Category: News

News that doesn’t fit in other categories

On the Legal Importance of Viewing Genes as Code

The Supreme Court yesterday issued its opinion in the much–awaited Myriad case, which challenged the validity of patents on isolated human genes. The Court held that the isolated genetic sequences claimed in Myriad’s patents did not satisfy the inventive threshold for patentability, although the complementary DNA (cDNA) claimed in the patents did. One of the […]

HTC One Mega and Mini on the Horizon

We already know that the HTC One Mini is official and will compete with the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini.New reports reveal that the rumored HTC T6 could be a Key Lime Pie-running 5.9-inch handset meant to compete directly against the upcoming Galaxy Note 3 from Samsung. @evleaks, Tweeted on May 27, 2013 that “The upcoming […]

How Consensus Drives Bitcoin

This post is the first in a series exploring our paper’s analysis of why Bitcoin works and what could derail it.

Consensus drives Bitcoin. Like any fiat currency (a currency not backed by anything of intrinsic value), Bitcoin has value because of an expectation that people will continue to accept the currency in payment. Like Tinkerbell, who exists because you believe in her, Bitcoin has value because enough people believe it has value. This much is true for all fiat currencies.

Naturally Occurring Human Genes Not Patentable – Myriad Loses – Our Genes Belong to Us

Here [PDF] it is! The opinion in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. striking down patents on naturally occurring human genes, even if they’ve been isolated. It was unanimous! I have done it as text for you. From the opinion: … Myriad did not create anything. To be sure, it found an important […]

Amicus Brief of Intellectual Property Law Professors in Support of Google and Affirmance ~pj

Bit by bit, the amicus briefs on behalf of Google in the Oracle v. Google appeal about the uncopyrightability of Java APIs are becoming available. They are all interesting in different ways, but they all agree — Oracle is wrong on the law and if it prevails, it will be a sad day for innovation. […]

Microsoft’s Amicus Brief in Support of Apple in Appeal of Posner Ruling – A Change in Tune on Injunctions

Microsoft has now filed an amicus brief in support of Apple in the appeal of Judge Richard Posner’s ruling in which the judge tossed out both Apple and Motorola’s claims with prejudice, saying neither had proven damages andsaying injunctive relief when there was no demonstrable harm would be against the public interest. Interestingly, Microsoft here […]

EFF and ACLU Request FISA Court Unseal Its Opinions on Legality of Surveillance Conducted Under FISA Amendments, Patriot Act

Because the President has said he welcomes discussion about the recent NSA surveillance revelations, I thought you’d want to know abouta motion EFF brought in FISA court, which is being opposed by the government in a rare public document [PDF] — relevant, EFF says, to the latest news. And there is also anACLU motion [PDF] […]

Microsoft Assigns Six Patents to Patent Troll Vringo — Is This an Antitrust Issue? ~pj Updated

Is Microsoft’s motto ‘Always Be Evil’? Look at this report from Joe Mullin at ars technica on Microsoft’s latest patent scheming: Some days $30 million seems like a lot of money, and other days it’s just a bit of a letdown. Vringo is a once-upon-a-time ringtone company that’s now basically a holding company for search […]

Do Judges Play a Role After the NSA Call Records Have Been Collected?

Those who defend the NSA’s massive call records collection program point out that although the program allows indiscriminate data collection, it also meaningfully restricts data analysis and use. They note, in particular, this paragraph from Director of National Intelligence Clapper’s June 6, 2013, press release: By order of the FISC, the Government is prohibited from […]

51% foreign test doesn’t protect Americans

One of the notable claims we have heard, in light of the Verizon / PRISM revelations, is that data extraction measures are calibrated to make sure that 51% or more of affected individuals are non-U.S. persons. As a U.S. person, I don’t find this at all reassuring. To see why, let’s think about the underlying […]