STLR Link Roundup – March 21, 2014

Class Action Status Denied for Gmail Case In its fight against claims that it illegally scanned private e-mails on its Gmail accounts, Google has just won a major victory. The U.S. District Court in San Jose, California refused a bid for class-action status. Allowing the case to proceed as a class action would have allowed plaintiffs to pool resources, and would ultimately have put greater pressure on Google to settle. E-mail users have claimed that Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – March 5, 2014

Warning to Patent Trolls: Supreme Court Could Endorse Fee-Shifting in Frivolous Patent Suits In the morning of February 26, 2014, the Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases concerning who should pay attorney fees in frivolous patent cases. The Court will decide, under the attorney’s fees provision of 35 U.S.C. § 285, when a federal judge may order the plaintiff to pay for the defendant’s attorney’s fees as punishment for having brought a patent infringement Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 25, 2014

Comcast is causing a stir On February 13, 2014, Comcast announced that it would acquire Time Warner Cable, making the largest broadband cable provider even bigger. Despite growing concerns that the F.C.C. will pursue an antitrust claim against the proposed merger due to the creation of a monopsomy market, Comcast is acting like a market leader. Yesterday, February 24, 2014, Netflix agreed to pay Comcast for smoother streaming of its online video. (See a recent STLR Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 12, 2014

District Courts Disagree on Constitutionality of NSA Call Tracking Program Two December rulings show stark disagreement by courts on whether the National Security Agency’s call tracking program violates the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.  The program collected time records and phone numbers of every call made in the U.S to be searchable on a database by the NSA.  Judge Richard Leon of the District Court for the District of Columbia called the Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – November 27, 2013

Newegg found by jury to have infringed patent, owes $2.3 million Newegg lost its latest case against a non-practicing patent holder (or “patent troll”), and has been ordered by a jury to pay $2.3 million to TQP Development for patent infringement. TQP, owned by patent enforcement expert Erich Spangenberg, holds a patent related to SSL and TLS encrypting, a common Internet cipher used by online retailers such as Newegg, as well as other companies from Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – November 23, 2013

Apple Awarded $290 million A jury awarded Apple $290 milllion in its patent retrial against Samsung today, a figure much less than Apple had wanted. Apple asked Samsung for $380 million in damages during the trial, while Samsung argued it should only be paying $52 million. Together with the $599 million that Apple was awarded from Samsung for patent infringement last year, and $40 million from another patent case involving one of Samsung’s smartphones, the Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – November 22, 2013

‘Google Books’ Ruled Fair Use Judge Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the Google Books project was protected under fair use. Chin’s decision emphasized both the transformative nature of the project, as well as its significant social benefits. However, there have also been conflicting opinions about the decision with regards to the actual fair use analysis conducted by Judge Chin. The Authors Guild will appeal the S.D.N.Y. decision. Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – November 7, 2013

High-Tech, “Green” Cars Could Be the Next IP Battleground In the last five years, the number of patents filed per quarter increased from 20 to 90 by automobile manufacturers. These patents all relate to hybrid or electrical vehicle technologies. Automobile manufacturers are worried that the litigation war affecting the smartphone industry will spread to electric and hybrid vehicles. The automobile industry has been steadily expanding, and questions by potential consumers about battery reliability, driving range, Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – November 2, 2013

WTO Rules against China in Rare Mineral Earths Case Chinese government officials announced this Wednesday that the World Trade Organization has ruled against China’s export duties on rare earths. In doing so, the WTO dispute settlement panel basically upheld the joint claim by the United States, the European Union and Japan, questioning Beijing’s policy of limiting the amounts of rare earths it makes available to the international market as a violation of WTO rules. The 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 →