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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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Supreme Court Holds Bayh-Dole Act Does Not Independently Vest Ownership to Federally Funded Contractors
By Daniel Robinson – Edited by Esther Kang

Bd. of Tr. of Leland Stanford Junior Univ. v. Roche Molecular Sys., Inc., 563 U.S. ____ (June 6, 2011)
Slip Opinion
(via supremecourt.gov)

The Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit, which had held that the Bayh-Dole Act did not void an inventor’s assignment of intellectual property rights to a company.

The Court held in a 7-2 decision that Stanford University had no standing to sue Roche Molecular Systems for infringing an HIV testing procedure patent because the company was a co-owner of the patent. In so holding, the Court stated that the Bayh-Dole Act, which permits federally funded contractors to retain patents to their inventions in certain situations, does not independently divest a contractor’s employee and vest title in the contractor.

SCOTUSBlog provides an overview of the case. The New York Times criticizes the decision, saying it undermines the purpose of the Bayh-Dole Act. IPWatchdog features a thorough analysis of the decision. (more…)

Posted On Jun - 16 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Supreme Court Affirms Clear and Convincing Standard for Patent Invalidity Defenses
By Samantha Kuhn – Edited by Esther Kang

Microsoft Corp. v. i4i Ltd. P’ship, No. 10–290 (U.S. June 9, 2011)
Slip Opinion
(via supremecourt.gov)

On June 9, the Supreme Court affirmed a district court’s jury instructions requiring that the evidence of patent invalidity be “clear and convincing” for the invalidity defense against infringement to be successful.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that the presumption of validity in Section 282 of the Patent Act requires that a defendant must present “clear and convincing” evidence that a patent is invalid in order to succeed on an invalidity defense. The main issue in the case was whether a lesser standard should be applied to evidence that had not been previously presented to the PTO during examination. The Court rejected Microsoft’s proposal of a “preponderance of the evidence” standard in such cases.

PatentlyO provides a summary of the case and concurring opinions. IP Watchdog gives a summary of the case and opines about its implications on patent law. The Digest previously covered both the district court’s decision and the oral arguments before the Supreme Court.

(more…)

Posted On Jun - 15 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

by Marina Shvarts

Cameras Coming to Federal District Courts

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports that on July 18, 14 federal district courts around the country will launch a pilot program utilizing cameras in court. The project, however, is taking small steps, subject to several restrictions. Cameras will only be allowed in civil proceedings with the consent of both parties. There will be no live broadcasts, and the trial judge will have non-reviewable discretion over which cases will be recorded and when the cameras must be shut off. The recordings will be publicly available on uscourts.gov. Uscourts.gov has a list of participating courts.

Administration Divided over Whether Recent Cyber Threats Constitute a ‘Cyber War’

According to NPR, the Obama administration’s disagreement over how to characterize the recent string of cyber attacks could complicate setting out a response strategy. Compromised information at Google, RSA and Lockheed Martin exemplifies, according to cybersecurity experts, “the most sophisticated hacking efforts ever perpetrated against private computer networks,” reports NPR. According to the pentagon, there is reason “worry about cyberweapons being used to cause actual physical damage.” The pentagon is characterizing the recent threats as a cyberwar. Howard Schmidt, the White House coordinator for cybersecurity, disagrees, stating that “to label every cyber-intrusion, every theft of intellectual property, as cyberwar is just a total mischaracterization of what’s going on in the world today.” Before the Pentagon releases a new cyber strategy, disagreements over how much to emphasize cyberwar scenarios will have to be resolved.

Professor Receives Tenure Based in Part on Wikipedia Contributions

According to the Wikimedia Foundation Community Blog, Michel Aaiji’s substantial contributions to Wikipedia were in part responsible for his award of tenure. Aaiji explained the various peer review features on Wikipedia, noting that articles posted there could be as rigorous as those published in more traditional sources. As other professors follow the lead, the status of Wikipedia contributions will have to be reevaluated.

 

 

Posted On Jun - 13 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Supreme Court Adopts “Willful Blindness” Standard for Induced Infringement
By Raquel Acosta – Edited by Matt Gelfand

Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S. A., 563 U. S. ____ (May 31, 2011)
Slip Opinion

The Supreme Court affirms the result but not the “deliberate indifference” standard used by the Federal Circuit.

In an 8-1 decision the Supreme Court held that, under 35 U. S. C. § 271(b), inducement of infringement requires that a defendant have knowledge that the acts they induced constituted patent infringement. Deliberate indifference does not satisfy the knowledge requirement, but “willful blindness” does. In so holding, the court applied the criminal law principle of willful blindness to a civil law case and rejected the “deliberate indifference” standard.

PatentlyO provides an overview of the case. Patent Docs reviews the decision and criticizes the Supreme Court’s approach. SCOTUSblog briefly summarizes the holding and provides links to related briefs and documents.

(more…)

Posted On Jun - 10 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

by Michael Adelman

Copyright Suit Fails to Prevent Memorial Day Weekend Release of The Hangover: Part II

On Tuesday May 24, the New York Times reported that Judge Catherine D. Perry of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri denied tattoo artist Victor Whitmill’s preliminary injunction that would have halted the release of the film The Hangover: Part II over Memorial Day weekend. Mr. Whitmill claims that Warner Brothers has infringed on his exclusive rights to the Maori-inspired tattoo which he designed and inked on boxer Mike Tyson’s face by putting it on the face of the character Stu, played by Ed Helm, in the film and promotional merchandise. Wired reports that the litigation has prompted an about face by the nation’s preeminent copyright scholar, UCLA law professor David Nimmer, who testified that tattoos should not be copyrightable while serving as an expert witness for Warner Brothers. Likelihood of Confusion noted that Judge Perry strongly indicated Mr. Whitmill stands to recover on his claim in the future, but that she declined to issue the injunction after finding the public interest in letting the movie be released outweighed the harm of infringement.

G8 Nations Issue A Statement on Internet Governance

Ars Technica reports on the recent G8 summit that produced a Declaration of Renewed Commitment for Freedom and Democracy, which extolled the power of the Internet in increasing democratic participation and as a driver of economic growth. The document emphasized the need to safeguard against “arbitrary or indiscriminate censorship” in preserving the Internet as a democratic forum. The G8 nations also announced their commitment to enhancing protections of intellectual property (copyright in particular) through greater international cooperation of governments and private entities.

New Legislation Would Make Unauthorized Internet Streaming a Felony

Ars Technica reported on the testimony of new Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, before the House Judicicary Committee about whether illegal online streaming should be upgraded from the current misdemeanor status to a felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail. Pallante asserted that increased bandwidth and greater scrutiny of file-sharing networks have made video streaming sites that display pirated material increasingly popular, and that the law needed to be adjusted to keep pace with technology. This is also the position espoused by the Obama Administration’s White Paper on Intellectual Property Enforcement. But Techdirt warned that by making “performance” of a copyrighted work a felony, the proposed bill (via GovTrack.us) could potentially render the act of embedding or hosting an infringing video a felony.

Amazon Launches New Mac Software Store to Compete with Apple’s App Store

Amazon has recently launched a subsection of its online downloads store specifically oriented to Mac OSX software. Ars Technica reports that Amazon has called this service the “Mac Downloads Store”, probably to avoid another legal dispute with Apple. Slashdot has covered Apple previously filed lawsuit against Amazon for trademark infringement over Amazon’s ‘Appstore for Android’. ComputerWorld analyzes some of the differences between Amazon’s Mac Download Store and Apple’s Mac App Store, speculating that these differences are largely driven by differences in Amazon and Apple’s licensing agreements with software developers.

Posted On Jun - 6 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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