A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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The Court of Justice of the European Union Finds the Harbor No Longer Safe

Written by: Ann Kristin Glenster - Edited by: David Nathaniel Tan

This fall, the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered a landmark ruling,  holding that the Safe Harbor Agreement on the handling of personal data by U.S. companies in Europe was invalid. This article will give a brief overview of the case, and explore the salient issues to which the European Court took umbrage. Finally, it will attempt to sketch out some possible consequences of the ruling, and the options that now face E.U. and U.S. legislators.

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Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Yiran Zhang – Edited by Olga Slobodyanyuk

Senators Introduce a Bill which Requires Social Media Companies to Report Terrorist Activity

New EU Copyright Rules Left Possibility for Google Tax

COP21 Reached an “Ambitious and Balanced” Deal on Climate Change

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Flash Digest: News in Brief

By David Nathaniel Tan – Edited by Adi Kamdar

Software Pirate Settles Suit Via YouTube

After Paris Attacks, FCC Chairman Calls for Expanded Wiretap Laws

Hoverboards Declared Illegal in New York City

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Belgian Court Demands that Facebook Stop Tracking Non-Members

By Mila Owen – Edited by Kayla Haran

The Belgian Privacy Commission requested a cessation order against Facebook regarding their practice of placing “datr” cookies on devices of non-Facebook users to track activity on other Facebook pages or on pages containing the “like” or “share” button. The court ruled that this tracking violates the Belgian Privacy Act because it amounts to the collection and “processing of personal data.”

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Facebook not liable for discrimination against Sikhs in India

By Ann Kristin Glenster – Edited by Yaping Zhang

By dismissing Sikhs for Justice Inc.’s case against Facebook for discrimination by blocking the group’s page in India, the United District Court of Northern California maintains the neutrality of interactive online providers and exempts them from liability under Title II of the Civil Rights Act.

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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 Comments Off 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 Comments Off 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 Comments Off 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 Comments Off READ FULL POST

 

Photo By: darkuncleCC BY 2.0

By Amanda Liverzani – Edited by Paulius Jurcys

Decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, Case Number G 002/13 (Mar. 25, 2015)

Everything’s coming up roses for plant patent holders, following the European Patent Office’s recent endorsement of patents for tomato and broccoli plants.  In a March 25, 2015 decision, the Enlarged Board of Appeal (“EBA”) held that the European Patent Convention’s Article 53(b) prohibition on patents for production of plants by “essentially biological processes . . . does not have a negative effect on the allowability of a product claim directed to plants.” Decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, Case Number G 002/13 (Mar. 25, 2015) at 68.

The European Patent Office’s Technical Board of Appeals referred the question of Article 53(b) scope to the EBA in connection with two cases, “Tomato II” and “Broccoli II.” The patent at issue in Tomato II, European patent No. 1 211 926, concerns “a method for breeding tomatoes having reduced water content, and the product of the method.” Id. at 4. Broccoli II involves European patent No. 1 069 819, which was directed at broccoli produced through “a method for selective increase of the anticarcinogenic glucosinates in brassica species.” Id. at 12. 

(more…)

Posted On Apr - 13 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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