Last week at AALL in Boston, I had the chance to stop by and chat with Ed Walters and his FastCase team about their latest product offering – Fastcase eBook Advance Sheets. Grouped by jurisdiction and then by month, users can download published and unpublished opinions of both federal and state courts to their iPad, Kindle, and, coming soon, Android. Note that if you access the ebooks via Kindle, there is a cost ($1.00 – $3.00) but downloads to other devices are free. FastCase has also made the corpus available on the Internet Archive. Each volume begins with cases summaries for a quick review with links to the full opinion. Check it out!
Sixth Circuit Holds “Instinctive Jump” is Not a Search in Violation of the Fourth Amendment – United States v. Sharp
On July 27th, 2012, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee’s ruling that a canine’s jump and subsequent sniff inside the defendant’s car was not a search in violation of the Fourth Amendment because the jump was instinctive and not the product of police encouragement. The Sixth Circuit’s affirmation relied heavily on the idea that the canine’s jump into the car was “instinctive” and not the product of police encouragement.
On July 19th, Rick Quereshi filed a Notice of Opposition against Twitter’s application for the mark TWEET. Although Twitter applied for trademark protection of TWEET back on April 16, 2009, and the application was published for opposition later that year, Quereshi opposes the registration for the following reasons: 1) Twitter filed its application under an intent to use basis, yet no Allegation of Use has been filed to date; 2) Twitter has not used the TWEET mark in commerce with the identified classes of services from the application; and 3) Quereshi has been openly and notoriously using the TWEET mark in commerce via a mobile computing device since July 23, 2009. Thus, under the doctrine of common law, Quereshi claims ownership of the mark TWEET due to its prior senior use.
In one week, the opening ceremony at the London 2012 Olympics will mark the start of the summer games. Congress has embraced the Olympic spirit in the only way it knows how: legislation. Sponsored by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the Team USA Made in America Act of 2012 requires the United States Olympic Committee “to purchase or otherwise obtain only uniforms” that meet the standards of the Federal Trade Commission for labeling as `Made in USA’. The Team USA MIA Act further defines uniform to include accessories, such as ties, belts, shoes, and hats.
To understand the labeling standard, we turn to the Federal Trade Commission’s Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims, which provides industry guidance on the use of “Made in USA” claims in advertising and labeling.
This week’s cases are more like news of the weird than any special legal precedent.
Take Burke v. Air Serv. Int’l, Inc., which held that plaintiff was not entitled to rely on Westerns in the place of expert testimony. Yeah. In that case, the Plaintiff, a former British soldier, was severely wounded in an ambush in Afghanistan. He sued the transport company that furnished the helicopter he flew in on and the construction company that contracted with his employer for his security services, alleging that they had negligently failed to take appropriate security measures for his trip. The district court granted summary judgment for the Defendant as Plaintiff failed to proffer an expert to testify regarding the standard of care for such security precautions. Plaintiff appealed, maintaining that no expert was required because, inter alia, “every juror will have seen” such films as High Noon. Make a note, counsel: reliance on old Westerns rather than expert testimony to establish a standard of care may be fatal to a negligence claim.
Another opinion on in-air injury came out of the 7th Circuit this week. In LeGrande v. United States, plaintiff flight attendant sued for injuries she sustained during turbulence aboard an aircraft. Instead of going after the carrier (her employer), she used the Tort Claims Act to sue the US under the theory that FAA negligently had failed to warn the flight’s captain that turbulence had been forecast along the flight path. The district court granted summary judgement for the US (affirmed by 7th Cir.), but plaintiff was undeterred. She next argued that her injuries resulted from the negligence of a National Weather Service meteorologist. The court concluded that the FAA breached no duty owed to LeGrande and that LeGrande failed to give the NWS the notice that the FTCA requires. If at first you don’t succeed, try! try! again.
Sprint Asks Court to Subpoena Twitter, Facebook, Google for Identity of Self-Proclaimed Company ‘Mole’
Last week, Sprint filed several requests for the issuance of subpoenas in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The purpose of the subpoenas, according to the declarations accompanying them, is to reveal the identity of one who identifies him/herself as a ‘mole’ or insider in the company who may be violating Sprint’s copyright. The mystery mole has a Gmail account, as well as accounts on Facebook and Twitter, and Sprint has requested that the court subpoena all three companies.
The mystery mole purports to leak inside information “from deep within the enterprise,” though the logo on each of its pages contains nearly illegible text that says “Not affiliated w/ SprintNextel.”
Yesterday, Santa Monica company EMG Technology, LLC filed a lawsuit against Google Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, alleging a patent violation. According to the complaint, Google’s Chrome Mobile browser infringes on United States Patent No. 7,441,196, entitled “Apparatus and Method of Manipulating a Region on a Wireless Device Screen for Viewing, Zooming and Scrolling Internet Content.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has issued a temporary immediate stay on the preliminary injunction a federal judge issued on Tuesday against Samsung for the Galaxy Nexus.
In a separate order, the court denied a motion for an immediate stay on the preliminary injunction for the Galaxy Tab 10.1.