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 →

STLR Link Roundup – October 26, 2012

Samsung and Apple Exchange Patent Victories Between US ITC and The Hague In the ongoing worldwide IP battle royale, Apple has struck another blow against Samsung. The US International Trade Commission yesterday issued a preliminary ruling in favor of Apple, holding that Samsung phones infringed on four of six claimed patents relating to audio, multi-touch and display technology. Further review of the decision by the full panel is likely to take place in February, so Continue Reading →

Patent Rights for Self-Replicating Technology

On October 5, 2012, the Supreme Court granted cert. to hear Monsanto Co. v. Bowman. Monsanto is an agriculture company and one of its primary focuses is to develop genetically modified crops that are resistant to glyphosate herbicides such as Roundup® brand herbicide. Herbicide resistant crops allow farmers to spray herbicide over the entire planting field to kill weeds while leaving the crops unharmed. This results in substantial savings in labor costs for weed control. Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – October 24, 2012

Bounce-Back on “Rubber-Banding” Patent In response to an ex parte re-examination proceeding, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a tentative decision invalidating all 20 claims of Apple’s patent for “rubber-banding” in its UI, which was a personal favorite of Steve Jobs. The USPTO found that this patent was invalid because it was anticipated by prior art.  This patent is a key component of the portfolio of “multi-touch” patents at issue in the blockbuster Continue Reading →

Victory for HathiTrust and Fair Use

The Authors Guild, Inc. v. HathiTrust, decided earlier this month, marks the second victory this year for fair use of copyrighted works for scholarly purposes (the first being Cambridge University Press v. Becker).  In an opinion issued by Judge Baer, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted HathiTrust’s motion for summary judgment, allowing HathiTrust to continue its current use of copyrighted works. HathiTrust describes itself as “a partnership of Continue Reading →

Decentralizing the Means of (Re)production

Although still the province of tinkerers and hobbyists, 3D printing technology has matured significantly in the last few years and seems poised to hit the mainstream. Commentators have analogized the current state of 3D printing to the era of hobby computing that existed before Apple, IBM and Microsoft pushed it into the mainstream. It is indeed an exciting time for 3D printing. 3D printers like the Makerbot Replicator 2 and others are pushing the quality Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – October 17, 2012

iOS 6 Clock: Time is Money Embroiled in a never-ending litany of litigation over patents protecting their smartphone design, Apple ended a potential dispute over its iOS 6 clock design almost as quietly as it arose. A few weeks ago, SBB “politely complained” to Apple about the infringing use of its trademark-protected clock. On Friday, Apple negotiated a confidential licensing agreement with SBB, a Swiss railway operator, for use of SBB’s signature clock design. SBB’s Continue Reading →

The Fourth Amendment in the Digital Age

In the old days – and even now, as Occupy Wall Street exemplifies – people took to the streets to protest. But as technology evolved, new forms of demonstrations appeared. One such form is hacking to pursue political ends – hack-activism, or hactivism. A famous example of a hactivist group is Anonymous, whose attacks on government and major corporation websites to protest online surveillance and censorship were widely publicized. In late 2010, Anonymous launched Distributed Continue Reading →