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Showing posts from 2013

Lessig v. Liberation over takedown notice

Professor Lessig has sued Australian music label Liberation in the U.S. in relation to a computer generated take down notice sent to YouTube, to take down video of Lessig giving a seminar in Asia that included music licensed exclusively to Liberation in Australia.

If this case proceeds, there are interesting jurisdictional and fair use / fair dealing points that arise.  If the use of the music was fair use in the U.S., but not fair dealing in Australia, and the video is available in Australia, one would assume that there is copyright infringement in Australia.

Brisbane Times article
The video in question
EFF press release

Google and Defamation and Jursidiction

Google Australia has a defamation case against it tossed out, on the basis that it is Google Inc. that is operating the search engine and Blogger.

See SMH

Informational Privacy on the Web

A Data Broker Offers a Peek Behind the Curtain
The Acxiom Corporation is to open a Web site that will allow individual consumers to see some of the information that the company has collected about them. http://nyti.ms/17slfwv

Computer Implemented Method Patentable in Australia

RPL Central Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Patents [2013] FCA 871

Broadly, the claimed invention related to the assessment of the competency or qualifications of individuals with respect to recognised standards. It was implemented using a computer.

Claim 1 included the following steps:

(a)a computer retrieving via the internet from a remotely-located server a plurality of assessable criteria associated with the recognised qualification standard, said criteria including one or more elements of competency, each of which is associated with one or more performance criteria; (b)the computer processing the plurality of assessable criteria to generate automatically a corresponding plurality of questions relating to the competency of an individual to satisfy each of the elements of competency and performance criteria associated with the recognised qualification standard; (c)an assessment server presenting the automatically-generated questions via the internet to a computer of an individual requir…

Thredbo.com Decision

The Federal Court recently released its decision in the case brought by the owners of thredbo.com.au against thredbo.com.

The decision is: Kosciuszko Thredbo Pty Limited v ThredboNet Marketing Pty Limited [2013] FCA 563

realestate.com.au Federal Court decision

On Friday, the Federal Court of Australia handed down its decision in the realestate.com.au v. realestate1.com.au case.

The decision is [2013] FCA 539.

The case concerned a generic term, that was used as a domain name, but where significant advertising had built up recognition of the brand.  The Applicant lost on consumer protection grounds but was successful in relation to trade mark infringement.  The case shows the risks of using a dictionary term as a brand, and the importance of a trade mark registration.

"245However that observation about the ordinary case does not really address (as neither Perram J nor Chesterman J were called upon to address) a situation where the highly descriptive nature of the second-level domain (“realestate”) makes a suffix such as “.com.au” essential to brand or name recognition. Consumers with some familiarity with realestate.com.au as a brand are likely to look beyond “realestate” and to the entire domain name in order to establish identity. A re…

Hotel Executive In Trouble over TripAdvisor reviews

A hotel PR person posted TripAdvisor reviews (mostly about restaurants) and got it serious trouble for it.  See stories here and here.

ASX rules on Social Media

The Australian Stock Exchange has continuous disclosure rules.  See Guidance Note 8, which has guidance about social media.  See also BRW article.

Not Cyberspace but Space

Copyright in Space:
How does it work?

Are Online Reviews Reliable?

A recent newspaper article discusses whether online review websites, such as TripAdvisor, are reliable.

See Bad Reputation.

U.S. Patent Decision - The Alice Case

CLS Services v. Alice Corporation was decided yesterday by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, en banc.  See Judgment.  Alice Corporation is an Australian company.  Its U.S. patent was held to be invalid as it did not claim patentable subject matter.

"Upon consideration en banc, a majority of the court affirms the district court’s holding that the asserted method and computer-readable media claims are not directed to eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101."

There were a number of judgments.  The footnote to one judgment states:

"No portion of any opinion issued today other than our Per Curiam Judgment garners a majority. The court is evenly split on the patent eligibility of the system claims. Although a majority of the judges on the court agree that the method claims do not recite patent eligible subject matter, no majority of those judges agrees as to the legal rationale for that conclusion. Accordingly, though much is published today discussing the p…

Copyright in the Digital Era

A recent note on copyright:

Seven Copyright Principles for the Digital Era  By John Villasenor. Brookings Institution, February 5, 2013  http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/up-front/posts/2013/02/05-copyright-principles-villasenor

YouTube redesign

YouTube has had a revamped look for channels in limited beta testing since early February, but it's now ready to spread the new-layout love to interested folks. Dubbed "One Channel," the design refresh places an emphasis on making a user's page look slick across different screen sizes and devices, adapting its style for the occasion -- yes, even on TVs. Along with a look that provides more visual breathing room, a wide image called Channel Art adorns the top of a page, giving the whole affair a stronger Google+ vibe. Now, channel owners can even snag a visitor's attention with a trailer that'll greet them if they aren't a subscriber. The refresh also introduces the ability to organize video playlists with custom sections. Raring to take Mountain View up on the fresh looks? Jab the second source link to get started. If you change your mind after taking the plunge, however, Google's letting users switch back to the old format for a limited time.
Why do y…

Australian Federal Court Limits Patentability

A recent Australian Federal Court decision limits the scope of patent protection for business methods implemented by computer.  The invention in question related to securities investing and, more specifically, to construction and use of passive portfolios and indexes.

The court denied patentability, stating:

"The implementation of the method of the claimed invention by means of a computer, at the level articulated in claim 1, is no more than the modern equivalent of writing down the index on pieces of paper. On the face of the Specification, there is no patentable invention in the fact that the claimed method is implemented by means of a computer. The Specification asserts a patentable invention, not in the use of the computer, but in the particular series of steps that give rise to the generation of the index. Those steps could readily have been carried out manually. The aspect of computer implementation is nothing more than the use of a computer for a purpose for which it is sui…

Google Australia does not control the Google search engine

Google Australia Pty Ltd does not like being sued in Australia.  In a recent Australian lawsuit, Google said:

Google Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Google International LLC and Google Inc is the ultimate holding company Google Australia is not authorised to, and has no ability to, control or direct the conduct of Google Inc and is not responsible for the day-to-day operations of Google Inc Google Inc owns and operates the domains google.com.au and google.com. The search engines at the domains mentioned are exclusively provided by, operated by, and controlled by Google Inc Google Australia does not have any ability to control or direct action in respect of blocking URLs from google.com.au
The Australian court found: "There is no reasonable prospect of Mr Rana proving that Google Australia owns the domains in question, or that it has the ability to control or direct the conduct of Google Inc."  Thus, the claims against Google Australia were dismissed.

The Court also…

IP Theft

"Our message is quite clear: the protection of intellectual property and trade secrets is critical to all intellectual property rights holders, whether they be from the United States or whether they be from Chinese companies or other companies around the world,'' Robert Hormats, the under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, said.

Though China is regarded as the most aggressive actor, Mr Hormats said other countries are guilty as well. He cited Russia and India as two countries active in the theft of intellectual property.

See SMH

Social Networks and Right of Publicity

From a Kenyon & Kenyon newsletter looking at legal trends for 2013:

An important “Right of Publicity” issue for 2013 is the use by social networks of their members' names and/or likenesses in advertising. Many social networks have broad Terms of Service which purport to allow them to exploit any content that a member posts on the networks' websites. Social networks take the position that these service terms permit them to use aspects of their members’ identities in advertisements appearing within the social networks. As social networks grow and compete for advertiser dollars, they will naturally want to allow advertisers to create the most effective ads possible. Studies have shown the persuasive potential of an online connection's recommendations (due to the apparent lack of bias), and therefore many advertisers are likely to request advertising that uses the identities of a social network's users.

New Australian Patent Law Book

Image
A new Kindle Book: Patent Law for Australian Inventors
Also available in Apple iBook store.


Internet Simulcasting Decision

The Australian Federal Court recently decided a lawsuit involving radio stations simulcasting their broadcasts via the Internet.

"A broadcasting service is thedelivery, in a particular manner, of a radio program, consisting of matter intended to entertain, educate or inform. Thus the delivery of the radio program by transmission from a terrestrial transmitter is a different broadcasting service from the delivery of the same radio program using the internet."

See Decision Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Limited v Commercial Radio Australia Limited [2013] FCAFC 11
See also Australian Copyright Council alert

CLS Bank v Alice case to be heard en banc

From a Kenyon & Kenyon newsletter:

Patent-eligibility of inventions implemented by computers: CLS Bank v. Alice Corp
The district court had held that the invention, which related to methods and systems for exchanging financial obligations between parties, was an abstract idea—ineligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101. A Federal Circuit panel disagreed, holding that the claimed invention complies with § 101 of the patent code. En banc, the Federal Circuit will address two issues: I. What test should the court adopt to determine whether a computer implemented invention is a patent ineligible “abstract idea;” and when, if ever, does the presence of a computer in a claim lend patent eligibility to an otherwise patent-ineligible idea? II. In assessing patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 of a computer implemented invention, should it matter whether the invention is claimed as a method, system, or storage medium; and should such claims at times be considered equivalent f…

Google not responsible for contents of advertisements

The High Court of Australia decided today that Google is not responsible for the content of advertisements placed via its AdWords program.

A key reason was the following at [69]:
“That the display of sponsored links (together with organic search results) can be described as Google's response to a user's request for information does not render Google the maker, author, creator or originator of the information in a sponsored link. The technology which lies behind the display of a sponsored link merely assembles information provided by others for the purpose of displaying advertisements directed to users of the Google search engine in their capacity as consumers of products and services. In this sense, Google is not relevantly different from other intermediaries, such as newspaper publishers (whether in print or online) or broadcasters (whether radio, television or online), who publish, display or broadcast the advertisements of others.”
See:
Court Decision, Google Inc …

Privacy for Mobile Apps

From The New York Times:
F.T.C. Suggests Guidelines on Privacy for Mobile Apps The Federal Trade Commission said the mobile industry should include a do-not-track feature in software and apps and take other steps to safeguard personal information. http://nyti.ms/X0xWcG

Too Many Lawyers

Law Schools’ Applications Fall as Costs Rise and Jobs Are Cut

Applications are headed for a 30-year low, reflecting increased concern over soaring tuition, crushing student debt and diminishing prospects of lucrative employment upon graduation.

http://nyti.ms/14xHPnF

Lawsuit Against Google For AutoComplete

An Australian doctor is suing Google for regarding its auto-complete function, that suggests the word "bankrupt" when his name is entered in the search box.
See Full Story

Does Disneyworld have privacy and copyright rights?

Lawyers nightmare, in relation to film made at Disneyworld, Escape from Tomorrow.

See also clip and NYTimes.

Kim Dot Com launches Mega

Image
See video




User Generated Content and Opinions

A good article about TripAdvisor and its review system.
Using TripAdvisor

Book Sale