Supreme Court Upholds Patent Office’s Method Of Claim Construction

The 2011 Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”) created a procedure called inter partes review (“IPR”) at the United States Patent Office (“PTO”) that allowed third parties to petition the PTO to reexamine previously issued patents to re-evaluate their patentability in light of prior art.1 The Act also granted the PTO the authority to issue “regulations . . . establishing and governing inter partes review.”2 Accordingly, the PTO issued a regulation stipulating that during IPR, a Continue Reading →

Posting without Hosting: Implications of Russia’s Recent Removal of LinkedIn

If you had hoped to check out your career prospects on LinkedIn from Russia this past week, you might have been puzzled by the site’s failure to load. LinkedIn has been blocked following the Court of Appeal’s (for Moscow’s Taginsky District) recent decision that LinkedIn violates a Russian data protection law, Federal Law No. 242-FZ (“No. 242”), on two counts: not storing data about Russians on servers located in Russian territory; and processing information about Continue Reading →

Link Round-Up: 25th November, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving to all readers! Concerns Over Cybersecurity Hacking and cybersecurity have been high profile issues of late but especially this week, with a report that Hilary Clinton’s electoral defeat may have been the work of hackers. Deeper analyses of these claims suggest otherwise, however. Unfortunately, not all cybersecurity concerns are groundless: the U.S. Navy has confirmed that hackers gained access to sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers, of over 130 thousand current and Continue Reading →

The IPTV Transition: How will regulators and customers react to the impending changes?

Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) is a relatively new technology that promises to revolutionize the Television marketplace. Services like AT&T U-verse and Verizon FIOS promise to deliver television and Internet services to customers with increased access to Video-on-Demand (VOD) and increased Internet bandwidth. Unlike the recent digital TV transition initiated by the FCC and subject to several administrative orders and long-term delays,[i] transition to IPTV will be triggered by market factors. Most notably, customers’ preferences for Continue Reading →

Facebook, Censorship, and the First Amendment

Recently, over 70 civil rights groups wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, demanding transparency in the company’s censorship of user posts. Complaints about Facebook’s censorship arose earlier this year when Gizmodo reported that Facebook’s “trending news” section was intentionally manipulated to hide stories of interest to conservative readers. In response to these allegations, the Senate Commerce Committee sent Zuckerberg a letter requesting an explanation of Facebook’s practices in populating its “trending news” section. The Committee Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – November 18, 2016

Following Election, Facebook Faces Fake News Problem Following the conclusion of last week’s election, Facebook has faced significant media backlash regarding its role in facilitating the propagation of false information leading up to the election. What initially started as an internal conversation amongst senior executives of the firm quickly spread to various news outlets. The media outcry prompted an immediate response from Mark Zuckerberg, in which he claimed: “of all the content on Facebook, more Continue Reading →

Is Big Brother Listening? And Other Concerns.

What is Google Home? On November 4th, Google released Google Home, a smart speaker and entertainment hub, and competitor to Amazon’s Echo. Users can ask Google Home questions typically asked of a search engine (e.g., how long to boil an egg) or request actions typically enacted on a smartphone (e.g., setting a timer or calendar reminder). The more a user engages with one of these smart hubs, the more user data the device and its servers Continue Reading →

Interpreting the AIA’s “Otherwise Available to the Public”

The enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”), which President Obama signed into law on September 16, 2011, marked the most significant change to United States patent law since the Patent Act of 1952. While it is undisputed that the AIA’s enactment produces some dramatic changes to the patent system, there has been a great deal of debate over which elements of the previous regime the AIA leaves undisturbed and intact. A prime example Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – November 11, 2016

Top Climate Change Skeptic to Lead EPA Transition President-Elect Donald Trump has reportedly selected Myron Ebell to oversee the transition efforts at the Environmental Protection Agency. Ebell is the director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based libertarian/conservative think tank. An outspoken denier of manmade climate change and critic of environmental regulatory measures, Ebell has, for example, called the EPA’s Clean Power Plan an “obviously illegal” executive abuse over states and supported Continue Reading →

Autonomous Vehicles: Current Federal and State Regulatory Responsibilities

Autonomous vehicle technology has become increasingly sophisticated as the number of companies in the field has grown markedly. Companies such as BMW, Ford, and Volvo have started planning for fully autonomous vehicles, and Google has continued testing its own self-driving cars in Silicon Valley. Recently, Uber introduced a fleet of self-driving taxis in Pittsburgh and announced that its self-driving truck had completed its first delivery. Furthermore, many people already own Tesla vehicles that, while not Continue Reading →