Blogs

Checking a Map App Is Not “Using” a Cell Phone, California Court Decides

“A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.” – California Vehicle Code Section 23123(a) A California police officer issued a $165 ticket to Steven Spriggs for violating the

Stricter Efficiency Standards for Commercial Refrigerators

On February 28, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) issued a pre-publication final rule setting stricter energy conservation standards for commercial refrigerators. The DOE’s various efficiency standards—covering over 50 categories of industrial, commercial, and residential appliances and equipment—are a cheap and effective way of protecting the environment, saving manufacturers and consumers money, and encouraging

California Court: Looking at Map App While Driving is Legal

Two years ago a California man was pulled over for using a map application on his iPhone 4 while driving on a Fresno highway.  Steven Spriggs was ticketed and convicted of violating Vehicle Code Section 23123(a), which prohibits drivers from using a cell phone while driving unless it is designed to allow hands-free listening and

Twitch Plays Pokemon Still Going Strong: “Let’s Play” Losing Major Opposition to Fair Use?

We are about one year removed from Nintendo’s scorched earth campaign against “Let’s Play” videos on Youtube.  In Spring 2013, the Electronic Gaming giant contacted YouTube,  seeking t the totality of ad-revenue generated from videos featuring Nintendo IP, like those of the popular “Let’s Play” genre: a category of videos where users record and narrate

Cyber Criminals are Hitting Us Where it Hurts; A New Report Shows that Healthcare Organizations May Not Even Know the Danger Exists

The medical industry has come under siege by hackers.  Recent reports have shown that healthcare organizations are being attacked at a high rate, with roughly three hundred and seventy-five attacks occurring within one year.  Several reasons have been postulated for the amount and severity of these attacks, which may have serious repercussions for patients and

Blackphone, the Next Step in Post-Snowden, Private Communication

In June of 2013, Edward Snowden released information showing that the National Security Agency was collecting data from phone calls, texts, and emails of people all over the world. The resulting revelations sparked mass outrage at the invasion of privacy and a nationwide debate over the amount of access the government should have in our

Demotion as a Consequence of Controversial Facebook Post not in Violation of the First Amendment

What employment consequences can result from posting controversial material on Facebook for government employees? Rex Duke recently found out the hard way. Duke was a veteran police officer with the Clayton State University Police Department, and had achieved the rank of Captain. On November 6, 2012, after the results of the 2012 Presidential election, Duke

One Weird Trick to Make $1,500 Every Time a Yahoo! User Sends You a Message

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act was abused again earlier this month to bring suit against Yahoo!. Responsible for increasingly clogging up courts, the TCPA has been used aggressively against debt collectors and telemarketers, the intended target industry – but it’s curious to find a suit on a friendly text message. Yahoo! offers instant message users

Doctrine of Inequitable Conduct – A Necessary Tool for the Integrity of the United States Patent System

With its recent decision to deny certiorari in Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC v. 1st Media, LLC, the Supreme Court missed an ideal opportunity to help ensure the integrity of the United States patent system by rescuing the doctrine of inequitable conduct from death’s door.  The Therasense standard for inequitable conduct that the Federal Circuit