A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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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 Vivian Tao

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in HIV Test Patent Dispute

Mercury News reports that oral arguments in the Supreme Court began this week over whether a Stanford University researcher’s patent on an HIV test belongs to Stanford or pharmaceutical company Roche. Researcher Mark Holodniy developed the test while he was employed as a professor at the Stanford School of Medicine. The dispute centers around whether he could transfer Stanford’s patent rights while working as a visiting researcher at Cetus laboratories, which later sold that line to Roche. Although the Bayh-Dole Act assigns the patent to Stanford automatically, Holodniy signed a form assigning rights to Cetus for patents that resulted from their collaboration. The decision will determine whether the Bayh-Dole Act remains the source of governance on research patents when researchers sign off on those rights.

Motorola Sues TiVO for Infringement on DVR Patents

Bloomberg reports that Motorola has filed a complaint against TiVo for infringing its patents on digital video recording (“DVR”) technology. General Instrument, a Motorola subsidiary, applied for its DVR patents in 1995; TiVo applied for its own patents for allegedly infringing technology in 1998. PCMag suggests that this suit may be in response to TiVO’s ongoing 2009 suit against Motorola client Verizon on similar claims of infringement related to Verizon’s FiOS service. PCMag notes that this is just the latest in an ongoing battle over DVR providers: in 2009, TiVO sued AT&T U-Verse and was awarded damages from DISH and Echostar on similar claims, while Microsoft sued TiVO last month on software patent violations.

USTR Identifies Top Chinese Search Engine as “Notorious Market”

Business Week reports that the United States Trade Representative’s office has included Baidu.com, China’s top search engine, on its list of “notorious markets” for its use of techniques that link users to commerce sites that sell pirated items. Reuters notes that Baidu.com is the most visited site in China, and one of the top 10 most visited sites in the world. The USTR’s list identified Asian and Latin American regions as the primary markets for these sites, and was followed by a Chamber of Commerce statement encouraging legislators to empower courts to block foreign sites marketing pirated goods.

Former Senator Dodd to Head MPAA

On March 17, former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd will become the new head of the Motion Picture Association of America (“MPAA”). CNET reports that Dodd is “truly excited” about the new position and named the protection of motion picture studio distributions as his “highest priority.” This announcement comes as the MPAA is engaged in lobbying Congress to pass the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, aimed at fighting piracy.

Posted On Mar - 6 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Federal Circuit Throws out $1.67 Billion Jury Verdict for Lack of Written Description
Centocor Ortho Biotech, Inc. v. Abbott Lab., No. 2010-1144 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 23, 2011)

By Katie Booth – Edited by Chinh Vo
Slip Opinion

The Federal Circuit recently ruled that a district court erred when it declined to grant the motion of defendant Abbott Laboratories (“Abbott”) for JMOL that the plaintiff’s asserted patent claims were invalid. In so holding, the court set aside a jury verdict of $1.67 billion in damages to plaintiff Centocor Ortho Biotech (“Centocor”) in the infringement suit concerning antibodies used to treat arthritis.

The Federal Circuit found that Centocor’s written description in its patent application was not adequate and conveyed merely a wish or plan to invent an antibody rather than constructive possession of that antibody. The court also held that Centocor’s disclosure of the TNF-α protein did not provide an adequate written description for all binding antibodies, since the protein was already known and the antibody claimed could not be routinely produced at the time of filing.

Patent Docs and Patently-O provide thorough overviews of the case. (more…)

Posted On Mar - 3 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Plaintiff’s Lanham Act false association claims against Google AdWords program survive motion to dismiss
By Abby Lauer – Edited by Matt Gelfand

Jurin v. Google, No. 2:09-cv-03065-MCE-KJM (E.D. Cal. Feb. 14, 2011)
Slip Opinion hosted by Scribd.com

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied in part and granted in part Google’s motion to dismiss in a case involving trademark infringement and breach of contract claims against the search engine.

While granting Google’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s breach of contract claim, the court denied the motion with regard to plaintiff’s claims that the Google AdWords program infringed his trademark rights against false association. In an unexpected decision, the court declined to require the defendant to be the producer of the goods alleged to cause confusion with the plaintiff’s goods.

Technology & Marketing Law Blog criticizes the decision as inconsistent with other keyword ad cases. (more…)

Posted On Feb - 28 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

The Harvard Journal of Law & Technology recently released its Fall 2010 issue, now available online.  John M. Golden, author of “Innovation Dynamics, Patents, and Dynamic-Elasticity Tests for the Promotion of Progress” has written an abstract of his article for the Digest, presented below.

- The Digest Staff

JOLT Print Preview: Innovation Dynamics, Patents, and Dynamic-Elasticity Tests for the Promotion of Progress
John M. Golden

This article develops a model for innovation dynamics and studies its implications for technological development and policies to promote innovation.  The model generates a diverse array of trajectories for technological progress as a function of time.  Among the forms of possible trajectories, trajectories featuring linear or exponential growth are only special cases.  The model suggests that growth according to a supralinear power law might be more common: i.e., the cumulative amount of innovation might frequently be expected to grow like the quantity tz, where t is a measure of time and z is a positive exponent.

The model also suggests that, under a variety of circumstances, whether a given incremental policy change accelerates or decelerates technological progress will be determined by a “dynamic-elasticity” or “double-ratio” test involving comparison of percentage changes in model parameters.  The existence of such double-ratio tests might suggest that patents’ effects on innovation are even more sensitive to technologic and industrial circumstance than has commonly been appreciated. (more…)

Posted On Feb - 28 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Dorothy Du

IBM Creation “Watson” May Have the Potential to Assist in Legal Research

Watson, an IBM super computer four years in the making, competed on the popular TV game show Jeopardy! on February 14 through 16. On the 16th, Watson prevailed against former Jeopardy! champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, tallying in at a total of $77,147 in winnings — more than triple each human contestant’s totals, as PC World reports. Robert Weber, IBM’s senior vice president of legal and regulatory affairs and general counsel explained in The National Law Journal that Watson could be useful in performing some of the basic legal research that junior associates are often assigned. PC World explains that Watson is equipped with a natural language processing system called DeepQA that allows it to understand a complex question, even one involving wordplay; the system uses six million logic rules in order to mine 200 million pages of content for human-like answers. Weber believes DeepQA could prove useful for “gathering facts and identifying ideas when building legal arguments” and says the technology could even “come in handy, near real-time, in the courtroom.”  Jennifer Chu-Carroll, who helped create Watson, told Computer World: “Watson is a significant step, allowing people to interact with a computer as they would a human being.”

Recent Cases Support the Use of Internet to Assist Counsel in Voir Dire

ABA Journal reports that conducting Internet searches to uncover personal details about potential jurors in order to facilitate in jury selection during voir dire has become increasing popular. Quinn Emanuel reports that a New Jersey appellate court in Carino v. Muenzen held that it was unreasonable to prohibit counsel’s use of the Internet during jury selection. And the Missouri Supreme Court in Johnson v. McCullough affirmed a decision to grant a new trial because a juror had failed to disclose his prior lawsuits, but added the qualification that in light of advances in technology allowing access to information about potential jurors, it was appropriate to increase the burden on parties to bring such matters to the court’s attention earlier. With more than 500 million people on Facebook, 175 million on Twitter, and over 70 million actively using LinkedIn, the Internet has become a revolutionary tool allowing jury consultants and trial lawyers to uncover facts that may be may not be discoverable via traditional jury questionnaires. Internet searches allow counsel to select jurors that with particular political affiliations, community involvement, sexual orientation, or income level, Reuters reports.

FDA Deputy Commissioner Speaks About New Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

On February 17, Michael Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods gave his first speech on imports since the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law by President Obama this year, Quality Assurance Magazine reports. The FSMA represents the biggest reform of U.S. food safety regulation in decades, and was drafted partially in response to a number of high-profile food-related incidents between 2007 and 2010, as Sidley Austin details.  Taylor indicated that, in light of the fact that 50 percent of our fresh fruits, 20 percent of our vegetables, and 80 percent of our seafood is imported, the FDA sought to establish a new paradigm for regulating imported food through the FSMA, according to the FDA. Taylor stated that “food safety is not only the right thing to do, it is good business,” noting “the major disruptions to our economies and to international trade that occur in the wake of major foodborne illness outbreaks and product recalls.” Food Safety News says the new law gives the FDA new tools to manage imports, such as the power to create agreements with exporting countries that facilitate inspection and certification of food in the country of origin.

California Judge Dismisses Another Class Action Lawsuit Against Pacemaker Manufacturer

MassDevice reports that Judge Manuel Real of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California recently dismissed a class-action lawsuit against Guidant Corp., a subsidiary of medical device company Boston Scientific. The plaintiff, who had the “Insignia 1298” pacemaker implanted in 2004, was understandably concerned when he heard in the news that pacemakers like his were failing, explains Drug and Device Law. Rather than waiting or undergoing surgery, he decided to sue Guidant Corp., the manufacturer of the pacemaker. The plaintiff’s complaint in Cohen v. Guidant Corp. was dismissed on grounds of “preemption and want of injury, facts, and particularity.”  According to the judge’s order, the complaint failed to provide factual support showing that there was a specific defect in the pacemaker. The court also stated that fear of future injury, in the absence of an actual manifestation of a defect that results in injury, is not a legally cognizable claim under California law.

Posted On Feb - 27 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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