A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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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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Pass the Patented Peas, Please: EPO Upholds Plant Product Patents

By Amanda Liverzani – Edited by Paulius Jurcys

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 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.”

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By Emily Hoort

Federal Circuit to Re-Consider TIVO Patent-Infringement Case

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will be taking a second look at a previous panel decision holding that Dish and EchoStar were violating TiVo’s digital-video recording patent.  The court will consider whether it was error not to give Dish a chance to prove that changes made to Dish software remedied the prior infringement upon TiVo’s patent on “time warp” technology, which allows users to record a TV program and later play it back.  TiVo is seeking a court order to halt Dish’s DVR service and to force the company to pay licensing fees.  TiVo is also seeking around $300 million in damages, in addition to the $100 million Dish paid after the original judgment.

Supreme Court Declines Appeal of FCC “Must-Carry” Rule

Yahoo reports that the Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of the case Cablevision v. FCC, in which Cablevision challenges an FCC “must-carry” rule.  “Must-carry” rules require cable television operators to carry local broadcast stations.  Cablevision’s appeal was in response to a New York federal appeals court decision holding that Cablevision must carry the signal of a home-shopping station.  The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the appeal accords with previous recommendations of the Obama Administration to avoid challenges to the 18-year-old “must-carry” rule.

Microsoft Files Lawsuit against Salesforce.com

CNET reports that Microsoft has filed a federal lawsuit against Salesforce.com.  Microsoft claims that Salesforce.com has infringed on nine patents involving back-end and user interface features.  This is only the fourth patent-infringement lawsuit that Microsoft has ever brought against one of its competitors.  Previous Microsoft cases have been settled quickly, but the trajectory for this lawsuit is unclear.  Microsoft is seeking a jury trial, triple damages and injunctions.  Thus far, Salesforce.com has declined to comment.

Posted On May - 23 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Andrew Segna
Edited by Joey Seiler
Editorial Policy

In December, my JOLT Digest comment discussed the state of independent video game developers on the iPhone and the Xbox 360. This article discussed how a collective action problem plagued independent developers on these platforms. As the platform holders, Apple and Microsoft were able to foster environments that benefited their needs but often were potentially hazardous to independent developers. These hazards became realized when independent developers pursued short-term individual gains, which they are prone to doing due to their limited budgets that require turning quick profits. In order to avoid this problem, I suggested that a legal aid society should promote actions by independent developers that would benefit the class as a whole. The recent release of the iPad presents another manifestation of this problem. Through the case study of the iPad, I will discuss how this new technology presents potential for both success and failure for independent video game developers. However, this problem is not necessarily a legal one as much as it is a collective action issue. Lawyers should serve as mediators between independent developers to foster a unified strategy for the platform in order to ensure that independent developers succeed on both the iPad and in the industry. (more…)

Posted On May - 19 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Caity Ross
Edited by Abby Lauer
Editorial Policy

In 2004, Fiona Murray and Kyle Jensen published a prominent article in the journal Science. They reported that the USPTO had issued 4,270 human gene patents for 4,382 distinct human genes. Approximately one-fifth of known human genes were claimed in a U.S. patent.[1] Beyond human genes, there are approximately 20,000 patents covering a wide range of naturally occurring DNA sequences.[2] Gene patents include “[n]ine patents [that] have been applied for on the genes which determine your eyeball, 40 on those for your heart, and no fewer than 152 on a single grain of rice.”

However, scholars and practitioners often question the scope and validity of gene patents on the grounds that genes are so essential to basic research. They claim that it is unethical to grant a private monopoly on genes, which should not be patentable subject matter or controllable by individuals.[3] The USPTO has declined to rule on this issue, treating gene patenting as matter of statutory interpretation.[4] Therefore, attempts to end gene patents generally aim to overturn court precedent or to advocate new legislation.

A recent decision in the ACLU-supported case Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, et al. will help determine the future of gene patents in the United States. On March 29, 2010, United States District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet granted a summary judgment motion that invalidated patents on two genes. If upheld, this decision essentially eliminates patents covering all naturally occurring genes. For a summation of the opinion, see the Digest’s coverage. (more…)

Posted On May - 14 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Harry Zhou
Edited by Gary Pong
Editorial Policy

Libel litigation against bloggers has intensified in recent years as the blogosphere continues to experience rapid growth. The threats database of the Citizen Media Law Project (“CMLP”) shows that since 2000, there have been more than 310 lawsuits accusing blog and forum owners of defamation in U.S. courts. Often central to these disputes is the tension between the right to free speech and the need to restrict the rapid spread of defamatory materials on the Internet. The balance is particularly hard to strike when a plaintiff seeks a prior restraint, an extraordinary remedy that immediately enjoins the defendant’s speech at the onset of a lawsuit.

In December 2009, a New Jersey court issued such a prior restraint that compelled the complete shutdown of three blogs in Apex Tech. Group, Inc. v. Doe(s) 1-10. The order evoked keen debate among media law experts regarding the proper scope of prior restraints on Internet media such as blogs and forums. Kurt Opsahl, a senior attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”), criticized the prior restraint for being “dangerously overreaching” in an EFF blog post. Vivek Wadhwa, a senior research associate at Harvard Law School, voiced his support for the takedown on TechCrunch, claiming that the EFF was “a tad overzealous” in defending the websites involved. Taken together, the two articles serve as an appropriate starting point for determining how much of a blog can be properly censored by a prior restraint under a defamation claim. (more…)

Posted On May - 11 - 2010 4 Comments READ FULL POST

It’s once again that time of year: The Digest will be taking a short break from our regular coverage over the coming weeks as our Staff Writers take their spring examinations.

While we take our hiatus from regular coverage, we have the pleasure of re-introducing our Comments feature. Comments are longer opinion pieces on especially significant issues. These pieces are written entirely by members of our staff, on topics they believe warrant closer examination and study. From now until May 16th, we will publish one or two Comments every week. We have some especially interesting pieces this May and we hope you enjoy them!

We’ll be back the week of May 16th with our usual coverage.

We sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed our work this year!

- The Digest Staff

Posted On May - 4 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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Federal Circuit Flas

By Cristina Carapezza Rosen Wins TV Headrest Patent Suit The Federal Circuit ...

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Government Agents In

By Sheri Pan - Edited by Jens Frankenreiter United States v. ...

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Mississippi Attorney

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Federal Circuit Flas

By Ken Winterbottom J.P. Morgan Appeal Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction In ...

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Pass the Patented Pe

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