Will the Newly Proposed Amendment to Rule 37(e) Provide a True “Safe Harbor”?

A lawyer’s greatest fear is sanction by a court.  This fear is justifiable because sanctioned lawyers become “toxic” to employers and clients even if the sanctions are later vacated, as in the Qualcomm case.  Sanctions related to electronic discovery (“e-discovery”) have become a hotly-debated topic in the last few years because the number of sanctions has increased dramatically.  In November 2012, the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules proposed an amendment to Rule 37(e) of the Continue Reading →

Curbing Content Theft

We are spoiled. Those of us who have grown up with the internet are accustomed to instant gratification of information. How many feet are in a 3 meters? Google it. How old is Justice Thomas? Ask Siri. What’s the name of the song that’s playing right now? There’s an app for that. But this expectation of instant gratification breaks down when it comes to copyrighted content, specifically television and movies. And the unwillingness of the Continue Reading →

Is Ad-Blocking the New Frontier for Copyright Law?

Although the world’s largest Internet companies derive the majority of their income from online advertising, some of the most powerful browser add-ons are ad blockers. One of the most prominent ad blocking plug-ins is Adblock Plus from Firefox. Adblock Plus allows you to cut out unwanted pop-up ads and in-page graphics. This often results in a better Internet experience since it prevents download of the larger graphics and animations of advertisements. Wladimir Palant, the developer Continue Reading →

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 →