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

Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Daniel Etcovitch – Edited by Emily Chan

Florida Judge Rules Bitcoin Is Not Equivalent to Money

Illinois Governor Signs Bill Restricting Use of Stingrays

DMCA DRM Circumvention Provision’s Constitutionality Being Challenged



Federal Circuit Flash Digest

By Yuan Cao – Edited by Frederick Ding

Mere Commercial Benefit Not Enough to Trigger The On-Sale Bar

Technology-Based Software Solution Can Be Patentable 

Patent Disputes about Siri, iTunes, Notification Push, and Location



Sixth Circuit Finds Privacy Interest in Mugshots under FOIA

By Filippo Raso – Edited by Ariane Moss

A split en banc Sixth Circuit reversed the lower courts’ ruling, holding individuals have a privacy interest in their booking photos for the purposes of Exemption 7(C) of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. § 552. In so doing, the Court overruled Circuit precedent established two decades ago. The case was remanded with instructions to balance the public interests against the individual’s privacy interest.



The EFF Challenges the DMCA Anti-Circumvention Provision: A First Amendment Fight

By Priyanka Nawathe – Edited by Kayla Haran

On July 21, 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation sued the United States government to overturn DMCA Section 1201, commonly referred to as the anti-circumvention provision. The EFF argues that this provision, designed to prevent circumvention of “technological protection measures,” actually chills research and free speech, and thus is a violation of the First Amendment.



By Jaehwan Park – Edited by Kayla Haran

Bipartisan Lawmakers Introduce Bill Encouraging U.S. Government Agencies to Use the Cloud as a Secure Alternative to Legacy Systems

Snapchat Accused of Violating Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Announces New Policy Group to Promote Global Digital Trade


13399-surveillance_newsBy Filippo Raso – Edited by Shailin Thomas

Microsoft v. US, Docket No. 14-2985 (2nd. Cir. July 14, 2016) Opinion hosted by DocumentCloud.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Second Circuit found the Magistrate Judge’s decision rested on a mistaken interpretation of the statute and its legislative history, and accordingly reversed the District Court’s denial of Microsoft’s motion to quash a warrant, reversed the District Court’s finding of civil contempt, and remanded with instructions to quash the warrant insofar as it directs Microsoft to produce customer content stored outside of the United States.

The Second Circuit held that the warrant provisions in § 2703 of the Stored Communications Act, 18 USC §§2701-2712 (1986) (“SCA”), cannot be used to compel a service provider to disclose user e-mail content stored exclusively on a server in a foreign country. In so holding, the Court noted that the SCA granted users a privacy interest in their stored electronic communication, and that the SCA formally recognized that service providers take on a “special role” when acting on behalf of the government. The Fourth Amendment restrictions apply to service providers when acting pursuant to this “special role.” (more…)

Posted On Jul - 25 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

infringementBy Emily Chan – Edited by Evan Tallmadge

In re TC Heartland LLC, 821 F.3d 1338 (Fed. Cir. 2016)

In April 2016, the Federal Circuit denied TC Heartland LLC’s (“Heartland”) writ of mandamus. Hartland requested the court order the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware to dismiss or transfer the patent infringement suit initiated by Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC (“Kraft”). In rejecting Hartland’s request, the court explained that a writ of mandamus is an “extraordinary remedy appropriate only in exceptional circumstances” and Hartland did not meet this bar. In re TC Heartland LLC, 821 F.3d 1338, 1341 (Fed. Cir. 2016). (more…)

Posted On Jul - 25 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

SenateBy Priyanka Nawathe – Edited by Henry Thomas

H. R. Bill – Intimate Privacy Protection Act of 2016

On July 14, 2016, Democratic House Representative Jackie Speier from California’s 14th Congressional District proposed the Intimate Privacy Protection Act (“IPPA”). This legislation is designed to criminalize the display of sexually explicit conduct or body parts of an individual where displayed with a “reckless disregard for [that] person’s lack of consent to the distribution.” The proposed maximum imprisonment time is five years. The bill also contains several exceptions including those for law enforcement, reporting unlawful activity, “bona fide public interest,” and telecommunication and internet services providers who do not promote or solicit such content. Commentary from Sarah Jeong indicates that a prior version of this bill imposed liability on search engines, website operators, and software developers if they did not respond to takedown requests within 48 hours, however, this was removed from the final version of the act. According to Ars Technica, the purpose of this legislation is to make revenge pornography a federal crime. As Speier stated, “The damage caused by these attacks can crush careers, tear apart families, and, in the worst cases, has led to suicide.” (more…)

Posted On Jul - 25 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST
Photo By: Robert Scoble - CC BY 2.0

Photo By: Robert ScobleCC BY 2.0

By Emily Chan – Edited by Filippo Raso

Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc., No. 10-03561, 2016 WL 3181206 (N.D. Cal. June 8, 2016). Motion hosted by Law360.

Following an unfavorable verdict from a second jury and the Court’s denial of the first motion for judgment as a matter of law (“JMOL”), Oracle America, Inc. (“Oracle”) filed a renewed motion for JMOL pursuant to FRCP Rule 50(b). Oracle’s second motion, filed July 6, 2016, claimed that “no reasonable jury” could find that Google’s “verbatim [and] entirely commercial” copying of Oracle’s code, in order to compete with Oracle, was fair use.[1] The motion will be heard on August 18, 2016. (more…)

Posted On Jul - 21 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST

Fed. Cir. Flash DigestBy Kayla Haran – Edited by Jaehwan Park

Pokémon Go Captures Full Google Account Permissions on iOS

The hugely successful location-based augmented-reality mobile game Pokémon Go was released in the U.S. on July 6 and has since surpassed Twitter in daily active users. On July 8, blogger Adam Reeve discovered that the iOS version of Pokémon Go had full access privileges to the Google accounts of users who signed in using those accounts. Android users appear not to have encountered the same phenomenon. After several major news outlets reported on the issue, Pokémon Go developer Niantic released a statement confirming the reports and promising a forthcoming update that will limit account permissions to basic contact information, such as a user’s name and email address. The statement also promised that in spite of the broad permissions granted in the present version of the game, “Google has verified that no other information has been received or accessed by Pokémon Go or Niantic.” (more…)

Posted On Jul - 17 - 2016 Add Comments READ FULL POST
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