Town of Chapel Hill Passes Blanket Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving; Legal Experts Question Validity, Enforceability

The Chapel Hill Town Council made historylast week by becoming the first jurisdiction in the nation topass a measurecreating a blanket ban on all cell phone use while driving. Limitations on permissible uses of cell phones behind the wheel are commonplace. In fact, North Carolina (where Chapel Hill is located) has had a statewide ban on text

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Internet Service Providers Forced to Hand Over Customer Names in Porn File-Sharing Lawsuit

The past week did not finish with a happy ending for internet service customers involved in the illegal use of pornographic videos. In the U.S., District Court Judge Mary A.

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Is the label “China Free” on vitamins disparaging to China?

According to a recent decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), the answer is “no.”

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Border Searches and the First Amendment

Returning from a vacation in Mexico, Davis House was questioned and briefly detained at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. House’s bags were searched and Custom Agents ordered House to turn over all of his electronics, including his laptop. House was also ordered to give up his passwords and encryption keys, which he refused. After refusing, House was taken to a detention room where he was questioned about his association with Bradley Manning. Manning, a WikiLeaks suspect

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In-Depth Look: Is Altering the Best Mode Requirement the “Best” Decision?

In 2011, President Obama signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act into law. The most striking change this law brings to the patent system is the change from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system. While this change has certainly receives the most attention, it might not have the greatest impact. The American Invents Act also eliminates the best mode requirement as a defense in patent litigation. This has many potential impacts.

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The FTC Releases Report Calling for Less Consumer Tracking and More Transparency

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released a new report titled, “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations for Business and Policymakers.”

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Facebook Purchases 750 Patents from IBM

Upon learning that facebook has reached a deal to purchase 750 patents from IBM, I initially rolled my eyes and assumed this is just another bit of facebook trivia – after all, I am sure most of us are still eagerly waiting for that facebook phone. Then, I started asking questions. Is it common for internet companies to do this? What do other company’s patents do for a company, not to mention 750 of them?

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FBI Back to the Old-fashioned Way

Late last year, the Supreme Court heard arguments concerning U.S. v.

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Occupy Twitter

By now, the Occupy Wall Street movement has become well known and widespread throughout in the United States. Claiming, “We Are the 99%,” this resistance movement seeks to “empower real people to create real change” in order to build a better society free of the “greed and corruption of the 1%.” They have also expanded outside of New York to cities throughout the country.

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About This Blog

The NC JOLT Blog complements our traditional scholarly publications with short entries highlighting and analyzing the ongoing developments in law and technology. Entries are posted by our editors and staff writers on an on-going basis.


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