Volume One Abstracts




Legal Updates


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Essay: Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Louis Brandeis, and the Mystery of the Universe

Mark L. Wolfe
United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts

In this essay, originally published as a speech to the Boston Patent Law Association, Judge Wolfe looks back to the fundamental priciples behind the Patent Clause, and to the lives of three great Americans who helped shape its vital role in the history of American inventiveness and industry. In doing so, he draws a parable from the patent law, one he suggests holds valuable lessons for the legal profession today.

Independent Contractors and Computer Crimes: The Impossible Prosecution?

Robert C. Kain, Jr.
Partner, Cesarano & Kain, Miami, Florida

This article discusses the difficulty in prosecuting computer consultants or computer development companies under state "computer crime" statutes. Although these statutes prohibit and criminalize acts that modify, destroy, or deny access to computer data, Kain demonstrates how the federal Copyright Act and the Uniform Commercial Code may insulate computer consultants from such liability.

The Misuse Defense and Intellectual Property Litigation

James B. Kobak, Jr.
Partner, Hughes Hubbard & Reed, New York City

This article reviews the history of the misuse doctrine's role in current patent litigation. The author outlines the requirements for pleading misuse, the basic procedural choices available to litigants under the Federal Rules of Procedure and current case law, and the proper role of the misuse defense on appeal to the Federal Circuit.


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Patents and Insurance: Who Will Pay for Infringement?

Jason A. Reyes
B.S., 1987, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; J.D., 1995, Boston University School of Law

Faced with a rising and seemingly unpredictable tide of expensive patent infringement litigation, businesses are looking for protection. The large, single-hit nature of infringement damage awards and the high legal costs of infringement litigation can make insurance, with its risk- and time-spreading qualities, appear to be an attractive solution. The note describes and analyzes three types of relevant insurance: commercial general liability (CGL) insurance, patent infringement insurance, and patent enforcement insurance.

The Effect of TRIPs on Indian Patent Law: A Pharmaceutical Industry Perspective

Suresh Koshy
B.S., 1993, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; J.D., 1996, Boston University School of Law

This note reviews the current status of patent protection in India and analyzes the effect of TRIPs under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade on Indian patent law, and, in particular, India's domestic pharmaceutical industry. The note examines the proposed liberalization of Indian patent law, its attendant concerns, and its justifications.

Patent Policy and Medical Procedure Patents

Wendy W. Yang
B.S., 1991, University of California at Berkeley; J.D., 1995, Boston University School of Law

This note argues that the cost to society will be great if medical procedure patents become widespread. Health care costs will increase, problems of accessibility and enforcement will arise, and medical research and patient-physician relationships will become distorted. The note points out that the goal of patent law is both the reward an individual for innovation, and to increase goods for public consumption.


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Copyright Liability of Bulletin Board Operators for Infringement by Subscribers

Maureen O'Rourke
Associate Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law

Suits involving the liability of electronic bulletin board system operators for copyright infringement by subscribers have begun to proliferate. Professor O'Rourke examines two recent decisions that provide BBS operators with some guidance as to the circumstances under which they are likely to be held liable for copyright infringement.

Video-Dial-Tone: The FCC Manages a New Era of Video Delivery and Telecommunications

Daniel Gonzalez
Attorney-Advisor, FCC

The coming year promises to be an important one for telecommunications reform. Nothing will make this new era of telecommunications more apparent than telephone companies providing video programming to the home. In this column, Dan Gonzalez describes the current VDT regulatory environment and highlights issues likely to arise under the current regulations.

Assets and Liabilities in an Intellectual Property Audit

Steven M. Bauer, Esq.
Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, Boston, Massachusetts

The trend in the courts and Congress to increase protection of intellectual property rights has increased the importance of evaluating the status of a company's intellectual property portfolio. Investors are concerned not only with a company's intellectual property assets, but with its potential liabilities as well.

Legal Updates

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Communications/Privacy Law Update

This update reviews a number of 1994 circuit court decisions involving communications technologies and civil rights, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and the Federal Wiretap Act.

Software Patent Update

This update reviews the recent case of In re Alappat and subsequent related cases, focusing on the Alappat court's rationale and how it shapes drafting and prosecution of software patent applications.

Federal Circuit/Patent Law Update

This update presents summaries of recent 1995 Federal Circuit cases treating patent law issues.

Biotechnology Law Update

This update reviews three recent international and domestic patent disputes.

January 6, 2011