Aereo’s latest victory: what does it mean for the future of broadcast television?

Earlier this month, a Boston federal judge denied Hearst-owned Boston-station WCVB-TV a preliminary injunction motion against Aereo, strengthening Aereo’s Second Circuit victory in WNET v. Aereo, Inc., decided in April.  Aereo provides both live and time-shifted streaming of over-the-air television channels to paying subscribers.  To provide this service, Aereo relies on its use of tiny antennae, which are individually assigned to one user at a time.  When a user decides to record a program, an Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – October 26, 2013

Will the Innovation Act Vanquish the Trolls? This Wednesday, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced the Innovation Act of 2013, a bill aimed at disempowering patent trolls. Notable provisions include a heightened pleading requirement for filing patent infringement claims, an assumption that attorneys’ fees will be awarded to prevailing parties, the delay of discovery until after a ruling on claim construction has been made, and transparency of ownership – that is, mandatory disclosure of the assignees Continue Reading →

Eyes in the Sky: FAA Regulation of Commercial Drone Usage

The Federal Aviation Administration was created in 1958 by legislation signed into law by President Eisenhower, largely in response to a collision between two commercial airlines above the Grand Canyon which killed over 125 people. The Act abolished the old Civil Aeronautics Administration and empowered the FAA to take action to encourage and develop an air-transportation system adapted to the present and future needs of the United States as well as the promotion of safety Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – October 19, 2013

Quest Diagnostics releases BRCA gene test and preemptively sues Myriad Quest Diagnostics, Inc., one of the largest clinical laboratory companies worldwide, has released BRCAvantage, a diagnostic test for the cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2.  The company initially announced its plans to introduce the tool this past June, immediately following the Supreme Court’s decision that isolated human genes are not patentable subject matter in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.   The Court, however, upheld Continue Reading →

Advancing Video Game Technology May Be Too Realistic

Technological improvements in the realistic portrayal of college athletes in video game graphics may partially be to blame for a string of recent legal disputes against major video game developer Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”).  NCAA college athletes have filed actions against EA for unauthorized use of their names and likenesses, a charge that falls under the statutory and common law right of publicity. This is a relatively new charge in the world of video games Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – October 12, 2013

Apple Appeals E-Book Price-Fixing Ruling Apple formally appealed a July decision finding the company guilty of price-fixing in the electronic book (“e-book”) market, as well as an injunction prohibiting Apple from including “most-favored-nation” clauses in its e-book contracts for five years.  Last July, Apple was found guilty of “facilitate[ing] a conspiracy” with major book publishers to raise the price of e-books that cost consumers millions of dollars.  In 2007, Amazon released the Kindle e-reader, which quickly Continue Reading →

What’s At Stake in Monsanto’s Latest Legal Headache

Last month, the Public Patent Foundation (PPF) asked the Supreme Court to hear its case challenging the validity of Monsanto’s seed patents.  If this narrative sounds familiar, that’s because it is; the case again pits the PPF and farmers against the biotech giant much like the Supreme Court case last term, Bowman v. Monsanto. While Bowman addressed critical issues of patent law raised by the self-replicating nature of transgenic seeds, the current petition in Organic Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – October 5, 2013

The Silk Road Bust: Ulbricht, Tor and Bitcoins F.B.I. agents recently arrested Ross Ulbricht in connection to the Silk Road, a black market version of eBay that utilized bitcoin currency and was hosted on the Tor network. Since its origins in 2011, the Silk Road generated approximately $1.2 billion in revenue and $80 million in commissions and averaged up to 60,000 visitors per day. Bitcoin values initially dropped by about 20 percent but have swiftly Continue Reading →

The Legal Implications of Individual Genome Sequencing

Many people are ancestry enthusiasts, inquiring into historical databases and family records to find out more about their ancestors and about themselves.  They might learn about hobbies they shared with previous generations, and gain information on traits or diseases that run in their families.  Some people take such research a step further, digging into their DNA to learn about their biological past. Gene sequencing used to be prohibitively expensive for individuals—the first whole genome sequencing Continue Reading →