Articles Posted in April, 2012


The jury in Oracle’s Java code copyright lawsuit against Google began deliberating this afternoon in federal court in San Francisco, California.

U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup gave the jury their final charge today: 19 pages of instructions and guidelines to use in their deliberations (read it below).

Google lawyers claim that the Android OS is “substantially” different than Sun’s Java code, that it used free public domain resources when developing its mobile software, and even received Sun’s approval to do so.

Tagged: Oracle


Jerald Bovino, the holder of a U.S. Patent (No. 6,977,809) for a portable computer case made of ‘resilient material’ designed with ‘ribs,’ is suing Apple and Target, claiming that Apple’s manufacture and sale of iPad and iPad 2 cases (inset, right), and Target’s sale of the iPad Smart Cover, infringe his 2005 patent.


Our Daily Opinion Summary writers have picked some interesting cases to highlight this week, with one in particular cutting close to home.

First up, we leave the lower forty-eight and head up to Alaska with AES Corp. v. Steadfast Ins. Co.. The case involved the village and city of Kivalina, a community located on an Alaskan barrier island, which filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court against AES and other defendants for allegedly damaging the village by causing global warming through the emission of greenhouse gases. AES requested that Steadfast provide a defense and insurance coverage pursuant to the terms of their commercial general liability policy. Steadfast provided AES a defense under a reservation of rights and filed a declaratory judgment action, claiming that it did not owe AES a defense or indemnity regarding the Complaint brought by Kivalina. The circuit court granted Steadfast’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the Complaint filed by Kivalina did not allege property damage caused by an “occurrence” as that term was defined in AES’s contracts of insurance with Steadfast.

Posted in: Legal Research


During a recent trip to Washington, D.C., I discovered that the reflecting pool between the Lincoln Memorial and the National World War II Memorial had lost a bit of its luster. From inside the Lincoln Memorial, my gaze at the National Mall was interrupted by fencing, heavy equipment, and an empty pool.

However, an aerial view of Washington, D.C. from Google Maps provided no hint of the ongoing construction. So, based on some online research, I wanted to determine when the aerial photo used by Google was taken, as well as whether Google, Microsoft/Bing or Yahoo offered the most up-to-date maps.

Posted in: Technology


If you think that texting is so ’90s, guess again.

A new criminal case against former BP employee Kurt Mix is an important reminder that, while social networks like Facebook and Twitter may be all the rage, deleting work-related text messages from your mobile phone might get you in trouble with the law.

Especially if prosecutors can prove that you obstructed justice by hiding something from a criminal investigation. In Mix’s case, the investigation involved BP’s deadly Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


The U.S. International Trade Commission (‘ITC’) issued a preliminary ruling today concluding that Apple iPhone and iPad wireless devices violate Motorola Mobility’s U.S. Patent No. 6,246,697.

Patent holder Motorola Mobility — whose acquisition by Android OS maker Google is still pending — holds this more than 10-year-old wireless method and system patent to reduce background signal noise in wireless transmissions.

The IP litigation between Apple and Motorola, however, is far from over.


Aerosoft GMBH, the German software company that makes the ‘Airbus X’ game, add-on program to Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, sued a host of unknown ‘Does’ in federal court, claiming the defendants engaged in copyright infringement via peer-to-peer (‘P2P’) file-sharing of plaintiff’s game.

The Airbus X might have been a game that convicted al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui would have liked to play, given his self-avowed goal of piloting Boeing or Airbus ‘Big Birds.’


Here are some of the more interesting opinions issued this week, collected by our Daily Summary writers.

In State v. Eli, the Hawaii Supreme Court found that a police practice of asking an arrestee to tell his or her “side of the story” prior to offering Miranda warnings violates the defendant’s constitutional right against self-incrimination and right to due process. In this case, the “pre-interview” statements were thrown out, and the case remanded for a new trial.

The 9th Circuit issued an opinion on intellectual property and the Superman comic. In Pacific Pictures Corp. et al v. USCD-CALA, the Court refused to protect documents included in a subpoena under attorney client privilege. In this case, an attorney absconded with his client’s intellectual property, and the US Attorney was called to investigate. The US Attorney’s office issued a subpoena for copies of the stolen property, and promised that if the complainant complied with the request, they would not provide the documents to non-governmental third parties. The Court found that since Congress has declined to extend attorney client privilege to such materials, the Court was not in the position to do it here.

Posted in: Legal News


Lunch at Justia is a time reserved for scholarly legal debate. Our focus recently turned to the legality of parking a vehicle along an unmarked curb outside a local Chipotle. On a day when we thought the God of Parking was gracing us with his magnificence, any semblance of karma was purely illusory.

First, we pulled adjacent to the curb. From California Vehicle Code § 21458, we know the meaning of the following curb colors:

(1) Red indicates no stopping, standing, or parking, whether the vehicle is attended or unattended, except that a bus may stop in a red zone marked or signposted as a bus loading zone.

(2) Yellow indicates stopping only for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers or freight for the time as may be specified by local ordinance.

(3) White indicates stopping for either of the following purposes:

(A) Loading or unloading of passengers for the time as may be specified by local ordinance.

(B) Depositing mail in an adjacent mailbox.

(4) Green indicates time limit parking specified by local ordinance.

(5) Blue indicates parking limited exclusively to the vehicles of disabled persons and disabled veterans.

So, since the curb was not red, we were in the clear, right?

Posted in: Laws


Flash DriveThe Second Circuit overturned the conviction of programmer Sergey Aleynikov, who was found guilty of violating the National Stolen Property Act (19 USC 2314) and the Economic Espionage Act (18 USC 1832). US. v. Aleynikov (Apr 11, 2012, 2nd Cir.)

The defendant was a software programmer at Goldman Sachs who worked on their High Frequency Trading (HFT) system. This proprietary internal software system ran algorithms to determine when to make trades based on rapidly changing market conditions. Aleynikov left Goldman to take a job offer at a small Chicago software company, which wanted to develop HFT software. However, before leaving Goldman, Aleynikov uploaded significant portions of the HFT code from Goldman servers to a server in Germany. Then, he downloaded that code at home, put it on a flash drive, and took it to Chicago to give to his new employer. He was arrested by the FBI upon his return to New Jersey.

Posted in: Criminal