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If you’ve never heard of ConnectU, you are not alone. In a case of Ivy League intringue, ConnectU filed suit against Facebook for copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets, among other charges. The story goes that ConnectU, formerly known as the Harvard Connection, had engaged Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg to complete computer programming and database definitions for the Harvard Connection website. Instead, Zuckerberg allegedly takes the code and trade secrets from the Harvard Connection to launch Facebook, a competing website.

Here’s my favorite line from the Complaint: “With respect to Internet websites, the first to enter a market has a substantial advantage.” So, how much of a lead in launch time did Facebook have over ConnectU? Facebook launched on February 4, 2004 and the ConnectU website launched on May 21, 2004. So, it only takes 107 days to build such a substantial advantage that your competitors are sent packing their bags and closing shop. Right.

Read the ConnectU Inc. v. Facebook Inc. et al. Complaint

Hi Friends,

Bernard HibbittsUPDATE 30 March 2007: Here I am with Mr. Jurist himself, Bernard Hibbitts -- I am putting some more photos up here and here on our Law Reivew blog

Jurist Legal Website and Community Celebrate 10 Years Online

Jurist, the well known legal news and law school community Website run by Law Professor Bernard Hibbitts and the University of Pittsburgh Law School Team, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week. During the last 10 years, Jurist has become the strongest law school community site on the Web, as well as a source of continuous legal news and commentary. In 2006 Jurist was the Webby People’s Voice Award winner for law sites, and every year it continues to improve, adding more and more useful features. University of Massachusetts Amherst Professor Ethan Katsh of online dispute resolution fame and University of South Carolina Professor and former CNN Supreme Court reporter Charles Bierbauer are the keynote speakers. I will be on the Law and Media in the Age of the Internet panel with Tony Mauro and Ed Adams, probably talking about python code and mysql databases and free case law. It should be great. And congrats to Jurist for 10 great years!!!

UPDATE: Looks like the USPTO is working on fixing the ability to have permanent links and bookmarks to individual patents.

Hi Friends,

Here is some interesting news… the United State Patent and Trademark Office has broken all of the static URLs of links to patents. In fact you can not even get a new static URL to link or bookmark to as each URL is now tied to browser session. Erik Heels has a post on this here and what you can do communicate with the USPTO.

Hi Friends,

Santa Clara Law Professor Eric Goldman and the High Tech Law Institute are having a Bay Area Blawgers Round Table and discussion this Wednesday night (March 28). It is open to all, but you need to RSVP to Eric by email.

There will be a lot of great technology law bloggers there (and Mary Minow — this weeks BlawgSearch.com’s featured Blawger :). You can get CLE credit and it is… free (except for parking 🙂

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Federal regulations affect the practices of a broad spectrum of lawyers. For corporate counsel, federal regulations may directly touch on their company’s core business, or they may impose additional general compliance requirements, such as in human resources, as an example. Attorneys in both private practice and public interest law face a similar impact whether they practice labor and employment, immigration, criminal law or in a completely different area.

Here are some federal regulations that attorneys in the corresponding practice areas or industries may find of interest:


Regulatory Agency Practice Areas / Industry
US Citizenship and Immigration Services Immigration, Employment
Internal Revenue Service Estate Planning, Tax
Patent and Trademark Office Intellectual Property
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Energy, Government Relations
Food and Drug Administration Personal Injury, Pharmaceutical, Government Relations
Department of State International Law, Immigration
Thrift Supervision Office Financial Services
Securities and Exchange Commission Financial Services, Securities, Consumer Law
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Labor and Employment, Employee Benefits
DOJ Antitrust Division Antitrust, Business, Consumer Law

If you practice in an area affected by federal regulations, you probably already recognize that keeping abreast of new regulatory developments is essential. To assist you, Justia has released the free Justia Regulations Tracker, found at http://regulations.justia.com/ (currently in beta). Justia Regulations Tracker allows a user to focus on regulations originating from a specific federal agency and subscribe to an RSS feed of those regulations.

Better yet, you can further refine the RSS feed by specifying the type of regulation or stage in the regulation making process (i.e., rules, administrative orders, notices, proposed rules, executive orders, and proclamations) or even defining certain search terms, such as all regulations that mention bovine spongiform encephalitis.

If you aren’t already on the RSS bandwagon, now is a great time hop aboard. RSS feeds allow you to take a particular set of data and view it using your RSS reader. So, instead of opening a print newspaper and reading the articles that the editors have selected for you, and RSS reader allows you create your own custom news and information source from data sources that you select. For lawyers, this means reading the federal regulations, court filings, legal commentary and other resources that you decide are worth tracking. Enjoy!

Justia Regulation Tracker

Justia Regulation Tracker

Hi Friends,

As I noted in a previous post (Federal Court Case Filings – Dockets.Justia.com)…. we put up a “beta” free Website of new civil case filings. Well it has been a few weeks, and “beta 2” is here 🙂

Here is what we have fixed up.