Friday, December 17, 2010

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Legal Battles

We saw a number of interesting things happen in the legal field this week.  Here's a quick review of some big stories:

Federal Health Care Legislation Struck Down in Virginia
  • Virginia Federal Judge Henry E. Hudson found the national health care law unconsitutional, in part.  He found the portion requiring citizens to purchase health insurance under the law's new programs by 2014 outside constitutional boundaries.  Hmmm are we not mandated to purchase other forms of insurance?  This is also the judge who ruled in Michael Vick's dog fighting case.  Thoughts?
  • At this point, President Obama is not worried.  The SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the U.S.) has the final say on the constitutionality of federal law, and the Department of Justice is already reviewing the case. 
Rapper Takes 2 Years Behind Bars
  • Rapper Ja Rule will be reporting to prison during the early part of 2011.  After getting hit with weapon charges, the entertainer took a plea deal for 2 years in prison.  This is sure to make for an interesting album when he gets out.
Don't Hide Ya Wallet!
  • YouTube phenom Antoine Dodson is really having a great 2010.  Although his sister narrowly escaped a traumatic experience, Antoine's video interview remix has hit #1 on YouTube.  He's getting all kinds of royalties for the video, a reality show in the works, an iPhone app, and other endorsements to build his brand.  Homeboy!  Homeboy!
Costco Still Out of the Gray Market
  • The SCOTUS ruled Swiss luxury watchmaker Omega can prevent "gray market" versions of its products from being sold at Costco.  Gray Market refers to retailers buying brands from unauthorized dealers located overseas and reselling them at lower prices in the U.S.  The issue in this case was the First Sale Doctrine, which says once a copyright owner consents to the sale of particular copies of their work, they may not then exercise the distribution right with respect to those copies.  Remember this as a caution to those of you with precious copyrighted materials. Once you sell, your rights are gone. 
  • The Ninth Circuit Court found the first sale doctrine to not apply to foreign-made products, saying Omega's distribution rights remained on products made and sold overseas, and later imported to the U.S.  This equalizes protection for domestic and foreign producers.  On appeal, the SCOTUS ruling was 4-4, as Justice Kagan did not participate.  Because of the tie, the Court released only an unsigned per curiam opinion, leaving no binding Supreme Court precedent to guide courts on the matter.   Omega, S.A. v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 541 F.3d 982 (9th Cir. 2008).  More on this once it returns to lower courts.
Microsoft Co-founder's Lawsuit Dismissed 
  • Paul Allen recently filed a patent infringement suit against Apple, Ebay, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Youtube, Netflix, Office Depot and Staples - as well as the company formerly known as AOL.  The billionaire tech founder claims these counterparts had allegedly infringed a number of patents he owned.
  • A Washington state District Court dismissed the suit this week.  The judge said Allen failed to list specific products or services infringed upon.  Now why wouldn't his pricey attorneys help him plead in detail?  Lucky for him, he can file and amended complaint.  Read more here.
 Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. I still am not sure why that dude is getting fame and money over that Youtube video.


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