Seeking IP Transactional Law Attorneys to be Judges at IP Law Meets, Oct. 17, 2014

Interested? Please fill out and submit the form.

“Santa Clara Law is again hosting the Western Regional Meet for the 2014 Intellectual Property LawMeet (the “Meet”) and would love to have you join us as a judge. The Meet is the country’s premier IP law competition, designed to give law students hands-on experience in developing transactional lawyering skills, and the value judges provide to this program is essential.

Twenty-four teams from around the country will participate in one of two Regional Meets hosted by Santa Clara Law and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Twelve teams will participate in the Western Regional Meet. The Meet will take place on Friday, October 17, 2014, 9:00a to 5:00p.

This year’s problem involves a licensing agreement between a movie studio and an online gaming company. In this transaction, the movie studio is seeking to secure the rights necessary to produce, market and distribute a new movie using a story and characters based on a popular video game owned by the gaming company.

Judges are asked to evaluate four teams during each of two rounds during the morning and/or afternoon. Prior to the negotiations (September 26th – October 15), judges will evaluate each of the teams’ draft provisions and teams’ mark-ups using a one-page scoring sheet for each. The judges evaluate negotiations that take place between the hours of 9:00am to 12:30pm for the morning session, and 1:00pm to 4:30pm for the afternoon session. Each negotiation lasts 40 minutes and is followed by ten minutes of feedback to each team. Four of the twelve judges will be selected to participate in an expert demonstration and panel from 4:00pm to 4:45pm. For planning purposes, the timeline and schedule for the Meet are attached. Judges can participate all day (eight teams, four rounds total), or half day (four teams, two rounds total).

Judge Commitment- Past judges have estimated the following for time commitment for LawMeets:
• 1-2 hours reviewing the case statement and instructions
• 3 hours scoring 4 drafts (half day)
• 2 hours scoring 2 mark-ups (half day
• 4 hours attending and judging competition (half day)
Estimated total hours: 11-14 (half day) — 21-26 (full day)

Although students learn a tremendous amount preparing and marking-up drafts for the live negotiations, we have found that the real value of the Meet is the depth of knowledge and wisdom senior attorneys share with each team through their participation as judges.

We also have sponsorship opportunities available. Sponsorships require no monetary contribution, but we ask that sponsoring law firms or corporations commit to either two judges for the full day (or four half-day judges). We also have sponsorship opportunities to underwrite lunch on the day of the meet or a reception after the meet.”

Interested? Please fill out and submit the form.

Monkey Business, A Copyright Issue

Monkey Selfie

“Wildlife photographer David Slater, who was trekking through the Indonesian wilderness in 2011, when a group of monkeys came upon him and his equipment. “At first there was a lot of grimacing with their teeth showing because it was probably the first time they had ever seen a reflection,” Slater said at the time. “They were quite mischievous jumping all over my equipment, and it looked like they were already posing for the camera when one hit the button.”

A crested black macaque snuck off with one of his cameras and took, according to the Telegraph, “hundreds of selfies,” most of which were blurry and unusable. Save for this: the pristine, in-focus beauty of a photograph of the female macaque’s grinning face pictured above, which gave Slater a brief brush with fame and plastered the monkey’s selfie on websites everywhere.”

Read More: FastCompany

American Victims of Terrorism Seizes Iran’s Internet Licenses & Domain Name Assets

Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel-Aviv, Israel and Robert Tolchin of New York representing a “group of American victims of terror and family members of those who have been injured or killed in attacks sponsored by the Islamic Republic of Iran have moved to attach and seize the internet licenses, contractual rights and domain names being provided by the United States to the extremist regime in Tehran”.

The families, who are unsatisfied with the American federal court judgments amounting to over a billion dollars against the Iranian government are seeking to own all the “top-level domain” (TLD) names provided by the US to Iran including the “.ir” TLD, the “ایران” TLD and all Internet Protocol (IP) addresses being used by the Iranian government and its agencies.

Domain names are important Internet addresses that are structured hierarchically. At the top of the hierarchy are the “top-level domain” (TLD) with attached suffixes such as “.com”,”.gov”, and “country-code” TLD’s (ccTLD’s) such as “.ru”, for Russia, “.ir”, for Iran, etc. As of now, court papers have been served to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Name and Numbers (ICANN), a US Department of Commerce agency in Washington DC who administers the World Wide Web. ICANN authorizes countries to allocate TLD’s through licensing TLD’s to world governments who then appoint agents to sell the domain names in their country to individuals, businesses and organizations; making “.ir” a practical asset to Iran.

Under an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (28 U.S.C. § 1610(g)), legislated to assist terror victims to collect judgments against foreign states abrogates Iran’s sovereign immunity for claims arising from acts of terrorism and subjects to attachment “the property of a foreign state…and the property of an agency or instrumentality of such a state, including property that is a separate juridical entity or is an interest held directly or indirectly in a separate juridical entity.”

Darshan-Leitner said, “This is the first time that terror victims have moved to seize the domain names, IPs and internet licenses of terrorism sponsoring states like Iran and are attempting to satisfy their court judgments. The Iranians must be shown that there is a steep price to be paid for their sponsorship of terrorism. In business & legal terms it is quite simple – we are owed money, and these assets are currency worth money…for years the Iranian government has refused to pay its judgments, thumbing its nose at these terror victims and the American court system. Our clients continue to suffer from the suicide bombing that Iran financed in Jerusalem nearly seventeen years ago. It is not our intention to shut down Iran’s internet usage, but we want what is rightfully due. If by seizing any funds earned from these licenses and contractual rights we can satisfy the judgments, we will have served our clients.”

Sources: Free Press Release, The Domains

Redskins’ ‘Disparaging’ Trademark Canceled by Patent Office

Redskins Flag
Photographer: Larry French/Getty Images

“The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, an independent administrative tribunal within the patent office, determined that the petitioners established that the term “Redskins” was “disparaging” of Native Americans, so federal trademark registrations must be canceled, it said in the statement.

The ruling is the most recent clash in a 22-year fight between the franchise and American Indians over the team’s nickname. It may provide more pressure on Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the name, said Monica Riva Talley, a trademark lawyer with Sterne Kessler in Washington.”

Full Article: Bloomberg

IP in a World Without Scarcity

“More recently, new technologies promise to do for a variety of physical goods and even services what the Internet has already done for information… While none of these technologies are nearly as far along as the Internet, they share two essential characteristics with the Internet: they radically reduce the cost of production and distribution of things, and they separate the informational content of those things (the design) from their manufacture. Combine these four developments – the Internet, 3D printing, robotics, and synthetic biology – and it is entirely plausible to envision a not-too-distant world in which most things that people want can be downloaded and created on site for very little money. The role of IP in such a world is both controverted and critically important.”

Read full article..

An Interview with Jim Nieters of HP

Jim Nieters of HP talks about his upcoming presentation at SXSW, “Design-Driven Innovation, How Designers Facilitate the Dialog”. This session (12:30 P.M. March 13, 2011 @SXSW/Austin) will show how leading innovation workshops (i.e., collaborative design workshops) not only brings Human Experience Design to the strategy table, but it invents a new table at which strategic ideation and dialog can take place constructively. This Conversation will be held Salon E of the Hilton Hotel located at 500 East 4th Street, Austin, TX.

New research: Better wallet security for Bitcoin

New research: Better wallet security for Bitcoin
[Let’s welcome to Freedom to Tinker Steven Goldfeder, a first-year Ph.D. student in the Princeton computer security group. Today he will describe an exciting research project on Bitcoin security. — Arvind Narayanan]

The Bitcoin ecosystem has been plagued by thefts and losses that have affected both businesses and individuals. The security of a Bitcoin wallet rests entirely on the security of its associated private keys which can digitally sign transactions to irreversibly spend the coins in the wallet. In a new paper, we show how to use the cryptographic technique of threshold signatures to increase the security of both corporate and individual wallets.

Perhaps Bitcoin’s toughest security challenge is protecting Internet-connected wallets from insider threats. Such hot wallets cannot be kept in highly secure, offline cold storage. One good way for businesses to mitigate this vulnerability is to have hot wallets jointly controlled by multiple parties. This way, no party can independently steal corporate funds. In our paper, we show how to achieve joint control of wallets using threshold signatures.

The problem of implementing joint control is more important and more difficult for a Bitcoin wallet than it is for a traditional bank account. Whereas regular bank transactions have recovery mechanisms if fraud is detected, Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and their pseudonymity makes it difficult to identify thieves and attempt to recover stolen funds. Moreover, while large bank transactions typically require human action to complete, Bitcoin transactions–no matter how large–require only a cryptographic signature to authorize.

The threshold signature approach to joint control works like this: the private key controlling the wallet is split between devices belonging to n different participants such that any m of them can jointly produce a digital signature, while a group of less than m participants cannot. Crucially, in the process of producing a signature, the key is never reconstructed. As long as an attacker has compromised fewer than m devices, the key remains secure.

Our method for achieving joint control has significant benefits over Bitcoin’s “multi-signature” transactions. With multi-signatures, each party’s signature is published to the block chain, whereas threshold signatures allow participants to privately to create a single signature which is indistinguishable from ordinary Bitcoin signatures. You can think of our solution as “stealth multi-signatures.” This improves anonymity and confidentiality while keeping transactions a constant size, reducing fees and providing flexibility to scale to an arbitrary number of parties.

We implemented a threshold signature protocol and have used it to demonstrate joint control over a Bitcoin wallet. We produced this transaction using a 9-of-12 threshold signature. If you click on the link to see the transaction details, you won’t see anything special; it looks like any regular transaction. That’s exactly the point!

Joint control is one of several security measures that can be built using threshold signatures. In our paper, we show that threshold signatures can be used as a primitive to build schemes for secure bookkeeping and secure delegation. One application that we’re particularly excited about is using threshold signatures to achieve two-factor security for personal wallets. In a follow-up post, we will elaborate on this application and discuss our ongoing efforts to build a two-factor secure wallet.

The main lesson from our work is that a spectrum of traditional internal financial controls can be translated to the Bitcoin world by novel application of cryptography. We hope that the security measures we’ve proposed will become standard in Bitcoin usage, and we are looking forward to working with developers and others who want to adopt our solutions.

We’d like to thank Greg Maxwell and Andrew Miller for providing useful feedback.

@IP Society