A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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Insuring Patents

By Yaping Zhang – Edited by Jennifer Chung and Ariel Simms

Despite its increasing availability, patent insurance—providing defensive protection against claims of patent infringement and funding offensive actions against patent infringers—continues to be uncommon. This Note aims to provide an overview of the patent insurance landscape.

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Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 Seeks to Establish Federal Cause of Action for Trade Secrets Misappropriation

By Suyoung Jang – Edited by Mila Owen

Following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s approval in January of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, the Committee has released Senate Report 114-220 supporting the bill. The bill seeks to protect trade secret owners by creating a federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation.

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Federal Circuit Flash Digest

By Evan Tallmadge – Edited by Olga Slobodyanyuk

The Linked Inheritability Between Two Regions of DNA is an Unpatentable Law of Nature

HP Setback in Challenging the Validity of MPHJ’s Distributed Virtual Copying Patent

CardPool Fails to Escape an Invalidity Judgment But Can Still Pursue Amended Claims

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Amicus Brief by EFF and ACLU Urging Illinois State Sex Offender Laws Declared Unconstitutional under First Amendment

By Yaping Zhang – Edited by Mila Owen

With the Illinois Supreme Court gearing up to determine the constitutionality of the state’s sex offender registration statute, two advocacy non-profits have filed amicus briefs in support of striking the law down.

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Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Gia Velasquez – Edited by Ken Winterbottom

Federal Court Grants Uber’s Class Action Certification Appeal

Independent Contractor Classification of Uber Drivers May Violate Antitrust Laws

Self-Driving Car Will Be Considered Autonomous Driver

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UnknownBy Sheri Pan – Edited by Jens Frankenreiter

United States v. Carl Mark Force IV, No. 3-15-70370 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 25, 2015)

Complaint

Former Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Carl Mark Force IV and Secret Service Special Agent Shaun W. Bridges have been charged for wire fraud and money laundering in connection with an investigation of Silk Road, a digital black market that allowed people to anonymously buy drugs and other illicit goods using Bitcoin, a digital currency. Criminal Complaint at 2. The two agents were members of the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force and allegedly used their official capacities and investigative resources to steal Bitcoins for their own personal gain. Id. at 2–5.

New York Times and Gizmodo provide additional reporting and commentary. (more…)

Posted On Apr - 21 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST
Photo By: Robert Scoble - CC BY 2.0

Photo By: Robert ScobleCC BY 2.0

By Lan Du – Edited by Katherine Kwong

Court Ruling

On March 2, 2015, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s investigation of Google was halted by a federal court granting Google’s motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. Recently, U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate issued the opinion laying out his reasoning for siding with Google and denying Hood’s motion to dismiss the case.

After several years of back-and-forth, the case escalated on October 27, 2014 when Hood served Google with a 79-page subpoena under the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act. According to Google’s complaint, the Attorney General “threatened to prosecute, sue, or investigate Google unless it agrees to block from its search engine, YouTube video-sharing site, and advertising systems, third-party content (i.e., websites, videos, or ads not created by Google) that the Attorney General finds objectionable.” Google refused to comply with the subpoena, and instead brought federal action against Hood in December 2014. The company’s argument relied on its free speech rights and the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (“CDA”), which shields intermediates like Google from liability arising from third-party content, as well as its rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Copyright Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”).  (more…)

Posted On Apr - 20 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Ken Winterbottom

J.P. Morgan Appeal Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction

In Intellectual Ventures II LLC v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., 2014-1724 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 1, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit dismissed the bank defendants’ interlocutory appeal for want of jurisdiction. Intellectual Ventures, a known patent troll, filed the suit against J.P. Morgan Chase and several other financial institutions in 2013, alleging infringement of five patents. The defendants, who are represented by renowned law and technology scholar Mark Lemley, filed a motion to stay the case pending the outcome of several CBM review petitions they intended to file. The district court denied the motion, citing, among other things, the plaintiff’s Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. In a 2-1 decision, the Federal Circuit dismissed the defendants’ appeal, which was premised solely upon a grant of jurisdiction in §18 of the America Invents Act, a provision which the court said “must be construed narrowly”. Because the Patent Trial and Appeal Board had not yet acted on the defendants’ CBM review petitions, there was not yet a “proceeding” for the purposes of §18, and thus, the court had no jurisdiction to hear the case. The majority found support for this position in the legislative history of the America Invents Act, as well as through an interpretative analogy to the meaning of “proceeding” in 35 U.S.C. §325.

(more…)

Posted On Apr - 13 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

 

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By Amanda Liverzani – Edited by Paulius Jurcys

Decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, Case Number G 002/13 (Mar. 25, 2015)

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 (“EBA”) 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.” Decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, Case Number G 002/13 (Mar. 25, 2015) at 68.

The European Patent Office’s Technical Board of Appeals referred the question of Article 53(b) scope to the EBA in connection with two cases, “Tomato II” and “Broccoli II.” The patent at issue in Tomato II, European patent No. 1 211 926, concerns “a method for breeding tomatoes having reduced water content, and the product of the method.” Id. at 4. Broccoli II involves European patent No. 1 069 819, which was directed at broccoli produced through “a method for selective increase of the anticarcinogenic glucosinates in brassica species.” Id. at 12. 

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Posted On Apr - 13 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Amanda Liverzani – Edited by Saukshmya Trichi

Application

Stephen Hawking is posed to leverage his physics fame into a brand name. The renowned theoretical physicist has filed an application seeking trademark protection of his name 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.

Hawking, the director of research at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Theoretical Cosmology and author of popular-science books including the 1988 bestseller A Brief History of Time, has enjoyed increased popularity in recent years following appearances on The Simpsons, Futurama, and The Big Bang Theory, as well as the release of the 2014 critically-acclaimed biographical film The Theory of Everything.

The University of Cambridge declined to comment on the rationale behind Hawking’s trademark application, stating: “It’s a personal matter for Stephen Hawking, it is not a university issue, but he has taken measures to protect his name and the success it has bought.” Toby McDonald and Jonathan Leake, “It’s the Big Brand Theory as Cox and Hawking Trademark Names,” The Sunday Times, Mar. 29, 2015. Some however, have suggested that Hawking’s decision was motivated by a desire to stop exploitation of his name through unauthorized or inappropriate products. See Thomas Burrows, “Big Brand Theory for Professors Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking who Trademark Own Names To Turn Themselves Into Brands,” Daily Mail, Mar. 29, 2015.

(more…)

Posted On Apr - 8 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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Insuring Patents

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