A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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Federal Circuit Flash Digest

By Ken Winterbottom

J.P. Morgan Appeal Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction

Court Agrees with USPTO: Settlement Agreements Are Not Grounds for Dismissing Patent Validity Challenges

Attorney Misconduct-Based Fee-Shifting Request Revived in Light of Recent Supreme Court Decision

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Pass the Patented Peas, Please: EPO Upholds Plant Product Patents

By Amanda Liverzani – Edited by Paulius Jurcys

Everything’s coming up roses for plant patent holders, following the European Patent Office’s recent endorsement of patents for tomato and broccoli plants.  In a March 25, 2015 decision, the Enlarged Board of Appeal held that the European Patent Convention’s Article 53(b) prohibition on patents for production of plants by “essentially biological processes . . . does not have a negative effect on the allowability of a product claim directed to plants.”

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Stephen Hawking™: Famed Physicist Seeks Trademark Protection For His Name

By Amanda Liverzani – Edited by Saukshmya Trichi

Stephen Hawking is posed to leverage his physics fame as a brand name. The renowned theoretical physicist has filed an application to register his name as a trademark with the U.K. Intellectual Property Office. The trademark, if approved, will give Hawking greater control over how his name is used in connection with certain goods and services including charitable endeavors, scientific research, and medical devices.

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Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Jeanne Jeong

European Regulators and Watchdogs Increase Investigation of “Technology Giants”

Snapchat Published Transparency Report Revealing Government Data Sharing

New Senate Cyberbill Measure to Protect Americans from Cybercrime

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Australian Parliament Passes Data Retention Law Requiring Storage of User Metadata

By Jenny Choi – Edited by Katherine Kwong

On March 26, 2015, the Australian Senate passed the Telecommunications Amendment Bill 2015. The bill requires the Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) and telecommunication providers to encrypt and retain user metadata for two years, and prohibits a person from disclosing or using information about the existence or non-existence of a warrant. The purpose of the Bill is to ensure national security and provide law enforcement agencies adequate access to the information they need.

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Dear Digest Readers,

It’s once again that time of year: The Digest will be taking a short break in the coming weeks as our Staff Writers prepare for final exams and head home for a well-deserved holiday break. We’ll be back shortly after the New Year with the same quality and coverage you’ve come to expect in addition to brand-new student commentary. 

Also this winter, the Digest celebrates our one-year anniversary! Since January 2007 we have grown from a dedicated group of five to a staff of more than twenty-five; this past semester we’ve worked to bring our readers more content, faster than before, all while maintaining our high editorial standards. 

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

- The Digest Staff 

Posted On Dec - 11 - 2008 Comments Off READ FULL POST

RDR Books Withdraws Appeal in Harry Potter Lexicon Case

RDR Books withdrew its appeal to the Second Circuit on Thursday, December 4th.  The trial court, in an opinion by Judge Patterson, had permanently enjoined its publication of a Harry Potter Lexicon book, along with awarding statutory damages to plaintiffs Warner Brothers and J.K. Rowling.

Anthony Falzone, of the Stanford Fair Use Project and counsel for the defendant, released a blog post entitled “Lexicon Resurrected,” noting that RDR plans to publish a new Lexicon.  The new manuscript addresses concerns expressed by J.K. Rowling at trial as well as those expressed in Judge Patterson’s opinion.  According to Mr. Falzone, both RDR and the author of the Lexicon, Steven Vander Ark, like the new manuscript much more than the old one.

As reported by the Associated Press, Neil Blair, a lawyer for J.K. Rowling’s literary agency, stated that he was “delighted that this matter is finally and favorably resolved and that J.K. Rowling’s rights – and indeed the rights of all authors of creative works – have been protected.”  “We are also pleased to hear that rather than continue to litigate, RDR have themselves decided to publish a different book prepared with reference to Judge Patterson’s decision.”

Previously: Harry Potter Lexicon Found to Infringe J.K. Rowling’s Copyright

Posted On Dec - 8 - 2008 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Federal Circuit Affirms Judgment Against Qualcomm, Limits Remedy of Patent Unenforceability
By Aaron Dulles – Edited By Stephanie Weiner
Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp., Federal Circuit, December 1, 2008, No. 2007-1545 & 2008-1162
Slip opinion

On December 1, 2008, the Federal Circuit affirmed in part the District Court for the Southern District of California, no. 05-CV-1958, holding that Qualcomm breached its duty to disclose relevant video-compression technology patents during its participation in a standards-setting organization (“SSO”). However the Federal Circuit limited the scope of the remedy; rather than make the patent unenforceable against the world, the court held the patent unenforceable only against products compliant with the standard created by the SSO.

The judgment arises from a patent infringement suit brought against Broadcom in which Qualcomm asserted two patents concerning video compression technology. After a concealment effort that resulted in sanctions for litigation misconduct, it came to light that Qualcomm had participated in an SSO called the Joint Video Team (“JVT”) that was responsible for creating a video compression standard known as H.264. The H.264 standard was intended to be achievable at a baseline by anyone without requiring them to pay royalties. The court found that Qualcomm was required to disclose to the members of JVT any patents it held covering technology that “reasonably might be necessary” to practice the standard. Qualcomm was held to have waived its rights to the two patents by not disclosing those patents to JVT.

The case provides some clarity in a previously murky area: The Wall Street Journal Law Blog notes that this case clarifies the court’s willingness to find a duty to disclose in the SSO context, while Zusha Ellinson of The Recorder observes that it also clarifies the penalties for failing to disclose. The case is also being held up as a demonstration of the disastrous results of withholding evidence. (more…)

Posted On Dec - 6 - 2008 Comments Off READ FULL POST

District Court Enjoins Certain Advertising Practices; Keylogger Software Once Again Available
FTC v. CyberSpy Software, LLC, November 6, 2008, 6:08-cv-1872
Preliminary Injunction

On November 24th, Judge Presnell presided over a hearing regarding the temporary restraining order put in place by the court on November 6th. The preliminary injunction is significanty more limited than the original TRO, which had prevented CyberSpy from selling its “RemoteSpy” keylogger software entirely.

The new order primarily enjoins CyberSpy from

promoting, selling, or distributing RemoteSpy, or its equivalent, by means of informing or suggesting to customers that it may be, or is intended to be, surreptitiously installed on a computer without the knowledge or consent of the computer’s owner including . . . instructions for disguising the name of the executable file that accomplishes the installation and/or recommendation of the use of a stealth email service for sending the executable file to the remote computer.

The ruling focuses on restricting the methods CyberSpy may use to market or sell their product, but does allow the company to sell RemoteSpy once again.

Previously: District Court Halts Sales of Keylogger Software

Posted On Dec - 5 - 2008 1 Comment READ FULL POST

Lori Drew Convicted on Three Misdemeanor Counts of Violating MySpace Terms of Service in “Cyberbullying” Case
By Brian Kozlowski – Edited By Stephanie Weiner
United States v. Drew, 08-CR-582

A federal jury convicted Lori Drew on November 26th on three of four misdemeanor counts of unauthorized computer access under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (”CFAA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1030, for violating the MySpace terms of service. Drew was acquitted of three felony counts of accessing computers without authorization to inflict emotional harm under the same act. The case has raised widespread objection to the use of criminal liability for violating website terms of service.

The case revolves around the 2006 suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier following an argument she had on MySpace with “Josh Evans,” a fictional 16-year-old boy whose profile was created under the supervision of Lori Drew. During the 28 days that the account was active, “Josh” established an online relationship with Meier that ended with harsh words and the involvement of other MySpace users. Creation of the fictional account using false information was a violation of the MySpace terms of service, which served as the basis for the computer fraud charges. The prosecution argued, and the jury found, that Drew’s subsequent visits to the MySpace site, in violation of the terms of service, were “unauthorized access” under the terms of the CFAA. Critics point out that this is a very creative use of the CFAA, which is typically used to target hacking and trademark theft. This is the first time it has been used in this fashion.

The New York Times describes the trial outcome, building on an earlier piece from 2007 that gives more factual background on the events. Court documents for the case are hosted on Citizen Media Law Project. (more…)

Posted On Dec - 4 - 2008 1 Comment READ FULL POST
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Federal Circuit Flas

By Ken Winterbottom J.P. Morgan Appeal Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction In ...

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Pass the Patented Pe

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Stephen Hawking™:

By Amanda Liverzani – Edited by Saukshmya Trichi Application Stephen Hawking is ...

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Flash Digest: News i

By Jeanne Jeong European Regulators and Watchdogs Increase Investigation of “Technology ...

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Australian Parliamen

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