A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news
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Federal Circuit Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Steven Wilfong

Multimedia car system patents ruled as unenforceable based on inequitable conduct

ITC’s ruling that uPI violated Consent Order affirmed

Court rules that VeriFone devices did not infringe on payment terminal software patents

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Flash Digest: News in Brief

By Viviana Ruiz

Converse attempts to protect iconic Chuck Taylor All Star design

French Court rules that shoe design copyright was not infringed

Oklahoma Court rules that Facebook notifications do not satisfy notice requirement

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Silk Road Founder Loses Argument That the FBI Illegally Hacked Servers to Find Evidence against Him

By Travis West  — Edited by Mengyi Wang

The alleged Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht was denied the motion to suppress evidence in his case. Ulbricht argued that the FBI illegally hacked the Silk Road servers to search for evidence to use in search warrants for the server. The judge denied the motion because Ulbricht failed to establish he had any privacy interest in the server.

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Trademark Infringement or First Amendment Right of Freedom of Speech?

By Yunnan Jiang – Edited by Paulius Jurcys

On October 11, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, Inc. (“ACLU”) filed a joint brief in the U.S. Court Of Appeals, urging  that “trademark laws should not be used to impinge the First Amendment rights of critics and commentators”. The brief argues that the use of the names of organizations to comment, critique, and parody, is constitutionally protected by the speaker’s First Amendment right of freedom of expression.

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Twitter goes to court over government restrictions limiting reporting on surveillance requests

By Jens Frankenreiter – Edited by Michael Shammas

Twitter on Oct. 7 sued the government, asking a federal district court to rule that it was allowed to reveal the numbers of surveillance requests it receives in greater detail. Twitter opposes complying with the rules agreed upon by the government and other tech companies in a settlement earlier this year, and argues that the rules violated its rights under the First Amendment.

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By Chinh Vo

Google, Verizon Offer Proposal for Regulating Internet, Face Criticism

CNET reports that Google and Verizon have announced a joint proposal for regulating Internet service that offers a legislative framework for net neutrality. The proposal states that Internet service providers should not be allowed to discriminate against lawful online content producers and gives the FCC authority to deal with violators. The proposal, however, contains exceptions for Internet access over mobile networks and new services distinguishable from traditional broadband access, such as advanced health care, education, or entertainment. The New York Times describes criticism from net neutrality proponents who claim that these exceptions would create a loophole companies could exploit to avoid complying with open-access requirements. Other major Internet and telecommunications companies — including Ebay, Amazon.com, and AT&T — expressed concerns about the proposal and stressed the need to review its provisions more carefully.

Concert Organizer Files Trademark Suit Ahead of Festival Date to Preempt Bootlegging

The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog reports that concert-organizer AEG Live has filed suit against hundreds of John and Jane Does for infringement of trademarks related to the Mile High Music Festival in Denver. Though the festival will not take place until this weekend, the complaint claims that AEG has the sole right to sell products bearing the festival’s trademark and asks a federal court to allow local, state and federal police officers to seize bootlegged merchandise. AEG’s action is the second this summer to use the John Doe trademark lawsuit to employ law enforcement to control bootlegging, following a similar suit by a merchandising company before a series of Lady Gaga concerts in New York.

Oracle Files Patent and Copyright Suit Against Google for Use of Java in Android

VentureBeat reports that Oracle has sued Google for patent and copyright infringement over its use of the Java programming language in its Android operating system. Oracle, which took ownership of Java after acquiring Sun Microsystems, stated in a press release that “Google knowingly, directly, and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property.” According to the complaint, Google had knowledge of the patents at issue after the company hired former Sun Java engineers a few years ago. As Ars Technica explains, Google “makes heavy use of Java in the Android software development kit,” but has also released a subsequent development kit that allows developers to use C and C++ to build Android components.

Posted On Aug - 14 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Ian B. Brooks

Pennsylvania Takes on Teen Sexting

On August 2 The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Pennsylvania’s proposed bill addressing “sexting” by minors. Sexting is the sending of nude photos between electronic devices, primarily cell phones. Currently, child pornography laws, intended for adults, provide the only ammunition for prosecuting these acts in Pennsylvania. With penalties including felony charges and sex offender registration, some believe the existing laws are too harsh. To strike a balance between dealing with sexting concerns and properly disciplining children, Pennsylvania legislators are considering a bill that provides for a range of penalties. Proponents believe the law will protect children; critics say the proposed law is misguided and violates constitutionally protected rights.

Three Countries Threaten to Shut Down Blackberry Network Over National Security Concerns

The BBC reports that the Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirate governments have each planned to block some of Research in Motion’s (“RIM”) Blackberry messaging services. The governments are concerned that the encryption of the messaging services presents a national security threat. Currently they are unable to monitor the communications from those devices; they believe that terrorists can therefore use the network to avoid detection. Some believe the statements are a tactic to convince RIM to provide the governments with access to user data. Reuters reports that talks between RIM and some governments regarding access are underway. iGeneration reports on a similar threat from India, and discusses the balance between preventing of terrorist threats and protecting privacy.

Delhi Traffic Police Use Facebook to Catch Traffic Law Violators

The New York Times reports that Facebook has become a tool for finding traffic law violators in India. With the help of informants who post photos on its Facebook page, the Delhi Traffic Police has issued tickets to drivers pictured breaking the law. Because they have such limited resources, the Delhi Traffic Police find the Facebook site to be helpful in catching violators. Critics are concerned that citizens providing information to law enforcement through social media is a step onto a slippery slope. However, the Delhi Traffic Police have received a positive response — the site has even resulted in tickets being issued to police officers.

Posted On Aug - 9 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Informing a Patient of a Method’s Effect is Insufficient to Render the Method Patentable
By Harry Zhou – Edited by Chinh Vo

King Pharms., Inc. v. Eon Labs, Inc., No. 2009-1437, -1438 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 2, 2010)
Slip Opinion

On August 2, 2010, the Federal Circuit affirmed the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York’s entry of summary judgment invalidating two patent claims held by King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“King”). In addition, the court vacated summary judgment against a third-party defendant for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

King’s challenged patent claims pertained to the beneficial increase in bioavailability of a drug when the drug was ingested with food. Such claims were supported by two sources of novelty: the previously undiscovered result of increased bioavailability, and an “informing” limitation consisting of either instructing a patient to ingest metaxalone with food or applying printed labels bearing such instructions to packaging. In invalidating all of King’s claims in question, the Federal Circuit held that both alleged sources of novelty had been inherently anticipated by prior arts.

Patently-O provides an overview of the decision. Inventive Step provides a detailed summary of the court’s rationale in finding that the “informing” limitation was insufficient to impart patentability into an inherently anticipated claim. (more…)

Posted On Aug - 9 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

By Sharona Hakimi

Gates Denounces WikiLeaks disclosure of sensitive documents from Afghanistan

On July 29, Wired and the New York Times reported that Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen publicly condemned WikiLeaks for publishing 75,000 secret documents relating the Afghanistan War.  During a Pentagon press briefing, Mullen said that the activists who run WikiLeaks “might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier” or an Afghan partner whose identity was exposed. Though the documents did not seem to have strategic value, Gates stated that because of the “massive breach,” “[t]actics, techniques and procedures will become known to our adversaries.” Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has defended his website as providing a truthful portrait of the situation in Afghanistan, and said the organization held back thousands of documents for security reasons. The FBI is currently assisting in an internal departmental investigation to determine the source of the leak.

Google StreetView not liable in UK for WiFi snooping

Ars Technica reported that the British Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has found that information captured from WiFi networks by the Google StreetView cars was not “significant” as it did not include “meaningful personal details.” The ICO issued a statement that, although Google was wrong to collect the information, the data could not be linked to an “identifiable person” and thereby cause harm. The ICO and other international agencies are still investigating Google StreetView to see if Google has broken any data privacy laws.

The DOJ sues Oracle for fraudulent software sales

CNET reported that the US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Oracle contending that the company defrauded the government by offering software discounts that were “far inferior” to those provided to its commercial clients. Oracle and the federal General Services Administrations engaged in a software deal from 1998 to 2006 that resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. Under the contract, Oracle was to offer any improved commercial discounts to the government agencies. The DOJ brought the suit under the False Claims Act in the U.S. District Court for the District of Eastern Virginia.

Posted On Aug - 5 - 2010 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Fifth Circuit Limits DMCA by Distinguishing Circumvention to Access Software and Circumvention to Violate Copyright
By Ian B. Brooks – Edited by Helen He

MGE UPS Systems, Inc. v. GE Consumer and Indus. Inc., No. 08-10521 (5th Cir. July 20, 2010)
Slip Opinion

The Fifth Circuit affirmed the ruling of the District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which dismissed MGE UPS Systems Inc.’s (“MGE”) Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) claim against Power Maintenance International, Inc. (“PMI”) and General Electric Company (“GE”) pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P 50(a).

The Fifth Circuit held that the DMCA’s provisions apply to protections designed to prevent infringement of copyrighted material and not protection from mere access to that material.  Thus, the circumvention of a protection measure that fails to shield the copyrighted material from being read and copied is not a violation of the DMCA.  The court further noted that once a protection measure has been circumvented, the DMCA no longer applies to the use of that work.

Barry Sookman provides an overview of the case and an analysis of the court’s ruling.  Info/Law has a critical discussion of the DMCA in light of this case’s holding. (more…)

Posted On Aug - 2 - 2010 1 Comment READ FULL POST
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Federal Circuit Flas

By Steven Wilfong Multimedia car system patents ruled as unenforceable based ...

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Flash Digest: News i

By Viviana Ruiz Converse attempts to protect iconic Chuck Taylor All ...

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Silk Road Founder Lo

By Travis West — Edited by Mengyi Wang Order, United States ...

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By Yunnan Jiang – Edited by Paulius Jurcys Brief for the ...

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Twitter goes to cour

By Jens Frankenreiter – Edited by Michael Shammas Twitter, Inc. vs. ...