Responding to FTC Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs)

Our Internet law and tech experience is invaluable in defending FTC enforcement actions.

Our firm combines experience litigating against the FTC and state Attorneys General with more than 10 years of experience representing a multitude of Internet-related companies. Defending a lawsuit containing complex allegations by the FTC or a state AG often requires digital forensic analysis, as well as knowledge of the mechanics of ad networks, tracking systems, or a variety of types of Internet business models. This combination of experience litigating against the FTC/AGs and our firm’s concentrated experience with Internet and technology legal matters sets us apart from other firms and leads to better results for our clients. We also regularly counsel clients on the implementation of thorough FTC compliance programs as a preventative measure.

We are relentless and aggressive litigators for our clients against the FTC and AGs, as the survival of our clients as businesses are often at stake. These are the reasons why clients have chosen our firm to represent them in these bet-the-company lawsuits.

If you have been contacted or sued by the FTC or a state AG, please call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120. You may also submit your matter to us in our online case submission form.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE
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  • Represented defendants in an FTC lawsuit alleging $13 million in alleged consumer harm, involving alleged fake blogs, fake testimonials, and fake news websites selling Acai berry weight loss products.
  • Represented defendants in an FTC lawsuit alleging more than $9 million in damages related to an allegedly deceptive program instructing consumers how to apply for government grants.




SMS / TCPA Defense


Kronenberger Rosenfeld Ensures Compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

More and more businesses are relying on automated telephone calls and text messages to reach their customers. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) places restrictions on telephone solicitations and the use of automated telephone equipment. More specifically, the TCPA contains a variety of requirements that limit how and when a business can place phone calls and send text messages to reach its actual or potential customers.

Any business that markets with automated phone calls or text messages must understand the TCPA’s requirements. Additionally, those businesses must understand the FCC’s new regulations interpreting the TCPA, which help define the contours of the law, particularly relating to the prior express consent needed to make calls or send texts. Among other things, businesses must understand the scope of the consumer consent needed to place calls or send texts, which must be unambiguous. And while the consent must be “signed” by the consumer, a proper electronic signature will suffice.

The TCPA authorizes recipients of certain types of unsolicited phone calls, faxes, and text messages to file a lawsuit and to recover up to $1,500 per violation. Thus, if a business faces a lawsuit where multiple calls or text messages are at issue (including a class action), such damages can quickly swell to a massive exposure.

Given the need for businesses to reach customers through a variety of channels, and given the severe penalties for failing to comply with the TCPA, any business relying on telephone or text outreach must familiarize itself with the TCPA’s requirements. Moreover, any such business must be prepared to aggressively defend any TCPA lawsuit from the outset. Kronenberger Rosenfeld has extensive experience in working with clients to ensure that their business practices comply with all aspects of the TCPA. In performing this work, we integrate the needs of our clients to reach their customers in the most thorough manner possible with the goal for our clients to achieve full compliance with the TCPA. We also work with our clients to create and maintain the necessary records to demonstrate TCPA compliance in the event that a dispute does arise.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld also has extensive experience defending TCPA lawsuits, from lawsuits involving a single unsolicited fax to class action lawsuits involving thousands of text messages.

We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your matter. Contact us at (415) 955-1155, ext. 120, or submit your matter using our online case submission form.



Email Spam Defense


Kronenberger Rosenfeld Is At The Forefront Of Spam Litigation, Helping Define The Law

Today, it is hard to find a business that does not rely on commercial email to advertise its products or services. All such businesses must comply with federal and state spam laws or risk being drawn into a costly lawsuit. Spam lawsuits are especially dangerous because the laws often allow a successful plaintiff to recover “statutory damages” without proving that the plaintiff suffered any actual damages. This means that a simple act of sending a few thousand emails can result in a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Additionally, because the advertiser in an email is often not the sender of the email, the advertiser can find itself in a spam dispute without any specific knowledge of the alleged misconduct.

View a Replay of our Webinar: Spam Law Update - Guidance for Advertisers, Networks and Mailers

We are aggressive and tech-savvy in our approach to combating what some call spam “shake-down” operations.

We represent advertisers, ad networks, and affiliate publishers in negotiating a multitude of settlements in spam lawsuits or during pre-litigation threats to file spam lawsuits. This experience provides the firm with unmatched insight into a great variety of settlement strategies, appropriate settlement amounts, and styles of particular professional spam plaintiffs and their attorneys.

PRECEDENT SETTERS IN SPAM LITIGATION

While state and federal spam statutes are relatively young, a robust set of case law and other authority is quickly developing. At the same time, spam litigation continues to grow in courts throughout the country. Kronenberger Rosenfeld has been at the forefront of spam litigation since the enactment of the various spam laws. We are leading the industry in interpreting these laws and educating courts that commercial email by itself is not unlawful. Rather, commercial email is an important aspect of our economy, and it only becomes unlawful when it is deceptive.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld has defended more than 100 separate spam law cases, including in both federal and state courts, brought by plaintiffs in California, Georgia, Washington, Ohio, Florida, and other states. This is perhaps more than any other spam litigation defense law firm in the country. The firm’s attorneys have been invited to speak at state and national organizations about both email and SMS spam litigation trends, litigation strategies, and case law updates. Most importantly, our firm has achieved excellent litigation results for our clients in spam litigation, reflected in victories at motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment, some of which we defended and upheld on appeal. This spam litigation experience translates directly into lower costs and top results for our clients.

If you have a spam litigation or compliance matter, contact us at (415) 955-1155, ext. 120, or submit your matter using our online case submission form.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE
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  • Represented a billion dollar clothing retailer in a dispute with its ISP and Spamhaus.
  • Represented multiple Internet marketers in disputes with Spamhaus and in developing compliance programs to avoid Spamhaus disputes.
  • Prevailed on behalf of an advertising network and against professional plaintiff ISP before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in CAN-SPAM and section 17529.5 lawsuit. After oral argument, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s ruling that a heightened standard applies to non-senders of emails accused of violating CAN-SPAM.
  • Represented an ad network before the Ninth Circuit in the plaintiff’s appeal of the dismissal of its multi-million dollar spam lawsuit. After oral argument, the Ninth Circuit adopted the firm’s arguments in total and affirmed dismissal. Among other things, the Ninth Circuit set spam law precedent by applying the firm’s argument that a one year statute of limitations applied to section 17529.5 spam lawsuits that seek statutory damages.
  • Represented an online advertiser in $5 million spam lawsuit before the Northern District of California. The firm prevailed in a motion to dismiss, where the Court defined the contours of CAN-SPAM’s preemption clause, indicating that a violation of section 17529.5 must be both knowing and material. This position on CAN-SPAM preemption continues to be the most defendant-friendly position in spam jurisprudence.
  • Represented an online advertiser in $1 million spam lawsuit brought under section 17529.5 in the Northern District of California. The firm obtained dismissal of the plaintiff’s lawsuit at the pleading stage where the Court continued to adopt our firm’s argument that any violation of section 17529.5 must be known and materialized in order to avoid CAN-SPAM preemption.
  • Represented online marketers against a professional spam plaintiff in an Ohio spam lawsuit, securing a complete dismissal of the case prior to the discovery phase of the case.
  • Represented a payday loan lead generator in multiple California spam matters, with allegations of more than $1 million in damages, resulting in a settlement of each matter favorably for the client.
  • Represented merchant of personalized consumer goods in putative spam class action. The plaintiff alleged that the firm’s client had sent over 10,000 emails with deceptive subject lines, which falsely claimed that the recipients had received an award. The firm prevailed on its motion to dismiss the entire case with prejudice at the pleadings stage, which included a judicial opinion containing the most thorough discussion to date of unlawful subject lines.




Trade Secret Counseling & Litigation


Whether You Are The Owner Of Trade Secrets Or Accused Of Misusing Them, We Can Help Protect Your Rights

A trade secret is information that derives actual or potential value from not being known to the public and that is subject to reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy. A trade secret can consist of formulas, patterns, compilations, programs, devices, methods, techniques, or processes. In fact, trade secret protection can cover everything from microchip design to religious practices. Some of the most famous examples of trade secrets include the formula for Coca-Cola and the algorithms behind Google’s search engine. However, information does not need to be famous for it to warrant trade secret protection. In fact, many valuable trade secrets are valuable precisely because the public does not know about them.

Every state allows an owner of a trade secret to seek legal relief when that trade secret has been disclosed or used without authorization. Moreover, nearly every state has adopted a version of the Uniform Trade Secret Act, which was originally published by the Uniform Law Commission in 1979. This act sets forth specific requirements and procedures that are unique to trade secret claims.

Because trade secret cases are a particularized area of intellectual property law, attorneys who deal with trade secrets must be familiar with the procedural and substantive nuances of misappropriation claims. As an example, it is crucial to any misappropriation claim that the plaintiff, at an initial stage of the lawsuit, identifies the information claimed to have been misappropriated with reasonable particularity.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld regularly represents both plaintiffs and defendants in trade secret litigation. Our trade secret cases have covered matters ranging from banking data, to hardwood manufacturing techniques, to teaching methods, to customer lists. If you have a trade secret matter, contact us at (415) 955-1155, ext. 120, or submit your matter using our online case submission form.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE
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  • Represented the nation’s top retailer of ink and toner products in a lawsuit against a former employee who took trade secrets and disclosed them to her new employer who was a direct competitor of our client.
  • Defended an ex-employee of an affiliate marketing ad network accused of misappropriating the trade secrets of his former employer.
  • Represented a leading online flooring manufacturer and retailer in a lawsuit alleging trade secret claims against a group of former employees who misappropriated the client’s proprietary floor manufacturing processes and started a competing venture.
  • Represented a major advertising network in a trade secret dispute with several former employees who formed competing network using the client’s trade secrets. Our firm resolved the case in the client’s favor through the entry of a consent judgment.




Right Of Publicity


Unauthorized Use of Photographs Can Result in the Misappropriation of Another’s Right of Publicity

If a company uses your likeness in its advertising, promotional work, or other material without first seeking your consent, you may have a claim under California’s misappropriation of identity statute. A successful misappropriation plaintiff can win both the right to prevent further misappropriation and money in the form of minimum damages and attorneys’ fees.

If others are using photographs of you on the Internet, without your permission, we can help you assert your rights under California law.

If you believe your image has been misappropriated over the Internet or through offline media, Kronenberger Rosenfeld can help you with your right of publicity. For more information, please submit details of your case using our online case submission form.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE


Piracy / Counterfeit Goods


We Take Rapid and Decisive Action Against Internet Pirates

The Internet is filled with various types of Internet pirates selling different types of pirated goods, in both digital and hard good format. Kronenberger Rosenfeld takes rapid and decisive action against pirates — first, to stop the distribution of unauthorized products and second, to seize either digital or hard goods related to the piracy.

We have filed complaints against people selling counterfeit goods in the Amazon Marketplace, taken action to disable pirated apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play, and shut down a wide variety of piracy operations selling counterfeit eBooks, games, and other digital media.

We take quick and decisive action to shut down Internet piracy operations.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld has a particular focus on disabling websites and seizing various digital assets from pirates. Our Internet piracy lawyers would be happy to discuss how our techniques can be applied to your particular Internet piracy matter. Just give us a call at (415) 955-1155, ext. 120, or submit your matter using our online case submission form.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE


International Ip Management


The World Wide Web is just precisely that—worldwide—and if you have an Internet-based business, you are operating in the global marketplace.

First and foremost, we are intellectual property lawyers, with years of experience in highly technical matters.

While the United States used to provide the gold standard for copyright and trademark registration, today more and more businesses are seeking the added protection of international intellectual property registration in the geographic areas in which they do the most business.

Of course, navigating the legal and procedural channels of international IP management is no easy task. Using trademarks as an example, registering a trademark abroad is accomplished through various international organizations, agreements, and treaties, many of which allow you to file in more than one country at the same time. For example, single registration of a Community Trade Mark (CTM) through the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) makes your trademark rights enforceable in every country within the European Union (EU). Other avenues for international registration include:

Kronenberger Rosenfeld can help you weigh the costs and benefits of registering your trademarks and copyrights internationally and identify the best jurisdictions in which to start. The firm has substantial experience in creating and maintaining the IP portfolios of its clients. We also have a proven track record of enforcing clients’ IP rights against infringers located in both the United States and abroad.

We welcome you to submit the details of your International IP Management matter using our online case submission form, or by calling us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.



Apply For A Copyright Registration


Tap Into Our Experience in Registering Copyrights for Websites and Other Web Content

If your business publishes a website, then it almost certainly owns copyrightable content. If that content is unique or valuable, or is a source of competitive advantage, then you should consider registering your copyrights in that content with the U.S. Copyright office.

We have the experience to get your complicated web content registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

While it is true that your copyright exists from the moment you create your work, you cannot bring a lawsuit to enforce that copyright without first registering it. And if you wait too long to register a copyright on Internet content, or wait until after the infringement already has taken place, you cannot take advantage of some of the powerful remedies available against infringers, including an award of your attorneys' fees and up to $150,000 in statutory damages for every instance of willful infringement, regardless of whether you can prove any actual monetary damages.

In the case of a website, software code, or other work, it is imperative to register a copyright on such Internet content as soon as possible due to the ease of which your competitors can steal your valuable work and pass it off as their own. Applying for a copyright registration need not be an extensive and expensive process, though certain registrations invoke more complicated procedures. Still other registrations, including those relating to certain facets of websites, concern areas in which the Copyright Office has created specific filing requirements.  Kronenberger Rosenfeld can help you navigate this sometimes difficult process. Kronenberger Rosenfeld's in-depth knowledge of the web and web-related technologies makes us ideally suited to help protect your Internet and new media copyright assets. We work with you to identify the content most in need of protection, file all of your registrations with the Copyright Office, and counsel you as to the appropriate means of enforcing your rights.

To take the next step in protecting your valuable web or new media-related copyrights, submit your matter to us using our online case submission form, or call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.



Internet Copyright Infringement


Tap Into Our Experience Fighting Internet Copyright Infringement

In the digital age, so much of your most valuable copyrighted property can be stolen at the click of a mouse. In some cases, the speed with which you respond to copyright infringement can be crucial, since it takes just hours for stolen content to appear on bulletin boards and file-sharing sites and in the indexes of search engines crawling the web for new content. We get better and faster results, due to the size of our firm, enabling us to be more efficient and respond quickly. For us, “better” means disabling infringing content in 24 hours instead of a year.

We represent content owners, alleged infringers, and ISPs in all types of Internet copyright matters.

Whether you are a copyright owner attempting to enforce your rights, or an individual or business accused of infringing on the copyright rights of others, Kronenberger Rosenfeld can help. We also represent Internet Service Providers (ISPs), user-generated content publishers, and similar web and mobile app operators attempting to preserve their immunity under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 USC § 512. We can help you decide what actions to take in your copyright infringement matter and can take them immediately as necessary to protect your rights.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld’s experience in the area of Internet copyright infringement runs the gamut of copyrightable Internet assets — from website graphics, to mobile apps, to eBooks, to photos, to MP3 and video files, to web text content. Related to digital copyright is the issue of unlawful misappropriation of your image or likeness over the Internet. Click here to learn more about the rights of victims of misappropriation.

Kronenberger Rosenfeld's knowledge of web technologies and experience dealing with evasive or anonymous infringers enable us to make decisions and act before the other party even knows we are on the case. We welcome you to submit your Internet copyright infringement case to us using our online case submission form or by calling us directly at 415-955-1155, ext. 120


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE
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  • Obtained a temporary restraining order requiring Google to remove certain administrative documents from GoogleDocs on the grounds that they were the copyrighted works of our client, an International business.
  • Represented a designer of websites for medical service providers in a series of copyright infringement suits. In each case, the defendant (a separate medical service provider) had copied and displayed some or all of our client’s website templates for its own use. In each case, our firm reached a favorable settlement on behalf of our client.
  • Represented a car rental company as the plaintiff in federal copyright lawsuit in which a competitor had copied and displayed our client’s original content on the competitor’s website. Our client drafted this original content for its own car rental website and had obtained copyright protection for that text with the U.S. Copyright Office based on our firm’s pre-litigation counseling.
  • Represented a law firm in a copyright and defamation dispute involving a competing law firm.
  • Represented a producer of television advertisements for attorneys in copyright infringement lawsuit against a law firm that had copied client’s video advertisements nearly frame-by-frame. After filing a complaint, negotiated quick and favorable settlement of the case.
  • Defeated the motion to dismiss a complaint for copyright infringement for lack of personal jurisdiction, filed in the Central District of California, on grounds that the defendant, an Ohio radio station, maintained a website focused on California-based celebrities and entertainment, and it was on this website that the celebrity photo in question, taken in Los Angeles, was published without the Plaintiff’s permission. After denial of this motion, the case was resolved for the client through a favorable settlement.
  • Despite fair use defense, negotiated a favorable settlement for the owner of a celebrity photograph used without permission by a plastic surgeon on his website blog discussing celebrity plastic surgery news and gossip.
  • Represented a historian photographer in copyright infringement action against a renowned musical group for exceeding the scope of license to a photographer’s work, resolving the same through settlement in the client’s favor.
  • Represented an investment banker in identifying the party responsible for stealing proprietary content, using copyright laws and subpoenas to Microsoft.
  • Represented a seller of top grossing weight loss ebooks on the Internet in copyright infringement claims against the competitor.




Apply for a Federal Trademark Registration


Protect Your Valuable Trademark by Applying for a Federal Trademark Registration

In this digital age, trademarks are more important than ever in distinguishing your products and services from those of your competitors. Customers rely on the distinctive nature of your trademarks when searching for your business and your products, including through search engines. When competitors use your trademarks in an attempt to profit from that traffic, you need to take quick and decisive action. Federal trademark registration facilitates your doing so at the infringer's expense. Kronenberger Rosenfeld specializes in litigating Internet trademark infringement lawsuits.

We will make certain you obtain the greatest protection for your trademark in prosecuting your trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
REGISTRATION OF TRADEMARKS

Upon a federal registration of your Internet trademark, you are entitled to certain statutory presumptions concerning your ownership of the trademark and its validity. Additionally, during litigation, your registration opens the door to an award for your attorneys' fees. After your trademark has been registered for five years, you are permitted to file an affidavit with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that renders your trademark incontestable.

TRADEMARK CLEARANCE SEARCHES AS RISK MINIMIZATION

Before filing for a trademark registration, if not before beginning to use a trademark, it is advisable to conduct a nationwide trademark clearance search to determine whether your brand potentially infringes on the trademark rights of others. Clearance searches don't need to cost a fortune. In every case, they are cheaper than having to abandon a mark if a presently unknown trademark owner senior to you challenges your use. Even if litigation does result, a clearance search will help you demonstrate that any infringement caused by your use of your trademark was not willful or intentional.


REPRESENTATION BEFORE THE PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

If another's registered trademark or another's trademark in a pending trademark registration application is confusingly similar to your current trademark, or if you want to cancel or oppose the registration under the required provision of Internet trademark protection rules, we can represent you before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).

CONTACT US
Kronenberger Rosenfeld performs trademark clearance searches and conducts risk analysis for you, files your trademark registration applications, and represents you in actions in front of the US Patent & Trademark Office. If you would like us to handle any of your trademark needs, please submit your matter to us online or call us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.



Internet Trademark Infringement


Internet Trademark Infringement Can Take Many Forms

Litigating trademark infringement claims for Internet-related activity has been at the core of our law practice for more than a decade. We have set precedent, proposed new infringement theories such as infringement through “search engine spam,” and handled trademark claims involving venues such as the Amazon Marketplace and mobile app stores.

We can help you fight those infringing your trademarks on the Internet. Whether it’s PPC infringement, search engine spam, or cybersquatting, we can take rapid, decisive action on your behalf.

While cybersquatting and other deceptive uses of domain names may be the most common forms of Internet trademark infringement, they are not the only forms. Internet companies seeking an unfair advantage incorporate the trademarks of their competitors into a wide array of online materials. The Internet trademark infringement lawyers and cybersquatting lawsuit experts at Kronenberger Rosenfeld can help you distinguish between fair use of your trademarks and actionable trademark infringement and can bring a quick halt to the latter.

As in our Internet copyright enforcement practice, our knowledge of web technologies and our experience negotiating and litigating trademark disputes give us an upper hand in representing our clients. Whether your trademark appears in a competitor's web pages, metadata, or pay-per-click ad text and keywords, we can help you understand the scope of the problem, and the most cost-effective solution. We do so quickly before the issue threatens your customer relations or the well-being of your business.

We can also help you track down occasional, evasive, or anonymous infringers and help develop policies and programs designed to weed out and prevent further infringement.

We welcome you to submit the details of your Internet trademark infringement matter using our online case submission form or by calling us at 415-955-1155, ext. 120.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE
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  • Represented a major online retailer of health and beauty products in trademark infringement lawsuit brought by a competing producer of teeth whitening products.
  • Defended a beverage manufacturer in a federal trademark infringement action brought by a large health and supplement company.
  • Represented a major managed hosting and collocation provider in trademark infringement action involving the improper use of the client’s trademarks for the purpose of gaining commercial advantage in Internet search engines.
  • Represented a 70-year-old technology college in trademark infringement claims against competitor.
  • Defended a financial services company in a federal trademark infringement suit, which alleged that the client had misused its competitor’s trademarks in online advertisements.
  • Defended a provider of credit information services against allegations of trademark infringement brought by a credit reporting business. The firm aggressively contested the credit reporting business’s rights in its purported trademark, including through the use of survey evidence. The parties ultimately settled the action after extensive discovery and motion practice.
  • Represented a car rental company in a trademark infringement lawsuit against competitor. The competitor had used the car rental company’s name in its online advertisements and in the competitor’s website. Ultimately, the competitor was forced to declare bankruptcy during the lawsuit.
  • Defended a marketer of nutraceuticals in massive federal trademark infringement lawsuit brought by Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Oz. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants had misused the Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Oz names and trademarks to market defendant’s nutraceuticals products. After the inception of litigation, the firm negotiated a settlement on behalf of the client.
  • Prosecuted a trademark opposition proceeding on behalf of an international travel agency. After litigating the opposition proceeding for several months, the firm prevailed on the Trademark Board to enter terminating sanctions against the trademark applicant and in favor of the firm’s client.
  • Represented an online auction company in trademark infringement action against blogger who integrated client’s trademarks into the blog’s metadata. Resolved case through settlement including removal of content in question.
  • Represented an affiliate network in lawsuit against competitor involving Lanham Act claims. Resolved case on through stipulated judgment by defendants.






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