A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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Aereo Struggles as Supreme Court Finds It Violated Copyright Law
By Jenny Choi – Edited by Sarah O’Loughlin

On June 25, 2014, in its 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against Aereo, Inc.  The U.S. Supreme Court held that Aereo violated the Copyright Act of 1976 for streaming TV shows shortly after they were broadcast without paying for the copyrighted works.  As a result, Aereo suspended its service and has struggled to find a way to re-operate its business. This decision has not come without criticism, however, as some warn this ad hoc decision could lead to uncertainty in the courts.

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DRIP Bill Expands UK’s Data Surveillance Power

By Yixuan Long – Edited by Insue Kim

House of Lords passed the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (“DRIP”) on July 17, 2014. DRIP empowers the UK government to require all companies providing internet-based services to UK customers to retain customer metadata for 12 months. It also expands the government’s ability to directly intercept phone calls and digital communications from any remote storage. Critics claim the bill goes far beyond what is necessary and its fast-track timeframe prevents meaningful discussion.

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Federal Circuit Grants Stay of Patent Infringement Litigation Until PTAB Can Complete a Post-Grant Review

By Kyle Pietari – Edited by Insue Kim

Reversing the district court’s decision, the Federal Circuit granted a stay of patent infringement litigation proceedings until the PTAB can complete a post-grant patent validity review. This was the court’s first ruling on a stay when the suit and review process were happening concurrently.

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Ninth Circuit Rejects Fox’s Request to Shut Down Dish Services, Despite Aereo Decision

By Sheri Pan – Edited by Insue Kim

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of Fox’s motion for a preliminary injunction.  Fox argued that the technologies would irreparably harm Fox because they violate copyright laws, but the Ninth Circuit ruled that the district court did not err in finding that the harm alleged by Fox was speculative, noting that Fox had failed to present evidence documenting such harm.

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Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Patrick Gutierrez

Senate passes bill to make cell phone unlocking legal

ABA urges lawyers to stop pursuing file sharing lawsuits

FBI cautions that driverless cars may be used to assist criminal behavior

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California District Court Strikes at “Patent Trolling”

By Tyler Lacey – Edited by Amanda Rice
Diagnostic Systems Corp. v. Symantec Corp., June 5, 2009, No. SACV 06-1211 DOC (ANx) consolidated with No. SACV 07-960 DOC (ANx). Opinion

The United States District Court for the Central District of California granted in part defendant MicroStrategy’s motion requesting a more detailed statement of how its software products infringe on plaintiff Diagnostic Systems Corporation’s (“DSC”) patents, denying only MicroStrategy’s request for monetary sanctions.

The United States District Court for the Central District of California held that DSC must serve a supplemental answer to one of MicroStrategy’s interrogatories that includes more detailed Preliminary Infringement Contentions (“PICs”) within fifteen days. In so holding, the district court called DSC’s current PICs “vague” and “unacceptable,” especially given DSC’s status “as a company whose sole business is to enforce its patents.” MicroStrategy had given DSC’s software consultants copies of the allegedly infringing programs’ source code almost a year prior to the motion, but DSC had still failed “to provide PICs that explain how MicroStrategy’s source code infringes on the claims of DSC.” According to the court, the “bottom line” is that “after a plaintiff-patentee has had a reasonable opportunity to review the source code for the defendant’s accused software product, the patentee’s time for trolling the proverbial waters for a theory of infringement comes to an end.”

Peter Zurba provides an overview of the decision. (more…)

Posted On Jun - 22 - 2009 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Sharona Hakimi

Senators Urge FCC to Carefully Examine Exclusive Cell Phone Deals

On June 16, Ars Technica reported that senators wrote a letter to the FCC voicing concern over exclusivity agreements between service providers and phone manufacturers. The four senators who signed the letter – Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) – expressed particular concern as to whether the deals restrict consumer choice regarding handsets and geographic regions. They also noted that the agreements may disadvantage competing smaller carriers and discourage new innovation. According to the letter, the “Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will convene a hearing this week to examine issues confronting wireless consumers” and decide if legislative action is necessary. Although the iPhone’s exclusivity agreements have garnered the most attention, the letter considers all cell phone carriers.

Microsoft Files Suit After Finding Evidence of Click Fraud

On June 16, the New York Times reported that Microsoft sued three individuals and several corporations for $750,000 in damages for click fraud – manipulating clicks on online advertisements. After noticing suspicious spikes in traffic from auto insurance and World of Warcraft web advertisements, Microsoft began an investigation that eventually uncovered an alleged click fraud manipulation scheme. Microsoft’s complaint alleges that the defendant directed traffic to his competitors’ Web sites so they would pay for the clicks and exhaust their advertising budgets. Jeremy Fain, a vice president of Interactive Advertising Bureau, said that although there is much precedent for mail and wire fraud, there is little regarding internet fraud. He went on to say that this case may “create more of a legal precedent, and more of a legal library of cases to draw from in the future.”

EU Seizure of Indian Drugs Hinders Medicine Dispersal

According to a recent report by Intellectual Property Watch, an increase in European seizures of Indian medicines believed to infringe intellectual property rights has triggered concerns that there is a strategic pattern in enforcement. On June 16, Spicy IP reported that India has recently protested to the TRIPS Council, expressing strong disapproval of EU’s controversial regulations and demanding more transparency of the various seizures. In May, German officials held about 3 million pounds of Amoxicillin on suspicion of a trademark infringement, delaying shipment to the Pacific by 4 weeks. “These random seizures seriously impact our ability to service the healthcare needs of people living in developing countries in a timely manner,” according to a drug supplier spokesperson. The EU claims that it is merely trying to reduce the “fast growing and dangerous” problem of counterfeits in developing countries.

Posted On Jun - 20 - 2009 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Fame Helps Sales Director Survive Bon Jovi’s Motion to Dismiss

By Jad Mills – Edited by Caitlyn Ross
AFL Philadelphia LLCl v. Krause, June 4, 2009, No. 09-614.
Slip Opinion hosted by Exclusive Rights.

On June 4, 2009, Judge Baylson of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied Philadelphia Soul’s motion to dismiss defendant Joe Krause’s counterclaims for trademark infringement and misappropriation of name in AFL Philadelphia LLC v. Krause. The judge allowed both counterclaims to go forward because Krause had sufficiently alleged that his name had acquired the necessary “secondary meaning” for trademark protection under the Lanham Act.

Ex©lusive Rights and Shannon Duffy provide summaries of the case, paying particular attention to Judge Baylson’s inclusion of Bon Jovi song references in the opinion. An earlier post by Ex©lusive Rights summarizes the ongoing Pennsylvania State Court litigation between the same parties.  (more…)

Posted On Jun - 14 - 2009 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Federal Circuit Finds No Federal Jurisdiction Over Patent Claim

By Debbie Rosenbaum – Edited by Caitlyn Ross 
Larson v. Correct Craft, June 5, 2009 No. 2008-1208
Opinion hosted by The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

On June 5, the Federal Circuit vacated the judgment of the district court in Larson v. Correct Craft and remanded with instructions to transfer the case back to state court based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a).  The court held that because plaintiff Larson assigned his rights to the invention at issue, he did not have standing to sue to correct inventorship under 35 U.S.C. § 256.  The appeal came from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, which granted summary judgment in favor of defendants Correct Craft, Inc., William Snook, and Robert Todd.

IP Watchdog provides an overview of the Federal Court’s decision and PATracer gives an overview of the district court’s ruling. (more…)

Posted On Jun - 14 - 2009 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Tyler Lacey

Federal Prosecutors Launch New Attack Against Online Gamblers in the United States

On June 9, the New York Times reported that federal prosecutors asked four American banks to freeze accounts containing money believed to be used for distributing winnings to online poker players. Wells Fargo, one of the contacted banks, received a court order requiring that the funds be frozen. Professor I. Nelson Rose of Whittier Law School described the move as “surprising” and as a “gamble” by the prosecutors. Professor Rose also said that it is unclear what laws apply to the seizure of individuals’ money.

Canadian Government Decides Not to Regulate Internet Video and Audio Broadcasts

Canadian radio and television broadcasters are required by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to broadcast a minimum amount of Canadian content. On June 9, Ars Technica reported that the CRTC issued a report saying that although internet audio and video do count as “broadcasting” for the purposes of their regulatory schemes, they will retain a regulatory exemption from providing Canadian content. The CRTC’s decision, while currently supported by major providers of online audio and video such as Google, leaves open the possibility that the CRTC will impose future regulations.

Electronic Frontier Foundation Urges Court to Hold Email Protected Under the Fourth Amendment

On June 10, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed an amicus brief in the Sixth Circuit’s ongoing case Warshak v. United States. The brief argues that the Justice Department violated Warshak’s Fourth Amendment expectation of privacy in his email. The EFF reports that “the government acquired over 27,000 emails spanning over six months from Warshak’s email provider, all without probable cause.” The basis of EFF’s position is that email should receive the same protection against unlawful search and seizure as is given to phone calls, postal mail, and private papers kept at home.

Court Abused Discretion by Failing to Apply eBay Factors

On June 9, Patently-O reported that the Federal Circuit remanded a patent dispute case back to the district court because it failed to consider the eBay factors in its refusal to grant a permanent injunction to the patent holder. In the eBay case, the Supreme Court required a patentee seeking injunctive relief to “demonstrate (1) that it has suffered an irreparable injury; (2) that remedies available at law are inadequate to compensate for that injury; (3) that considering the balance of hardships between the plaintiff and defendant, a remedy in equity is warranted; and (4) that the public interest would not be disserved by a permanent injunction.”

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