Friday, July 15, 2011

UPDATE: 'Twittersquatting' Plaintiff Drops Suit

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseLife settlement company Coventry First has withdrawn its subpoena to Twitter and voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit against anonymous tweeters (see "TUOL" 6/15/11), the ABA Journal Law News Now blog reports.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case,  Coventry First, LLC v. John Does 1-10 (Case No. 2:11-cv-03700) alleged violations of the Lanham Act and the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, along with common law claims of unjust enrichment and unfair competition, arising from sarcastic false tweets under the tag @coventryfirst.  Coventry First said it decided to drop the case after counsel for Public Citizen, which had sought to quash the subpoena to Twitter, revealed the pseudonymous tweeter was not an industry competitor. Public Citizen argued the plaintiff erred procedurally by serving Twitter with a subpoena before seeking court permission via motion to conduct early discovery.

More likely, dismissing the case without prejudice  is a face-saving measure by Coventry First, which faced an uphill battle supporting its claim that the fake tweets amounted to trademark infringement that might confuse consumers.

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