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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Newegg

By Kasey Wang – Edited by Yunnan Jiang and Travis West

TQP Development, LLC v. 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc., No. 2:11-CV-248-JRG at *1 (E.D. Tex. 2015).

On July 15, 2015, the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ruled that online computer hardware retailer Newegg did not infringe on or induce infringement of TQP’s patent for an encryption scheme. After a jury found in favor of TQP, Judge Gilstrap granted Newegg’s Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law.

At issue is U.S. Patent No. 5,412,730, Claims 1, 6, 8, and 9. TQP asserted that the patent covered any website using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) with the RC4 encryption cipher, a common combination for web retailers and other websites. After the jury awarded TQP $2.3 million but before Judge Gilstrap issued his final judgement, a different case involving the same TQP patent was decided in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. In this separate case, TQP Development, LLC v. Intuit Inc., No. 2:12-cv-180 (E.D. Tex. June 20, 2014), Judge Bryson “revised his earlier construction of a term” in TQP’s patent and “granted summary judgment of non-infringement.” Since the Intuit and Newegg websites use similar encryption schemes, Newegg filed a Notice of Subsequent Authority to inform Judge Gilstrap of this development. Judge Gilstrap ultimately granted Newegg’s Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law and vacated the jury award.

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Posted On Aug - 23 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST
Photo By: Brian Hawkins - CC BY 2.0

Photo By: Brian HawkinsCC BY 2.0

By Robert Frieden

Edited by Marcela Viviana Ruiz Martinez, Olga Slobodyanyuk and Yaping Zhang

I.          Introduction

In a relatively short time, key interconnection negotiations that make the Internet globally accessible have become less cooperative and more contentious. [1]At the Internet’s inception, Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) providing essential bit switching and transmission functions largely embraced the twin goals of expanding connections and the number of users. [2] These ventures refrained from metering traffic and charging for carriage based on the assumption that traffic volumes roughly matched, or that traffic measurement was not worth the bother in light of external funding from government grants.  Most ISPs bartered network access through a process known as peering in lieu of metering traffic and billing for network use.[3]

As governments removed subsidies and commercial carriers invested substantial funds to build larger and faster networks, ISPs more accurately identified carriers and customers triggering higher costs and targeted them for rates increases. Currently the issue of cost causation has become a key commercial and regulatory policy issue, because of the potential for an ISP to disadvantage competitors as well as the possibility of traffic disconnections and service degradation when parties cannot agree on interconnection terms. [4]

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Posted On Aug - 15 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

images

By Kate Westmoreland

Edited by Yunnan Jiang

1.     Introduction

Accessing online records and user data is an integral part of modern criminal investigations and prosecutions. However, accessing an individual’s communications, subscriber details or metadata can raise significant privacy concerns.  These issues become even more complex when they involve users and governments from several different countries.  Unfortunately, the legal framework that guides these decisions is out of date and unable to adequately cope with rapidly evolving technologies, cross-border interactions, and exponential growth in data collection.  This means that internet providers[1] are making important decisions about whether or not to hand over user data to law enforcement from all over the world without clear legal guidance.

This paper analyses the law controlling when U.S.-based providers can provide online user data[2] to foreign governments.  The focus is on U.S. law because current U.S. dominance of cloud-based services and internet providers means that U.S. laws and practices affect a large number of global users.  The first half of this paper outlines the legal framework governing these requests.[3] The second half of the paper highlights the gaps in the law and how individual companies’ policies fill these gaps. (more…)

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

technology-512210_1280By Deborah Beth Medows, Symposium Editor

When this author first conceived of coordinating a symposium over a year ago relating to the most salient aspects of Internet and computer law and their societal ramifications, she intended to narrowly focus the scope of the symposium on the nexus between net neutrality and 3D printing.  Her intention was to highlight these issues as parallaxes that reflect the ways in which technological advancements pose as harbingers of both hope and challenge for society, while simultaneously addressing the legal quagmires that occur when laws relating to technology in many ways do not yet adequately correspond to these significant advances.

The confluence of 3D printing and net neutrality appeared to be ideally suited for discussion in a joint forum due to the similar legal themes that they evoke.  At the time that this symposium was first conceived, both 3D printing and net neutrality were at the cutting edge of Internet law, discussed seemingly ubiquitously by legal scholars, technological whizzes, and pundits alike with exclamatory declarations regarding the perils and advantages of both facets of technology and conjectures regarding their wide-sweeping effects.

However, one cannot merely focus on 3D printing and net neutrality law in a vacuum, but jurists must widely examine the many challenges that are pervasive among the advents in Internet and computer technology in order to broadly and appropriately ensure that legal systems protect individuals while simultaneously encouraging innovation.  It is precisely due to the legal and societal quagmires that 3D printing and net neutrality pose that ideally position them as springboards from which to delve into broader discussions regarding the array of issues that must be examined with regard to developments in technology law. (more…)

Posted On Aug - 12 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Microsoft MobileBy Stacy Ruegilin – Edited by Ken Winterbottom

Microsoft Corp. v. Motorola, Inc., No. 14-35393, 2015 WL 4568613 (9th Cir. July 30, 2015).

Last week, the Ninth Circuit handed Microsoft a victory against Motorola in a case that tempers hardball tactics to enforce patents on “standards-essential” technologies. A panel of three judges in San Francisco upheld a District Court’s ruling that technology standardization places a patent-holder under contractual obligation to offer licenses at reasonable and non-discriminatory (“RAND”) rates, which may be determined by a court if necessary.

Standards allow consumers to use certain technologies across multiple devices, even if they are produced by different manufacturers. For example, when a consumer purchases a computer from Microsoft, they know that it will be able to read file formats patented by other technology companies, such as PDF, JPEG, Flash, and Bluetooth. These formats are standards that have been accepted and propagated by standards-setting organizations (SSOs).

The theory is that everyone benefits from this arrangement: it adds value to the products of technology companies and offers compatible devices to consumers. Registering with an SSO is a step toward market ubiquity, but by doing so, the patent holder is usually required to offer licenses on RAND terms. This encourages competition by preventing the holder of a standards-essential patent from demanding exorbitant royalties for standards that reach market dominance.

(more…)

Posted On Aug - 7 - 2015 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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