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Showing 34 posts from 2011.

Could Proposed Law Put Artists Like Justin Bieber in the Slammer?

The Commercial Felony Streaming Act (S.978) is pending introduction to the United States Senate.  If S.978 is passed, it would make the unauthorized streaming of copyrighted material a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

The potential passage of S.978 has sparked fears that artists like Justin Bieber (who began his quest toward pop stardom by singing covers on YouTube!) could end up in jail. DemandProgress.org has even argued that S.978 could shut down Twitter, YouTube! and other popular sites. Read More ›

Categories: Copyright

Facebook Penalized on Privacy

facebook penalizedFacebook has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission regarding charges that it violated users' privacy rights.

Why Facebook was under investigation?

In December 2009, privacy advocates filed a complaint with the FTC following certain changes to Facebook privacy policies.   Specifically, the FTC complaint alleged that Facebook made aspects of its users' profiles - such as name, picture, and friends list - public by default and without user consent. The FTC stated that such actions violated user expectations of privacy and threatened the "health and safety" of users by exposing "potentially sensitive affiliations" such as political views and sexual orientation.

The FTC complaint also alleged other situations where Facebook "made promises that it did not keep," such as promising that it would not share information with advertisers or retain data that it promised users was deleted. Read More ›

Categories: Privacy, Social Media

Act NOW to Maximize Incentives for Use of Electronic Health Records

electronic health recordsOn November 29, 2011, the State Bar of Michigan's Health Care Law Section presented a webinar entitled "Making Sense of 'Meaningful Use' Incentives for Electronic Health Record Adoption," which was attended by a number of Foster Swift health care attorneys.  This program gave a wonderful overview of the procedural requirements in obtaining incentive payments for the use of electronic health records ("EHR"). Read More ›

Crowdfunding May be on the Way

On November 3, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would create a new exemption from registration under the securities laws for what has come to be known as "crowdfunding."  The crowdfunding exemption would:  Read More ›

Categories: Crowdfunding, Venture Capital/Funding

Internet Sales: FTC's Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule

telephone order merchandise ruleWith the holiday shopping season gearing up, let's take a look at a common scenario.  Frank, a "last minute" shopper, purchases a great gift from an Internet merchant's website.  The Internet merchant states that the item will be delivered to Frank in 3-5 business days.  Unfortunately for Frank, the item is delivered 5 days late. Does Frank have rights under the law?  Is the Internet merchant required to notify Frank of the late delivery? Read on. Read More ›

Categories: E-Commerce

Part 3 - U.S. Patent Reform: False Marking Claims

false marking claimsThis is the third and final post in a series (Part 1: First-to-File; Part 2: Post Grant Review Proceedings) summarizing the most significant changes created by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (the "Act").  As you know, the Act was signed into law on September 16th.  Although hyped as a major change in the U.S. Patents system, the Act does not affect many of the fundamental tenants of U.S. Patent law.

This blog post focuses on: (1) new limitations on false marking claims, and (2) USPTO funding and fees. Read More ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents

Groupon: Trouble In Paradise?

grouponGroupon, Inc. is in the midst of a class-action lawsuit, the result of which could alter the foundation of mobile couponing.  For the uninitiated, Groupon is a group buying website that offers large discounts on local goods and services. Groupon sends subscribers daily emails with promotional offers.  If a specified number of people sign up for the offer, the deal becomes available to all.  For example, a Groupon offer might permit a subscriber to purchase an $80 massage for $40.  The "Groupons" are valid for a certain period of time. According to Groupon's "terms of service," after a "Groupon" reaches its expiration date, it loses its promotional value; however, it can still be redeemed for the price paid. Read More ›

Categories: E-Commerce

Part 2 - U.S. Patent Reform: Post Grant Review Proceedings

post grant review proceedingsAs noted in my previous post (Part 1: U.S. Patent Reform: First-to-File), the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act has been signed into law.  The America Invents Act has been sold as "the biggest change in the U.S. Patents System since the 1950s."  The hype, however, is far from reality – as the Act does not affect many of the fundamental tenants of U.S. Patent law. 

This is the second of multiple blog posts that will summarize the most significant changes created by the America Invents Act.  My previous blog post addressed the adoption of a "First-to-File" system.  Today, I will discuss "Post Grant Review Proceedings." Read More ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents

Part 1 - U.S. Patent Reform: First-to-File

first-to-fileOn September 16th, President Barack Obama signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act into law.  The America Invents Act has been sold as "the biggest change in the U.S. Patents System since the 1950s."  However, the Act does not affect many of the fundamental tenants of U.S. Patent law and in fact is significantly modified from the bill that originally was proposed. 

This is the first of several blog posts that will summarize the most significant changes created by the America Invents Act. Read More ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents

Deadline for EHR Attestation Fast Approaching

deadline for ehr attestationAs noted in our September 2011 article, it is time for hospitals and physicians to start using electronic health records ("EHR").  It is particularly important if hospitals or physicians want to take advantage of the 2011 Medicare incentive payments, since important deadlines are quickly approaching. Read More ›

Categories: Technology