A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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By Jaehwan Park – Edited by Kayla Haran

Bipartisan Lawmakers Introduce Bill Encouraging U.S. Government Agencies to Use the Cloud as a Secure Alternative to Legacy Systems

Snapchat Accused of Violating Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Announces New Policy Group to Promote Global Digital Trade

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Second Circuit Prohibits Extraterritorial Application of Stored Communication Act’s Warrant Provision

The Second Circuit reversed a U.S. Magistrate Judge’s warrant ordering Microsoft to produce customer content stored in Ireland. The Second Circuit held that the warrant provisions in § 2703 of the Stored Communications Act, 18 USC §§2701-2712 (1986) (“SCA”), cannot be used to compel a service provider to disclose user e-mail content stored exclusively on a foreign server.

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U.S. District Court Denied TC Heartland’s Writ of Mandamus to Transfer Patent Infringement Suit

 

In April 2016, the Federal Circuit denied TC Heartland LLC’s writ of mandamus. Hartland requested the court order the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware to dismiss or transfer the patent infringement suit initiated by Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC. In rejecting Hartland’s request, the court explained that a writ of mandamus is an “extraordinary remedy appropriate only in exceptional circumstances” and Hartland did not meet this bar.

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Congresswoman Speier’s Revenge Pornography Bill: Crossing the First Amendment Line?

On July 14, 2016, Congresswoman Speier proposed the Intimate Privacy Protection Act, a bill designed to make revenge pornography a federal crime punishable with up to five years in prison. Although the current version is narrower in scope than previous iterations, there are still some concerns that this bill violates the First Amendment’s right to free speech.

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Following an unfavorable verdict from a second jury and the Court’s denial of the first motion for judgment as a matter of law (“JMOL”), Oracle America, Inc. (“Oracle”) filed a renewed motion for JMOL pursuant to FRCP Rule 50(b). Oracle’s second motion, filed July 6, 2016, claimed that “no reasonable jury” could find that Google’s “verbatim [and] entirely commercial” copying of Oracle’s code, in order to compete with Oracle, was fair use.[1] The motion will be heard on August 18, 2016.

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California FlagBy Sheri Pan — Edited by Ariane Moss

Text of Law

On October 8, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“CalECPA”), thereby heightening privacy protections for digital records.  Under the new regime, state government entities must secure a search warrant to obtain the content and metadata of electronic communications.

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Posted On Oct - 25 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

MicrophoneBy Keke Wu – Edited by Erik Mortensen

In People v. Murillo, 238 Cal. App. 4th 1122 (Ca Ct. App. 2015), a California appellate court reversed a trial court decision, which had dismissed a felony complaint against Anthony Murillo alleging two counts of threatening a crime victim.

The Second Appellate District held that a reasonable listener could have understood a rap song as threatening two rape victims. The Court cited People v. Lowery in finding that the trier of fact must determine whether the defendant’s rap lyrics were a “true threat” outside the protection of the First Amendment. It also concluded that Elonis v. United States, a 2015 Supreme Court case interpreting the mens rea standard for threats under a federal statute, did not apply to the state law at issue.

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Posted On Oct - 24 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Fed. Cir. Flash DigestBy Patrick Gallagher

Obama Administration Declines to Pursue Legislation for Access to Encrypted Data

On October 10, the Obama administration announced that it no longer plans to pursue legislation that would enable U.S. law enforcement agencies to access the encrypted data of smartphone and other digital device users. FBI Director James Comey has expressed worry that the failure to pass such a law will hamper the ability of law enforcement to address modern public safety and national security concerns. Tech companies including Apple, Google, and Microsoft, along with leading academic voices in the cryptography and computer science communities, warned that a requirement that providers of digital devices offer the government a gateway to their encrypted data would also make such data vulnerable to hacking. Without a legal mandate for the provision of encrypted customer data, law enforcement will continue to rely on voluntary cooperation to in order to gain access to it.

California Continues Fight Against “Revenge Porn” With New Website

California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced on October 14 the launch of a new website that provides victims of cyber exploitation with resources to help them remove the unauthorized content from the Internet. In addition, the site contains guidelines for tech companies to prevent the sharing of  “revenge porn” as well as educational tools aimed at assisting law enforcement to crack down on the posting of such content.  This action is the latest in a series of moves by California to address the issue of cyber exploitation. Additionally, Attorney General Harris is pushing the state legislature to pass a pair of laws that would allow revenge porn cases to be prosecuted in the victims’ jurisdiction and put in place a formal means for the removal and destruction of the offensive content.

Apple Loses Patent Lawsuit against University of Wisconsin, May Pay Up To $862 Million in Damages

On October 14, a jury in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin found Apple guilty of patent infringement against the University of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). The court ruled that chips contained in Apple’s iPhone 5S, 6, and 6S utilize technology that is protected under a 1998 patent filed by WARF. While damages have not yet been determined, Apple may face a penalty of up to $862 million.  In 2009, a similar lawsuit against Intel regarding the same patent resulted in an out of court settlement for $110 million according to court documents from the ongoing case against Apple.

The full complaint can be read here. Ars Technica provides further commentary.

Posted On Oct - 22 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

UnknownBy Kayla Haran

Court Rules Reputational Harm Confers Standing to Sue over Inventorship

In Shukh v. Seagate Technology, LLC, 2014-1406 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 2, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that “concrete and particularized reputational injury” can confer Article III standing to sue. The court vacated and remanded the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota’s grant of summary judgment to defendant Seagate Technology, LLC on the grounds that reputational harm is in fact a valid basis for standing, and affirmed the district court’s remaining holdings. In the original case, plaintiff Alexander Shukh filed a complaint against his former employer Seagate alleging that Seagate wrongly omitted him as an inventor on six patents, among several other claims relating to the termination of his employment. The district court granted Seagate’s motion for summary judgment on Shukh’s claim for correction of inventorship under 35 U.S.C. § 256, finding that Shukh’s employment at-will barred his financial or ownership interest in the inventions. On appeal, Shukh argued that a trier of fact could conclude that his omission from the disputed patents caused injury to his reputation as an inventor, which he claimed prevented him from obtaining other employment. In a unanimous decision, the court found that there is a material question of fact as to whether these omissions actually caused Shukh reputational injury, but agreed that “if the claimed inventor can show that being named as an inventor on a patent would affect his employment, the alleged reputational injury likely has an economic component sufficient to demonstrate Article III standing.” In its opinion, the court emphasized that the number of patents on which an inventor is listed is a critical component of the inventor’s professional reputation.

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Posted On Oct - 22 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

PatentDraftingToolsBy Jasper L. Tran – Edited by Henry Thomas

“Patenting tends to get people’s juices flowing when you put the word ‘gene’ and the word ‘patent’ in the same sentence.”—Francis Collins

 Alas, naturally occurring genes are not patentable.[1]But what about bioprinting?

Dr. Anthony Atala recently gave two TED talks, Growing New Organs[2] and Printing a Human Kidney[3], presenting that bioprinting, the3D-printing living tissues, is real and may be widely available in the near future. This emerging technology has generated controversies about its regulation; the Gartner analyst group speculates a global debate in 2016 about whether to regulate bioprinting or ban it altogether.[4]

Another equally important issue is whether bioprinting is patentable. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Patent Office) has already granted some bioprinting patents and many more patent applications are pending.[5]Although these patents are presumed valid, their validity will likely be litigated and the U.S. Supreme Court might have to settle this issue in due course.

One might intuitively assume that bioprinting is not patentable because the law generally prohibits patenting human organisms.[6]However, the issue is not so simple. This Article breaks down this complex issue and analyzes the patentability of bioprinting given the current landscape of patent law.

This Article concludes that bioprinting is patentable and that bioprinting process claims are easier to patent than bioprinting product claims. Current bioprinted human living tissues are functionally similar but structurally different than real human living tissues. Until scientists can bioprint structurally similar living tissues, bioprinted products are in the clear to be patent-eligible subject matter.

However, regardless of whether bioprinting is patentable, an interesting question to consider is whether bioprinting should be patentable. After weighing both sides’ arguments, this Article proposes a potential compromise: granting patents for only bioprinting process claims, not product claims. This proposal aligns well with the current landscape of patent-eligible subject matter—bioprinting process claims are being patented whereas bioprinting product claims would likely run into opposition and challenges.

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