Thursday August 19th, the NYLJ has this article about Tiffany's suit against eBay for direct and contributory trademark infringement over using its name as a keyword for links that send Internet customers to eBay auctions and failing to prevent auctions of counterfeit Tiffany products. New York is a town that knows its knockoffs, and that lots of shoppers want a bag they can afford that says "Louis Vuitton" and don't care a fig where it comes from or how it's made. Read more about New York Law Journal on Tiffany v. eBay
More grassroots online organizing. Filmmaker Jack Cushman has launched Realprotest.org, a website about protesting the Republican National Convention. The site urges that rather than attend the controversial, well-off-site protest, you go to your job instead, but donate your wages for the time you would have spent demonstrating to MoveOn for their "Leave no voter behind" campaign, which concentrates on swing states. Read more about checks, not chants
From Creative Commons, this announcement of a discussion group led by Marshall Van Alstyne of MIT, concerning creative commons licenses specifically for software. There are already multiple off-the-shelf licenses meant to express "some rights reserved" for software, but these tend to be one-size-fits-all, and, in the case of the GPL, even intentionally ambiguous. Read more about Open Source, Free Software and soon.. Commonware
Today I went to the post office to take care of renewing my passport. This is a sad day, because I actually liked my old passport photograph, taken with good lighting so that it actually looks like me, wearing my old leather jacket that's been everywhere and still looks the same. My old passport is also green, an artifact from a very short period in 1993-94 when the US issued green passports. They were not a success, I guess. Just luck that I got one, but I liked my green passport . That's ok. On my new passport picture my hair looks sort of green. Read more about Homeland what?
Mark V.B. Partridge of Chicago's Pattishall McAuliffe has a new intellectual property blawg called Guiding Rights. Looks like he has a book about IP by the same name. A quick look reveals good, sensible discussion of domain name and keyword cases, among other things. I'm looking forward to reading this on a regular basis. Read more about Partridge joins the family
Yesterday the American Civil Liberties Union released its report on how the government uses corporations to collect information about the American people on an unprecedented scale. OK, so the concept is not front page news, but this does a good job of documenting and quantifying the problem. Read more about ACLU to companies: take the pledge!
Today's Recorder has an article by Brenda Sandburg about the California Court of Appeals' decision in Grace v. Ebay, a suit seeking to hold eBay liable for defamatory feedback left about the plaintiff, an eBay seller. The Court upheld a provision in eBay's user agreement protecting eBay from liability for feedback, but rejected a defense based on the California Decency Act. Read more about eBay sets more precedent in online defamation jurisprudence
Suuuueeee, feeding time for patent litigators (and patent avengers!). The Federal Circuit has issued an Order taking en banc a case called "Phillips" about how patent claims should be construed. Call it Markman II, call it Markman's Revenge, Escape from the Planet Markman or what you will, this is all that patent lawyers are going to be talking about for the next 18 months or so. Pricking a long-festering blister, the Court wants to hear about what kinds of evidence the Judge can consider to interpret those pesky claims- what kinds of documents, what kinds of testimony. Read more about Move Over Markman- The Federal Circuit Takes a Claim Construction case en banc
Derek Slater at A Copyfighter's Musings is all over the eBay digital download experiment, exploring whether the first sale doctrine can apply to digital copies of works. When you sell a used cd, there is at least some chance that you haven't ripped it to your computer's hard drive before doing so. With digital files, you can't transfer the file without copying it in the process. Read more about Derek and the Downloads