Earlier today the United States Supreme Court issued the much-anticipated Opinion in Facebook v. Duguid. In a unanimous ruling, the Court held that “To qualify as an automatic telephone dialing system under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a device must have the capacity either to store a telephone number using a random or sequential number generator, or to produce a telephone number using a random or sequential number generator.”
In reaching this decision, the Court cited the Professional Association for Customer Engagement’s (PACE) amicus brief, which countered Duguid’s argument that it was not possible for a dialer to “store” numbers that were randomly or sequentially generated: “Indeed, as early as 1988, the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office issued patents for devices that used a random number generator to store numbers to be called later (as opposed to using a number generator for immediate dialing). Brief for Professional Association for Customer Engagement et al. as Amici Curiae 15– 21.”
The Brief was authored by PACE Government Affairs Committee Member, Karl Koster, Chief IP Counsel for Nobel Systems Corp. and PACE General Counsels Michele Shuster and Josh Stevens, Mac Murray & Shuster LLP.
The Opinion has a significant impact on pending cases for which the definition of an automatic telephone system will be dispositive. PACE is currently reviewing the Opinion and will publish a comprehensive article as well as host a webinar next week.
Michele is the Managing Partner at M&S and former Chief of the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section. Bringing more than two decades of experience in the consumer protection arena, she advises highly regulated businesses on a wide range of telemarketing, privacy, and other consumer protection matters.