Weekly IP Buzz for week ending February 23, 2018
The Perils of Cryptocurrency; Are Smart Devices Always Listening?; The Defend Trade Secrets Act and Patent Protection
Here's a summary of interesting developments in intellectual property, technology, social media, and Internet law for the week ending February 23, 2018.
The Perils of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology
This is the third article in a blog series about cryptocurrency. In this article, we discuss the perils of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. While many have heralded the introduction of blockchain technology, there are still many issues with the new technology. First of all, blockchain technology has an environmental cost. While many may not recognize this at first glance, blockchain technology and cryptocurrency requires a huge amount of energy to maintain. As we discussed in the last articles, the mining and maintenance of cryptocurrency requires complex algorithms and large amounts of computing power to maintain itself. Last year, some estimate that the amount of computing power used to keep the Bitcoin network running was equivalent to energy used by approximately 159 countries combined. More
Are Smart Devices Always Listening?
After a man was found murdered in a hot tub, Arkansas police are asking for access to the electronic data records of a smart device located in the hot tub owner’s home. After Victor Collins was found strangled to death in James Andrew Bates’ hot tub, Arkansas police have asked Amazon to provide them with the electronic data captured from Bates’ Amazon Echo device. Although the smart device is not always recording, law enforcement is banking on the fact that the device is “always listening” as it must do so in order to recognize its wake word (“Alexa”) by default. More
“Defense Wins Championships”: Does the Defend Trade Secrets Act Make Trade Secret Protection a Better Defense for Inventions than Patent Protection?
President Barack Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), establishing a federal, civil private right of action for trade secret theft, thus expanding trade secret protection in the United States. The Obama administration stated that DTSA would provide a “more uniform, reliable, and predictable way” for companies to protect their trade secrets. With the establishment of a federal, civil private right of action, businesses now have the ability to choose to sue for trade secret theft in either state or federal court. More
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