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

Federal Circuit Flash Digest

By Kayla Haran – Edited by Ken Winterbottom

Court Finds Negative Claim Limitation Meets Written Description Requirements

International Trade Commission’s Expansion of its Jurisdiction to Include Electronic Transmissions of Digital Data Ruled Improper

Court Holds That Patent Trial and Appeal Board Did Not Deny Procedural Rights in Review



Federal Circuit Flash Digest

By Patrick Gallagher – Edited by Ken Winterbottom

TOR Project Head Alleges FBI Paid Carnegie Mellon for Hack in Connection with Silk Road 2.0 Investigation

DOJ Decides Not to Support FCC in Efforts to Preempt States Laws Limiting Municipal Broadband Projects

D.C. Court of Appeals Permits Continuation of Bulk Domestic Phone Data Collection



Senate passes Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act

By Frederick Ding — Edited by Yunnan Jiang

On October 27, 2015, the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), which enables companies to share cyber threat indicators with each other and the federal government, and immunizes them from liability for sharing under the act. Tech companies and journalists have vocally expressed opposition to the act, which may enable companies to share users’ personal information.



Senators push bill protecting interstate trade secrets amidst concerns over trolling

By Bhargav Srinivasan – Edited by Olga Slobodyanyuk

The Senate Judiciary Committee is deliberating a bill to provide US companies with extra legal protections for trade secrets for products or services used in interstate commerce. However, some legal scholars believe the bill creates strong potential for companies to engage in “trade secret trolling” by falsely accusing rivals of stealing trade secrets in order to stall their business. The ensuing debate now weighs the intent of the bill with the potential for legal bullying.



Federal Circuit Flash Digest

By Keke Wu – Edited by Yunnan Jiang

Federal Circuit Rejects-in-part the District Court’s Claim Construction

No Jurisdiction to Claim Reputational Harm after Settlement

Federal Circuit Affirms-in-part PTAB in Belden vs. Berk-Tek


344f15853394cfa361518ee607cd06d1By Ariella Michal Medows – Edited by Kenneth Winterbottom

The United States healthcare industry is undergoing a technological revolution.  As paper medical records are converted to electronic medical records, which are then stored via cloud computing, a myriad of legal questions arise.  Foremost among these are concerns regarding patient privacy and the security of stored personal health information.  It is evident that the storage of electronic medical records in computer clouds is a technological development that is here to stay.  The challenge lies in adapting our healthcare system to the digital age in a legally enforceable, efficient, and cost-effective manner while maintaining quality care and privacy rights for patients.

There are two key components to this healthcare overhaul.  First, transitioning as smoothly as possible to the inevitable nationwide e-health system; and second, determining proper responses to situations where the e-health system does not function correctly.  All systems experience complications at some point, and the e-health system, while more efficacious than paper medical records in the long-term, will present new legal and policy-related dilemmas that a community reliant on paper-based medical charts will initially be unprepared to address.  Ideally, hospitals and healthcare companies should develop backup plans in advance of these hurdles and create prophylactic policies that anticipate technical difficulties.  The U.S. healthcare system should act offensively, rather than defensively, to challenges that will arise as we increase our reliance on technology.  These strategies must be as legally sound as possible, in order to best protect patient privacy and to diminish risks for all parties.  Diminishing legal risk will decrease the hesitancy of software companies and data centers to enter the arena of public health, and will therefore drive a competitive marketplace with lower costs for hospitals and insurance companies and, consequently, lower treatment costs for patients. (more…)

Posted On Sep - 11 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST

By Angela Daly – Edited by Katherine Zimmerman

1.      Introduction

This contribution will consider current moves in the European Union (EU) to legislate net neutrality regulation at the regional level. The existing regulatory landscape governing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the EU will be outlined, along with net neutrality initiatives at the national level in countries such as Slovenia and the Netherlands. The new proposals to introduce enforceable net neutrality rules throughout the EU will be detailed, with comparison made to the recent FCC proposals in the US, and the extent to which these proposals can be considered adequate to advance the interests of Internet users.

2.      Existing regulatory landscape in the EU

Various provisions from existing EU telecoms regulation are relevant to net neutrality. This regulatory framework has promoted intra-platform competition by stimulating competition at the retail, consumer-facing level for fixed line telecoms, rather than inter-platform competition between different technologies such as cable and copper wires — a feature of the US regulatory landscape. EU telecoms regulation has pursued a ‘technology neutral’ policy, more concerned with the extent to which markets are competitive than the type of technology used to deliver services. If a market is not competitive, then ex ante regulation will be applied with the idea that the regulation will no longer be needed once competition has been achieved, and market-based solutions suffice.


Posted On Sep - 10 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST


By Kasey Wang – Edited by Yunnan Jiang and Travis West

TQP Development, LLC v. 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc., No. 2:11-CV-248-JRG at *1 (E.D. Tex. 2015).

On July 15, 2015, the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ruled that online computer hardware retailer Newegg did not infringe on or induce infringement of TQP’s patent for an encryption scheme. After a jury found in favor of TQP, Judge Gilstrap granted Newegg’s Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law.

At issue is U.S. Patent No. 5,412,730, Claims 1, 6, 8, and 9. TQP asserted that the patent covered any website using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) with the RC4 encryption cipher, a common combination for web retailers and other websites. After the jury awarded TQP $2.3 million but before Judge Gilstrap issued his final judgement, a different case involving the same TQP patent was decided in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. In this separate case, TQP Development, LLC v. Intuit Inc., No. 2:12-cv-180 (E.D. Tex. June 20, 2014), Judge Bryson “revised his earlier construction of a term” in TQP’s patent and “granted summary judgment of non-infringement.” Since the Intuit and Newegg websites use similar encryption schemes, Newegg filed a Notice of Subsequent Authority to inform Judge Gilstrap of this development. Judge Gilstrap ultimately granted Newegg’s Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law and vacated the jury award.


Posted On Aug - 23 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST
Photo By: Brian Hawkins - CC BY 2.0

Photo By: Brian HawkinsCC BY 2.0

By Robert Frieden

Edited by Marcela Viviana Ruiz Martinez, Olga Slobodyanyuk and Yaping Zhang

I.          Introduction

In a relatively short time, key interconnection negotiations that make the Internet globally accessible have become less cooperative and more contentious. [1]At the Internet’s inception, Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) providing essential bit switching and transmission functions largely embraced the twin goals of expanding connections and the number of users. [2] These ventures refrained from metering traffic and charging for carriage based on the assumption that traffic volumes roughly matched, or that traffic measurement was not worth the bother in light of external funding from government grants.  Most ISPs bartered network access through a process known as peering in lieu of metering traffic and billing for network use.[3]

As governments removed subsidies and commercial carriers invested substantial funds to build larger and faster networks, ISPs more accurately identified carriers and customers triggering higher costs and targeted them for rates increases. Currently the issue of cost causation has become a key commercial and regulatory policy issue, because of the potential for an ISP to disadvantage competitors as well as the possibility of traffic disconnections and service degradation when parties cannot agree on interconnection terms. [4]


Posted On Aug - 15 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST


By Kate Westmoreland

Edited by Yunnan Jiang

1.     Introduction

Accessing online records and user data is an integral part of modern criminal investigations and prosecutions. However, accessing an individual’s communications, subscriber details or metadata can raise significant privacy concerns.  These issues become even more complex when they involve users and governments from several different countries.  Unfortunately, the legal framework that guides these decisions is out of date and unable to adequately cope with rapidly evolving technologies, cross-border interactions, and exponential growth in data collection.  This means that internet providers[1] are making important decisions about whether or not to hand over user data to law enforcement from all over the world without clear legal guidance.

This paper analyses the law controlling when U.S.-based providers can provide online user data[2] to foreign governments.  The focus is on U.S. law because current U.S. dominance of cloud-based services and internet providers means that U.S. laws and practices affect a large number of global users.  The first half of this paper outlines the legal framework governing these requests.[3] The second half of the paper highlights the gaps in the law and how individual companies’ policies fill these gaps. (more…)

Posted On Aug - 13 - 2015 Add Comments READ FULL POST
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