Recent Blog Posts

Hydraulic Fracturing: What’s the Controversy?

In the latest report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, climate researchers warn that drastic reductions to current greenhouse gas emissions are needed to avert devastating and irreversible climate impacts. One of the short-term strategies the IPCC considers in its report is the increased use of shale gas—an energy source often classified as [...]

STLR Link Roundup – April 16, 2014

Patent Reform Bill Delayed Again The Senate Judiciary Committee has delayed consideration of the patent reform bill yet again. The bi-partisan bill, aimed at combatting patent trolls or non-practicing entities, was widely expected to go before the committee this week. However, by Monday evening, hopes had begun to fade as negotiations continued into the night. [...]

U.S. International Trade Commission Affirms 10-Year Exclusion Order Against Chinese Chemicals for Misappropriating Trade Secrets

“This is classic misappropriation of trade secrets, with copying down to the thousandth decimal place.”1 Following up on our recent Article, the International Trade Commission recently upheld former Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Robert K. Rogers, Jr.’s ten-year product ban against Chinese parties for misappropriating U.S. trade secrets. The full Commission Opinion offers a lodestar to [...]

STLR Link Roundup – March 30, 2014

Proposed NSA Reforms: Salient or Superficial? President Obama urged Congress for NSA reform this past Thursday. Under his proposal, phone companies would release their customers’ records to the NSA only after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) approves requests for specific phone numbers. Queries would also be limited to “two hops” rather than “three hops” [...]

Target-ing Data Security Breaches

On December 19, 2013 Target reported that there had been unauthorized access to Target customers’ payment card data, which may have resulted in 40 million credit card numbers and personal information of up to 70 million individuals being exposed.  The Target data breach was so significant and shocking that there are reports that a “cyber-thriller” [...]

White House Proposes to End NSA’s Mass Collection of Phone Data – But Reforms Don’t Go Far Enough for Many Privacy Advocates

Responding to mounting public pressure, President Obama announced this week that he would be proposing legislation to end the National Security Agency’s mass collection of phone records. Under the new proposal, phone metadata would be stored by telephone companies, not the NSA, and could only be obtained by the NSA through a court order.  However [...]

STLR Link Roundup – March 24, 2014

Obama Administration Takes Technological Action Against Climate Change A week after the Senate Democrats hosted an overnight session highlighting climate change, the Obama administration launched the Climate Data Initiative, a broad effort to harness the power of data and data-driven tools to help communities across America prepare for the effects of climate change. Key components [...]

STLR Link Roundup – March 21, 2014

Class Action Status Denied for Gmail Case In its fight against claims that it illegally scanned private e-mails on its Gmail accounts, Google has just won a major victory. The U.S. District Court in San Jose, California refused a bid for class-action status. Allowing the case to proceed as a class action would have allowed [...]

Cy Pres Remedies in the Internet Privacy Class Action Context

Last November, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Marek v. Lane, a class action case concerning potential privacy violations arising from Facebook’s short-lived and controversial “Beacon” program, which automatically posted information regarding users’ transactions on third-party websites to the users’ Facebook feeds. The class action ended in a settlement, in which Facebook agreed to pay [...]

A Not-So-Obvious Threat to Pharmaceutical Patent Portfolios

I.  INTRODUCTION A bill working its way through Congress seeks to curb so-called abusive patent litigation tactics. But a less sensational provision warrants close attention, particularly from the pharmaceutical industry. The provision, if passed, could threaten issued patents in ways parties don’t expect. The recent “Innovation Act”1 that the House passed in December2 and its [...]