Weekly IP Buzz for week ending May 4, 2018
Facebook's Testimony Before Congress; Contracts and the Internet of Things; Hoverboard Fights Segway at ITC
Here's a summary of interesting developments in intellectual property, technology, social media, and Internet law for the week ending May 4, 2018.
What Do People Need to Know About Facebook’s Testimony Before Congress?
Recently, we discussed Facebook’s latest scandal and its implications for the Browser Act. Today, we build on that with discussion of Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress. The crux of Zuckerberg’s testimony discusses two types of data. The first type of data is user-generated “content” that Facebook users post. This would include, but is not limited to, photographs, videos, articles shared, and even status updates. The second type of data is more sensitive data, what we normally would call users’ personal information. This type of information would include, but is not limited to, geolocation information, browsing history, and users’ clicked-on ads. Read more about Facebook's testimony.
The Internet of Things: New Questions about Contracts
When the Internet first became prevalent, it ushered in several new contracting questions with the rise in use of end-user agreement practices. Take, for example, “click-wrap” agreements, whereby users agree to terms and agreements before the use of any actual services of products, with the click of a button. Now, as the Internet of Things (“IoT”) has become reality, the legal landscape is again wrestling with change in what it means to form a contract, as IoT devices create further distance between the user and the actual process of contract formation. IoT is the now common name for everyday devices (e.g., coffee machines, refrigerators, etc.) becoming connected to the Internet, allowing them to send and receive data and to, in theory, become “smart.” Read more about the IoT.
Makers of Hoverboard Fighting Segway at ITC
The U.S. International Trade Commission has begun investigating a complaint that Powerboard LLC’s “Hoverboard,” among other companies and products, violates a collection of patents held by Segway, Inc. You have probably seen high school and college students rolling by you recently on a two-wheeled contraption that reminded you of Marty McFly from Back to the Future, Part II. That contraption would be a “Powerboard by Hoverboard,” and Segway alleges that Powerboard LLC violates Section 337 of the Tariff Act by importing and selling the Powerboards and their components. Read more about the Hoverboard kerfuffle.
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Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charitable movement devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time, and publishes Thriving Attorney, a blog dedicated to exploring the business of the practice of law, productivity and performance for attorneys, and other topics such as law firm leadership and management, law firm culture, and business development for attorneys.
Click to learn more about Darin M. Klemchuk's law practice as an intellectual property lawyer.