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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Apple LogoBy Shailin Thomas – Edited by Cristina Carapezza

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation v. Apple Inc., No. 3:2014cv00062 (W.D. Wis. 2015)

Link to opinion (hosted by Justia)

The District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin granted partial judgment for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) in its patent infringement suit against Apple.

The District Court held that Apple’s A7, A8, and A8X processors infringed on WARF’s patent for “a prediction threshold detector preventing data speculation for instructions having a prediction within a predetermined range,” despite the fact that Apple’s processors do not always operate using the infringing technology. In so holding, the court noted that a product still infringes on a patent even if it only infringes under certain circumstances and non-infringing modes of operation are possible. The court cited a number of opinions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit stating that the existence of non-infringing functionality is irrelevant to a patent infringement analysis. After the partial judgment was granted, a jury ordered Apple to pay $234 million in damages.

While the judgment as a matter of law has not been the subject of much controversy, the Christian Science Monitor has expressed concern that this case signals universities are becoming more aggressive in enforcing their patents — a trend also noted by Ars Technica — and conservative news site Breitbart predicts that the size of the damages will encourage this type of litigation.

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Posted On Nov - 3 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Sony LogoBy Ann Kristin Glenster — Edited by Ariane Moss

Text of Settlement

The Sony film “The Interview” was meant to take the studio laughing all the way to the top of the box office. But when an anonymous group calling itself Guardians of the Peace hacked into the Sony system and released floods of employee data on the internet, allegedly in protest of the film, the story was no longer a comedy matter. Nearly a year later, Sony has reached a settlement, to be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, of $8 million to reimburse its employees for identity theft losses, credit-fraud protections services, and legal fees.

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

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
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