A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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European Union Court of Justice Holds that Individuals Browsing Websites are not in Violation of Copyright Law
By Kellen Wittkop – Edited by Yixuan Long

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) agreed with the decision of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom that webpage viewers do not need license to view copyrighted materials online. With this holding, the CJEU issued a crucial decision for European Union law, balancing the rights of copyright holders and the rights of individuals to browse authorized content without being liable for infringement.

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Georgia Supreme Court Takes Chan v. Ellis Appeal to Redefine First Amendment Right on the Internet
By Yixuan Long – Edited by Emma Winer

The Georgia Court of Appeals ordered the appeal in Ellis v. Chan be transferred to the Georgia Supreme Court. Chan, an interactive website owner, appealed the trial court’s permanent protective order, which commanded him to take down more than 2000 posts on his website, and forbade him from coming within 1000 yards of Ellis. The Court of Appeals decided that the case raised significant and novel constitutional issues regarding the First Amendment right and the internet.

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Federal Circuit Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Kellen Wittkop

Appeal of a contempt order for violation of patent injunction agreement dismissed for lack of jurisdiction

Federal Circuit affirms summary judgment of Apple’s noninfringement on GBT’s CDMA patents

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ITC’s review of an ALJ’s order was not procedurally sound
By Mengyi Wang – Edited by Sarah O’Loughlin

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit unanimously vacated and remanded a decision of the International Trade Commission (“ITC”), finding that the ITC exceeded its authority in reviewing an administrative law judge’s (“ALJ”) order denying a motion for termination. In so holding, the Court rejected the ITC’s attempt to characterize the ALJ’s decision as an initial determination, which would be subject to review.

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Facebook’s experiment of emotional contagion raises concerns
By Jenny Choi – Edited by Sarah O’Loughlin

On June 17, 2014, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences released a study in which Facebook reduced positive and negative posts on News Feeds to observe any changes in the participants’ posts to test whether emotional states are contagious through verbal expressions. Many have criticized Facebook for the experiment,  finding that Facebook has deceived its users, violated past Consent Orders, and stretched the users’ terms of service agreements too far.

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Fox Group, Inc. v. Cree, Inc.
By Dorothy Du – Edited by Suzanne Van Arsdale

Fox Group, Inc. v. Cree, Inc., No. 2011-1576 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 28, 2012)
Slip Opinion

The Federal Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part the Eastern District of Virginia, which had granted defendant Cree’s motion for summary judgment on the invalidity of Fox Group’s (“Fox”) entire patent on low defect single crystal silicon carbide.

The Federal Circuit held that because Cree had proved by clear and convincing evidence that it was the prior inventor of the patent and Fox had failed to produce sufficient evidence to raise a triable issue on whether Cree abandoned, suppressed, or concealed the invention, claims 1 and 19 of U.S. Patent No. 6,562,130 (“’130 patent”) were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 102(g)(2). However, because there was no justiciable case or controversy to support Cree’s counterclaim on the invalidity of the rest of Fox’s patent, the court vacated the district court with respect to that portion of its holding.

Patently-O presents the background and key holdings of the case. Photonics Patent Blog suspects that the case would have come out the same way under the AIA’s “first to file” rule, which kicks in on March 16, 2013.

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Posted On Dec - 11 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Cellco P’ship v. FCC
By Kathleen McGuinness – Edited by Charlie Stiernberg

Cellco P’ship v. FCC, No. 11-1135, 2012 WL 6013416 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 4, 2012)
Slip Opinion (hosted by Public Knowledge)

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a facial challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) new rule requiring “providers of commercial mobile-data services to offer data roaming agreements to other such providers on commercially reasonable terms.”  Cellco P’ship v. FCC, No. 11-1135, slip op. at 8.Noting the differences between the existing voice roaming requirement and the new data rule, the court held that the FCC had statutory authority to regulate data roaming, and that the flexibility of the new requirement does not amount to the imposition of common carrier requirements. However, the court left open the possibility for future as-applied challenges if the policy becomes a de facto common carrier rule.

Ars Technica provides a brief discussion of the case. Public Knowledge discusses the court’s reasoning and the implications for future litigation over the FCC’s Open Internet rules. Bloomberg lists many of the affected carriers.

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Posted On Dec - 10 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Kathleen McGuinness

Congress Passes Symbolic Resolution: “No UN Control of the Internet”

Responding to the UN’s World Conference on International Telecommunications (“WCIT-12”), Congress passed a symbolic resolution on Wednesday opposing any increased UN authority over the Internet. Although many participating countries would like to reduce the United States’ control over the Internet, Ars Technica reports, the WCIT-12 has no power over individual state legal regimes. Wired describes some controversial policy proposals that would subject the Internet to the same legal regime as that covering telephone networks, but concludes that they are unlikely to have any practical effect.

Supreme Court Will Hear Case on the Legality of Pay-for-Delay Practices

On Friday, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in FTC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 12-416, 2012 WL 4758105 (U.S. Dec. 7, 2012). The Eleventh Circuit’s decision in the case is hosted by Bloomberg Law. This case will resolve a circuit split discussed by Thomson Reuters on the question of whether the common pharmaceutical industry practice of “reverse payment settlements” or “pay-for-delay”—paying a generic competitor to drop a patent challenge—constitutes anticompetitive behavior. Patent Docs describes the case in more detail.

Preliminary PTO Finding Invalidates Key Apple Multitouch Patent

The PTO issued a first office action on December 3 invalidating an important Apple multitouch patent, Ars Technica reports. The patent concerns iOS’s ability to distinguish between different types of user behavior, such as scrolling, panning, and zooming. While this finding is only preliminary, the fact that all twenty of Apple’s claims were rejected indicates that reversing the finding may be difficult. FOSS Patents discusses the matter in more detail.

Posted On Dec - 9 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST

United States v. Wahchumwah
By Pio Szamel – Edited by Geng Chen

United States v. Wahchumwah, No. 11-30101 (9th Cir. Nov. 27, 2012)
Slip opinion (hosted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a ruling by the Eastern District of Washington which held that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s use of a concealed audiovisual recording device on the person of an undercover agent to record inside a defendant’s home without a warrant did not violate the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights. In inviting the undercover agent into his home, the defendant “forfeited his expectation of privacy as to those areas that were knowingly expose[d] to” the undercover agent. Wahchumwah, No. 11-30101 at 8. Since the recording device “reveal[ed] no more than what was already visible to the agent,” it implicated no additional privacy concerns. Id.

FindLaw provides an overview of the case. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”), which had filed an amicus brief in support of Wahchumwah, criticizes the decision for opening the door to government surveillance and recording of “every intimate detail” of a person’s home.

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Posted On Dec - 7 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Gibson v. Texas Dep’t of Ins. – Div. of Workers’ Comp.
By Michael Hoven – Edited by Daniella Adler

Gibson v. Texas Dep’t of Ins. – Div. of Workers’ Comp., No. 11-11136 (5th Cir. Oct. 30, 2012)
Slip Opinion

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the Northern District of Texas, which had dismissed John Gibson’s claim that a Texas law barring him from using the words “Texas” and “workers’ compensation” or “workers’ comp.” in his domain name violated the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

The Fifth Circuit held that appellant had successfully stated a claim under the First Amendment, remanded the case for further review of that claim, and affirmed the dismissal of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment claims. In so holding, the court did not decide whether appellant’s speech was commercial or noncommercial. Instead, the court found that his speech warranted First Amendment review even if commercial, and explicitly reserved appellant’s right to further develop the argument that his speech was “ordinary, communicative speech.” Gibson, No. 11-11136 at 7.

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog provides an overview of the case. JD Supra agrees with the decision and speculates that the Texas Department of Insurance is unlikely to win the case. Techdirt notes that this decision, which opens the door to giving domain names First Amendment protection, conflicts  with the federal government’s history of seizing domain names.

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Posted On Dec - 6 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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European Union Court

European Union Court of Justice Holds that Individuals Browsing Websites ...

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Georgia Supreme Cour

Georgia Supreme Court Takes Chan v. Ellis Appeal to Redefine ...

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Federal Circuit Flas

By Kellen Wittkop Appeal of a contempt order for violation of ...

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ITC’s review of an

ITC’s review of an ALJ’s order was not procedurally sound By ...

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Facebook’s experim

Facebook’s experiment of emotional contagion raises concerns By Jenny Choi – ...