On July 28, 2016, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of the Northern District of California dismissed a putative Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action against Orrick’s client, Life360, Inc., clearing Life360 of claims that its popular smartphone application sends unsolicited text message invitations to users’ contacts in violation of the TCPA and California Unfair Competition Law.
The suit alleged that, even though Life360’s users had to select whom they wished to send invitations to, Life360 was nevertheless the “maker” of those invitations under the TCPA and used an automated telephone dialing system to send those invitations by text. Judge Henderson agreed with Orrick that the human intervention required by Life360’s users—namely, their selection of whom to invite—meant that the app’s users, and not Life360, were the “makers” of the text message invitations that they caused the app to send. The court agreed with Orrick that, for purposes of determining whether an app or its users are the “makers” of a text under the TCPA, it makes no difference whether the app’s users know how their invitation will be sent.
The Orrick team was comprised of partners William Molinski and Gregory Heibel, and senior associate Gregory Beaman.