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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Federal Circuit Reverses Noninfringement Declaratory Judgment, Dissent Takes on Gene Patentability
By Chinh Vo – Edited by Anthony Kammer

Intervet Inc. v. Merial Ltd., No. 2009-1568 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 4, 2010)
Slip Opinion

On August 4, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed and remanded the declaratory judgment of the United States District Court of the District of Columbia, which held that Intervet’s Porcine Circovirus vaccine (“PCV-2”) did not infringe Merial’s gene patent. The majority reversed the lower court’s ruling on grounds of claim construction and for improper application of the doctrine of equivalents.

Plaintiff Intervet Inc. (“Intervet”) filed a complaint against Merial Limited (“Merial”) in 2006, asking for a declaratory judgment stating that its PCV2 vaccine did not infringe on Merial’s gene patent. The DC District Court granted this declaratory ruling in Intervet’s favor, finding that Merial’s patent covered only the specific DNA sequences disclosed. On appeal, the Federal Circuit rejected the district court’s construction of Merial’s patent claim as overly limiting, finding that Merial had a proper claim directed at the entire genus of PCV2 sequences. The Federal Circuit also held that a narrowing amendment to the claim did not estop Merial from asserting that one or more elements of Intervet’s product were equivalent to the elements in the claim. Dissenting in part, Circuit Judge Dyk argued that mere isolation of a DNA molecule is not sufficient for patentability.

Patently-O and The Patent Prospector provide an overview of the decision. Inventive Step discusses and questions the appropriateness of Judge Dyk’s dissenting opinion. (more…)

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

Federal Circuit affirms collaboration is insufficient basis for joint infringement; partial disclosure can form basis for inequitable conduct
By Leocadie Welling – Edited by Anthony Kammer

Golden Hour Data System, Inc. v. emsCharts, Inc., No. 2009-1306, 1396 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 9, 2010)
Slip Opinion

On August 9, 2010, the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, holding that emsCharts and Softtech had not jointly infringed Golden Hour’s patent for managing emergency medical transport services. The Federal Circuit also vacated and remanded the invalidation of Golden Hour’s patent for inequitable conduct due to an alleged failure to disclose material information. The court agreed that the alleged material information was material even if it was not prior art; however, it held that there was insufficient evidence of deceptive intent.

PatentlyO features an overview of the case.  The Patent Prospector has a detailed summary of the case and criticizes the court’s remand on the deceptive intent question and its reliance on “puppeteering” as necessary for a finding of joint infringement.  271 Patent Blog summarizes the court’s analysis of the inequitable conduct issue. (more…)

Posted On Aug - 15 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Chinh Vo

Google, Verizon Offer Proposal for Regulating Internet, Face Criticism

CNET reports that Google and Verizon have announced a joint proposal for regulating Internet service that offers a legislative framework for net neutrality. The proposal states that Internet service providers should not be allowed to discriminate against lawful online content producers and gives the FCC authority to deal with violators. The proposal, however, contains exceptions for Internet access over mobile networks and new services distinguishable from traditional broadband access, such as advanced health care, education, or entertainment. The New York Times describes criticism from net neutrality proponents who claim that these exceptions would create a loophole companies could exploit to avoid complying with open-access requirements. Other major Internet and telecommunications companies — including Ebay, Amazon.com, and AT&T — expressed concerns about the proposal and stressed the need to review its provisions more carefully.

Concert Organizer Files Trademark Suit Ahead of Festival Date to Preempt Bootlegging

The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog reports that concert-organizer AEG Live has filed suit against hundreds of John and Jane Does for infringement of trademarks related to the Mile High Music Festival in Denver. Though the festival will not take place until this weekend, the complaint claims that AEG has the sole right to sell products bearing the festival’s trademark and asks a federal court to allow local, state and federal police officers to seize bootlegged merchandise. AEG’s action is the second this summer to use the John Doe trademark lawsuit to employ law enforcement to control bootlegging, following a similar suit by a merchandising company before a series of Lady Gaga concerts in New York.

Oracle Files Patent and Copyright Suit Against Google for Use of Java in Android

VentureBeat reports that Oracle has sued Google for patent and copyright infringement over its use of the Java programming language in its Android operating system. Oracle, which took ownership of Java after acquiring Sun Microsystems, stated in a press release that “Google knowingly, directly, and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property.” According to the complaint, Google had knowledge of the patents at issue after the company hired former Sun Java engineers a few years ago. As Ars Technica explains, Google “makes heavy use of Java in the Android software development kit,” but has also released a subsequent development kit that allows developers to use C and C++ to build Android components.

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

By Ian B. Brooks

Pennsylvania Takes on Teen Sexting

On August 2 The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Pennsylvania’s proposed bill addressing “sexting” by minors. Sexting is the sending of nude photos between electronic devices, primarily cell phones. Currently, child pornography laws, intended for adults, provide the only ammunition for prosecuting these acts in Pennsylvania. With penalties including felony charges and sex offender registration, some believe the existing laws are too harsh. To strike a balance between dealing with sexting concerns and properly disciplining children, Pennsylvania legislators are considering a bill that provides for a range of penalties. Proponents believe the law will protect children; critics say the proposed law is misguided and violates constitutionally protected rights.

Three Countries Threaten to Shut Down Blackberry Network Over National Security Concerns

The BBC reports that the Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirate governments have each planned to block some of Research in Motion’s (“RIM”) Blackberry messaging services. The governments are concerned that the encryption of the messaging services presents a national security threat. Currently they are unable to monitor the communications from those devices; they believe that terrorists can therefore use the network to avoid detection. Some believe the statements are a tactic to convince RIM to provide the governments with access to user data. Reuters reports that talks between RIM and some governments regarding access are underway. iGeneration reports on a similar threat from India, and discusses the balance between preventing of terrorist threats and protecting privacy.

Delhi Traffic Police Use Facebook to Catch Traffic Law Violators

The New York Times reports that Facebook has become a tool for finding traffic law violators in India. With the help of informants who post photos on its Facebook page, the Delhi Traffic Police has issued tickets to drivers pictured breaking the law. Because they have such limited resources, the Delhi Traffic Police find the Facebook site to be helpful in catching violators. Critics are concerned that citizens providing information to law enforcement through social media is a step onto a slippery slope. However, the Delhi Traffic Police have received a positive response — the site has even resulted in tickets being issued to police officers.

Posted On Aug - 9 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Informing a Patient of a Method’s Effect is Insufficient to Render the Method Patentable
By Harry Zhou – Edited by Chinh Vo

King Pharms., Inc. v. Eon Labs, Inc., No. 2009-1437, -1438 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 2, 2010)
Slip Opinion

On August 2, 2010, the Federal Circuit affirmed the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York’s entry of summary judgment invalidating two patent claims held by King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“King”). In addition, the court vacated summary judgment against a third-party defendant for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

King’s challenged patent claims pertained to the beneficial increase in bioavailability of a drug when the drug was ingested with food. Such claims were supported by two sources of novelty: the previously undiscovered result of increased bioavailability, and an “informing” limitation consisting of either instructing a patient to ingest metaxalone with food or applying printed labels bearing such instructions to packaging. In invalidating all of King’s claims in question, the Federal Circuit held that both alleged sources of novelty had been inherently anticipated by prior arts.

Patently-O provides an overview of the decision. Inventive Step provides a detailed summary of the court’s rationale in finding that the “informing” limitation was insufficient to impart patentability into an inherently anticipated claim. (more…)

Posted On Aug - 9 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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