A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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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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California Sex Offender Internet Identification Law Held Unenforceable

By Jesse Goodwin – Edited by Michael Shammas

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court ruling granting a preliminary injunction prohibiting of the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation (“CASE”) Act. In a unanimous ruling, a three-judge panel held that requiring sex offenders provide written notice of “any and all Internet identifiers” within 24 hours to the police likely imposed an unconstitutional burden on protected speech.

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Congress Fails to Pass Act Limiting Collection of Phone Metadata

By Henry Thomas – Edited by Paulius Jurcys

The Senate failed to reach closure and bring the USA FREEDOM Act to a vote. The Act would have extended provisions of the Patriot Act, but would have sharply curtailed the executive’s authority to collect phone conversation metadata. While the bill had broad popular support, the vote failed largely along party lines, passing the onus of drafting and approving a new bill onto the next congressional session.

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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.

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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

Federal Circuit Heightens Standard for Inequitable Conduct
By Marina Shvarts – Edited by Dorothy Du

Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson and Co., 2008-1511, -1512, -1513, -1514, -1595 (Fed. Cir. May 25, 2011) (en banc)
Slip Opinion

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the decision of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, which found U.S. Patent No. 5,820,551 (“the ’551 patent”) unenforceable due to inequitable conduct.

The Federal Circuit heightened the standard for proving inequitable conduct with respect to both the intent and materiality elements. The new test requires specific intent to deceive. A finding of materiality must show that “but-for” nondisclosure, the claim would not have been approved. The holding was a response to concerns about overuse of the inequitable conduct defense and the harshness of the remedy, characterized as the “atomic bomb of patent law.” The case was remanded to the district court to determine whether defendants’ conduct was inequitable under the new test.

Patently-O summarizes the opinion. The Patent Law Practice Center discuses reactions in the patent community. Patent Docs discusses the dissent.

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Posted On May - 31 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Federal Circuit Provides Guidance for Obviousness Determinations by the PTO and the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences
By Abby Lauer – Edited by Dorothy Du

In re Kao, 2010-1307 (Fed. Cir. May 13, 2011)
Slip Opinion

The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (“Board”), which had rejected patent application 11/680,432 (“the ‘432 application”) for obviousness. The Federal Circuit also affirmed findings of obviousness by the Board regarding patent applications 12/167,859 (“the ‘859 application”) and11/766,740 (the ‘740 application”). All of the patent applications at issue claimed controlled release drug formulations containing the opioid pain reliever oxymorphone.

In vacating and remanding the Board’s decision regarding the ‘432 application, the Federal Circuit held that the Board lacked “substantial evidence” in its determination that it would have been obvious for someone skilled in the art to combine the claims of a prior art reference with the controlled release oxymorphone formulation. In addition, the Board did not properly analyze the evidence of secondary considerations of nonobviousness that were presented by the patent holder. The Court agreed with the Board that both the ‘859 and the ‘740 applications were obvious in view of certain prior art references.

PatentlyO provides an overview of the case. Patent Docs provides detailed commentary and analysis.

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Posted On May - 31 - 2011 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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Privacy Concerns in

By Sabreena Khalid – Edited by Insue Kim Following scandals earlier ...

free-speech

San Francisco Court

By Jens Frankenreiter – Edited by Henry Thomas S. Louis Martin ...

European union concept, digital illustration.

EU Unitary Patent Sy

By Saukshmya Trichi – Edited by Ashish Bakshi Advocate General’s Opinion ...

computer-typing1

California Sex Offen

By Jesse Goodwin – Edited by Michael Shammas Doe v. Harris, ...

nsa-tracking-phone-records-325x337

Congress Fails to Pa

By Henry Thomas – Edited by Paulius Jurcys USA FREEDOM Act ...