Clinton Emails Dominate Conversations During 2016 Election

Lishayne King In the past, American democracy has often been referenced with respect to the technological developments that define it. Examples of references that have been used to allude to the 2016 campaign include: the Snapchat election, the meme election, or the Facebook election. Curiously, however, the current campaign has been identified not by modern … Continue reading Clinton Emails Dominate Conversations During 2016 Election

Obama Climate Plan To Enter Court This Week

Justin Farooq Oral arguments by opponents of President Obama’s Climate Plan were heard last Tuesday, September 27, 2016, in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.   President Obama’s marque climate change policy has considerable political, economic and historical impact.[1]  Its legality, which is widely anticipated to eventually be decided by … Continue reading Obama Climate Plan To Enter Court This Week

Using Virtual Reality to Tackle Chronic Pain

Jonathan Ziarko As the new technology of VR (Virtual Reality) is becoming widespread throughout society people are discovering new and innovative ways to use it. The technique known as, Clinical VR, is being tested as a coping mechanism for chronic pain as a substitute to pain medication.[1] The importance of this new technology cannot be … Continue reading Using Virtual Reality to Tackle Chronic Pain

MIT Researchers Develop Device to Determine Human Emotions

Shamsheer Kailey Researchers from MIT’s CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) have developed a device that can determine human emotions by analyzing reflection in wireless signals. The device, called EQ-Radio, does not depend on emotional cues rather uses wireless signals that bounce off of human body. The reflection measures breathing and heart rate of … Continue reading MIT Researchers Develop Device to Determine Human Emotions

Mommy, Daddy, and Donor: Birth of ‘3-Parent Baby’ Proves Banned Procedure Successful

Emma Fusco Last Tuesday, a healthy baby was born in Mexico to a Jordanian Couple.[1]  What makes this birth so spectacular is that this child technically has three parents.  This was the first live birth of a child using a technique that is banned in the United States.[2] This technique involves traditional sperm and egg, … Continue reading Mommy, Daddy, and Donor: Birth of ‘3-Parent Baby’ Proves Banned Procedure Successful

October FDA Update – Approval of Medtronic’s New Insulin Delivery System

William Salage On September 28, 2016 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Medtronic’s new insulin delivery system for people with Type 1 diabetes, the MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system (MiniMed 670G). The MiniMed 670G consists of two major parts: (1) an insulin pump, and (2) a continuous glucose monitor. These two components … Continue reading October FDA Update – Approval of Medtronic’s New Insulin Delivery System

Deutsche Bank’s Feud with DOJ and its 14 Billion Settlement

Xiang Qi Shares of Deutsche Bank, one of the world’s largest banks, slopped by 7.5% in European trading and closed at $11.85 after U.S. Department of Justice proposed last week that it pays a 14 billion dollar settlement in light of a mortgage-securities investigation.[1] Although the Bank’s spokesman Jörg Eigendorf denied that Chief Executive John … Continue reading Deutsche Bank’s Feud with DOJ and its 14 Billion Settlement

iPhone 6 Defect is a Touchy Subject for Apple

Nick Dellefave Apple is again making headlines, this time for an iPhone defect that has touched thousands of iPhone users and is likely to affect many more. The defect, known colloquially as “touch disease,” has been the subject of numerous complaints from consumers, experts, and Apple employees.[1] Touch disease involves a loss of functionality of … Continue reading iPhone 6 Defect is a Touchy Subject for Apple

Businesses Appeal to Chinese Government over Cybersecurity

By: Dan Hart An alliance of forty-six business groups appealed to the Chinese government to reconsider proposed legislation that would enforce strict cyber-security rules. These business groups, hailing from the United States, Europe, and Asia, believe the new regulations will negatively impact foreign trade with China and serve to further isolate the country.[1] These complaints … Continue reading Businesses Appeal to Chinese Government over Cybersecurity

Microsoft’s Battle: Privacy Up in the Clouds

By: Cecilia Santostefano It’s no surprise that we live in a world largely permeated by technology. It influences how we live – from the developing industries to the outlets we use to communicate with each other. However, rapid increases in the use of technology, particularly the internet, raise privacy concerns. After all, the right to … Continue reading Microsoft’s Battle: Privacy Up in the Clouds

“Blurred Lines” in the World of Copyright: What Does the Latest Appeal Mean for The Music Industry?

By: Caitlin Holland We have all heard the anecdote that all songs include the same three notes. Musicians often cite the lates and greats as “inspiration” for the latest pop song making the radio rounds. But how far can “inspiration” go before it is considered a crime? How much of a song is copied for it … Continue reading “Blurred Lines” in the World of Copyright: What Does the Latest Appeal Mean for The Music Industry?

Inspired by the U.S., West Africans Wield Smartphones to Fight Police Abuse

Jeffrey Cullen Cellphones have become a very powerful weapon in the hands of civilians worldwide. They have the capability of recording events and distributing them to various social networks. These recorded events have the capability of enlightening a vast aray of viewers throughout the world of hot button issues such as police brutality and abuse … Continue reading Inspired by the U.S., West Africans Wield Smartphones to Fight Police Abuse

‘Five-Second Rule’ for Food on Floor is Untrue, Study Finds

  Shamsheer Kailey Professor Donald Schaffner, a food microbiologist at Rutgers University, New Jersey debunked the five second rule for food on floor in a study. The two-year study concluded that regardless of how fast the food is picked up from the floor, it will pick up bacteria with it. The study tested four different … Continue reading ‘Five-Second Rule’ for Food on Floor is Untrue, Study Finds

Bring Out Your Dead… Again: New Louisiana Technology Helps Track Down Tombs

Emma Fusco Climate change is an issue that has affected everyone around the world, both living and dead.  Global warming due to human action has caused a rise in ocean water due to melting of ice at Earth’s poles.[1]  Though we’ve heard of these threats for decades, the little boy is now actually crying wolf. … Continue reading Bring Out Your Dead… Again: New Louisiana Technology Helps Track Down Tombs

Apple Loses in Trademark Case Against Swatch

Caitlin Holland In 2015, Apple launched its “Apple Watch.” Some consumers noticed the difference in the watch’s name compared to Apple’s other tech products such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. A trademark dispute between the Swiss watchmaker Swatch and Apple was probably a key factor causing the difference in name. Apple applied for registration … Continue reading Apple Loses in Trademark Case Against Swatch

New Report Finds Chromium-6 in U.S. Drinking Water

Ashley Menard According to a national report released on September 20, 2016, dangerous levels of chromium-6 are contaminating tap water consumed by millions of Americans. Chromium-6 is the carcinogenic chemical that was brought to the national forefront by the popular movie “Erin Brockovich,” starring Julia Roberts. Chromium is a naturally occurring element found in rocks, … Continue reading New Report Finds Chromium-6 in U.S. Drinking Water

Consumer Protection or Protectionism Unify Digital Market in European Union

Xiang Qi In wake of a decade of sluggish growth and to provide European customers with better access to digital and online service, European Union is set to unveil a series of new rules governing its digital market on Wednesday. [1]  American tech companies are likely to suffer the bigger hit under these new rules … Continue reading Consumer Protection or Protectionism Unify Digital Market in European Union

Under Armour vs. Uncle Martian: The Trademark Wars

Thomas Carlon The sky’s the limit when it comes to the imagination of people; their creative ideas, interests, how they see the world. But, when does it become apparent that one company is blatantly copying the creative idea of another? Such is the case with China’s newest sportswear brand, Uncle Martian. Under Armour is one … Continue reading Under Armour vs. Uncle Martian: The Trademark Wars

LegalTech: First Integrated Electronic Courtrooms Opened in the United States

Samuel Miller Earlier this September, litigation services and software company Opus 2 International announced the United States’ “first integrated pop-up electronic courtroom built for paperless trials” occurred in Miami.  Brenda Mahedy, head of global marketing for Opus 2 International, discussed the impact of these services on court cases, while addressing the history of these services … Continue reading LegalTech: First Integrated Electronic Courtrooms Opened in the United States

Pentagon Official’s Report Brings Light to Real-World Dangers of Autonomous Weapons

Brittany Charles The Terminator will be real during our lifetime. Perhaps not the Terminator, but due to low cost sensors and artificial intelligence the concept of autonomous weapons that act without human intervention is becoming a reality[1]. Weaponry capable of targeting and killing completely free of human intervention, while not available in the US, are … Continue reading Pentagon Official’s Report Brings Light to Real-World Dangers of Autonomous Weapons

Apple Announces Latest Version of iPhone

Nicholas Fedorka  I vividly remember watching the Academy Awards in the summer of 2007 with my family in my hometown of Meadville, PA (NORTHWESTERN PA SHOUT OUT).  My jaw hit the floor when I saw the first commercial for the new Apple iPhone.  Close to ten years later, Apple has now announced its latest version … Continue reading Apple Announces Latest Version of iPhone

Samsung’s Flagship Device Goes Down in Flames

Cecilia Santostefano Samsung’s reputation has found itself in a bit of a blazing controversy. Back in early September, Florida resident Nathan Dornacher found his Jeep Grand Cherokee in flames after leaving his Note 7 charging on the center console.[1] After thirty-five smartphone-exploding incidents were reported and confirmed, Samsung initially recalled its smartphone in ten countries.[2] … Continue reading Samsung’s Flagship Device Goes Down in Flames

Blurring Lines Between Beer and Soda Cause Trademark Confusion, Attorneys Say

Aiden Scott As a result of the booming craft beer market, both microbreweries as well as large multinational brewing companies are encountering atypical difficulties in trademarking their products.  Due to the market crowding that “has been exacerbated by immense growth in microbreweries in recent years” some brewers have turned to other markets. In order “to appeal … Continue reading Blurring Lines Between Beer and Soda Cause Trademark Confusion, Attorneys Say

September FDA Update – Action Following New Regulations on Tobacco Products

William Salage On September 15, 2016 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] issued its first warning letter to a group of businesses and vendors for selling newly regulated tobacco products. The products specifically include e-cigarettes, e-liquids and cigars, being sold to minors. This action comes following the FDA’s final rulemaking in May 2016 which … Continue reading September FDA Update – Action Following New Regulations on Tobacco Products

California’s Mandatory Vaccination Law: SB 277

Samantha Cirillo In June 2015, California passed a new law barring religious and personal-belief exemptions from the state’s existing mandatory immunization law.[1] Beginning at the start of the 2016 school year, unvaccinated children may only enroll in school with a medical waiver from a licensed physician. [2] While approximately 30 states have removed the personal-belief … Continue reading California’s Mandatory Vaccination Law: SB 277

Free Wi-Fi Kiosks to Replace Phone Booths in NYC

Lindsey Marie Round Kiosks with outlets to charge your phones and free Wi-Fi began emerging in New York City earlier this year to replace outdated phone booths, but there have been many unintended consequences.[1] For example, these kiosks have become hotspots for groups to gather and partake in activities involving drinking and drugs.[2] In addition, … Continue reading Free Wi-Fi Kiosks to Replace Phone Booths in NYC

NY’s Proposed Cybersecurity Regulations come up Short

Christopher W. Folk Governor Cuomo released proposed regulations yesterday through the Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) that would require Covered Entities to hire Chief Information Security Officers (“CISO”) and perform a number of other cybersecurity tasks which seems like a good step towards enhanced cybersecurity, but is it really? First, let us examine what entities … Continue reading NY’s Proposed Cybersecurity Regulations come up Short

The Panama Papers: Model Citizen, Zero Dicipline

By David Huter On 3 April 2016, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung announced that 11.5 million confidential documents had been leaked from the firm to journalists.[1] This is the biggest information leak, ever.[2] To give an idea of how big this is, if you add up all the major leaks in the past 5 years, … Continue reading The Panama Papers: Model Citizen, Zero Dicipline

Censorship vs Media Freedom: Facebook’s Censorship on Child Porn Hits the Wrong Target

Xiang Qi Sometimes, the point is to make us uncomfortable. Espen Egil Hansen, the editor-in-chief of the Norway’s largest newspaper, shared a post containing an iconic Vietnam War photograph only soon to be removed due to Facebook’s censorship. The saga started when reporter Tom Egeland shared a post last month that included a famous 1972 … Continue reading Censorship vs Media Freedom: Facebook’s Censorship on Child Porn Hits the Wrong Target

BBC News: Arrests over hacks of CIA and FBI staff

Samuel Miller In a story published by BBC News, two Americans have been charged for allegedly helping hack high-ranking U.S. government officials. Andrew Otto Boggs, 22, and Justin Gray Liverman, 24, are allegedly members of the ‘Crackas With Attitude’ group, a hacking organization which has been blamed for the attacks.[1]  According to the report, the … Continue reading BBC News: Arrests over hacks of CIA and FBI staff

New Drug Improves Effectiveness of Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Nick Dellefave A new drug may soon become a part of the treatment protocol for pancreatic cancer patients. The drug, IMM-101, was the subject of a patent granted to Immodulon Therapeutics, Inc. in December 2013.[1] IMM-101 is a bacterially derived systemic immunomodulator administered intradermally, meaning it is created using killed bacteria, it modifies the operation … Continue reading New Drug Improves Effectiveness of Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

3D Printed Organs and The America Invents Act

Aiden Scott In recent years, 3D printing has ejected itself from the realm of obscurity and became a household term. Currently, 3D printing is proving itself to be incredibly useful in a multitude of industries. Particularly, the potential uses of 3D printing in the biotechnology industry have sparked debate about new technologies and ideas will … Continue reading 3D Printed Organs and The America Invents Act

NYT Reports – “With Wearable Tech Deals, New Player Data Is Up for Grabs”

Teal Johnson The University of Michigan has a new apparel contract with Nike worth about $170 million.  Apart from the student-athletes sporting Nike garb, the contract included a clause that could have much larger implications.  This clause could allow Nike to collect personal data from Michigan athletes with the use of wearable technology.  Currently, that … Continue reading NYT Reports – “With Wearable Tech Deals, New Player Data Is Up for Grabs”

Are Your Files Really Safe in The Cloud?

Annie Millar Cloud storage services have become increasingly popular over the past few years. They offer users an option to store important information externally, saving internal hard drive space. The critical question to ask is how secure these external storage services really are. The New York Times articulates that there are many factors to determine … Continue reading Are Your Files Really Safe in The Cloud?

Input to the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity

Christopher W. Folk Internet of Things The phrase “Internet of Things” was first used back in 1999 by Kevin Ashton while giving a presentation on radio frequency identification (“RFID”) at Procter & Gamble.[1]  With the advent of smartphones, implantable medical technology, smart appliances, self-driving cars, smart-wearable devices, drones, etc., the IoT has become a reality … Continue reading Input to the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity

Patent office workers bilked taxpayers millions by playing hooky, watchdog finds

Thomas Carlon How accurate was the investigation that the inspector general conducted about the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)? The Washington Post states that employees of the USPTO billed taxpayers at least $18.3 million over the estimated actual cost of time worked.[1] This information portrayed appears to not be fully accurate. The payment … Continue reading Patent office workers bilked taxpayers millions by playing hooky, watchdog finds

CDA Section 230 Liability -Snapchat Faces Class Action Lawsuit

Justin Farooq Over the last twenty years, an increasing number of claims have been brought against Internet websites that publish third party content, slowly changing the prevailing notion that such content is never subject to liability.[1] This upsurge in lawsuits comes at no surprise — greater accessibility to such online material, coupled with the proliferation … Continue reading CDA Section 230 Liability -Snapchat Faces Class Action Lawsuit

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015

By: Christopher W. Folk In the eleventh hour of the twelfth month in the year 2015, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (“CISA”)  (Pub. Law No. 114-113)[1], was pushed through Congress as part of an omnibus spending bill that was subsequently signed by President Obama.[2] This bill has been hailed by its sponsors as long overdue … Continue reading The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015

The “Digital Attorney”: Using Artificial Intelligence in Law Practice

Ashley Menard Today, attorneys spend countless hours doing legal research on legal issues presented to them by their clients. Oftentimes, clients are unable or unwilling to pay for the amount of hours it takes attorneys to do adequate research in response to their legal needs. The answer to these problems may come in the form … Continue reading The “Digital Attorney”: Using Artificial Intelligence in Law Practice

Cybersecurity Giant Re-Emerges: McAfee is Back

Jonathan Ziarko Six years ago, Intel took a big leap when it bought up McAfee, a powerhouse in creating computer security software, for $7.7 billion.[1] Intel took that company and turned it into Intel Security, but throughout the past few years as computer sales have slowly been dropping the company is beginning to switch directives … Continue reading Cybersecurity Giant Re-Emerges: McAfee is Back

Anonymity for Anti-Discrimination: Airbnb’s Effort to Dismantle Worldwide Prejudice

Emma Fusco Spanning across nearly 34,000 cities and 191 countries, studies have shown that despite the diversity of users on Airbnb, discrimination against race and gender are a continuing issue.[1]  Airbnb, the short-term rental site, has come across issues regarding discrimination by hosts.  A class action suit has been brought after chief plaintiff Gregory Selden, … Continue reading Anonymity for Anti-Discrimination: Airbnb’s Effort to Dismantle Worldwide Prejudice

Protecting Your Brand: An Introduction to The Lanham Act

Lishayne King Innovations and advances today occur at much faster and more rapid rates than experienced in past decades. With the innovation of the Internet and the ease with which entities can create websites and brand names, access to information, products, and resources can be achieved with the click of a mouse. Protecting your words, … Continue reading Protecting Your Brand: An Introduction to The Lanham Act

A Case Study of Broadband Regulation: United States Telecom Association v. Federal Communications Commission

Nicholas Fedorka A recent case was decided in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that is creating ripples throughout the realm of administrative and utility law.  It was a direct response to the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) adoption of the “2015 Open Internet Order.”  This order reclassified broadband internet … Continue reading A Case Study of Broadband Regulation: United States Telecom Association v. Federal Communications Commission

CDA Section 230 Liability -Snapchat Faces Class Action Lawsuit

Justin Farooq Over the last twenty years, an increasing number of claims have been brought against Internet websites that publish third party content, slowly changing the prevailing notion that such content is never subject to liability.[1] This upsurge in lawsuits comes at no surprise — greater accessibility to such online material, coupled with the proliferation … Continue reading CDA Section 230 Liability -Snapchat Faces Class Action Lawsuit

Drone Technology Brings Chipotle and Challenges to Privacy

Brittany Charles On September 8, 2016, Alphabet, a Google parent, announced a partnership with Chipotle to launch a burrito delivery system at Virginia Tech utilizing—autonomous drones[1]. The FAA has approved the program, but before students begin lining up by the dozens to get their Tex-Mex fix, there are some limitations[2]. First, drones are not allowed … Continue reading Drone Technology Brings Chipotle and Challenges to Privacy

Supreme Court to hear case that could determine fate of patent claims heard before USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board

By: Audrey Ogurchak On January 15th, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari for the case Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee.[1] This case will require the Supreme Court to address two important questions regarding the inter partes review (IPR) proceedings; (1) is it appropriate for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to use … Continue reading Supreme Court to hear case that could determine fate of patent claims heard before USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015

By: Christopher W. Folk In the eleventh hour of the twelfth month in the year 2015, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (“CISA”) (Pub. Law No. 114-113)[1], was pushed through Congress as part of an omnibus spending bill that was subsequently signed by President Obama.[2] This bill has been hailed by its sponsors as long overdue … Continue reading The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015

Public Citizen’s Criticism of 21st Century Cures Act

By: William Salage Public Citizen, a pharmaceutical watchdog group, issued a report warning that Section 2151, also known as the Orphan Procut Extension Now Act [OPEN], a provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act [CCA] could significantly increase the price of drugs, decrease innovation, and water down the Food and Drug Administration’s [FDA] approval standards.[1] … Continue reading Public Citizen’s Criticism of 21st Century Cures Act

The Use Of 3D Printing In Medicine

By: Samantha Dente The next great frontier in medical advancements is the use of 3D printing. Although the use of 3D printing in medicine is still in its beginning stages, there are already huge implications from its use. Most recently in September, a cancer patient received a 3D printed titanium sternum and partial rib cage … Continue reading The Use Of 3D Printing In Medicine

The Right to Privacy: Walking on Thin Ice

By: Jeffrey Cullen The recent proposition by Britain’s MI5 Security Service raises the question whether measures to prevent potential terrorist plots are more important than guaranteeing the privacy of citizens’ communication on the Internet. The constant upgrades in technologies have caused difficulty in law enforcement’s ability to identify and eliminate potential terrorist threats. According to … Continue reading The Right to Privacy: Walking on Thin Ice

Immigration Technology: Avoiding a Jacquerie

By: Kory Crichton The United Nations memorialized the freedom of movement, where every human being has “the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”[1] 165 years before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United States President George Washington emphasized the value of immigration: “The bosom of America is … Continue reading Immigration Technology: Avoiding a Jacquerie

Ashley Madison and the Legal Battle Over Data Protection

By: Jonathan Ziarko  “Life is short. Have an affair,” – the now infamous tagline of Ashleymadison.com. This summer the website was subject to one of the largest data breaches yet. Ashley Madison is a website owned by Avid Life Media, and it provides an online dating service for people who are already in a relationship. … Continue reading Ashley Madison and the Legal Battle Over Data Protection

E-Discovery

By: Sid Bahl With today’s technology changing at a rapid pace, the amount of electronically stored information increases at a tremendous rate. Electronic discovery (“e-discovery”) is the process of producing electronically stored information that is either relevant to a party’s claims or defenses.

Keystone Pipeline: Environmentally Immoral and Constitutionally Illegal?

By: Heather DeLaurie The Keystone Pipeline has been a controversial topic among politicians and environmentalists alike. The Senate recently voted against the pipeline that would extend from Canada, through the mid-western United States, down to Texas.

Software is Still Patentable. Well, Sort of: Software Patents in a Post-Alice World

By: Anu Kinhal This summer, the Supreme Court decided Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank. The Court decided that although software can be patent eligible subject matter, Alice Corp.'s software was not claimed in a way that could be deemed patent eligible. This begs the question, how do you successfully claim software post-Alice?

Lawsuit Filed Against Apple Amid Invasion Of Privacy Allegations

By: Justin McHugh Earlier this month on July 11th, China’s Central Television (CCTV) reported on software in Apple iPhones that allows for users’ locations to be tracked.[1]  The state-run CCTV report warned iPhone users that Apple’s location-tracking software could be a potential security threat.[2] After the report aired raising security issues concerning the location-tracking functions … Continue reading Lawsuit Filed Against Apple Amid Invasion Of Privacy Allegations

United States Tries to Extend Jurisdiction over the Elusive Bitcoin

By: Justin McHugh  Mt. Gox, once known as the world’s largest trader of Bitcoins, has unexpectedly shutdown, devastating thousands. In the aftermath of the Mt. Gox shutdown, thousands of customers who traded on the exchange lost millions. In the face of losing millions, many Bitcoin traders are now calling for legal action and remedies from the Tokyo-based exchange firm.

Is Technology Advancing Too Fast for Legislative Comfort?

Technology is always evolving to make our lives easier. We merge complicated tech knowledge to gain access to the world in quicker, easier, and more convenient ways. While advancements in technology create excitement for our everyday lives, they also create setbacks when we try to integrate these new toys into normal tasks. One of the newest tech toys to be released is Google Glass, a piece of discrete technology that promises to transform our view of life and interactions.

It’s My Body and I’ll Die If I Want To!

We can say all we want about the newest, fastest, lightest: IPhone, IPad, Tablet, Google Glass etc… but the simplest technology is all too often overlooked and outshined by plastic electronics. Technology and science that are on the cutting edge of medical breakthroughs, space exploration, and entertainment take center stage in our capitalistic sales driven world. It’s ironic that we stand in awe waiting for such new advances and overlook technology that impacts (for better or worse) something that we will all one day face. Death is something that we do not want to think about or deal with until that time comes. Yes, estate planning is an area of the law that many engage in while they are perfectly healthy and viable, but that is centered on money and assets. Technology/medical practices now exist in which a person can elect to die when they so choose. The slippery slope comes into play here, because the technology exists, but so do laws. As of right now the laws governing physician-assisted suicide makes the prospect of choosing when to die a complex endeavor.

The Rise and Fall of Flappy Bird: Flapping it’s Way into Copyright Infringement?

By: Tanjeev Thandi Flappy Bird is no longer flapping its wings.  Invented by Dong Nquyen, a Vietnamese developer from DotGears, Flappy Bird rose to the top of charts and became the most downloaded app of the year…and then disappeared.

Is the Line Between “Blurred Lines” and “Got to Give It Up” Really That Blurry?

By Laura Fleming When Robin Thicke sang, “I hate these blurred lines” in his latest song, “Blurred Lines,” he probably wasn’t talking about the blurry line between his hit single and Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” Thicke released his song this past summer, while Gaye, now deceased, released his song in 1977. Gaye’s heirs are currently accusing Thicke, along with “Blurred Lines” co-writers Pharrell Williams and “T.I.” Clifford Harris Jr., of copyright infringement in a California court.

Large Databases of Customer Information are…a Target

By: Geoff Wills On December 19, 2013, Target Corporation confirmed that it was aware of unauthorized access to payment card data impacting any Target customer that made credit or debit card purchases in its U.S. stores. The data breach occurred between November 27, 2013 and December 15, 2013. Target’s press released acknowledged that approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts might have been impacted. As news broke and the issue was investigated, that number has now increased to 70 million customers, and includes online shoppers. The cyber attack on Target is the second-largest retail cyber attack in history, and has resulted in investigations by state prosecutors and Attorneys general. It has also resulted in numerous complaints filed across the country by individuals, all vying for the ever-elusive “class action” status.

Destruction of Federal Circuit Claim Construction

By: Erin Phillips On October 1, 2013 the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the patent case Highmark, Inc. v. Allcare Health Management Systems, Inc. to decide whether a district court’s exceptional-case finding to award attorney’s fees was entitled to deference by the Federal Circuit. Although on its face the implications of a judgment in favor of deference seem to reach only the most exceptional cases, the possible effects on patent claim construction are monumental. A decision in favor of deference could spark a major reduction in power for the Federal Circuit.

Navigating the Bitcoin Minefield: Legal Considerations for Venture Capitalists

By: Ashley Jacoby This October a Norwegian man made international headlines after he reportedly opened his wallet and discovered an unexpected $850,000. Four years ago, Kristopher Koch decided to invest approximately $22 in the virtual currency Bitcoin while researching encryption online. In April 2013, extensive media coverage on this trending peer-to-peer digital currency reminded Koch of his otherwise forgettable investment. Although Koch struggled to remember the e-password for his encrypted Bitcoin wallet, his efforts paid off; his small investment in 5,000 coins in 2009 enabled Koch to buy an upscale apartment in Osolo with a fraction of his earnings.

IBM Accuses Twitter of #PatentInfringement

By: Kelly McIntosh In the days leading up Twitter’s initial public offering (IPO) , a lawsuit was bound to arise. IPO’s are “the first sale of stock by a private company to the public.” The theory is that a company being sued and approaching their IPO date, would want “minimize risks” and possibly settle, which is great news for a claimant since a profit is almost guaranteed.

New Zealand and the Changing Definition of an Invention

By Jared Pottruck After nearly five years of debate, New Zealand’s legislature voted during the last week of August 2013 to adopt the Patents Bill, which will no longer permit the granting of patents for computer software. While software that currently holds patent protection will be untouched by the new law, going forward, new computer software will not be able to receive patent protection from the New Zealand government. However, new software will be able to receive patent protection if it is simply providing a means to “implement a patentable process” or is part of a piece of improved hardware and the software is the means to achieving that improvement.

Reblog My New Ink! A New Conduit for Tracking Infringers

By Megan Conravey Tattoos have been a part of human culture for thousands of years. Throughout history and in different cultures, tattoos have had many meanings, conveying status, love, religion, ideas, and even punishments. In many Ancient societies, tattooing was common among all members of a culture. However, as tattooing evolved, a subculture emerged that left tattooing available to only a certain type of person. In this tattoo culture, tattoo artists prided themselves on the original artwork they produced.

Facebook Cares About Your Privacy…But Not Really

By: Justin McHugh Facebook has once again changed its privacy settings. In the battle for privacy, Facebook users are slowly yet surely losing. Facebook has recently announced that it will be removing a privacy feature that allowed users to limit who could search for them on the social network. Specifically, Facebook will be removing a privacy setting that limited whether users could be found when other people typed their names into Facebook’s search bar. In its defense, Facebook claims that only a very small percentage of users were using the limited search setting.

From “Here Ye, Here Ye” to #guilty

By Jarrid E. Blades

Once upon a time, the outcome of court proceedings were reported by a person swinging open the doors of the courthouse and announcing to the townspeople the verdict.  We have come a long way from this form of communication.  As long as we are connected to wireless or cell service, we can receive up-to-the-second updates during court proceedings.

Can Large Companies Own Human Genes? The Supreme Court Says No…Yes…Well Maybe…It Depends.

By Tyler P. Hite This summer the Supreme Court handed down a unanimous 9-0 decision invalidating Myriad Genetics’ patent of the human genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 found in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), but validating Myriad’s genetic patents of synthetically created composite deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA). The Court’s reasoning hinged upon the fact that human genes found in DNA are “naturally occurring” and thus not eligible for patent, even though isolating human genes from DNA severs naturally occurring chemical bonds, thus altering but not re-creating anything new. cDNA, which the court deemed to be synthetically created from DNA by lab technicians, is created from naturally occurring DNA through a process which splits the DNA double helix and allows lab technicians to isolate specific genes for study, manipulation, and use. The Supreme Court’s decision allows for the patent of human genes that are deemed “not naturally occurring,” even though “the nucleotide sequence of cDNA is dictated by nature, not by the lab technician.”