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

On August 14, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued Draft Guidelines on the direct de novo classification process, a means of accelerating the approval of new types of medical devices posing only low to moderate health risks.[1]  The FDA created de novo classification in 1997, but after the process failed to achieve its purpose of expediting approval, the FDA introduced an alternative de novo process called “direct” de novo.



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.



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.



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



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.


Fed. Cir. Flash DigestBy Gia Velasquez – Edited by Ken Winterbottom

Federal Court Grants Uber’s Class Action Certification Appeal

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted Uber’s appeal regarding the class action certification of Uber drivers in California. This will stall the case, which concerns whether Uber drivers are employees rather than independent contractors. Uber argued that all drivers forfeited their right to be a member of a class action lawsuit because their contracts contained a binding arbitration clause. Should Uber prevail on appeal, each driver would be forced to individually arbitrate to achieve employee certification.

Independent Contractor Classification of Uber Drivers May Violate Antitrust Laws

A lawsuit alleging Uber violates antitrust laws has been permitted to move forward by U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff. The suit, filed against Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, alleges Uber violates antitrust laws by classifying their drivers as independent contractors, but not permitting them to compete on price. The fares are calculated through an algorithm which cause all drivers to charge the same price, and according to Rakoff, “through the magic of smartphone technology, can invite hundreds of thousands of drivers in far-flung locations to agree to Uber’s terms.”

Self-Driving Car Will Be Considered Autonomous Driver

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the artificial intelligence system in Google’s self-driving car can be considered a driver under federal law. Now, Google faces the challenge of ensuring the system complies with standards designed to apply to vehicles with human drivers. Worried that the technological progress will be impaired by regulation, Chris Urmson, the head of the Google project, said the “leadership of the federal government is critically important given the growing patchwork of state laws and regulations on self-driving cars.”

Posted On Apr - 19 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

European CommissionBy Tim Saviola – Edited by Ariane Moss

Press Release, EU Commission and United States agree on new framework for transatlantic data flows: EU-US Privacy Shield (Strasbourg, February 2, 2016)

The European Commission and the United States have agreed on a new Privacy Shield to govern the usage and protection of data of European citizens when their data passes into the United States. The agreement, announced on February 2, 2016, creates a new set of data protection obligations for US companies when managing data of European citizens. US and EU authorities will also be able to better monitor and enforce the new regime.

Negotiations were prompted by the invalidation of the older “safe harbor” scheme adopted by the European Commission in 2000. Under those provisions, data from European countries could be shared with US companies if certain outlined privacy principles were complied with.  However, after an Austrian citizen complained that his Facebook data was inadequately protected due to US government surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden, the European Court of Justice overturned the safe harbor principles. In the 2015 Schrems decision, the court stated that because US law permitted national security and law enforcement usage of the data to trump the safe harbor data protections, the scheme “enables interference . . . with the fundamental rights of [European] persons.” Maximillian Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner, 2015 E.C.R. C-362/14.


Posted On Apr - 19 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

Department of Justice (DOJ)By Kevin Crenny – Edited by Mila Owen

United States of America v. Safya Roe Yassin, No. 16-mj-2009-DPR (W. D. Mo.) Criminal Complaint available here; Opposition to Motion to Revoke the Detention Order available here (hosted by Washington Post).

In a recent filing, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri argued for the continued pre-trial detention of Safya Roe Yassin, who has been charged with making threatening statements online in support of ISIS. The filing was noteworthy for its reliance not only on the tweets Yassin had published, but those of other ISIS supporters that she had retweeted.

The government’s filing states that in August 2015, Yassin posted a series of tweets indicating support for the “Caliphate State” of ISIS, including calls to violence and releases of names, addresses, and contact information for U.S. military personnel. On August 24, she retweeted tweets from another account that contained the names, cities, and phone numbers of two FBI employees under the heading “Wanted to kill”.


Posted On Apr - 18 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

UnknownBy Gia Velasquez – Edited by Yunnan Jiang

New Jersey Bill Seeks to Ban Texting While Walking

Though 46 states have banned texting while driving, New Jersey Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt introduced a bill that seeks to extend the texting ban to pedestrians.  Since a 2013 nationwide study at The Ohio State University reported 1,500 emergency room visits in 2010 for injuries sustained texting while walking, the problem has grown. Though a recent survey reported 78 percent of adults agree distracted walking is a serious problem, 49 percent believe they do “not at all” text, read emails/websites, play games, or take selfies. If passed, violators of the texting while walking statute could be fined up to $50 or imprisoned.

“Unreasonable” Behavior During Litigation Cost Video Website $30,000

In September 2015, Garfum.com, a small video website, claimed a Pennsylvania photographer infringed on their patent, entitled “Method of sharing multi-media content among users in a global computer network” by hosting photo contests on her website, Bytephoto. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) took on Ruth Taylor’s case pro bono, and Garfum.com dropped the case. The EFF then sued Garfum.com for attorney’s fees, for which a New Jersey District Court has awarded Taylor $30,000. U.S. Chief District Judge Jerome Simandle found Garfum.com’s conduct during litigation was “unreasonable” and that the suit was brought in bad faith.

California Medical Device Company Fails to Meet Internal Standards

Theranos, Inc., a California-based medical testing company, is under scrutiny after a 121-page report issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) showed the company failed to meet their own internal standards regarding the accuracy of their Edison testing device. Valued at $9 billion in February 2014, Theranos promised only a few finger pricks could produce results for over 200 medical tests. CMS showed that 29% of the quality-control checks fell short of the expectations set forth by Theranos. Theranos responded to the report by “proactively suspending testing associated with any affected areas last year after learning of the issues” and planning to hire a new full-time lab director.

Posted On Apr - 11 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

YouTubeBy Sheri Pan – Edited by Henry Thomas

Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., Nos. 13-16106, 13-16107 (9th Cir. Mar. 17, 2016), slip opinion hosted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”)

The Ninth Circuit issued an amended opinion in Lenz v. Universal Music that broadened the scope of the holding requiring copyright holders to consider fair use before sending takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).  The dispute arose when Universal Music sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube directing YouTube to remove a video taken by Stephanie Lenz featuring her toddler dancing to a song by the artist Prince.  Lenz, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, subsequently sued Universal for sending an improper takedown notice.  JD Supra and Techdirt provide commentary.


Posted On Apr - 4 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST
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Draft Guideline for

 By Hyeongsu Park - Edited by Erik Mortensen 1. Introduction On August 14, ...


Insuring Patents

By Yaping Zhang Edited by Jennifer Chung and Ariel Simms Despite its ...

Senate Judiciary Committee

Defend Trade Secrets

By Suyoung Jang – Edited by Mila Owen S.1890 - Defend ...

Flash Digest

Federal Circuit Flas

By Evan Tallmadge – Edited by Olga Slobodyanyuk The Linked Inheritability ...

Illinois Flag

Amicus Brief by EFF

By Yaping Zhang – Edited by Mila Owen On April 6, ...