STLR Link Roundup – Feb. 6, 2016

Privacy Shield Data Transfer Agreement On February 2nd Officials from the United States and European Union agreed to a cross-Atlantic data transfer deal called Privacy Shield after three months of negotiations. The negotiations centered around disagreements between European and American regulators on the extent of privacy individuals should be able to expect for their data. The EU and US reached the agreement after the US government made promises that it would not target Europeans to Continue Reading →

Arson Jurisprudence: Going Up in Flames

The relationship between forensic science and the courts has been a tenuous one.  Seemingly every few years a scientific breakthrough combined with ambitious journalism reveals that some sort of agency or court has been investigating or sentencing innocent people using techniques that are nonsensical.  These techniques can range from hair sample analysis to bite mark analysis.  Although multiple facets of forensic science have been thoroughly disproved or discredited by rigorous scientific methodology, one of the most Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – Jan. 29, 2016

Federal Marshals Raid Booth at the Consumer Electronics Show after Court Order On January 7 Federal Marshals shut down and seized the contents of a booth at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The seizure came after a Federal Judge granted Future Motion, Inc. a court order that included a Temporary Restraining Order and Seizure Order against the booth operator, Changzhou First.[1] Future Motion makes a one-wheeled hoverboard-like device called the Onewheel. It claims that Changzhou First Continue Reading →

United States v. Valle: The Second Circuit agrees with the Fourth and Ninth Circuits on the Meaning of “Exceeds Authorized Access” under the CFAA

If an employee used their work computer in a way prohibited by their employer, should that be a federal crime? What if it was a police officer looking up women in a police database? This issue was recently addressed by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Gilberto Valle[1], decided on December 3rd, 2015, also known as the ‘Cannibal Cop’ case. Valle, a policeman in the NYPD, often used his computer to Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – Dec. 11, 2015

LexisNexis Acquires Lex Machina, Legal Analytics Provider for IP Litigation At the end of November, legal research company LexisNexis announced its acquisition of legal analytics provider Lex Machina. Lex Machina, founded in California in 2010, provides legal analytics primarily as it relates to intellectual property (“IP”) litigation. Using its proprietary platform Legal Analytics®, the company mines IP litigation data to reveal information about judges, lawyers, parties, and patents. In-house counsel use this information to select outside counsel, and Continue Reading →

Law and the Problem of Autonomous Cars

Fully autonomous vehicles will be in the hands of consumers in the near future.[1] Technology companies and car manufacturers have moved beyond small features like autonomous braking and autonomous lane assist, to fully workable cars that drive themselves with little human oversight. While the safety of the cars is largely uncertain, some initial reports bode well. Google’s self-driving vehicles have logged around 1.8 million miles on the road since 2009 and have been in only Continue Reading →

Despite controversy, new FDA guidelines permit GMO foods to remain unlabeled

These days, most foods Americans eat contain at least some elements that have been genetically modified. Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, are created in laboratories using biotechnology or genetic engineering. Despite years of controversy over whether and how foods containing GMO ingredients should be labeled, FDA guidelines released this week maintain the legal status quo, under which food companies are not required to disclose GMO ingredients. Even as they change nothing, however, the new guidelines provide Continue Reading →

Paris Attacks Reignite Calls for Legally Mandated Encryption Backdoors

Only weeks ago, the Obama administration had decided that it would not pursue legislation requiring companies to build “backdoors” in their encryption allowing government access to encrypted data. However, the recent terrorist attacks in Paris may affect their stance going forward and have already influenced the debate on encryption. Soon after the attacks occurred, many quickly blamed encryption for enabling the attack’s organizers to plan in secrecy. Despite the fact that there is no evidence Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – Nov. 20, 2015

Law professors oppose federal trade secret act Forty-two law professors submitted a letter to Congress urging that the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) be rejected. The DTSA was introduced in July 2015 and would create a federal civil cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets. With the exception of the Economic Espionage Act – which criminalizes theft of trade secrets – state law largely governs the area (typically through adoption of some version of Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – Nov. 14, 2015

GoPro sued by Polaroid over design patent C&A, the company behind Polaroid cameras, filed suit against GoPro last week alleging that GoPro’s Hero4 Session camera copied the “ornamental design” of the Polaroid Cube Camera. In January 2014, C&A filed for a US Design Patent for its Polaroid Cube Camera; they obtained the patent titled “Cubic Action Camera” (U.S. Patent No. D730,423) in May 2015. GoPro denies copying the design patent, and insists that it had Continue Reading →