Miscellaneous

Meet the Bloggers

June 15, 2006

If you are attending the ABA Summer IPL Conference this month in Boston, you will have the opportunity to meet several leading IP bloggers, see their blogs and discuss blogging with them. I will be at the Marriott Copley Plaza to present my blog at the “Bloggers’ Corner” during the opening “get acquainted” reception on Wednesday, June 21st, from 6:00 to 7:00 P.M. I hope to see you there. The other four blogs on display, and their respective blogmeisters, will be: Matt Buchanan, PromoteTheProgress and phosita Dennis Crouch, Patently-O Ross Dannenberg, Patent Arcade John Welch, The TTAB Blog. For a brief description of all five bloggers, read this flier. The bloggers: : Buchanan, Crouch, Dannenberg, Gesmer, Welch

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Bag and Baggage

November 4, 2005

Denise Howell at Bag and Baggage complimented my firm’s various blogs (1, 2 and 3) and I have to return the compliment. When I sat down with our web/blog master Nathan Burke to show him what I considered the best legal blogs, we basically started and stopped with Bag and Baggage. If I could bring only one blog to a desert island ….

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En Banc First Circuit Reverses Councilman Decision Applying Federal Wiretap Act to Emails

September 20, 2005

Federal Wire Tap Statute. Last Fall Joe Laferrera wrote an extensive article discussing the First Circuit’s decision in Councilman v. United States. In that case the government had prosecuted Brad Councilman under the federal Wiretap Act, alleging he had violated the Act when he illegally copied email communications. The Federal Appeals Court for the First Circuit held that Councilman had not violated the Act, since he had not intercepted the communications while they were in transit. Rather, the emails were already stored on a computer, and therefore the Act did not apply. Recently the First Circuit reconsidered the case en banc, reversing that decision. Joe has written an update to the original article, which can be found here.

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Google Takes One From Mister Softie

September 14, 2005

“The thing to fear is not the law, but the judge” Russian Proverb Non Compete Agreements. The need to “spin” a litigation outcome to try to persuade the public that you won appears irresistible to large corporations. However, it’s hard to keep a straight face reading Microsoft’s pronouncements about the Seattle state court’s September 13th decision in Microsoft’s suit against Google and Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, until recently “the face of Microsoft in China.” Believe me, when your former employee is able to show up to work for your competitor the day after the decision on your preliminary injunction motion to enforce a non compete agreement, you have not won. The fact is, a preliminary injunction seeking to enforce a non compete agreement is always highly uncertain. Some judges view non compete agreements as just another contract, to be enforced as written. Other judges have an almost philosophical antipathy to non competes, and will bend over backwards to find any reason not to enforce them. They believe that people should be free to work wherever they wish, and they rule accordingly. The Seattle judge appears to fall into the second camp. Microsoft learned this when it tried to enjoin Dr. Lee, now the President of “Google China,” from establishing and staffing a Google development facility in China. Although the Washington State judge initially entered a temporary restraining order against Google and…

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Justice Department Files Antitrust Suit Against National Association of Realtors

September 12, 2005

Antitrust. Here is a link to the Complaint in this long-anticipated lawsuit. A link to the DOJ’s press release, announcing the suit, is here. In a nutshell, the suit alleges that the NAR has blocked competition by allowing real estate agents to withhold listings from brokers who utilize the Internet. The DOJ and the NAR have been attempting for months to negotiate a settlement to the issues raised by this suit, and apparently the NAR made a last gasp attempt last Thursday, when it announced a modified approach to its policy on Internet listings. However, the DOJ believed that the NAR had not gone far enough, precipitating this lawsuit. I’ll discuss this suit in more detail in a later blog.

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Katrina

September 9, 2005

Amazon.com “One Click” Contributions to Victims of Katrina can be made Here. The ABA has organized a Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief page here. This web page states: “The ABA is gathering information from individuals who are willing to provide legal assistance to those in need from the events in the Northern Gulf Coast.” In considering whether to contribute services consider that a recent survey of Americans shows that lawyers have a lower “prestige” ranking than Members of Congress, and are tied with entertainers and actors. If you think this survey may be flawed, consider the fact that real estate agents and stockbrokers ranked last as proof of concept. It might be best for your mental health not to give this survey too much thought if you plan to speak to a jury in the near future.

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