A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
http://jolt.law.harvard.edu/digest/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/joltimg.pngBy: Chris Crawford and Joshua Vittor This article assumes a base level of knowledge about Bitcoin, bitcoin (BTC), blockchain technology, the Silk Road seizure, and the collapse of MtGox. For a helpful summary of how this technology works, see the first portion of this article, written by Matthew Ly of the Journal of Law and Technology. Bitcoin, and crypto-currency more generally, has risen in the five years since its launch from an academic exercise to what is today a multi-billion dollar ... Read More...
http://jolt.law.harvard.edu/digest/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/joltimg.pngWritten by: Michelle Sohn Edited by: Olga Slobodyanyuk Emulsion: A mixture of two or more liquids that are normally immiscible (nonmixable or unblendable). -Wikipedia  I.               UberX D.C. as Case Study in the Local Sharing Economy If states are laboratories of democracy, then cities are the experiments. A new experiment has bubbled up in cities across the world, reaching a boiling point. The experiment? The local sharing economy. In May, amidst accusations that many of its users were violating New York’s ... Read More...
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Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Olga Slobodyanyuk

ICANN responds to terrorism victims by claiming domain names are not property

D.C. District Court rules that FOIA requests apply to officials’ personal email accounts

Class-action lawsuit brought against ExamSoft  in Illinois

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Federal Circuit Applies Alice to Deny Subject Matter Eligibility of Digital Imaging Patent

By Amanda Liverzani – Edited by Mengyi Wang

In Digitech Image Technologies, the Federal Circuit embraced the opportunity to apply the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Alice to resolve a question of subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. §101. The Federal Circuit affirmed summary judgment on appeal, invalidating Digitech’s patent claims because they were directed to intangible information and abstract ideas.

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Unlocking Cell Phones Made Legal through Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

By Kellen Wittkop – Edited by Insue Kim

Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act allows consumers to unlock their cell phones when changing service providers, but the underlying issue of “circumvention” may have broader implications for other consumer devices and industries that increasingly rely on software.

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Second Circuit Holds Copyright Class Action Claims Must Be Based on Registered Copyright

By Andrew Ungberg — Edited by Wen Bu

In Re Literary Works in Electronic Databases Copyright Litigation
Second Circuit, November 29, 2007, No. 05-5943-cv(L)
Slip Opinion

On November 29, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated and remanded a decision of the District Court for the Southern District of New York to certify a class of freelance authors and accept a settlement of their copyright infringement claims. The claims arose from unauthorized reproduction of the authors’ works on internet sites and web databases.

The Second Circuit vacated the district court’s ruling on jurisdictional grounds. Citing Section 411(a) of the Copyright Act, which provides that claims will not be instituted until preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been made, the court held that the district court lacked jurisdiction over the claims raised by the majority of the class members, who had not registered their works. The court held that because § 411(a) requires each class member’s claims to be based on a registered copyright, the district court lacked the authority to both certify the class and accept any settlement.

Richard Pérez-Peña of the New York Times reports on the decision.
Google’s William Patry sharply disagrees with the court’s reading of § 411(a).
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Posted On Dec - 4 - 2007 Comments Off READ FULL POST

N.D.Cal. Grants Preliminary Injunction Requiring ODNI to Turn Over FISA-Related Documents

By Yelena Shagall — Edited by Wen Bu

Electronic Frontier Foundation, Inc. v. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, No. C 07-5278 SI
District Court for the Northern District of California, November 27, 2007
Order

On November 27, the District Court for the Northern District of California granted in part and denied in part a motion by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) for a preliminary injunction against the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) ordering release under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) of communications concerning proposed amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The court ordered ODNI to provide an initial release by November 30, to provide a final release of all documents by December 10, and to provide an affidavit with its final release explaining why it withheld any withheld documents.

The court first held that a preliminary injunction may be granted in FOIA cases. It then found that EFF was entitled to a preliminary injunction. The court reasoned that EFF would likely prevail on the merits of its FOIA claim and suffer irreparable injury in the absence of relief; ODNI would not be burdened; and the public interest favored the injunction.

The court noted ODNI’s failure to justify its request to extend its response time from 20 days to 4 months and the irreparable harm to the public that would result from its inability to access information on the pending FISA amendments until after the Congressional vote expected before the end of the year. The court suggested that ODNI’s objections to the burdens imposed by compliance with FOIA should be addressed to Congress rather than the courts.

EFF issued a press release touting the importance of the order, as well as an earlier release explaining its pursuit of the case.
Kim Curtis of the Associated Press calls the order a “minor victory” in EFF’s challenge to the Bush administration’s domestic surveillance program.
Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com considers the order a significant victory for EFF, and argues it will provide the public with vital information concerning extensive lobbying and donations from the telecommunications industry to influence Congress to grant immunity from “past lawbreaking.”
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Posted On Nov - 30 - 2007 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Federal Circuit Decides to Rehear Important Design Patent Case En Banc

By Andrew Ungberg – Edited by Wen Bu

Egyptian Goddess, Inc., v. Swisa, Inc.
Federal Circuit, November 26, 2007, No. 2006-1562
Order

Update: On September 22, 2008, the en banc Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which had granted summary judgment in favor of Swisa, Inc, finding that no jury could reasonably find Swisa’s nail-buffer design infringed Egyptian Goddess’s design patent. Digest covers the recent decision here.

For more history on the original Federal Circuit opinion and order to vacate, read on.

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Posted On Nov - 29 - 2007 1 Comment READ FULL POST

Federal Circuit Clarifies Rule on Completeness of Patents in a Sequence

By Sarah Sorscher — Edited by Johnathan Jenkins

Zenon Environmental, Inc. v. United States Filter Corp.
Federal Circuit, November 7, 2007, No. 2006-1266
Slip Opinion

On November 7, the Federal Circuit reversed the District Court of the Southern District of California, which had found Zenon’s patent for a water filtration device not invalid by reason of anticipation in a bench trial.

The Federal Circuit held that, because an intervening patent failed to contain an essential element of the patent at issue, the patent at issue was indeed invalid by reason of anticipation. At issue was the correct application of 35 U.S.C. § 120, which entitles an inventor to maintain the benefit of the filing date of the earliest patent in a sequence, provided subsequent patents remain linked to that first patent by an unbroken chain of disclosures.

Dennis Crouch of Patently-O provides further details on the holding.
PLI’s Gene Quinn takes issue with the court’s decision to resolve the case as a matter of law.

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Posted On Nov - 15 - 2007 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Ninth Circuit Allows Individuals to Use Devices to Decrypt Satellite Television Signals

By Nick Bramble — Edited by Wen Bu

DirecTV, Inc. v. Huynh
Ninth Circuit, No. 05-16361, September 11, 2007
Slip Opinion

Faced with the question of how to resolve a provision of the Federal Communications Act banning the assembly and modification of devices primarily designed for the unauthorized decryption of satellite signals, the Ninth Circuit held on September 11 that this provision applies only to “assemblers, manufacturers, and distributors of piracy devices” and not individual end users of such devices.

Jennifer Granick expects that the ruling will “prevent[] satellite and cable TV companies from piling on excessive damages that would punish and chill legitimate encryption research.”
Declan McCullagh discusses the various legal and illegal uses of the smart card devices purchased by defendants.

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Posted On Nov - 15 - 2007 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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The Silk Road and Mt

By: Chris Crawford and Joshua Vittor This article assumes a base ...

Photo By: Tristan Ferne - CC BY 2.0

Emulsification: Uber

Written by: Michelle Sohn Edited by: Olga Slobodyanyuk Emulsion: A mixture of ...

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Flash Digest: News i

By Olga Slobodyanyuk ICANN responds to terrorism victims by claiming domain ...

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Federal Circuit Appl

By Amanda Liverzani – Edited by Mengyi Wang Digitech Image Technologies, ...

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Unlocking Cell Phone

By Kellen Wittkop – Edited by Insue Kim On July 25, ...