General

NC Sets Sail for the Supreme Court: “Blackbeard’s Law” and Modern Day Piracy

By: Killoran Long

https://pixabay.com/photos/naval-battle-ship-sailing-vessel-3195409/ At the beginning of this year, a North Carolina videographer escalated a copyright fight with the State of North Carolina to the U.S. Supreme Court. Rick Allen, co-owner of Fayetteville based Nautilus Productions, LLC, is alleging the State of North Carolina and the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources are guilty of copyright infringement regarding images related to the recovery of the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge (“QAR”) was Blackbeard’s flagship vessel and was commandeered and then used by the infamous English pirate to conduct his activities during the early 1700s. While Blackbeard operated from the eastern coast of the American colonies, down to the West Indies, he is particularly notorious throughout North Carolina history for his exploits along the coast. It was believed that Blackbeard ran the QAR aground off the coast of Beaufort, North Carolina in the summer of 1718, which was confirmed in 1996 when a private research firm found the wreckage. Continue reading »

Mozilla v. FCC, The New Net Neutrality Case

By: Daniel Norton

On February 1st, 2019, the D.C. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case Mozilla Corp. v. FCC. The premise of the case is that Mozilla, and several other interested parties, have sued the FCC over the Restoring Internet Freedom Order’s reclassification of internet services as information services rather than telecommunications services under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. A telecommunications service is one that transmits unaltered information while an information service is used for “generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information.” This classification is important as the D.C. Court of Appeals has held that the FCC cannot enforce net neutrality against Internet Access Providers if they are classified as telecommunications services, but they can if the IAPs are classified as telecommunications services. The 2015 Open Internet Order classified IAPs services to be telecommunications while the 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order reclassified IAPs services as information services. Continue reading »

Opportunity Zones: An Opportunity for Investors to Give Back

By: Samantha Moench

The Trump Administration enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”) on December 22, 2017. It is claimed to be one of the most aggressive tax reforms in history. Not only did it change the tax brackets and taxation of corporate tax incentives, but it also introduced a new innovative tax incentive designed to encourage investment in economically distressed areas throughout the United States. Continue reading »

How Netflix Risks the Genericization of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” Trademark Through Its Black Mirror: Bandersnatch Hit

By: Melissa Lawrence

Chooseco, maker of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books popular in the 1980s and 1990s, sued Netflix over its interactive adult film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. Chooseco’s lawsuit concerns Netflix’s use of its trademark “Choose Your Own Adventure,” a mark registered both in the United States and internationally. In its complaint, Chooseco demands both injunctive relief and damages in the amount of $25 million or Netflix’s profits from the film, whichever are greater.   Continue reading »

Symposium Spotlight: Camille Stell

By: Jason Gonzalez

On March 8th, 2019, the Wake Forest Journal of Business & Intellectual Property Law will be hosting Camille Stell, current President and CEO of Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services to join Pegeen Turner on a discussion of how attorneys can integrate technology in their everyday legal practice.

Camille began her legal profession after graduating from Meredith College and worked as a paralegal for 10 years with Young Moore & Henderson PA. In addition to her work as a paralegal, Camille has worked with North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, as a Business Development Manager with Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman, and she has served as the Chair of the Raleigh City Group, Legal Marketing Association.

Camille was a past contributing member to the NBCA Transitioning Lawyer Commission and was the chair of the NCBA Law Practice Management Section. In September of 2011, Camille was honored with being named one of 25 distinguished individuals who have bettered the legal profession through their community involvement by North Carolina Lawyer’s Weekly Leader in the Law” award.

Finally, Camille currently sits on the Pro Bono Resource Center Advisory Board. This board is comprised of 18 professionals throughout North Carolina that serve as the front-line focus group for all pro bono initiatives, and as a means to outsource pro bono resources and communications to the state of North Carolina.

Camille has traveled throughout North Carolina sharing her experience and expertise in the legal community and the legal technology sector and the Wake Forest Journal of Business & Intellectual Property Law is honored to have her join us.

Symposium Spotlight: Pegeen Turner

By: Jason Gonzalez

Pegeen Turner is the current President of Legal Cloud Technology. Legal Cloud Technology is a leader in Information Technology consulting services geared towards small and medium size law firms in North Carolina. Pegeen and her team know the rigors and demands of maintaining a digital infrastructure required of modern-day firms and assists firms of all sizes to utilize their in-house technology to create a state-of-the-art law firm.

As a graduate of James Madison University – College of Business, Pegeen has extensive experience as an IT director of numerous large law firms and currently sits as the Co-Chair of the Small Firm & Technology Section of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Pegeen will join Camille Stell of Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services and lead a panel discussing how attorneys can continue to integrate technology in their law practice at the Wake Forest Journal of Business & Intellectual Property’s Spring 2019 Symposium.

Symposium Spotlight: Jose Vega

By: Killoran Long

Wake Forest Professor of Law, and a Wake Forest Law alumnus, José Vega (‘07) will be joining the Journal of Business & Intellectual Property Law at their annual spring symposium this Friday, March 8, 2019.

The Symposium will be held in Room 401 of the Benson University Center and will run from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.  This year’s symposium, “Lawyering in the Future: The Impact of Technology on the Law,” will feature four panels covering a range of topics from legal design to practice management or new tips and tricks of the trade.

Professor Vega, along with fellow Wake Law Professors, Lateek Willie and David Levine will be presenting a panel “Data & Cybersecurity,” with Associate Dean Simone Rose moderating the discussion.  The “Data & Cybersecurity” panel is scheduled to run from 1:00 – 2:30 PM, and the speakers intend to provide an overview on key cybersecurity concepts, threats, legal issues, and then highlight how all of these concepts/issues have come together in recent data breaches.

Beyond the Symposium, Professor Vega and Professor Willie are team-teaching a course on Cybersecurity at the Law School this spring, and together, they hope to bring some of the topics addressed in the classroom to the symposium this Friday.  Professor Vega hopes to approach the “Data & Cybersecurity” panel from a pragmatic, or boots on the ground, perspective.  Professor Vega also aims to discuss cybersecurity issues and best practices from the viewpoint of a businessman and practitioner who deal with these issues as part of their daily routines. Professor Vega’s extensive background in litigation and compliance provides him with a unique perspective in advising clients in rapidly evolving areas of law such as data privacy and security.

Beyond the classroom and after his time at Wake, Professor Vega has developed an extensive background in litigation and compliance provides him with a unique perspective in advising clients in rapidly evolving areas of law such as data privacy and security. In his years after leaving Wake, he has accrued over a decade of experience representing commercial businesses and financial institutions in litigation matters throughout the country.

Having Professor Vega join us at the Symposium is particularly exciting, as while at Wake Forest, Professor Vega served as a Staff Editor to the Journal of Business & IP Law.

Symposium Spotlight: David Levine

By: Nathaniel Reiff

On March 8, 2019, the Wake Forest Journal of  Business & Intellectual Property will have the privilege of hosting Professor David Levine at its Spring Symposium: “Lawyering in the Future: Impact of Technology on the Law.” Professor Levine will be part of a panel alongside Professor Jose Vega and Lateek Willie from Wake Forest University, to discuss various implications of data, collection, including new data and cyber concerns, evolving security standards, and what people should consider when permitting others to access or store their personal data. The panel will be moderated by Professor Simone Rose of the Wake Forest University School of Law.

Professor Levine is currently an “Associate Professor of Law at Elon University School of Law and an Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School.” Professor Levine’s scholarship primarily focuses on the relationship between intellectual property law, privacy, and public life. Specifically, Professor Levine spotlights how information impacts the lawmaking and regulatory process. Furthermore, the former Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy fellow entertains how intellectual property law affects secrecy and accountability in the privacy realm. Professor Levine’s personal education features a BS from Cornell University and a JD from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Outside of the classroom setting, Professor Levine has made presentations for Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiators and is a former member of the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission’s Protection of Trade Secret and Proprietary Information Study Group. Professor Levine’s broad expertise has been recognized by various media outlets, including NBC News, NPR, The Los Angeles Times, and Slate.

As an attendee and current student enrolled in Professor Levine’s Privacy Law course, I expect Professor Levine to incorporate much of his well-established scholarship into his commentary and perspectives. As made evident by recent events in the business community, effective cybersecurity and proper data protection can save companies hundreds of millions of dollars. I also expect Professor Levine to discuss the implications of legislating data broker clearinghouses and how this may affect commerce.

Symposium Spotlight: Jeff Ward

By: Daniel Norton

Jeff Ward is the Associate Dean for Technology & Innovation at Duke University School of Law as well as the Director of the University’s Center on Law & Technology (DCLT). As part of the DCLT, Jeff oversees the Duke Law Tech Lab, a program that advises legal technology start-up companies about legal topics including, but not limited to intellectual property protection and licensing, and commercialization’s strategies. Jeff’s goal for the DCLT is to bridge the access-to-justice gap by guiding legal technology entrepreneurs to address areas the law has typically underserved. To that end, Jeff has organized competitions for legal tech start-ups for the past two years whereby the start-ups compete for funding by participating in an acceleration program before presenting their business pitch to a panel of judges. The winner of the most recent competition was the start-up company Hello Divorce which aims to serve the 85%of people who do not have legal representation in divorce proceedings.

Jeff also oversees the Access Tech Tools initiative which encourages participants to utilize human centered design thinking concerning developing legal technologies. An example of this encouragement was Big Ideas: Designing Creative Legal Solutions for a Better Tomorrow. This was a class Jeff offered in October to the community encouraging participants to think of alternative billing models for lawyers than the traditional hourly rates. The class was attended by law school students, entrepreneurs, professors, and attorneys with decades of experience.

In addition to his other responsibilities, Jeff also teaches classes Law & Policy Lab: Blockchain and Frontier Robotics & AI: Law & Ethics at Duke University School of Law. Outside of his positions with Duke, Jeff continues to run his own law practice which counsels start-up companies.

Jeff will be speaking from 10:40 am to 12:10 pm on the Legal Design panel with Vanderbilt Professor Cat Moon and moderated by Raina Haque.

Symposium Spotlight: Professor Cat Moon

By: Samantha Moench

Professor Caitlin “Cat” Moon comes to us from Vanderbilt University School of Law and will be speaking on the Legal Design panel at our Spring Symposium: Lawyering in the Future: Impact of Technology on the Law

Professor Moon is scholar in the field of legal design. Her professional experience centers around bringing a “human-centered design perspective” into the legal profession. She serves as the Director of Innovation Designat Vanderbilt Law School. Professor Moon has developed an “interactive” curriculum to inspire innovation within the legal profession by focusing on helping lawyers and legal practitioners adapt to the rapid advance of both technology and design.

Vanderbilt actually has a special department called the Program on Law and Innovation, which is dedicated to informing both its students and the larger legal community about the impact the advancement of technology and design has had on the practice of law in America. Professor Moon serves as a Director of Vanderbilt’s Program on Law and Innovation Institute (PoLI), which is a smaller group under the umbrella of the larger PoLI program that goes out and teaches legal professionals and scholars about the importance of integrating technology into their law practices and studies. She also helped co-discover Vanderbilt’s Summit on Law and Innovation as a part of the program.  Continue reading »