On December 31, 2019, IPWatchdog featured commentary from Lee Brenner regarding the biggest moments and key events in the world of intellectual property for 2019. The following is an excerpt:
Social Media insults constituting “heated rhetoric” are not defamation.
In Unsworth v. Musk, No. 2:18-cv-08048 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 6, 2019), a federal jury in the Central District of California found that Tesla CEO Elon Musk did not defame cave diver Vernon Unsworth by referring to him in a tweet as “pedo guy.” Unsworth’s attorney warned that the Musk verdict would worsen the trend in defamation law of insults on social media becoming “completely open season.” 798, 809, 811 (2002).