A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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U.S. Marshals Service Uses Airborne “Dirtboxes” to Collect Cell Phone Data

By Katherine Kwong – Edited by Mengyi Wang

The U.S. government has been using “dirtboxes” to collect cell phone data. The program, designed for criminal suspect surveillance, is accused of also collecting cell phone data on numerous Americans not suspected of any crime. While many commentators express concern about the program’s legality, others argue that the program is an effective method of catching criminals.

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Federal Circuit Flash Digest: News In Brief

By Henry Thomas

Ads For Content Scheme Held To Be Abstract Idea, Not Patentable Process

Federal Circuit Limits Application of Collateral Estoppel in Patent Litigation

Electronics Company Avoids Patent Enforcement By Directing Sales Outside U.S.

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Silk Road 2.0 Takedown Indicates Law Enforcement May Have Developed a Method to Trace Hidden Tor Websites

By Steven Wilfong — Edited by Travis West

The complaint filed against Blake Benthall, the alleged operator of Silk Road 2.0, indicates that the FBI identified a server that was used to host the popular drug market website, despite the fact that the website’s location was hidden by the Tor anonymity software.  Law enforcement may have developed a method of compromising Tor anonymity, a possibility that would prove useful in future operations, but that also raises concerns for legitimate users.

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Federal Circuit Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Ken Winterbottom

Motion to Dismiss in Hulu Patent Infringement Suit Affirmed

“Virtual Classroom” Patent Infringement Case Remanded for Further Determination

Attorney Publicly Reprimanded for Circulating Email from Judge

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Spain Passes a “Google Tax,” Analysts Predict it Will be Short-Lived

By Michael Shammas — Edited by Yixuan Long

Spain recently amended its Intellectual Property Law and Code of Civil Procedure to levy fees on aggregators that collect snippets of other webpages. It is at least the third example of a European government fining search aggregators to support traditional print publishing industries, a practice often labeled a “Google tax” because of the disproportionate impact such laws have on the search giant. Some analysts are already predicting that Spain’s new law will fail.

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Wyeth v. Abbott Labs
By Kathleen McGuinness – Edited by Alex Shank

Wyeth v. Abbott Labs., Nos. 2012-1223, -1224, (Fed. Cir. June 26, 2013)
Opinion

On June 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a lower court’s summary judgment of invalidity for nonenablement of certain patents relating to the use of rapamycin to treat restenosis, the renarrowing of an artery after the use of a balloon catheter. The court held that even “routine experimentation” to discover the working species of compounds within a claimed genus could constitute “undue experimentation,” given that chemical screening may require routine testing tens of thousands of compounds without any guidance from the patent.

Patently-O briefly explains the court’s decision. Patent Docs provides a detailed critique of the holding. Bloomberg summarizes the history of the litigation. (more…)

Posted On Jul - 5 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc.
By Kathleen McGuinness – Edited by Jennifer Wong

Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., No. 12-416 (570 U.S. ___ June 17, 2013)
Slip Opinion

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On June 17, the Supreme Court ruled that reverse payment settlements between brand name and generic drug manufacturers were not presumptively unlawful, but were subject to scrutiny under the “rule of reason.” This holding overruled the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s dismissal of the case, resolving a circuit split.

JD Supra explains the Court’s holding. HealthAffairs describes the background of the industry and the history of the case. FDA Law Blog predicts its implications on future litigation. (more…)

Posted On Jul - 3 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST

United States v. Turner
By Michelle Goldring – Edited by Samantha Rothberg

United States v. Turner, No. 11-196-cr (2nd Cir. June 21, 2013)
Slip Opinion

In a 2-1 decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the District Court for the Eastern District of New York’s conviction of Harold Turner, an internet radio host and blogger. Turner was convicted of “threatening to assault or murder [federal] Judges Frank Easterbrook, William Bauer, and Richard Posner” on the basis of his blog posts and commentary about a decision the three had made in a Seventh Circuit case regarding the Second Amendment. Turner, slip op. at 2­–3.  The Second Circuit upheld the finding that Turner’s conduct constituted “a true threat . . . [that] was unprotected by the First Amendment.” Id. at 16.

The Chicago Tribune and the New York Law Journal provide overviews of the case. The Constitutional Law Prof Blog critiques the decision for giving too little weight to the passive grammatical construction of Turner’s posts, while Jonathan Turley expresses concern that the Second Circuit  “lacks [a] firm idea where to draw a line between opinion and threat.” (more…)

Posted On Jun - 30 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Alex Shank

Icon-newsFederal Circuit Holds that Good-Faith Belief in Invalidity May Disprove Intent to Induce Infringement

Last Tuesday, the Federal Circuit held that evidence of a good-faith belief in the invalidity of a patent may negate the intent to induce infringement of that patent. Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Sys., Inc., 2012-1042 (Fed. Cir. June 25, 2013), opinion hosted by patentlyo.com. To induce infringement, a party must know that a patent exists and know that its actions will cause a third party to infringe that patent. Commil owns a patent over a method of transmitting mobile device information over wireless networks. Cisco wished to present evidence of its good-faith belief in the invalidity of the Commil patent to show that it lacked knowledge that a third party was infringing the patent. Although previous courts had allowed evidence of a good-faith belief in non-infringement, no court had allowed evidence of a good-faith belief in invalidity to show lack of intent. The trial jury found Cisco liable for induced infringement. On appeal, the Federal Circuit held that evidence of a good-faith belief in invalidity should be allowed to rebut a showing of intent. Bloomberg provides background on the case, as well as comments from Commil’s counsel.

Pandora Contends that Michigan Privacy Law Does Not Apply to Streamed Music

Pandora, an online music provider, requested that that Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit uphold an earlier ruling that its sharing of users’ music histories does not violate a Michigan state privacy law. The District Court for the Northern District of California previously granted Pandora’s motion to dismiss, finding that the Michigan law — which prohibits companies that lend or rent music from disclosing their customers’ preferences — did not apply to companies that stream music. Deacon v. Pandora Media, Inc. No. 11-04674 (Dist. Ct. N.D. Cal. Sept. 27, 2012), order hosted by docs.justia.com. Peter Deacon, a plaintiff in the case, alleges on appeal that the district court misconstrued the plain meaning of the Michigan law. In rebuttal, Pandora contends that its users lack sufficient control over the choice of music streamed for Pandora to be classified as a “lender” or “renter” of music. MediaPost provides a history of the case.

Chinese Wind Turbine Company Indicted on Misappropriation of U.S. Company’s Trade Secrets

The United States indicted the Chinese wind-turbine company Sinovel, as well as two of its executives, for criminal misappropriation of the trade secrets of its former U.S. supplier, American Superconductor, Corp. (“American”). Dejan Karabasevic, a former American employee, pled guilty to stealing American’s secret source code for wind-turbine computers and supplying it to Sinovel. Bloomberg discusses the Chinese courts’ inaction on American’s four suits filed against Sinovel in China, as well as the case’s relationship to U.S. concerns about cyber espionage more generally. Forbes details how American identified Karabasevic and the disgruntled former employee’s reasons for misappropriating the code.

Posted On Jun - 29 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Leaked NSA Memos Reveal More on Data Collection Procedures
By Katie Mullen – Edited by Michelle Sohn

Photo By: Ryan SommaCC BY 2.0

Last weekend, the Guardian leaked two more National Security Agency (“NSA”) documents regarding the NSA’s recently uncovered surveillance program. The first document details procedures used to target “non-U.S. persons” believed to be located outside the United States. The second document describes minimization procedures the NSA uses in collecting data under Section 702 of the amended Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”), 50 U.S.C. 1881 (2012).  (more…)

Posted On Jun - 28 - 2013 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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U.S. Marshals Servic

By Katherine Kwong – Edited by Mengyi Wang According to a ...

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Federal Circuit Flas

By Henry Thomas Ads For Content Scheme Held To Be Abstract ...

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Silk Road 2.0 Takedo

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Federal Circuit Flas

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Spain Passes a “Go

By Michael Shammas — Edited by Yixuan Long Amendments to the ...