Q4 2012 Quick Links, Part 1 (IP Edition)

By Eric Goldman Copyright * Author’s Guild v. HathiTrust, 1:11-cv-06351-HB (SDNY Oct. 10, 2012). James Grimmelmann’s take. * Hillicon Valley: ‘Shell-shocked’ lawmakers shy away from online piracy in new Congress * Ars Technica: Voters boot three SOPA-sponsoring Hollywood allies from…

Let’s Stop Using the Term “Soft IP”

By Eric Goldman You may have heard–or even used–the phrase “soft IP.” I’m not a fan of it, and I think we should retire the term. The term “soft IP” is inherently ambiguous. Sometimes, people use “soft IP” to refer…

When Will We Give Up the Charade That Numbers Are Copyrightable?–National Football Scouting v. Rang

By Eric Goldman National Football Scouting, Inc. v. Rang, 11-cv-5762-RBL (W.D. Wash. Dec. 13, 2012) Individual numbers aren’t copyrightable, no matter how much work or judgment went into producing them. This proposition seems so obvious, I feel silly even mentioning…

The Problems With Software Patents (Forbes Cross-Post)

By Eric Goldman The U.S. patent system largely treats all innovations equally, but innovation often works quite differently in different industries.  In particular, the software industry differs from other major innovative industries–such as computer hardware and biotech/pharmaceuticals–in several key ways,…

Engaging Facebook Friends Doesn’t Violate Non-Solicitation Clause–Invidia v. DiFonzo

By Eric Goldman Invidia, LLC, v. Maren DiFonzo, 2012 WL 5576406 (Mass. Super. Ct. Oct. 22, 2012) Let me start with a baseline proposition: we in California have it so much better than the rest of the country because employer-employee…

Q3 2012 Quick Links, Part 1 (Trademarks/Domain Names, Patents, Trade Secrets)

By Eric Goldman and Jake McGowan Trademarks/Domain Names * AdAge: “Consumers Don’t Really Know Who Sponsors the Olympics.” This reminds us that trying to protect against “sponsorship confusion” is futile. For example: 16% believed Google sponsors the Olympics; and of…

4th Circuit Limits the Reach of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act – WEC Carolina Energy Solutions v. Miller

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani, with comments from Eric] WEC Carolina Energy Solutions LLC v. Miller, et al., 2012 WL 3039213 (4th Cir.; July 26, 2012) We’ve blogged about the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act being stretched by plaintiffs in civil…

H1 2012 Quick Links, Part 1 (Trademarks/Domain Names, Patents, Trade Secrets, IP)

By Eric Goldman [Eric’s note: I had an incredibly busy travel schedule since late March. My destinations included Akron, NYC, Seattle, Concord (NH), Boston, Chicago, Vancouver, the California Channel Islands (a blog post is coming later this week about that…

“Hot Topics in Internet Law” Talk Slides

By Eric Goldman This weekend I presented on “Hot Topics in Internet Law” at the San Francisco IP Law Association’s Spring Seminar in Healdsburg. My talk slides. A few photos from the trip. As I’ve mentioned before, I find “hot…

Google Wins Trade Secret Lawsuit Over Ill-Fated Coffee Meeting–Booloon v. Google

By Eric Goldman Booloon, Inc. v. Google, Inc., 2012 WL 1898937 (Cal. App. Ct. May 25, 2012) Qin Zhang is a technology entrepreneur and an attorney (meaning she’s joined the illustrious–and burgeoning–club of lawyers-as-plaintiffs who have sued Google). Zhang claims…