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Observing Mauna Kea’s Conflict

Written by: Aaron Frumkin

Edited by: Anton Ziajka

Believing the machinery desecrates their sacred summit and the scarce natural resources it shelters, native Hawaiians have opposed telescope development on Mauna Kea. While it seems that their beleaguered resistance to telescope development will fail yet again with the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), this Note attempts to articulate their best arguments in hopes of properly framing the social costs associated with the great scientific and technological gains that TMT will surely provide.

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Federal Circuit Flash Digest: News In Brief

By Cristina Carapezza

Rosen Wins TV Headrest Patent Suit

Federal Circuit Allows for Declaratory Judgment of Noninfringement for Disclaimed Patent

Federal Circuit Prohibits Third Party Challenges to Patent Application Revivals Under the APA

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Government Agents Indicted for Wire Fraud and Money Laundering in Silk Road Investigation

By Sheri Pan – Edited by Jens Frankenreiter

Two former Drug Enforcement Administration agents have been charged for wire fraud and money laundering in connection with an investigation of Silk Road, a digital black market that allowed people to anonymously buy drugs and other illicit goods using Bitcoin, a digital currency. The two agents were members of the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force and allegedly used their official capacities and resources to steal Bitcoins for their personal gain.

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Mississippi Attorney General’s investigation of Google temporarily halted by federal court

By Lan Du – Edited by Katherine Kwong

On March 2, 2015, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s investigation of Google was halted by a federal court granting Google’s motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate issued the opinion. Judge Wingate found a substantial likelihood that Hood’s investigation violated Google’s First Amendment rights by content regulation of speech and placing limits of public access to information.

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Federal Circuit Flash Digest

By Ken Winterbottom

J.P. Morgan Appeal Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction

Court Agrees with USPTO: Settlement Agreements Are Not Grounds for Dismissing Patent Validity Challenges

Attorney Misconduct-Based Fee-Shifting Request Revived in Light of Recent Supreme Court Decision

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Written by: Aaron Frumkin
Edited by: Anton Ziajka

I.     Introduction
Perched quietly atop a long-dormant volcano on the most isolated landmass of Hawaii, thirteen of the largest and most advanced telescopes known to modern science dutifully survey the night sky, gathering light and information from the nearly unobstructed vantage at the highest point in the Pacific.[1] But long before telescopes and the annexation of Hawaii, Mauna Kea was a tremendous source of astronomical and meteorological understanding. From its peak, native Hawaiians gained much of the profound knowledge necessary to navigate vast distances across the Pacific, sailing from tiny island to tiny island using only skylights — sun, moon, and stars — as their guide.[2]

According to native Hawaiian religion, Mauna Kea is the meeting point between sky and earth, a temple built by the divine creator and the zenith of Hawaii’s ties to creation itself.[3] Believing the machinery desecrates their sacred summit and the scarce natural resources it shelters, native Hawaiians have opposed telescope development on Mauna Kea since it began nearly fifty years ago.[4] Despite this opposition, thirteen telescopes adorn Mauna Kea today.[5] The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), which will be larger and more powerful than any other on Earth, is likely to make fourteen.[6]

The summit land is held by the University of Hawaii, which subleases tracts to telescope corporations in exchange for access to the telescopes.[7] TMT obtained such a sublease and, in September 2010, applied for a Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP), seeking permission from the State Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) to develop on Mauna Kea’s summit.[8] A group of Native Hawaiian residents and environmental groups (“petitioners”) challenged the application before the BLNR.[9] The BLNR approved TMT’s application over petitioners’ objections in February 2011 and reaffirmed its initial decision after an administrative appeal in April 2013.[10] Petitioners then filed an appeal in Hawaii State court challenging the BLNR’s final decision, which is pending as of the time of this writing.[11] While it seems that the native Hawaiians’ beleaguered resistance to telescope development will fail yet again, this Note attempts to articulate their best arguments in hopes of properly framing the social costs associated with the great scientific and technological gains that TMT will surely provide.

(more…)

Posted On May - 19 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST

UnknownBy Cristina Carapezza

Rosen Wins TV Headrest Patent Suit

The Federal Circuit upheld the district court’s decision that Rosen Entertainment Systems LP did not infringe a TMI Products Inc. patent for video devices that can be installed into the back of a car’s headrest. TMI contended that the district court incorrectly interpreted the claim term “to permit selective access.” However, a three-judge appellate panel found that U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner correctly construed the disputed language of claim 1 that constituted the basis for his decision. Thus, the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the court to grant Rosen’s motion for summary judgment of noninfringement.

http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/images/stories/opinions-orders/14-1553.Opinion.3-31-2015.1.PDF

Federal Circuit Allows for Declaratory Judgment of Noninfringement for Disclaimed Patent

The Federal Circuit reversed the district court’s dismissal of Apotex Inc.’s suit seeking a declaratory judgment on noninfringement of Daiichi Sankyo Inc.’s patent for olmesartan medoxomil, which Daiichi markets as Benicar® for the treatment of hypertension. Apotex seeks to manufacture and sell a generic verison of Benicar®. Although Apotex cannot infringe the patent because Daiichi disclaimed it, a declaratory judgment on noninfringement allows Apotex to obtain marketing approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration and to enter the market sooner than would be possible otherwise. The district court granted Daiichi’s motion to dismiss for a lack of case or controversy. However, the Federal Circuit reversed, in part, because “Apotex has a concrete, potentially high-value stake in obtaining the judgment it seeks; and Daiichi has a concrete, potentially high-value stake in denying Apotex that judgment and thereby delaying Apotex’s market entry.” Thus, the Federal Circuit found that a substantial controversy existed to warrant the issuance of a declaratory judgment.

http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/images/stories/opinions-orders/14-1282.Opinion.3-27-2015.1.PDF

 

Federal Circuit Prohibits Third Party Challenges to Patent Application Revivals Under the APA 

The Federal Circuit rejected Excela Pharma Sciences LLC’s appeal of a ruling by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) denying Exela’s challenge of the USPTO’s decision to revive a patent application. The patent at issue is for Ofirmev, an injectable pain reliever, owned by SCR Pharmatop and sublicensed to Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc. The district court dismissed Exela’s complaint for not meeting the statute of limitations for claims filed against the U.S. Regardless of whether the challenge was time-barred, the Federal Circuit ruled that a third party to a patent cannot use the Administrative Procedure Act to seek judicial review of a USPTO decision to revive a patent application that was abandoned because of late filings.

http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/images/stories/opinions-orders/13-1206.Opinion.3-23-2015.1.PDF

 

 

 

Posted On Apr - 21 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST

UnknownBy Sheri Pan – Edited by Jens Frankenreiter

United States v. Carl Mark Force IV, No. 3-15-70370 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 25, 2015)

Complaint

Former Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Carl Mark Force IV and Secret Service Special Agent Shaun W. Bridges have been charged for wire fraud and money laundering in connection with an investigation of Silk Road, a digital black market that allowed people to anonymously buy drugs and other illicit goods using Bitcoin, a digital currency. Criminal Complaint at 2. The two agents were members of the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force and allegedly used their official capacities and investigative resources to steal Bitcoins for their own personal gain. Id. at 2–5.

New York Times and Gizmodo provide additional reporting and commentary. (more…)

Posted On Apr - 21 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST
Photo By: Robert Scoble - CC BY 2.0

Photo By: Robert ScobleCC BY 2.0

By Lan Du – Edited by Katherine Kwong

Court Ruling

On March 2, 2015, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s investigation of Google was halted by a federal court granting Google’s motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. Recently, U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate issued the opinion laying out his reasoning for siding with Google and denying Hood’s motion to dismiss the case.

After several years of back-and-forth, the case escalated on October 27, 2014 when Hood served Google with a 79-page subpoena under the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act. According to Google’s complaint, the Attorney General “threatened to prosecute, sue, or investigate Google unless it agrees to block from its search engine, YouTube video-sharing site, and advertising systems, third-party content (i.e., websites, videos, or ads not created by Google) that the Attorney General finds objectionable.” Google refused to comply with the subpoena, and instead brought federal action against Hood in December 2014. The company’s argument relied on its free speech rights and the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (“CDA”), which shields intermediates like Google from liability arising from third-party content, as well as its rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Copyright Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”).  (more…)

Posted On Apr - 20 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST

By Ken Winterbottom

J.P. Morgan Appeal Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction

In Intellectual Ventures II LLC v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., 2014-1724 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 1, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit dismissed the bank defendants’ interlocutory appeal for want of jurisdiction. Intellectual Ventures, a known patent troll, filed the suit against J.P. Morgan Chase and several other financial institutions in 2013, alleging infringement of five patents. The defendants, who are represented by renowned law and technology scholar Mark Lemley, filed a motion to stay the case pending the outcome of several CBM review petitions they intended to file. The district court denied the motion, citing, among other things, the plaintiff’s Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. In a 2-1 decision, the Federal Circuit dismissed the defendants’ appeal, which was premised solely upon a grant of jurisdiction in §18 of the America Invents Act, a provision which the court said “must be construed narrowly”. Because the Patent Trial and Appeal Board had not yet acted on the defendants’ CBM review petitions, there was not yet a “proceeding” for the purposes of §18, and thus, the court had no jurisdiction to hear the case. The majority found support for this position in the legislative history of the America Invents Act, as well as through an interpretative analogy to the meaning of “proceeding” in 35 U.S.C. §325.

(more…)

Posted On Apr - 13 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST
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Photo By: Jeff Ruane - CC BY 2.0

Observing Mauna Kea'

Written by: Aaron Frumkin Edited by: Anton Ziajka I.     Introduction Perched quietly atop ...

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Photo By: Robert Scoble - CC BY 2.0

Mississippi Attorney

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