Technology Law Blog

Showing 13 posts in E-Commerce.

Bitcoin Update

The IRS has warned that virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, are to be treated as property and not as currency for tax purposes. Read this latest Bitcoin update on our tax blog.

Want to learn more about Bitcoin? Check out this blog post from November on what it is and where it is going.

Categories: E-Commerce, News & Events

Trade Secret Theft: Speed Date Sues Match.com for $6 million

Speed Date USA, Inc. is suing the online dating company Match.com for $5.65 million for allegedly breaching its contract and misappropriating trade secrets. In essence, the lawsuit claims that Match.com terminated the contract early and then breached its obligations to hold joint events. Match.com terminated the contract, according to the lawsuit, upon learning Speed Date's trade secrets. Match.com then allegedly began to run its own speed dating events without compensating Speed Date USA.

Trade secrets are commonly defined by state statues and generally consist of four elements for the information to constitute a trade secret. The elements of a trade secret are: (i) information; (ii) that has independent economic value; (iii) which is not generally known or readily available; and (iv) such information is subject to reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy. Read More ›

Categories: E-Commerce, Intellectual Property, News & Events, Trade Secrets

The Bitcoin: What It Is and Where It's Going

Bitcoin is an application of crypto-currency, which is based on the premise that money can be any object or record that is accepted as payment. Bitcoins use a peer-to-peer networking system and are not managed by any central authority. They can be transferred by a computer or a smartphone without a mediating financial institution. Bitcoins are rumored to have been originated by a computer programmer going by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, whose real identity remains mysterious. Learn more about Bitcoins ›

Categories: E-Commerce, News & Events

SEC Fines NASDAQ $10 Million Over Facebook IPO

Even those who do not closely follow the stock market remember Facebook's IPO. The stock was priced at $38 per share the night before and was trading as high as $42.05 before the price started to drop quickly. One of the causes of the drop was the failure of NASDAQ's system of matching buyers with sellers. The system was tested for 40,000 orders, which did not adequately model the nearly 500,000 orders received when trading started. Read More ›

Categories: E-Commerce, News & Events

Are Websites Subject to The Accessibility Requirements of The Americans With Disabilities Act?

It is undeniable that the internet is here to stay, playing an increasingly critical role in our ability to obtain and disseminate information.  No matter the application – business, entertainment, politics, etc. – the internet has become a staple of everyday life.  For many individuals with disabilities, however, navigating the internet can be a less than satisfying endeavor. Read More ›

Categories: E-Commerce, Social Media

Are Large High-Tech Companies Shirking Tax Responsibilities? A Recent Study Suggests Just That

A recent report, "Tech Untaxed," published by The Greenlining Institute, shows that some of the nation's largest high-tech companies (Apple, Microsoft, and Google, to name a few) are paying significantly lower effective tax rates even as their yearly profits rise. Read More ›

Categories: E-Commerce, Tax

Michigan Sales Tax on Internet Retailers...Possibly

The applicability of sales tax in Internet transactions is a contentious issue in the state tax arena.  Many Internet retailers do not collect sales tax on their sales unless they have a physical presence in a state.  As a result, states have alleged that they are losing millions in tax dollars and brick-and-mortar retailers are operating at competitive disadvantages to their online competitors that do not impose sales tax.  Although states have encountered Constitutional difficulties in taxing out-of-state retailers, the pendulum may be swinging in favor of the states. Read More ›

Categories: E-Commerce, Tax

Internet Sales: FTC's Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule

With the holiday shopping season gearing up, let's take a look at a common scenario.  Frank, a "last minute" shopper, purchases a great gift from an Internet merchant's website.  The Internet merchant states that the item will be delivered to Frank in 3-5 business days.  Unfortunately for Frank, the item is delivered 5 days late. Does Frank have rights under the law?  Is the Internet merchant required to notify Frank of the late delivery? Read on. Read More ›

Categories: E-Commerce

Groupon: Trouble In Paradise?

Groupon, Inc. is in the midst of a class-action lawsuit, the result of which could alter the foundation of mobile couponing.  For the uninitiated, Groupon is a group buying website that offers large discounts on local goods and services. Groupon sends subscribers daily emails with promotional offers.  If a specified number of people sign up for the offer, the deal becomes available to all.  For example, a Groupon offer might permit a subscriber to purchase an $80 massage for $40.  The "Groupons" are valid for a certain period of time. According to Groupon's "terms of service," after a "Groupon" reaches its expiration date, it loses its promotional value; however, it can still be redeemed for the price paid. Read More ›

Categories: E-Commerce

Proposed Legislation Would Ban Unsolicited Text Messages

Cellular phones continue to play an increasing role in our daily lives, allowing us to stay "connected" 24/7.  That "connectivity", however, blurs and erodes the traditional notions of privacy in an individual's daily life.  Now, your boss, email, customers, and friends are never more than a button's push away. Read More ›

Categories: E-Commerce, Privacy