2H 2017 & Q1 2018 Quick Links, Part 2: Innovation and Confidentiality


* NY Times: Russia Wants Innovation, but It’s Arresting Its Innovators

* Contigiani et al, Trade Secrets and Innovation: Evidence from the ‘Inevitable Disclosure’ Doctrine. The abstract:

Does heightened employer-friendly trade secrecy protection help or hinder innovation? By examining U.S. state-level legal adoption of a doctrine allowing employers to curtail inventor mobility if the employee would “inevitably disclose” trade secrets, we investigate the impact of a shifting trade secrecy regime on individual-level patenting outcomes. Using a difference-in-differences design taking unaffected U.S. inventors as the comparison group, we find strengthening employer-friendly trade secrecy adversely affects innovation. We then investigate why. We do not find empirical support for diminished idea recombination from suppressed inventor mobility as the operative mechanism. While shifting intellectual property protection away from patenting into trade secrecy appears to be at work, our results are consistent with reduced individual-level incentives to signaling quality to the external labor market.

* Sara Harrington et al, How and Why Linkedin Learned to Love Patents, Intellectual Asset Management, March/April 2017. Abstract: “LinkedIn was a big brand name with a small patent portfolio – a combination that made it vulnerable to a patent attack. In 2012 the LinkedIn decided to do something about it. We work through the case study of how LinkedIn determined its vulnerabilities, set a patent development and patent buying program, and fundamentally changed its risk profile. We show how LinkedIn bought over 900 patents over four years.”

* Medium: Ten years in, nobody has come up with a use for blockchain

* Wired: The Great Tech Panic: Robots Won’t Take All Our Jobs

* Wired: Don’t Make AI Artificially Stupid in the Name of Transparency

* Cracked: 5 Crazy Unexpected Side Effects Of Apps You Use Everyday

* Candy Lab Inc. v. Milwaukee County, 2:2017cv00569 (E.D. Wis. July 20, 2017). Court enjoins permitting requirement for augmented reality game.

* The Atlantic: The Digital Ruins of a Forgotten Future: “Second Life was supposed to be the future of the internet, but then Facebook came along. Yet many people still spend hours each day inhabiting this virtual realm. Their stories—and the world they’ve built—illuminate the promise and limitations of online life.”

* Wired: 2017 Tech in Memoriam: Pour One Out for AIM, Vine, GChat, and the Rest

* Adweek: Behind the Tumble of Tumblr, the Once-Hot Blogging and Social Advertising Player

* FTC v. AT&T Mobility (9th Cir. en banc):

The FTC is the leading federal consumer protection agency and, for many decades, has been the chief federal agency on privacy policy and enforcement. Permitting the FTC to oversee unfair and deceptive non-common-carriage practices of telecommunications companies has practical ramifications. New technologies have spawned new regulatory challenges. A phone company is no longer just a phone company. The transformation of information services and the ubiquity of digital technology mean that telecommunications operators have expanded into website operation, video distribution, news and entertainment production, interactive entertainment services and devices, home security and more. Reaffirming FTC jurisdiction over activities that fall outside of common-carrier services avoids regulatory gaps and provides consistency and predictability in regulatory enforcement

* R Street: “Bring in the nerds: Reviving the Office of Technology Assessment.” In 1995, Congress intentionally made itself dumber about technology…& it shows. We desperately need the OTA to fix the lack of technical expertise in Congress

* Cracked: 5 Shocking Ways People Keep Making Technology Racist

* Oddee: 8 Shocking Snapchat Horror Stories


* Law.com: New Law Prohibits Employers From Asking Applicants About Salary History

* Bloomberg: How Lawyers Protect the Harvey Weinstein in Your Workplace

* Reuters: #MeToo: Sexual harassment stories sweep social media after Weinstein allegations

* Slate: Why Trump Likely Won’t Collect the $20 Million He Claims Stormy Daniels Owes Him

* Mother Jones: Nondisclosure Agreements Helped Weinstein Allegedly Abuse Women. Now New York Is Trying to Get Rid of Them.