A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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By Ellora Israni – Edited by Filippo Raso

IMDb is challenging the constitutionality of Assembly Bill 1687 (“AB 1687”), a California law requiring IMDb to remove ages from its website upon request from paid subscribers, claiming that the law violates the First Amendment’s free speech protections.

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Facebook Blocks British Insurance Company from Basing Premiums on Posts and Likes

By Javier Careaga– Edited by Mila Owen

Admiral Insurance has created an initiative called firstcarquote, which analyzes Facebook activity of first-time car owners. The firstcarquote algorithm determines risk based on personality traits and habits that are linked to safe driving. Firstcarquote was recalled two hours before its official launch and then was launched with reduced functionality after Facebook denied authorization, stating that the initiative breaches Facebook’s platform policy.

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Airbnb challenges New York law regulating short-term rentals

By Daisy Joo – Edited by Nehaa Chaudhari

Airbnb filed a complaint in the Federal District Court of the Southern District of New York seeking to “enjoin and declare unlawful the enforcement against Airbnb” of the recent law that prohibits  the advertising of short-term rentals on Airbnb and other similar websites.  Airbnb argued that the new law violated its rights to free speech and due process, and that it was inconsistent with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects online intermediaries that host or republish speech from a range of liabilities.

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Medtronic v. Bosch post-Cuozzo: PTAB continues to have the final say on inter partes review

By Nehaa Chaudhari – Edited by Grace Truong

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“the Federal Circuit”) reaffirmed its earlier order, dismissing Medtronic’s appeal against a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”). The PTAB had dismissed Medtronic’s petition for inter partes review of Bosch’s patents, since Medtronic had failed to disclose all real parties in interest, as required by 35 U.S.C. §312(a)(2).

 

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California DMV Discuss Rules on Autonomous Vehicles

DOJ Release Guidelines on CFAA Prosecutions

Illinois Supreme Court Rule in Favor of State Provisions Requiring Disclosure of Online Identities of Sex Offenders

Research Shows Concerns for Crucial Infrastructure Information Leaks

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Chippendales’ “Professional and Classy Sexy Fun” Deemed Not Inherently Distinctive.
By Phillip Hill – Edited by Ian C. Wildgoose Brown

In re Chippendales USA, Inc., Serial No. 78/666,598 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 1, 2010)
Opinion

On October 1, the United States Court for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which ruled that Chippendales USA, Inc. could not register its “abbreviated tuxedo” costume, the “Cuffs & Collar,” as an inherently distinctive mark.

The Court held that even though live adult entertainment typically involves “revealing and provocative” costumes, individual costumes can nevertheless be inherently distinctive. The Cuffs & Collar only qualified for acquired distinctiveness, however, because of shared heritage with the Playboy Bunny costume.

Both the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and the Federal Circuit applied the test articulated in Seabrook Foods, Inc. v. Bar-Well Foods, Ltd., 568 F.2d 1342 (C.C.P.A. 1977) for determining inherent distinctiveness. In applying the Seabrook test, the court agreed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) that inherent distinctiveness must be measured at the time of registration as opposed to the time of first use. The court reasoned that it would be unfair to allow applicants to delay registration and then “preempt intervening uses that might have relied on the fact that registration . . . had not been sought at an earlier time.”

PatentlyO provides an overview of the case. The TTABlog speculates that Chippendales will petition for certiorari. (more…)

Posted On Oct - 13 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Emily Hootkins

New Law Improves Access to Technology for Disabled

Bloomberg Businessweek and The Associated Press report that President Obama has signed into a law a bill requiring the telecommunications industry to enhance the accessibility of devices and programming for Americans with vision and hearing loss.  The bill could improve the quality of life for an estimated 61 million disabled people.  Among other requirements, the law sets new federal guidelines regarding accessible user interfaces on smart phones, telephone compatibility with hearing aids, and captions and audible descriptions for TV programming.

UAE’s Threatened Ban on Blackberries Averted

The United Arab Emirates has backed off from its threat to cut certain BlackBerry messaging and Internet services, reports The Washington Post.  The planned ban was cancelled just days before it was to take effect. According to The Associated Press, the ban would have affected half a million users.  The proposed ban threatened to harm the economy and reputation of this typically business-friendly country.

Apply May be Liable for $625.5 Million Patent Infringement Award

PC Magazine reports that a Texas district court has found Apple liable for both accidental and willful infringement on three patents owned by Mirror Worlds.  A jury awarded Mirror Worlds $625.5 million in damages for the infringement.  Computer World reports that Judge Davis postponed his final ruling in this case to allow post-trial motions disputing the $625.5 million award.  If the verdict is upheld, it will be one of the largest awards in patent lawsuit history.

Posted On Oct - 10 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

U.S. appeals court affirms district court decision that a download is not a performance under the Copyright Act
By Greg Tang – Edited by Ian C. Wildgoose Brown

United States v. Am. Soc’y of Composers, Authors & Publishers, No. 09-0539 (2d Cir. September 28, 2010)
Opinion

On September 28, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the ruling of the Southern District of New York that a digital download of a song does not constitute a public performance under section 106(4) of the Copyright Act. The court also vacated the district court’s assessment of fees for the blanket licenses that Yahoo! Inc. and RealNetworks Inc. sought from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (“ASCAP”), and remanded for further proceedings.

The holding in this case prevents ASCAP from “double-dipping” by receiving compensation for both copies and performances of its members’ musical works. It also provides much needed clarification on how license fees should be calculated for music streamed over the Internet.

JOLT Digest previously reported on the district court’s ruling that cell phone ringtones do not constitute public performances. BroadbandBreakfast.com and Bloomberg Businessweek each provide an overview of the case. The 1709 Blog and Internet Cases examine the court’s reasoning in detail. (more…)

Posted On Oct - 10 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Dear Digest Readers,

The Digest will be taking a short break for the next few weeks. We’ll be back shortly with the same quality and coverage you’ve come to expect in addition to brand-new student commentary.

We sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage this summer - Stay Tuned!

The Digest Staff

Posted On Sep - 12 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

District court dismisses patent infringement claim against Wildtangent
By Andrew Segna – Edited by Matt Gelfand

Ultramercial, LLC v. Hulu, LLC, No. CV 09-06918 RGK (C.D. Cal. Aug. 13, 2010)
Opinion hosted by The Hollywood Reporter

On August 13, the United States District Court for the Central District of California granted Wildtangent, Inc.’s motion to dismiss against Ultramercial, LLC’s patent infringement claim. Hulu, LLC also made a similar motion that was rendered moot. In granting the motion to dismiss, the court analyzed Ultramercial’s patent, which claims a means by which users can watch copyrighted material in exchange for viewing advertisements. The court evaluated the patent under the machine or transformation test endorsed by the Supreme Court in Bilski v. Kappos, 561 U.S. ___ (2010), as “a useful and important clue” to process patent validity.  The court also looked to whether the patent claimed an “abstract idea.” The court held that because the claimed invention deals with the abstract concept of advertisement, and because it is not tied to a machine nor does it transform data, the patent is invalid.

JOLT Digest previously reported on the Bilski decision. The 271 Patent Blog provides an overview of the decision in this case. Patents4Software critiques the decision and considers how this case could affect future applications of the Bilski decision. (more…)

Posted On Sep - 11 - 2010 1 Comment READ FULL POST
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