Category: 2009

2009Technology Law

The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act: Innovation Must Come Before Price Competition

Robert N. Sahr In an effort to reduce the costs of medicine for patients, Congress must be especially careful not to impair the ability of the biotechnology industry to thrive by substantially diminishing profitability. Currently, the biotechnology industry is “still relatively nascent” and is largely fueled by venture capital investment. Of the approximately 1400 biotechnology companies operating in the United States today, only twenty are profitable. Many of these companies are small, with revenues of under a million dollars per year, and do not even have a product on the market yet. Leaders in the biotechnology industry have expressed concern...

The Unlitigated Case: A Study of the Legality of Guitar Tablatures

James T. Tsai Guitar tablature Web sites have been the subject of recent cease-and-desist letters, forcing most to shut down. Litigation has been side-stepped with the arrival of new creative means to continue operation. The case that may have gone to court is discussed here, ranging from the appropriate legal claims of copyright infringement to the fair-use-defense arguments that would have been made. Policy solutions are considered to resolve the tension between the public’s desire to use such tablatures and the copyright owners of the original artists. Read Full Text Here
2009Technology Law

“Indecent” Deception: The Role of Communications Decency Act § 230 in Balancing Consumer and Marketer Interests Online

Amy J. Tindell Should web hosts like Mindspring and online auction houses like eBay be held to the same standard as CSI, a brick-and-mortar flea market operator? Or does the Internet require special treatment due to its higher value as a vast source of information, communication, and social networking? On one hand, the Internet is a developing resource that the free market could shape without governmental regulation. Additionally, it is likely technologically infeasible for Mindspring or eBay to screen every vendor and product that passes through its virtual universe. On the other hand, consumers deserve protection from false and deceptive...

Rounding Up Plant Patents & Other Growing Patent Concerns a Comment on Monsanto v. Schmeiser

Emir A. C. Mohammed On the heels of their ubiquitous and controversial decision in Harvard College v. Canada (Commissioner of Patents) (the so-called ‘Harvard Mouse’ case), the Canadian Courts were soon asked to re-consider the issues surrounding the patentability of biotechnological inventions in Monsanto v. Schmeiser. Unlike Harvard Mouse, this matter was an infringement action. At the Trial Division, the crux of the action lay with Schmeiser’s alleged failure to obtain a license Monsanto’s patented “Roundup Ready Canola” (a canola seed tolerant of glyphosate herbicides including Monsanto’s own “Roundup”). “The infringement alleged is by the defendants using, reproducing and creating genes,...

Can an Internet Reference Be a “Printed Publication”?

Joanna Toke Much of the information to the public is provided by the Internet today. The Internet has also become increasingly popular among researchers who now turn to it for articles, journals, and online databases. Therefore, the question of whether an Internet reference is a “printed publication” is critical for today’s inventors, patent attorneys, and judges. It is important for inventors and patent attorneys because they decide whether to pursue a patent based on the existing prior art. It is likewise important for judges because judges may be asked to resolve a dispute where the party challenging a patent’s validity...
2009Technology Law

The Edge of Ethics in iParadigms

Michael G. Bennett In an attempt to stem a perceived rise in student plagiarism, educational institutions are increasingly turning to anti-plagiarism technologies. The use of these technological means to police student writings has been controversial, socially, politically, and legally. This article discusses the outcome of A.V. et al. v. iParadigms, to date the most important opinion on the legality of such technology’s use. The author examines the case in detail and presents arguments against the technology’s use, on the grounds that such use undermines educational policy by allowing the ethics of teachers to become a by-product of available technological means and...

Utility Models and Their Comparison with Patents and Implications for the US Intellectual Property Law System

Hans-Peter Brack European Patent Office (EPO) practice, guided by the European Patent Convention (EPC) is in many aspects very similar to Europe’s national patent practice, such as the German patent law. In this article, the US practitioner is briefly reminded of some of the considerable differences between US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patent prosecution practice and its European counterparts, primarily the EPO. The utility model is highlighted and discussed using the patent laws of Germany as a case study for comparison. Additionally, this paper examines the potential benefits of utility model protection in the US, as well as what...