Preliminary Injunctions

Judge Carter will hold a preliminary injunction hearing next week in a case challenging, on First Amendment grounds, a new New York law (N.Y. Gen. Bus. L. § 394-ccc) that requires social media platforms to develop policies for addressing, and for responding to user complaints about, “hateful conduct.”

The challengers are operators of online platforms who argue that they should not be forced to police what the state vaguely defines as “hateful” conduct. Merely having to separately define what is “hateful” conduct, and provide special treatment to users who complain about conduct meeting that definition, amounts to an endorsement of the State’s views, according to the challengers:

Continue Reading Judge Carter to Hold Hearing Next Week on Whether to Enjoin New York’s New Online Hate Speech Law

In an opinion Tuesday, Judge Crotty preliminarily enjoined New York State from enforcing unauthorized practice of law (“UPL”) regulations against a non-profit that counsels New Yorkers facing debt-collection actions (see our prior coverage here).

Judge Crotty found that UPL regulations were commonly upheld as regulating conduct, but, as applied to the that the program at issue, the UPL regulations governed speech:
Continue Reading Judge Crotty: Non-Profit’s Advice on Dealing With Debt Collection Actions Is Protected by First Amendment Against “Unauthorized Practice of Law” Regulations

In an opinion today, Judge Ramos denied a motion to preliminary enjoin recent changes to the admissions process for New York City’s eight elite, specialized schools, which generally admit students based solely on a highly competitive test.  Last summer, the City announced modified the criteria somewhat to set aside a larger proportion of each class for disadvantaged students, with the aim of creating greater diversity.

The challengers alleged that the changes discriminate against Asian-Americans, but Judge Ramos, in denying a preliminary injunction, found that they were unlikely to succeed on that claim:
Continue Reading Judge Ramos Refuses to Enjoin Initiative to Diversify NYC’s Elite “Specialized” Schools

In an order last week, Judge Oetken granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the purveyors of the cryptocurrency “AlibabaCoin” from continuing to use the marks of Alibaba Group, the global e-commerce company based in China.  According to Alibaba Group, defendants “published a variety of promotional materials that impermissibly use Alibaba’s trademarks in an effort to align AlibabaCoin with Alibaba in the minds of potential consumers.”

Notably, Judge Oetken addressed whether cryptocurrency transactions purportedly occurring in Belarus could be subject to personal jurisdiction in New York by analogizing cryptocurrency to debit card transactions:
Continue Reading Judge Oetken Enjoins “AlibabaCoin” from Using Alibaba Group’s Marks; Finds Personal Jurisdiction Over Cryptocurrency Transactions Made Using Blockchain in Belarus

In an opinion last week, Judge Stanton granted video game manufacturer Take-Two’s request for an injunction against the creator of two software programs that allowed users to cheat at Take-Two’s “Grand Theft Auto V” video game.  Among other functions, the computer programs allow users to use an unlimited amount of in-game currency that otherwise had to be purchased from Take-Two.  Take-Two alleged that the cheat software violated Take-Two’s copyright in “Grand Theft Auto V” and also violated the terms of the user agreement.

In granting the preliminary injunction, Judge Stanton focused on the harm to both the public as well as Take-Two:
Continue Reading Judge Stanton Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Creator of “Grand Theft Auto V” Cheat Software

In an opinion today, Judge Oetken clarified a preliminary injunction granted to the maker of a product called “My Cinema Lightbox,” a backlit sign similar to old-fashioned movie theater displays (see image below), against a similar product called “My Marquee Lightbox.”   After winning its motion for a preliminary injunction, the plaintiff  began instructing retailers that they could no longer sell “My Marquee Lightbox.”  Judge Oetken clarified that the Order did not permit the plaintiff to do so:
Continue Reading Judge Oetken: Preliminary Injunction Winner in Trademark Case Cannot Direct Third Party Retailers to Stop Selling the Accused Product

In an opinion today, Judge McMahon preliminary enjoined a company called Matinee from using the phrase and logo “NYC Pride” to promote events that compete with those of the plaintiff, Heritage, the organizer of the LGBT’s community’s annual gay pride march and rally, which are scheduled for later this month. Matinee’s competing events include a performance by Azealia Banks, a singer who was heavily criticized for making allegedly homophobic comments directed at blogger Perez Hilton, and Judge McMahon found that Heritage would be irreparably harmed by the potential of being wrongly associated with the Banks controversy:
Continue Reading Judge McMahon Issues Preliminary Injunction to Block Unauthorized Use of “NYC Pride” to Promote Competing Pride Week Events

In an opinion today, Judge Nathan refused to issue a preliminary injunction that would required Aetna to alter the proxy materials by which it opposes two upcoming shareholder proposals seeking to require Aetna to provide more detail about its political contributions. The complaint alleges that Aetna’s prior opposition to similar proposals falsely claimed that Aetna already provided “robust” and “extensive” disclosure, when, in fact, Aetna omitted or misstated various political donations. Judge Nathan found that the plaintiff could not show “irreparable harm”:
Continue Reading Judge Nathan Refuses to Enjoin Allegedly “Uninformed” Shareholder Vote Relating to Aetna Political Donations

Yesterday, a group of merchants moved, on First Amendment Grounds, to enjoin a New York law that allows merchants to charge different prices for cash and credit card purchases, but prohibits them from calling the extra charge for credit card purchases a “surcharge”: The motion begins:
Continue Reading Merchants Move to Enjoin New York Law Against Describing Extra Charges to Credit Card Customers As “Surcharges”