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Whack-a-troll Legislation

Written by Asher Lowenstein     —   Edited by Yaping Zhang

Patent assertion entities’ extensive litigation activities in different states enables to assess the efficacy of the proposed bills against legal strategies these trolls, such as MPHJ Technology, have engaged in. The legal battles confirm some of the concerns about the usefulness of proposed regulatory measures.

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3D Systems and Formlabs Settled Two-Year Patent Dispute

By Yixuan Long – Edited by Yaping Zhang

On December 1, 3D Systems and Formlabs settled their two-year legal dispute over the 520 Patent infringement. Terms of the settlement are undisclosed. The patent covered different parts of the stereolithographic three-dimensional printing process, which uses a laser to cure liquid plastic. 3D Systems was granted the ‘520 Patent in 1997. Formlabs views the settlement as enabling it to continue its expansion and keep developing new products.

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Privacy Concerns in the Sharing Economy: The Case of Uber 

By Sabreena Khalid – Edited by Insue Kim

Recent revelations about Uber’s disconcerting use of personal user information have exposed the numerous weaknesses in Uber’s Privacy Policy. The lack of regulation in the area, coupled with the sensitive nature of personal information gathered by Uber, makes the issue one requiring immediate attention of policy makers.

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San Francisco Court Considers Google’s Search and Ad Services Free Speech

By Jens Frankenreiter – Edited by Henry Thomas

A San Francisco court dismissed a lawsuit against Google, treating Google’s search and advertisement services as constitutionally protected free speech. The lawsuit alleged an antitrust violation based on unfavorable treatment of a website in Google’s search results, and on the withdrawal of third-party advertisement from the website. In throwing out the lawsuit, the court applied California’s “anti-SLAPP” law, which allows quick dismissal of lawsuits against acts protected as free speech.

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EU Unitary Patent System Challenge Unsustainable: Advocate General

By Saukshmya Trichi – Edited by Ashish Bakshi

The Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union has rendered an opinion on Spain’s challenges to regulations implementing the European Unitary Patent System. The Advocate General opines that the challenges must be dismissed as the system is intended to provide genuine benefit in terms of uniformity and integration, and safeguard the principle of legal certainty, while the choice of languages reduces translation costs considerably.

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By Erin Pritchard

Facebook and Yahoo Settle & Share

Facebook and Yahoo announced last Friday, June 6, that they have settled all patent disputes between the two companies and are entering into an advertising partnership, according to CNN. The companies came to a no-cash exchange settlement agreement by entering into a cross-license deal which allows access to one another’s patent portfolios as well as a new advertising partnership. Yahoo filed a complaint against Facebook in March 2012 in the U.S. District Court in the San Jose Division of the Northern District of California, alleging that Facebook infringed ten of Yahoo’s patents in methods of advertising, privacy controls, and social networking. Just a few weeks later, Facebook then hit back at Yahoo with its own lawsuit the following month. Facebook denied Yahoo’s claims of patent infringement and said that Yahoo had infringed ten Facebook patents.

The Tech IPO Boom Isn’t Over

After the troublesome Facebook IPO last May, market analysts began questioning whether the tech IPO market would die out for at least the near future. But the success of the ServiceNow IPO from two weeks ago has encouraged analysts about the tech IPO market, according to CBSnews. ServiceNow, a provider of cloud-based information technology services, was one of the first technology IPOs since Facebook. ServiceNow’s IPO price was $18 per share and and it closed on the New York Stock Exchange up 37 percent at $24.60, giving the company a valuation of over $2 billion, reported Bloomberg.  After ServiceNow, tech companies may shake off the Facebook IPO scare and jump back into the IPO market.

Kim Dotcom’s Offer to Surrender

Last January, the United States Department of Justice indicted Megaupload for copyright infringement, and then seized and shut down the domain names and the sites associated with Megaupload, as JOLT Digest previously reported. After an arrest in New Zealand last January, there have been efforts to extradite Dotcom and other accused Megaupload employees.  Now, Kim Dotcom and his Megaupload associates are offering to turn themselves in and fly to the United States without an extradition hearing in New Zealand upon the condition that Dotcom receives a fair trial guarantee and return of money to support their families and to pay legal fees, reports Wired.  Last Wednesday, Dotcom tweeted “Hey DOJ, we will go to the US. No need for extradition.  We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers & living expenses.”  However, Dotcom claims that the FBI will never take his offer as it can’t win the case against him and Megaupload.

Erin Pritchard is a 3L at Harvard Law School.

 

Posted On Jul - 14 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Twitter Must Produce Occupy Wall Street Protestor’s Data
By Sarah Jeong – Edited by Michael Hoven

People of the State of New York v. Malcolm Harris, Docket No. 2011NY080152 (N.Y. Crim. Ct. June 30, 2012)
Decision and Order
(hosted by the ACLU)

The Criminal Court of the City of New York denied Twitter’s motion to quash a subpoena, thereby allowing discovery of defendant Malcolm Harris’s tweets and other non-content information collected by Twitter.

On January 26, 2012, the New York County District Attorney subpoenaed Twitter to produce user information and tweets posted from September 15, 2011 to December 31, 2011 from the Twitter account @destructuremal, belonging to Occupy Wall Street protestor Malcolm Harris. Harris filed a motion to quash the subpoena, which was denied by the court on April 20, 2012. Twitter then filed its own motion to quash the April 20 order. After the court’s most recent reply on June 30, Twitter must surrender the data in question. The court described its decision as granting the motion in part and denying it in part, but it only modified its April 20 order to the extent that a search warrant was required for data less than 180 days old—that is, only for anything posted on December 31, a single day out of the three-and-a-half month period specified by the District Attorney.

Ars Technica provides an overview of the case. Digital Journal provides additional background information. Electronic Discovery Law discusses the court order with in-depth commentary.

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Posted On Jul - 11 - 2012 1 Comment READ FULL POST

Verizon Challenges FCC’s Open Internet Order
By Andrew Crocker — Edited by Heather Whitney

Brief for Appellants, Verizon v. FCC, No. 11-1355 (D.C. Cir. July 2, 2012)
Brief hosted by GigaOm

On July 2, Verizon, joined in part by MetroPCS, filed a brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in an appeal of the FCC’s final order adopting its 2010 Open Internet Order, also known as the network neutrality rules. In the brief, the telecommunications providers argue that the FCC rules are in excess of the Commission’s statutory authority, that they violate the First and Fifth Amendments, and that they are arbitrary and capricious under the standards of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), 5 U.S.C. § 706.

Both PC World and journalist Jeff Jarvis, writing in the Huffington Post, criticize Verizon, taking particular issue with its constitutional arguments and cautioning that an ISP’s free speech rights should not trump those of its users.

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

Supreme Court Upholds the Individual Mandate of the Affordable Care Act
By Jie Zhang – Edited by Michael Hoven

National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Nos. 11–393, 11–398 and 11–400 (U.S. June 28, 2012)
Slip opinion

The Supreme Court partially reversed the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which had held that the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) was unconstitutional but severable from other provisions of the act, and that the Medicaid expansion of the ACA was constitutional.

A five-justice majority held that the individual mandate was a valid exercise of Congress’s taxing power, although four justices would have upheld the individual mandate under the Commerce Clause. On the other hand, seven justices found that the Medicaid expansion was unconstitutional because it exceeded Congress’s spending power by coercing the states to accept the expanded Medicaid coverage. The majority, however, held that the unconstitutional application of the Medicaid expansion could be severed from the remainder of the ACA, and thus left the ACA largely intact.

The Wall Street Journal reported on the case and commented on its impact on all aspects of  health care. The Economist noted that states have been slow to implement the health exchanges that the ACA requires, partly because of political opposition to the ACA. The New York Times reported that the decision place limits on the power of the federal government and that, without the Medicaid expansion, many Americans may still be left without health care.

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

Judge Posner Dismisses Apple v. Motorola Patent Suit in its Entirety
By Charlie Stiernberg – Edited by Jeff Habenicht

Apple, Inc. v. Motorola, Inc., No. 1:11-cv-08540, 2012 WL 2376664 (N.D. Ill. June 22, 2012).
Slip Opinion
(Hosted by Electronic Frontier Foundation)

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed with prejudice the suit between Apple, Inc. and Motorola, Inc. in its entirety.  The court had previously excluded testimony from the parties’ damages experts and cancelled the jury trials on liability.  Before deciding whether to dismiss the case, however, the court requested briefs and heard oral arguments from the parties regarding each other’s damages claims, declaratory relief, injunctive relief, and reasonable royalties.

Following the hearing, Circuit Judge Posner, sitting by designation, held that: (1) neither party had presented sufficient evidence to withstand summary judgment on damages, (2) neither party was entitled to injunctive relief, (3) neither party could establish a reasonable royalty rate for a compulsory license, and (4) declaratory judgment in favor of either party would confer no tangible benefit on the victor.  Judge Posner concluded by dismissing the case with prejudice, reasoning that, “It would be ridiculous to dismiss a suit for failure to prove damages and allow the plaintiff to refile the suit so that he could have a second chance to prove damages.”  Apple v. Motorola, No. 1:11-cv-08540, slip op. at 38.

Forbes provides a high-level overview of the outcome.  Ars Technica places the case in the context of related litigation between Apple and Motorola.   FOSS Patents provides an in-depth analysis of Judge Posner’s reasoning and its potential precedential effect.

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Posted On Jul - 6 - 2012 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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