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.”