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Newegg Wins Patent Troll Case After Court Delays

By Kasey Wang – Edited by Yunnan Jiang and Travis West

The District Court for the Eastern District of Texas recently issued a final judgement for online retailer Newegg, twenty months after trial, vacating a $2.3 million jury award for TQP. TQP, a patent assertion entity commonly known as a “patent troll,” collected $45 million in settlements for the patent in question before Newegg’s trial.

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The Evolution of Internet Service Providers from Partners to Adversaries: Tracking Shifts in Interconnection Goals and Strategies in the Internet’s Fifth Generation

By Robert Frieden – Edited by Marcela Viviana Ruiz Martinez, Olga Slobodyanyuk and Yaping Zhang

In respone to increasing attempts by Internet Service Providers to target customers who trigger higher costs for rate increases, the FCC and other regulatory agencies worldwide have stepped in to prevent market failure and anticompetitive practices. This paper will examine new models for the carriage of Internet traffic that have arisen in the wake of these changes.

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The Global Corporate Citizen:  Responding to International Law Enforcement Requests for Online User Data 

By Kate Westmoreland – Edited by Yunnan Jiang

This paper analyses the law controlling when U.S.-based providers can provide online user data to foreign governments. The focus is on U.S. law because U.S. dominance of internet providers means that U.S. laws affect a large number of global users. The first half of this paper outlines the legal framework governing these requests. The second half highlights the gaps in the law and how individual companies’ policies fill these gaps.

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Symposium Introduction: Legal Issues in Computer and Internet Law and the Quagmire of Appropriate Legal Frameworks in the Modern Era

By Deborah Beth Medows – Edited by Yaping Zhang

Jurists must widely examine the pervasive challenges among the advents in Internet and computer technology in order to ensure that legal systems protect individuals while  encouraging innovation.  It is precisely due to the legal and societal quagmires that 3D printing and net neutrality pose that ideally position them as springboards from which to delve into broader discussions on technology law.

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A Victory for Compatibility: the Ninth Circuit Gives Teeth to RAND Terms

By Stacy Ruegilin – Edited by Ken Winterbottom

Microsoft won a victory in the Ninth Circuit last Thursday after the court found that Motorola, a former Google subsidiary, had breached its obligation to offer licenses for standards-essential technologies at reasonable and non-discriminatory rates. The court affirmed a $14.52 million jury verdict against Motorola for the breach.

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TTAB Reverses Refusal to Register Walther PPK Product Configuration
By Charles Griffin – Edited by Avis Bohlen

In re Carl Walther GmbH, No. 77096523 (T.T.A.B. Oct. 26, 2010)
Opinion

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) reversed an examiner’s refusal to register the product configuration of the Walther PPK pistol as a mark under Section 2(f) of the Trademark Act.

The Board held, contrary to an examiner’s evaluation, that applicant Walther had established acquired distinctiveness for the configuration. Walther presented a variety of direct and circumstantial evidence, including a survey of gun enthusiasts, expert testimony, and Walther’s advertising efforts, as well as a 40-year history of unsolicited media exposure supplied by the PPK’s most notorious devotee, James Bond.

The TTABlog and Likelihood of Confusion comment on the Board’s decision, ascribing the result primarily to the instinctive persuasiveness of the Bond-related circumstantial evidence. (more…)

Posted On Nov - 4 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Fifth Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment for Plaintiffs’ Breach of Contract Claim
By Nathan Lovejoy – Edited by Avis Bohlen

The Compliance Source, Inc. v. GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, Inc., __ F.3d __, 2010 WL 4056112, No. 09-10726 (5th Cir. Oct. 18, 2010)
Slip Opinion

In Compliance Source, Inc. v. GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, Inc., the United States Circuit Court for the Fifth Circuit reversed and remanded the decision of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which had granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant, a software licensee, on the plaintiffs’ claim for breach of contract. The court also affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the plaintiffs on the defendant’s counterclaim for breach of their settlement agreement.

The Fifth Circuit held that the license agreement for licensor’s database technology did not permit the licensee to authorize third-party use, even if such use was on behalf or for the benefit of the licensee. In so holding, the court took a narrow approach to its interpretation of the agreement, distinguishing the license in GreenPoint from earlier cases in light of its clear withholding of rights not expressly given.

The Internet Cases blog provides a brief overview of the case. WTN News features an analysis that discusses how the decision might leave open the possibility that a breach claim could extend to situation where third parties merely access software or technology licensed under similar terms. (more…)

Posted On Nov - 2 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Sonia McNeil

Myriad Genetics Appeals Ruling on Patentability of Isolated Genes

Myriad Genetics has appealed the Southern District of New York’s ruling in Association for Molecular Pathology v. USPTO. The district court invalidated seven Myriad Genetics patents relating to the human Breast Cancer Susceptibility Genes 1 and 2 (collectively, “BRCA1/2”), finding that the claimed isolated DNA is not markedly different from native DNA as it exists in nature and therefore constituted unpatentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  On appeal, Myriad Genetics argues (1) that the district court lacked declaratory judgment jurisdiction, and (2) that its composition and method claims cover patent-eligible subject matter.  PatentlyO predicts that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will reverse the lower court; other commentators expect appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to follow.

Third Circuit to Consider Constitutionality of Routine DNA Collection from Arrestees

The Third Circuit has scheduled en banc reargument of the Justice Department’s appeal in United States v. MitchellMitchell considered the constitutionality of requiring a defendant to submit a DNA sample for analysis and inclusion in a law enforcement database.  Finding “no compelling reason to unduly burden a legitimate expectation of privacy and extend these warrantless, suspicionless searches to those members of society who have not been convicted, but have been arrested and are awaiting proper trial,” the district court held the regulation invalid under the Fourth Amendment. Describing the April oral argument of the appeal, Law.com notes that the Justice Department highlighted statutory safeguards preventing use of the DNA beyond identification, while Mitchell’s attorney argued that the law’s real goal is to expand the DNA database in order to investigate other crimes and to link suspects to evidence in unsolved cases.

Rotterdam Promotes DNA Mist as Aid to Crime Deterrence and Detection

The New York Times reports that the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is promoting the use of a new DNA mist in an effort to deter robberies.  When triggered, the system alerts law enforcement and sprays a fine liquid mist of synthetic DNA carrying markers unique to the location and visible under ultraviolet light.  Although Rotterdam has not yet made an arrest based on DNA mist evidence, law enforcement and shop owners credit the presence of signs warning, “You Steal, You’re Marked” with anecdotally declining crime rates.

Posted On Oct - 29 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Copyright Troll Righthaven Experiences Setback due to District Court’s Grant of Dismissal Motion to Defendant Claiming Fair Use
By Jonathan Allred – Edited by Cary Mayberger

Righthaven v. Realty One Group, 2:10-cv-1036-LRH-PAL (D. Nev. Oct. 18, 2010)
Opinion
hosted by the Las Vegas Sun

In one of the first rulings to come down in plaintiff Righthaven’s many copyright suits, the District Court of Nevada granted defendant Michael Nelson’s motion to dismiss. Righthaven’s lawsuits are notable because they represent a new strategy in copyright enforcement. Righthaven acquires the rights to copyrighted works after discovering possible infringement; then, without the customary cease and desist letter or other warning, Righthaven brings a court action against the alleged infringers, usually obtaining a speedy settlement.

In a brief opinion granting the motion to dismiss in this case, the district court ruled that defendant’s use of a portion of the copyrighted article was permitted under the doctrine of fair use. The court reasoned that the copying was fair because the defendant only copied a small portion of the copyrighted article, the defendant copied only from the factual portion of the article and not from the author’s own commentary, and the copying was not likely to have an effect on the market for the article.

The Las Vegas Sun provides additional background information and commentary. Eric Goldman critiques both the ruling and Righthaven’s business model. The ABA Journal provides a summary. (more…)

Posted On Oct - 28 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

The Supreme Court Asked to Rule on the Constitutionality of “Restored” Copyright Protection
By Andrew Goodwin – Edited by Cary Mayberger

Petition for Writ of Certiorari, Golan v. Holder (U.S. 2010)
Petition hosted by The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School

In June 2010, the United States Circuit Court for the Tenth Circuit held that § 514 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (“URAA”), codified in 17 U.S.C. §§ 104(A) and 109(a), did not violate the First Amendment rights of Golan et al. (the “petitioners”). See Golan v. Holder, 609 F.3d 1076 (2010). On October 20, 2010, the petitioners, a group of “orchestra conductors, educators, performers, film archivists, and motion picture distributors,” filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court. The respondents in this writ are Eric Holder and Marybeth Peters, serving in their respective capacities as Attorney General and Register of Copyrights in the Copyright Office of the United States.

The origins of this case trace back to Golan v. Gonzalez, 2005 WL 2064402 (D. Colo. Aug. 24, 2005), a 2005 case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. In the original Golan case, the district court dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims, including the claim that § 514 of the URAA was unconstitutional because it violated the Copyright Clause and the First Amendment. The plaintiffs appealed to the Tenth Circuit, which in 2007 reversed the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ First Amendment claim while affirming the district court’s dismissal of the Copyright Clause claim. The case was then remanded for analysis of the First Amendment claim. Applying intermediate scrutiny, the district court granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment in 2009. In 2010, a separate panel on the Tenth Circuit heard the government’s appeal, and reversed the district court’s judgment.

JOLT Digest reported on the Tenth Circuit’s original ruling in Golan, the district court’s subsequent decision, and the Tenth Circuit’s latest decisionThe 1709 Blog provides an overview of the writ. (more…)

Posted On Oct - 26 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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