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Insuring Patents

By Yaping Zhang – Edited by Jennifer Chung and Ariel Simms

Despite its increasing availability, patent insurance—providing defensive protection against claims of patent infringement and funding offensive actions against patent infringers—continues to be uncommon. This Note aims to provide an overview of the patent insurance landscape.

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Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 Seeks to Establish Federal Cause of Action for Trade Secrets Misappropriation

By Suyoung Jang – Edited by Mila Owen

Following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s approval in January of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, the Committee has released Senate Report 114-220 supporting the bill. The bill seeks to protect trade secret owners by creating a federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation.

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Federal Circuit Flash Digest

By Evan Tallmadge – Edited by Olga Slobodyanyuk

The Linked Inheritability Between Two Regions of DNA is an Unpatentable Law of Nature

HP Setback in Challenging the Validity of MPHJ’s Distributed Virtual Copying Patent

CardPool Fails to Escape an Invalidity Judgment But Can Still Pursue Amended Claims

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Amicus Brief by EFF and ACLU Urging Illinois State Sex Offender Laws Declared Unconstitutional under First Amendment

By Yaping Zhang – Edited by Mila Owen

With the Illinois Supreme Court gearing up to determine the constitutionality of the state’s sex offender registration statute, two advocacy non-profits have filed amicus briefs in support of striking the law down.

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Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Gia Velasquez – Edited by Ken Winterbottom

Federal Court Grants Uber’s Class Action Certification Appeal

Independent Contractor Classification of Uber Drivers May Violate Antitrust Laws

Self-Driving Car Will Be Considered Autonomous Driver

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By Yaping Zhang

Edited by Jennifer Chung and Ariel Simms

Despite its increasing availability, patent insurance—providing defensive protection against claims of patent infringement and funding offensive actions against patent infringers—continues to be uncommon. This Note aims to provide an overview of the patent insurance landscape. After a brief discussion of the patent insurance industry in Part I, Part II describes how courts deal with patent infringement coverage under CGL policies. Part III examines the mandatory patent insurance scheme proposed by the European Commission and contrasts it with U.S. legislative inaction regarding patent insurance. Part IV explains why the U.S. system does not view patent insurance as a solution to the current patent litigation system through the lens of existing scholarship. Part V concludes.

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Posted On Apr - 27 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

Senate Judiciary CommitteeBy Suyoung Jang – Edited by Mila Owen

S.1890 – Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016

Full Text of the Bill

On March 7th, the Senate Judiciary Committee released Senate Report 114-220 supporting the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”). This report follows the Committee’s unanimous approval of the bill in January. Originally introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the DTSA would provide owners of misappropriated trade secrets damages awards and equitable remedies, including ex parte seizures under certain conditions, in order to provide federal protection for trade secrets. The bill enjoys bipartisan support in both legislative bodies and is likely to pass into law.

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Posted On Apr - 26 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

Flash DigestBy Evan Tallmadge – Edited by Olga Slobodyanyuk

The Linked Inheritability Between Two Regions of DNA is an Unpatentable Law of Nature

Genetic Technologies Limited v. Merial L.L.C. (Fed. Cir. Apr. 8, 2016)

Genetic Technologies sued Merial and Bristol-Myers Squibb in Delaware district court for violation of patent on methods for detecting genetic variations. The district court dismissed for failure to state a claim, ruling that the patent claims were ineligible for protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101 because they were directed to a law of nature. The Federal Circuit agreed that claim’s subject matter was unpatentable and thus affirmed the district court’s finding.

Dr. Simons, inventor under the 5,612,179 patent, discovered that non-coding regions of DNA (introns, colloquially ‘junk DNA’) are linked to nearby coding regions (exons) and inherited together more often than probability would dictate if gene recombination was random, a phenomenon known as linkage disequilibrium. The ‘179 patent describes a method for detecting exons by amplifying linked introns. Genetic Technologies claimed this method was advantageous to prior art because it allowed the amplification and sequencing of significantly shorter segments of DNA.

The ‘179 patent at its core claimed a patent over the relationship between introns and exons, broadly covering all applications of the concept of linkage disequilibrium, a universal and inherent feature of all human DNA. This situation was analogous to the recent decision in Mayo Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs., Inc., where the Supreme Court concluded that the claims were directed toward an underlying law of nature, even if substantial human ingenuity was required to implement the discovery.

JD Supra has a good in-depth analysis of the case and the peril that patentees of diagnostic inventions face under the current regime.

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Posted On Apr - 19 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

Illinois FlagBy Yaping Zhang – Edited by Mila Owen

On April 6, 2016, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois (“ACLU”) and the Electronic Freedom Foundation (“EFF”) filed an amicus brief at the Illinois Supreme Court, urging the Court to declare unconstitutional the State’s Sex Offender Registration Act (“SORA”). SORA imposes jail time on a registered sex offender who fails to report “Internet communications identities” to law enforcement, and broadly applies to such activity writing an online letter to the editor, posting a political comment, or researching health information.

The amicus brief can be found here. Both EFF and ACLU have given their accounts of the case and their reasons for filing the brief.

The Defendant-Appellee in the case, Mr. Minnis, committed a misdemeanor sexual offense several years ago as a juvenile . He served 12 months’ probation and following which was added to the sexual offender registry. He was recently arrested and charged with a Class 3 felony punishable by a year in prison after he failed to report to police a Facebook account to which he had uploaded a photo. SORA, codified at 730 ILCS 150, imposes considerable burdens on registered sex offenders, requiring them to report “all e-mail addresses, instant messaging identities, chat room identities, and other Internet communications identities that the sex offender uses or plans to use, all Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) registered or used by the sex offender, all blogs and other Internet sites maintained by the sex offenders or to which the sex offender has uploaded any content or posted any messages or information ”.

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Posted On Apr - 19 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

Fed. Cir. Flash DigestBy Gia Velasquez – Edited by Ken Winterbottom

Federal Court Grants Uber’s Class Action Certification Appeal

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted Uber’s appeal regarding the class action certification of Uber drivers in California. This will stall the case, which concerns whether Uber drivers are employees rather than independent contractors. Uber argued that all drivers forfeited their right to be a member of a class action lawsuit because their contracts contained a binding arbitration clause. Should Uber prevail on appeal, each driver would be forced to individually arbitrate to achieve employee certification.

Independent Contractor Classification of Uber Drivers May Violate Antitrust Laws

A lawsuit alleging Uber violates antitrust laws has been permitted to move forward by U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff. The suit, filed against Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, alleges Uber violates antitrust laws by classifying their drivers as independent contractors, but not permitting them to compete on price. The fares are calculated through an algorithm which cause all drivers to charge the same price, and according to Rakoff, “through the magic of smartphone technology, can invite hundreds of thousands of drivers in far-flung locations to agree to Uber’s terms.”

Self-Driving Car Will Be Considered Autonomous Driver

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the artificial intelligence system in Google’s self-driving car can be considered a driver under federal law. Now, Google faces the challenge of ensuring the system complies with standards designed to apply to vehicles with human drivers. Worried that the technological progress will be impaired by regulation, Chris Urmson, the head of the Google project, said the “leadership of the federal government is critically important given the growing patchwork of state laws and regulations on self-driving cars.”

Posted On Apr - 19 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST
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Insuring Patents

By Yaping Zhang Edited by Jennifer Chung and Ariel Simms Despite its ...

Senate Judiciary Committee

Defend Trade Secrets

By Suyoung Jang – Edited by Mila Owen S.1890 - Defend ...

Flash Digest

Federal Circuit Flas

By Evan Tallmadge – Edited by Olga Slobodyanyuk The Linked Inheritability ...

Illinois Flag

Amicus Brief by EFF

By Yaping Zhang – Edited by Mila Owen On April 6, ...

Fed. Cir. Flash Digest

Flash Digest: News i

By Gia Velasquez – Edited by Ken Winterbottom Federal Court Grants ...