California
27 July 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

EFF seeks default judgement on defamation case


The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) wants a default judgement in its dispute with Global Equity Management (GEMSA) so that the US court can block an injunction issued in Australia over an apparently defamatory blog post.

GEMSA missed the deadline to respond to the EFF’s lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, which the digital advocacy group brought in response to GEMSA obtaining an injunction in the South Australian Supreme Court.

That court found a Stupid Patent of the Month blog post making fun of a GEMSA patent to be defamatory and ordered the EFF to take it down and refrain from discussing GEMSA’s intellectual property in the future.

The EFF featured US patent 6,690,400, which claims the idea of using “virtual cabinets” to graphically represent data storage and organisation, and accused GEMSA of using it to sue “just about anyone who runs a website”.

According to the EFF, the South Australian Supreme Court injunction is unenforceable in the US and the advocacy group has so far refused to remove the post.

In its lawsuit filed in the the Northern District of California, the EFF argued that the Australian injunction seeks to silence expression of opinion and would never survive scrutiny under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

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