A General Overview of the Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law’s Symposium: “Intellectual Property and Medical Technology: From Creation to Commercialization”
Posted: January 31st, 2018
Posted: January 31st, 2018
Posted: January 29th, 2018
By: Gabriela Mejias *| Staff WriterOn October of 2016, AT&T, Inc. and Time Warner Inc. announced that AT&T would acquire Time Warner in an $85.4 billion transaction. This acquisition was widely seen as the biggest of the year. Time Warner is a giant media and entertainment powerhouse that owns brands such as HBO, Turner Broadcasting (think CNN, TNT, TBS, and Cartoon Network/Adult Swim), and Warner Brothers. Given AT&T’s extensive network in mobile, broadband, and television distribution, this match could change the face of access to the internet, news, entertainment, streaming services, and more.
The deal was planned to go through by the end of 2017, however, reports indicated that the Justice Department had a few issues with the proposed deal. The Justice Department instructed AT&T to sell either DirectTV or Turner Broadcasting, saying that an acquisition including these companies would raise costs for other entertainment companies and stifle competition. AT&T chief executive responded to that instruction in the negative, stating, “If we feel that litigation is a better outcome then we will litigate.”
Antitrust litigation is most commonly triggered by instances of horizontal acquisition. In horizontal acquisition, a company is merging with another company in a similar market sector and at the same stage of production. Because this involves the combination of two likely competing companies, it is at risk for creating reduced competition and a monopoly for that industry. This is where Justice Department antitrust litigation steps in.
Posted: January 25th, 2018
By: Maureen Gallagher *| Staff WriterIt is every driver’s dream – to soar out of gridlock of the highway to the open, uncluttered air. The possibilities seem endless when a car is unconstrained by winding roads and free to literally go straight to its destination. Uber wants to make this dream a reality with their potential new offering called UberAIR. As usual, Uber has big ideas and big promises. They imagine a world where “traveling from San Francisco’s Marina to work in downtown San Jose, a drive that would normally occupy the better part of two hours, would only take 15 minutes. Since time is money, if this promise is executed correctly, the benefit could ripple positively across the economy, reducing wasted travel time and increasing productivity.
Posted: January 20th, 2018
By: Whitney Hosey *| Staff Writer
On October 31, the Senate Judiciary Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee began a two-day inquiry into possible effects of Russian sponsored advertising via social media during the 2016 Presidential Campaign. Representatives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter were questioned to determine whether it was possible Russian paid adverts present on these sites impacted the election. Another major concern is how these platforms may have been misused in order to do so, and what steps the companies are taking to ensure their sites are not used in this manner again.
Posted: January 16th, 2018
By: Jamie Burchette *| Staff WriterIt is an age-old story – companies work together, but the relationship sours. Sometimes this is the end of the story, and sometimes this is only the beginning. The relationship between Keyssa Inc and Essential Products Inc seems to be heading in the latter direction.
Keyssa is a company that wants to change the way devices connect with each other. There are already several existing ways: cables, Wi-Fi, etc., however, Keyssa’s product, Kiss Connectivity, promises many benefits over existing connections. Wireless connections take up a significant amount of space inside devices since the connection requires antennas. While these antennas are small, they are relatively large when they are placed inside a smartphone. On the other hand, Kiss Connectivity is “coffee bean-sized” and takes up less space. And, unlike cables, Kiss Connectivity does not require an opening in the device. Kiss Connectivity is more secure than Wi-Fi since it is a direct connection between the two devices without going through any routers. Even more impressively, Kiss Connectivity allows data transfer speeds of up to 6GB per second.
Keyssa has been developing this technology since 2009, and it is just starting to roll it out. In October 2016, Keyssa announced it was placing Kiss Connectivity in Intel 2 in 1 devices. In August 2017, Keyssa partnered with Samsung and Foxconn to place Kiss Connectivity chips in smartphones. Keyssa’s thunder, however, was stolen by the Essential Phone. The Essential Phone was released shortly after the partnership was announced, and it came equipped with a “magnetic connector with wireless data transfer.” For Keyssa, this move raised some eyebrows, and, subsequently, Keyssa filed a lawsuit against Essential Products.
Keyssa’s lawsuit does not allege that Essential Products stole their chip technology. Instead, this lawsuit has taken a different path. According to Keyssa, the two companies spent ten months discussing Keyssa’s technology. These discussions involved Keyssa’s trade secrets, which Essential Phone was obligated not to disclose under a non-disclosure agreement. Eventually, Essential Products ended the relationship and, instead, used a competing chip from SiBEAM. Still, the Essential Phone incorporated elements, such as testing methods and antenna designs, which Keyssa claims are trade secrets which they had shared with Essential Products.
Posted: January 9th, 2018
By: Emily Marcum *| Staff WriterOver two-thousand lawsuits are currently pending in state and federal court alleging that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn women about the potential cancer risks associated with its popular talc-based baby powder product. Around 5,000 women claim that they developed ovarian cancer from using the Johnson & Johnson powder containing talc. Talcum powder is made from the mineral, talc, which is mostly made up of three elements magnesium, silicon, hydrogen, and oxygen. In its natural form, some talc can contain asbestos, a known cancer-causing agent. As a result, the United States has ensured since the 1970s that all talcum products used in consumer products are asbestos-free. The American Cancer Society has talc containing asbestos listed as a carcinogen. However, the studies regarding the asbestos-free talc contained in the Johnson & Johnson baby powder and other consumer products remains inconclusive. The American Cancer Society urges consumers that are concerned about talcum powder to avoid or limit their use of consumer products that contain it.
Posted: December 28th, 2017
By: Maureen Gallagher *| Staff Writer
Though the term money laundering can conjure an image of a washing machine stuffed with green, the term actually has a more sinister meaning. For money launderers, a dollar bill’s physical appearance plays no role – they are concerned with the cover up. Money laundering is the process of transforming sums of money from criminal activity into sums of money from legitimate activity. It allows profits from criminal activity, like drug trafficking, to appear to originate from a legitimate source. The dirty money is cleaned, hence the term “laundering”.
Posted: December 20th, 2017
By: Jamie Burchette *| Staff WriterNative American tribes were sovereign nations long before Europeans arrived in America. Eventually, European settlers pushed Native American tribes into smaller and smaller pieces of land and their sovereign power was weakened. While the Native American tribes’ existence as an independent nation was recognized in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, the U.S. Government’s treatment of the Native American tribes was less than respectful. Native Americans continued to lose their land and have their culture attacked. Things changed, somewhat, with the introduction of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. The U.S. Government recognized the Native American’s tribal sovereignty and stopped taking Native American land.
Posted: December 3rd, 2017
By: Whitney Hosey *| Staff Writer
Traditionally, the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) role in pharmaceuticals is to ensure that products are safe and effective. Now, in response to public backlash against increasing complex drug prices, the FDA is taking a more active approach to drug prices and accessibility. The FDA is authorized to deal with matters which concern public health, however, it is expanding that definition to include increased access to more affordable life-saving drugs, in the form of generic versions of the existing medications. While the FDA is not engaging in price fixing, the new measures released in October 2017 will, according to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, help increase competition in the market by encouraging companies to invest in making generic versions of these medications.
Posted: November 26th, 2017
By: Maureen Gallagher *| Staff Writer
The apps are at it again, and they are out for your money – the money you throw at your dogs that is. Styled as Ubers for dog walking and sitting, startups like Wag! and Rover provide a convenient platform to facilitate the exchange of cash between dog watcher and dog owner, all for a nice commission. Sensing a lucrative area ripe for development, venture capitalists have “poured more than $200 million into Wag and Rover combined.” Wag! promises “on-demand access to experienced dog handlers in your community you can hire for dog walking, dog sitting, or dog boarding 7-days a week.” Dog owners can track their dog’s walk via GPS and receive a report card and photo for the average price of $20 a walk.