A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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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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Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Cristina Azcoitia – Edited by Kayla Haran

FTC Explores Crowdfunding Oversight

Comcast Sues Nashville to Stall Google Fiber

FCC Imposes New Consumer Privacy Rules on Internet Service Providers

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Federal Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Patent Infringement Suit on Grounds of Equitable Estoppel
By Abby Lauer – Edited by Chinh Vo

Aspex Eyewear, Inc. v. Clariti Eyewear, Inc., No. 2009-1147 (Fed. Cir. May 24, 2010)
Slip opinion

In a recent opinion, the Federal Circuit affirmed the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which had granted defendant Clariti’s summary judgment motion to dismiss a patent infringement lawsuit brought by plaintiff Aspex.

The Federal Circuit held that Aspex’s lawsuit was properly dismissed on grounds of equitable estoppel. Because Aspex waited three years after initially accusing Clariti of patent infringement to bring a lawsuit, the court agreed with the district court that the elements of equitable estoppel had indisputably been established. In so holding, the court revived an infrequently-applied doctrine first established by the Federal Circuit’s 1992 en banc decision in A.C. Aukerman Co. v. R.L. Chaides Constr. Co., 960 F.2d 1020 (Fed. Cir. 1992).

IPWatchdog and Inventive Step provide an overview of the case. (more…)

Posted On Jun - 2 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Sharona Hakimi

Facebook Responds to Privacy Concerns

The New York Times reports that on May 26, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg publicly addressed a growing number of recent complaints about Facebook’s privacy settings. The settings sparked “vociferous complaints” across the globe from users, privacy advocates, and government officials. The current system requires users to sort through over 150 privacy options, including the controversial “instant personalization” feature, which allows third party sites to access users’ personal data. Zuckerberg announced plans that includes simplifying privacy controls and revealing minimal information when users search the directory.

Congress Opposes FCC’s Proposal to Regulate Broadband

CNET reports that in the past week, 282 Republican and Democratic members of Congress signed letters to the FCC expressing their concerns over the FCC’s proposal to reclassify broadband as a telecommunication service. The FCC is currently drafting new Net neutrality rules in the wake of Comcast Corp. v FCC, and to reassert its authority the agency has proposed a “third way” of regulating broadband by reclassifying it as a Title II telecommunication service. This would subject broadband services to many of the same rules that apply to traditional telephone services. The letters included requested that the FCC refrain from reclassifying broadband, as Congress plans to address the issue in its upcoming efforts to revise the Communications Act.

Student Files Suit Against Pennsylvania High School in Sexting Case

Wired reports that an unnamed 19-year-old filed suit against her former Pennsylvania high school after school officials confiscated and searched her phone, and found semi-nude photos of her. The student was one of sixteen at Tunkhannock Area High School threatened with criminal child pornography charges in 2009 unless she agreed to six months of probation, drug testing, and attendance of a five-week, 10-hour program. Although she was not charged, the student is seeking to have the images, which are available in the government record, destroyed; she is also seeking reimbursement for the educational course and lost wages.

Posted On Jun - 1 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Ninth Circuit Affirms Injunction Against Online Check-Issuer Qchex
By Leocadie Welling – Edited by Chinh Vo

Federal Trade Commission v. Neovi, Inc., No. 09-55093 (9th Cir. May 14, 2010)
Slip Opinion

On May 14, 2010, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favor of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and an injunction granted by the Southern District of California against appellant Neovi, Inc (“Neovi”). The FTC had brought claims alleging that Neovi, through its online Qchex service, had engaged in “unfair methods of competition” by issuing unverified checks through its website. The court agreed with the FTC, finding that appellant did not take sufficient measures to prevent and address fraud. The injunction prohibits Qchex from continuing to operate without following a court-specified verification process. It further orders Qchex to disgorge its total revenues, which the district court found to be in the amount of $535,358.

Eric Goldman provides an overview of the case and its factual background, and criticizes the opinion’s failure to discuss the relevance of the statutory protection for Internet services found in 47 U.S.C. § 230. Digital Society has a brief discussion of the decision. Ars Technica has two posts from 2009 (February and November) that provide useful background on the case. (more…)

Posted On May - 29 - 2010 1 Comment READ FULL POST

District Court Denies Preliminary Injunction Against File Sharing Service
By Leocadie Welling Edited by Ryan Ward

Perfect 10, Inc. v. Rapidshare, No. 09-CV-2596 (S.D. Cal. May 18, 2010)
Opinion

On May 18, the District Court for the Southern District of California denied plaintiff Perfect 10’s motion for a preliminary injunction against RapidShare, a file sharing service. The court held that Perfect 10 failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits of their direct and contributory copyright infringement claims against RapidShare, finding it particularly significant that RapidShare does not index its users’ files.

The court also noted that, when ruling on motions for preliminary injunctions, the Ninth Circuit has continued to use a presumption of irreparable harm when a plaintiff demonstrates a likelihood of success on the merits, in contrast to the Second Circuit which recently held in Salinger v. Colting that a plaintiff must show “he has suffered an irreparable injury” prior to obtaining a preliminary injunction.

MediaPost provides a brief overview of the decision, noting the court’s comparison of RapidShare to Napster. Ars Technica discusses the decision, noting past unsuccessful legal action by Perfect 10 and a recent German legal victory by RapidShare. The Legal Satyricon summarizes and criticizes the decision, arguing that RapidShare and similar sites are obviously liable for contributory infringement. (more…)

Posted On May - 26 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Another Win for the Record Companies in an Inducement Claim Against Lime Wire
By Sharona Hakimi Edited By Ryan Ward

Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC, No. 06 CV 5936 (KMW) (S.D.N.Y. May 11, 2010)
Slip Opinion

On May 11, 2010, the Southern District Court of New York granted summary judgment against Lime Wire for inducing copyright infringement of Arista Records’ music, but denied summary judgment for either side on Arista’s contributory infringement claim. The court held that Lime Wire committed a “substantial amount of copyright infringement,” induced others to commit copyright infringement, and engaged in unfair competition using its LimeWire application. Additionally, the court held Lime Wire’s chairman and CEO, Mark Gorton, and its principle investor, the Lime Group, liable for the inducement.

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog offers a brief summary of the case. Ars Technica and Eric Goldman discuss the case and the court’s inducement analysis. The New York Times provides background and reports on the reactions of academics and industry members to the case. (more…)

Posted On May - 23 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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