STLR Link Roundup – December 4, 2012

Tighter Digital Protections on the Horizon The fall-out from the Paula Broadwell investigation has resulted in more than the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus. It’s resulted in increased scrutiny over government access to electronic data without the use of a warrant. Just this week, Senate committee has unanimously approved of a measure amending the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 which would increase security for e-mails. Instead of an administrative subpoena for certain electronically stored data, the government would need to Continue Reading →

Reducing Patent Backlog by International Cooperation

Patent backlog in recent years has become a serious problem for the USPTO. In 2011, the patent backlog amounts 640,491. According to the patent Director David Kappos, the goal is to have the patent load down to about 330,000 by 2015, with an average process taking about 20 months. Patent backlog poses serious obstacles for inventors to fully use their inventions, and thus dampens their incentives to innovate. This is especially true nowadays since technologies Continue Reading →

Predictive Coding is Coming. Let It.

“Predictive coding”, named the 2011 buzzword in legal technology on Above the Law, had an even bigger year in 2012. Though the benefits of the technology have been made clear (and are multifold), many litigants and attorneys remain skeptical. I argue that attorneys (and judges) ought to seek to better and more quickly understand predictive coding, so that they may more warmly and smoothly embrace its inevitable proliferation. “Predictive coding”, also referred to as “technology-assisted Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – November 16, 2012

Petraeus scandal highlights privacy concerns The omnipresent imbroglio involving former CIA Director General David Petraeus (Ret.), uncovered by anonymous emails leading the FBI to mistress Paula Broadwell, has highlighted some limits of privacy on the internet. Although Broadwell attempted to hide the true identity of the anonymous email account she used to harass Jill Kelley by using public wireless networks, her efforts were fairly easily foiled by the FBI. Using geo-location and other meta-data stored Continue Reading →

In Voting Machine Case, the Federal Circuit Expanded on Standards for Categorizing Online Publications as Prior Art References

With one day to go before the election, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled on November 5, 2012 that a patent obtained on an automated voting machine with a self-verification procedure is not infringed by other automated voting machine manufacturers. The patent, US Reissue Patent RE40,449 (the “‘449 patent”), is assigned to Voter Verified, Inc. and claims automated systems and methods for voting in an election. It provides for a Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – November 13, 2012

AT&T Loosens Facetime Restrictions AT&T has announced that it will begin easing restrictions on the use of the iPhone Facetime video-calling application, enabling users on its LTE network to access the feature within the next 8 to 10 weeks. AT&T had previously stated that it would restrict Facetime use to customers on its Mobile Share plan.  Although AT&T justified its restrictions as necessary to prevent the data-hungry application from overburdening its system, public interest groups Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – November 7, 2012

Election 2012 The biggest news of the week is certainly the election.  And in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey announced that it will allow residents to vote by e-mail.  While some feel this is simply a sign of things to come, the decision has been met with harsh criticism from several parties.  NJ assures that the vote will be secure, and that residents who vote by e-mail will have to send in a Continue Reading →

Supreme Court’s IP Focus Reflects More Than A New Economy

Ronald Mann, Columbia Law professor and contributor to SCOTUSBlog, recently addressed the rising proportion of intellectual property cases on the Supreme Court’s docket. After evaluating the statistics, Mann proposes two possibilities for the long-term trend he identifies toward a more central role for intellectual property disputes on the Court’s docket. The first possibility refers to the emergence of a “new-economy” covered in a recent New York Times feature entitled “The iEconomy”— a series of articles Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – November 2, 2012

Compliance seems to be the hardest word Last month, Apple suffered a defeat in its global IP-war with Samsung over its Galaxy Tab tablet computer:  the UK Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s ruling that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab did not infringe Apple’s European Community registered design.  The Court of Appeal also affirmed the High Court’s publicity order, which required Apple to post a link its UK homepage to a statement explaining that the Galaxy Continue Reading →

Pitting Robots Against Spammers in Rulemaking Comment Wars

As the notice-and-comment process that has been a feature of agency rulemaking for the past 60 years moves online, citizens have started to exercise their right to spam. Some scholars, notably Stuart Shulman, write that electronic comment tools flood agencies with low-quality comments that agencies ultimately ignore. Shulman, The Case Against Mass E-mails: Perverse Incentives and Low Quality Public Participation in U.S. Federal Rulemaking, 1 Policy & Internet 23 (2009). On the other hand, David Continue Reading →