A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news

Federal Circuit Flash Digest

By Kayla Haran – Edited by Ken Winterbottom

Court Finds Negative Claim Limitation Meets Written Description Requirements

International Trade Commission’s Expansion of its Jurisdiction to Include Electronic Transmissions of Digital Data Ruled Improper

Court Holds That Patent Trial and Appeal Board Did Not Deny Procedural Rights in Review



Federal Circuit Flash Digest

By Patrick Gallagher – Edited by Ken Winterbottom

TOR Project Head Alleges FBI Paid Carnegie Mellon for Hack in Connection with Silk Road 2.0 Investigation

DOJ Decides Not to Support FCC in Efforts to Preempt States Laws Limiting Municipal Broadband Projects

D.C. Court of Appeals Permits Continuation of Bulk Domestic Phone Data Collection



Senate passes Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act

By Frederick Ding — Edited by Yunnan Jiang

On October 27, 2015, the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), which enables companies to share cyber threat indicators with each other and the federal government, and immunizes them from liability for sharing under the act. Tech companies and journalists have vocally expressed opposition to the act, which may enable companies to share users’ personal information.



Senators push bill protecting interstate trade secrets amidst concerns over trolling

By Bhargav Srinivasan – Edited by Olga Slobodyanyuk

The Senate Judiciary Committee is deliberating a bill to provide US companies with extra legal protections for trade secrets for products or services used in interstate commerce. However, some legal scholars believe the bill creates strong potential for companies to engage in “trade secret trolling” by falsely accusing rivals of stealing trade secrets in order to stall their business. The ensuing debate now weighs the intent of the bill with the potential for legal bullying.



Federal Circuit Flash Digest

By Keke Wu – Edited by Yunnan Jiang

Federal Circuit Rejects-in-part the District Court’s Claim Construction

No Jurisdiction to Claim Reputational Harm after Settlement

Federal Circuit Affirms-in-part PTAB in Belden vs. Berk-Tek


By Shuli Wang – Edited by Yaping Zhang

Two weeks after voting on regulating broadband Internet service as a public utility, on March 12, the Federal Communications Commission (”FCC”) released a document (the FCC Order and Rules) on net neutrality, which reclassifies high-speed Internet as a telecommunications service rather than an information service, thus subjecting Internet service providers (ISPs) as common carrier to regulations under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. This allows the FCC to oversee potential discriminatory practices with regard to internet traffic. The purpose of the new rules is to ensure the free flow of bits through the web without paid-for priority lanes and blocking or throttling of any web content.

In addition to prohibiting blocking, throttling and paid prioritization of Internet traffic, the 313-page document details regulations and exceptions of protecting and promoting open internet. The FCC also reserves the power to decide many critical questions on a case-by-case basis. The release of the rules is appreciated by advocates for listening to Internet users and acting to protect the Internet from unfair discrimination by mobile and wireline ISPs. Moreover, according to a publication by Electronic Frontier Foundation, the FCC is credited for having adopted a positive approach with proper legal authority, bright-line protection, and forborn from the provisions that not necessarily protect net neutrality. Three Democratic commissioners who voted for the order expressed that: “today, broadband Internet access service is fundamentally understood by customers as a transmission platform through which consumers can access third-party content, applications, and services of their choosing”. Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the FCC, said: “We have created a playing field where there are known rules, and the FCC will sit there as a referee and will throw the flag.”


Posted On Mar - 23 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Lan Du – Edited by Katherine Kwong

13399-surveillance_newsAdministration Discussion Draft: Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2015

On February 27, 2015, President Obama released an administration draft of a proposed Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act. The proposed bill’s stated purpose is to “establish baseline protections for individual privacy in the commercial arena and to foster timely, flexible implementations of these protections through enforceable codes of conduct developed by diverse stakeholders.”

The draft bill is intended to act as a baseline privacy law to control all kinds of personal information and address critical privacy issues presented by the ever-increasing collection and use of private information. The proposed new framework is meant to fill in the gaps between existing privacy legislation, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Video Privacy Protection Act, which is scattered over different sectors and has inconsistent standards. President Obama previously introduced a framework of consumer privacy law in 2012.

At its core, the draft bill requires industries to develop their own “codes of conduct” on the handling of consumer information and charges the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and state attorneys general with enforcement The draft bill adopts a wide definition of covered entities, including any entity that “collects, creates, processes, retains, uses, or discloses personal data in or affecting interstate commerce.” Its definition of “personal data” is similarly broad, and includes most non-public data that can be linked to a specific individual or device. However, critics such as the New York Times editorial board express concerns about the broad range of exceptions not covered by the draft bill. These exceptions include de-identified data, deleted data, employee business information, and information used or disclosed to respond to cybersecurity threats. Several entities are also exempt as well, including businesses that have fewer than 5 employees or that process Personal Data from fewer than 10,000 individuals or devices each year. Businesses would also not be liable for violations in the first 18 months they create or process personal data.  (more…)

Posted On Mar - 23 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

UnknownBy Patrick Gallagher

Federal Circuit Affirms Denial of AT&T Motion to Extend or Re-open Filing Period for Appeal in Patent Infringement Suit


The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Two-Way Media LLC v. AT&T, Inc., AT&T Corp., affirmed a lower court denial of AT&T’s motion for an extension or reopening of the appeal period.  Two-Way Media LLC v. AT&T, Inc., AT&T Corp., 2014-1302 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 19, 2015).  After an adverse final judgment in a patent infringement suit filed against the company by Two-Way Media, AT&T failed to file a timely notice of appeal, and the period to do so subsequently expired.  Two-Way Media at 2.  AT&T claimed that, due to labeling errors on the part of the district court, it only first discovered that its post-trial motions had been denied after the appeal period had expired.  Id. at 3.  AT&T the next day filed a motion under Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5) and (6) to extend or reopen the appeal period on the grounds of “excusable neglect or good cause” or a failure on the part of the court to provide adequate notice.  Id. at 3-4.  The Federal Circuit concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to extend or reopen the appeal period because it was the responsibility of AT&T to read the entirety of the original court order, accessible by hyperlinks included in the notices of electronic filings received by both parties, which would have clearly indicated the status of their motions.  Id. at 7-8.  Moreover, the Circuit held that 4(a)(6) only applies “when a party receives no notice of that order.” Id. at 12.  Read more here.



In Patent Suit Against Apple, Federal Circuit Affirms in Part, Reverses in Part

The Federal Circuit affirmed in part, and reversed in part, vacated, and remanded a patent infringement case involving four patents owned by plaintiff MobileMedia Ideas LLC.  MobileMedia Ideas LLC v. Apple Inc., 2014-1060, 2014- 1091 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 17, 2015).  The United States Disctrict Court for the District of Delaware found plaintiff’s claim 73 of U.S. Patent No. 6,427,078 (“the ‘078 patent”) and claim 23 of U.S. Patent No. 6,070,068 (“the ‘068 patent) to be infringed and not invalid to which Apple appealed.  MobileMedia at 2.  The district court also found MobileMedia’s claims 5,6, and 10 of U.S. Patent No. 6,253,075 (“the ‘075 patent”) and claims 2-4 and 12 of U.S. Patent No. RE 39,231 (“the ‘231 patent”) not to be infringed and claims 5, 6, and 10 of the ‘075 patent to be additionally invalid. MobileMedia cross-appealed these holdings. Id.

With respect to Apple’s appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed the lower court judgment that claim 73 of the ‘078 patent is not invalid, but reversed the judgment that it was infringed and further reversed the judgment that claim 23 of the ‘068 patent is not invalid.  Id. at 37.  The court’s determination regarding the validity of the ‘068 and ‘078 patent claims centered on whether they were invalid as obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103 and the Global System for Mobile Communications standard, respectively.  Id.  With respect to MobileMedia’s cross-appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed the lower court’s holding that claims 5,6, and 10 of the ‘075 patent are invalid, vacated on the grounds of erroneous claim construction the judgment that that claims 2-4 and 12 of the ‘231 patent were not infringed, and remanded the case.  Id.



Federal Circuit Reverses DNA Sequencing Technology Patent Construction

The Federal Circuit reversed a district court construction of a patent claim by Enzo Life Sciences, Inc. and Yale University against Applera, vacated the lower court’s finding of infringement, and remanded the case.  Enzo Biochem Inc. v. Applera Corp., 2014-1321 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 16, 2015).  The suit involved the use of nucleotide probes to detect, monitor, localize, or isolate nucleic acids for the purpose of DNA sequencing.  Enzo at 3.  The ruling against Applera was based on a construction that construed the patent in question to include both direct and indirect detection of moiety.  Id. at 2.  The Circuit, following precedent from Phillips v. AWH Corp., utilized a textualist approach that looked to the “ordinary and customary meaning of a claim term” as an ordinary member of the related industry would interpret it.  415 F.3d 1303, 1312-13 (Fed. Cir. 2005).  In so doing, the Federal Circuit found that the district court had erred in broadening a key term in the patent to include direct detection in addition to indirect detection. Enzo at 14.


Posted On Mar - 23 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Paulius Jurcys – Edited by Sarah O’Loughlin

Logo_colors_wikimediaOn March 10, 2015, Wikimedia Foundation filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) for its upstream surveillance program, which is said to violate constitutional freedoms of speech and protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

The existence of upstream surveillance programs first came to light in June 2013 via whistleblowing information disclosed by Snowden. This leak alarmed the Wikimedia community and startled the debates about the possibility to take legal action.

Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales in his public statement emphasised that “surveillance erodes the original promise of the internet: an open space for collaboration and experimentation, and a place free from fear.” (more…)

Posted On Mar - 23 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Paulius Jurcys – Edited by Anton Ziajka

True Origin of Digital Goods Act, H.R., CS/HB 271, 2015 Leg., Reg. Sess. (Fla. 2015).

The bill is available at the Florida House of Representatives.

Florida lawmakers are considering a bill that would prohibit certain anonymous websites and online services. Under the so-called “True Origin of Digital Goods Act,” owners and operators of websites that disseminate “commercial” recordings or audiovisual works must prominently disclose their true names, physical addresses, and telephone numbers or email addresses on the websites. The bill extends to all websites that deal “in substantial part” in disseminating such works, “directly or indirectly,” to Florida consumers.

One of the rationales provided for the proposal is the protection intellectual property rights. According to staff analysis by the Florida House of Representatives, “bad actors” who run websites that infringe upon the rights of copyright owners are “unlikely to disclose[] the personal information required by this bill.” Thus, the bill would “allow owners of copyrighted works to indirectly protect their intellectual property.”

Opponents of the bill criticize it on a number of grounds. For instance, the Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that the bill’s definition of “commercial recording or audiovisual work” — that is, any work that the work’s “owner, . . . agent, or licensee has disseminated or intends to disseminate” — is too abstract and vague. Indeed, a work may be “commercial” under the bill “regardless of whether a person who electronically disseminates it seeks commercial advantage or private financial gain from the dissemination.” As a result of such a broad terminology, virtually anyone could potentially seek a court order to disclose the name and physical address of a covered website’s owner. ArsTechnica provides additional analysis of the proposed bill. (more…)

Posted On Mar - 18 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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