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Sarah Tremont

Sarah Tremont is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office, where she is a member of the Intellectual Property Rights and Litigation Groups. Her practice involves trademark advisory work as well as consumer class action defense.

The SEC has confirmed that public companies can use social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to disseminate material information, provided that investors are alerted in advance that information will be disclosed in this fashion.

This guidance came in a Report of Investigation under Section 21(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, issued on April 2, 2013.  The underlying investigation concerned Netflix, Inc., and its CEO Reed Hastings.  Last July, Hastings announced on his personal Facebook page that June 2012 marked the first month that Netflix had streamed more than one billion hours of content.  No press release or Current Report on Form 8-K accompanied the Facebook post.  Despite prior announcements that it was nearing a billion hours of monthly streamed content and the fact that its revenue model is subscription-based, the price of Netflix common stock increased 16% over the next trading day.

Continue Reading SEC Approves Use of Social Media to Communicate With Investors, But Warns Companies to Proceed With Caution

The Obama administration issued a statement on Monday declaring that consumers not bound by service agreements should be able to unlock their cellular devices for use with other network providers.  In the official response to a petition on the We The People website, a senior White House advisor on the Internet, innovation and privacy agreed with more than 114,000 signatories that it makes “common sense” to allow users to unlock their smart phones and, potentially, tablets without incurring criminal or other penalties.

Cell phone unlocking can run afoul of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which prohibits circumvention of technological protection measures that control access to a phone’s copyrighted software.  In 2006 and 2010, the Library of Congress had exempted the practice from the DMCA’s prohibition under its power to issue three-year exemptions to the statute.  But the 2012 exemptions put in place last fall do not extend to the unlocking of cell phones acquired after January 26th of this year.

The White House statement expressed disagreement with this policy, maintaining that cell phone unlocking protects consumer choice and fosters a competitive and innovative wireless market.  Also on Monday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski echoed these concerns and advised that the agency is examining the issue.

Continue Reading White House Calls for Legalization of Some Cell Phone Unlocking