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Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Olga Slobodyanyuk

ICANN responds to terrorism victims by claiming domain names are not property

D.C. District Court rules that FOIA requests apply to officials’ personal email accounts

Class-action lawsuit brought against ExamSoft  in Illinois

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Federal Circuit Applies Alice to Deny Subject Matter Eligibility of Digital Imaging Patent

By Amanda Liverzani – Edited by Mengyi Wang

In Digitech Image Technologies, the Federal Circuit embraced the opportunity to apply the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Alice to resolve a question of subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. §101. The Federal Circuit affirmed summary judgment on appeal, invalidating Digitech’s patent claims because they were directed to intangible information and abstract ideas.

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Unlocking Cell Phones Made Legal through Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

By Kellen Wittkop – Edited by Insue Kim

Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act allows consumers to unlock their cell phones when changing service providers, but the underlying issue of “circumvention” may have broader implications for other consumer devices and industries that increasingly rely on software.

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SDNY Magistrate Grants Government Search Warrant for Full Access to Suspect’s Gmail Account in Criminal Investigation

By Kellen Wittkop – Edited by Travis West

In an opinion that conflicts with decisions from the DC District Court and the District of Kansas, a SDNY magistrate granted the government’s search warrant for full access to a criminal investigation suspect’s Gmail account.

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Creating full-text searchable database of copyrighted works is “fair use”
By Yixuan Long- Edited by Sarah O’Loughlin

In a unanimous opinion delivered by Judge Parker, the Second Circuit held that under the fair use doctrine universities and research libraries are allowed to create full‐text searchable databases of copyrighted works and provide such works in formats accessible to those with disabilities. The court also decided that the evidence was insufficient to decide whether the plaintiffs had standing to bring a claim regarding storage of digital copies for preservation purposes.

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By Andrew Jacobs

ISPs Found Liable for Websites’ Trademark and Copyright Infringement

Computerworld and Ars Technica report that on August 28, a federal jury handed down a $32.4 million judgment against two ISPs that hosted websites selling counterfeit Louis Vuitton products. Louis Vuitton successfully argued on a theory of contributory infringement, overcoming the ISPs’ claims of immunity under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s “safe harbor” provisions. Evidence that the ISPs had received and failed to respond to notices of the illegal activity from Louis Vuitton was key to the case.

EU to Investigate Oracle/Sun Deal

On September 3, the European Union’s antitrust regulators announced plans for a formal investigation of Oracle’s planned buyout of Sun Microsystems, The Washington Post reports. The investigation will center on the competitive consequences of “the world’s biggest proprietary database company . . . tak[ing] over the world’s leading open-source database company.” The European Commission will come to a ruling on the deal by January 19; the U.S. Department of Justice has already approved it.

Authors Voice Privacy Concerns in Objection to Google Settlement

A group of authors and publishers filed an objection to the proposed settlement between The Authors’ Guild and Google Book Search (GBS), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reported on September 8. A fairness hearing regarding the settlement is set for next month. In the objection, prepared by EFF, the ACLU, and the Samuelson Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law, the authors assert that GBS’s collection of personally identifiable information regarding users’ habits will having a chilling effect on readership. Limited information retention and strict disclosure standards are among the authors’ specific demands.

Posted On Sep - 13 - 2009 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Martek Biosciences Corp. v. Nutrinova Inc.

By Debbie Rosenbaum – Edited by Stephanie Young
Martek Biosciences Corp. v. Nutrinova Inc., 2008-1459, -1476 (CAFC Sept. 3, 2009)
Opinion

On September 3, 2009, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware’s jury verdict finding that Martek’s patents were valid and infringed, but reversed the points of error Martek asserted on cross appeal. The Federal Circuit (“CAFC”), sitting as an expanded five-member panel: 1) upheld the district court’s denial of Lonza’s motions for judgment as a matter of law (“JMOL”); 2) found that the district court’s exclusion of Lonza’s prior inventorship evidence was appropriate; 3) upheld the district court’s construction of the term “non-chloride sodium salt”; 4) reversed the district court’s finding that two claims of the ’567 patent were invalid as a matter of law; and 5) expanded the district court’s limited construction of the claim term “animal” in the ’244 patent to include humans.

Briefs and relevant court documents are available here. The District Court’s 2007 decision may be found here. Patently-o and Patent Hawk both provide a discussion of merits. Patently-o and IP Watchdog discuss the significance of the five-judge panel. (more…)

Posted On Sep - 12 - 2009 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Third Circuit Upholds Online Gambling Ban
By Caitlyn Ross – Edited by Amanda Rice

Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association Inc. v. Attorney General of the United States, No. 08-1981 (3d Cir. Sept. 1, 2009)
Opinion (Hosted by wired.com)

On September 1, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey decision, which upheld the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

Wired.com provides an overview of the case. The Wall Street Journal features an analysis of the decision and its potential effects on online gambling. Additional analysis can be found on ZDnet and Law.com. (more…)

Posted On Sep - 6 - 2009 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Conviction in Lori Drew MySpace Case Thrown Out

By Vera Ranieri – Edited by Amanda Rice
United States v. Drew, No. CR 08-0582-GW (C.D. Cal. Aug. 28, 2009)
Opinion

On August 28, 2009, Judge Wu of the Central District of California released a written opinion outlining his reasons for granting Lori Drew’s FRCP 29(c) motion for a post-verdict acquittal, a decision he had initially announced in early July. Judge Wu’s decision overturned the jury’s conviction of Lori Drew for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) by breaching the MySpace Terms of Service (“ToS”).

Ars Technica and Wired summarize the case. Eric Goldman provides a thoughtful analysis of the case, characterizing it as “a good jurisprudential development” while criticizing its lack of clarity. (more…)

Posted On Sep - 4 - 2009 2 Comments READ FULL POST


By Ian B. Brooks

Paris Hilton Obtains Small Victory in Ninth Circuit

WSJ Blogs reports that the Ninth Circuit gave Paris Hilton the green light on August 31 to proceed in her lawsuit against Hallmark for its use of her image and the phrase “That’s Hot” in a birthday greeting card. The court made note of the similarities between the card and Hilton’s appearance on the television show “The Simple Life.” In support of Hilton, the court stated that she “has at least some probability of prevailing on the merits before a trier of fact.” The case name is Hilton v. Hallmark Cards.

Cable Companies No Longer Capped at 30% Market Share

The Washington Post reports that on August 28, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Comcast v. FCC invalidated an FCC rule that capped the market share of cable companies at 30%. The FCC supported the rule because it believed that cable companies with market share larger than 30% would harm consumers. The court rejected the FCC’s rule in part because it failed to show how consumers would be harmed by the large cable companies in the current market, given the competition between cable, satellite, and fiber optic providers.

Texas Links DNA to Criminal Records

WSJ Blogs reports that on September 1, a new law took effect in Texas will link DNA evidence to sexual assault suspects’ criminal records. The link will be maintained regardless of whether the statute of limitations has passed or the suspect has been tried. The law’s supporters want to ensure harsher penalties to these suspects should they face legal troubles in the future, as the record would be available to parole boards and prosecutors. Critics of the law, including the ACLU, fear the potential abuse of due process rights.

Florida Bar Wants Access to Certain Applicant Facebook Profiles

The Florida Board of Bar Examiners will now be requesting access to the Facebook profiles of certain applicants on a case-by-case basis. The Board has identified a number of categories of applicants that it will require access from, including persons with a history of certain types of legal experience or substance abuse. The Citizen Media Law Project notes many of the privacy concerns related to the Bar’s decision.

Posted On Sep - 4 - 2009 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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Flash Digest: News i

By Olga Slobodyanyuk ICANN responds to terrorism victims by claiming domain ...

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Federal Circuit Appl

By Amanda Liverzani – Edited by Mengyi Wang Digitech Image Technologies, ...

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Unlocking Cell Phone

By Kellen Wittkop – Edited by Insue Kim On July 25, ...

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SDNY Magistrate Gran

By Kellen Wittkop – Edited by Travis West In the Matter ...

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Creating full-text s

Creating full-text searchable database of copyrighted works is “fair use” By ...