An Article by Mark Blankenship

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Bar and nightclub consultant Jon Taffer described alcohol establishments as “part of America’s fiber”, which is arguably true to this day and age.[1]  Between 2008 to 2018, the number of breweries in the United States rose from 1,574 to 7,450.  Additionally, in 2018, 8,391 wineries were established in North America, 7,762 of which were in the U.S.[2]  As a result, the concept of alcoholic beverage law has become a niche area of practice.[3]  Continued Legal Education panels[4] and boutique firms[5] have recently appeared across the country specializing in alcoholic beverage law.  With this apparent need for beer and wine attorneys and legislative advancement, one may think that more law schools would make developments to help facilitate this need.[6]

          [1].                        Nightclub King Jon Taffer Sets A High Bar, NPR (Dec. 1, 2013 5:34 PM ET), … Read the rest

CREATED TO CREATE: Why AI-Created Works Should be Copyrightable as Works Made for Hire

A Note by Diana Bikbaeva

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer confined to science fiction terms.  From self-driving cars[1] and contract reviewing software[2] to automatic novel writers[3] and artists,[4] AI increasingly infiltrates our lives, creating monetary value[5], purportedly taking jobs,[6] and becoming of undoubtedly growing interest to businesses.  While being itself copyrightable, AI has become capable of creating works “of its own.”  AI has become capable of writing creative songs[7] and making original paintings.[8]  Such works would be undisputedly subject to copyright if created by human authors.  With the economic potential in such works,[9] a question arises about the legal regime of works created by AI.  Namely, who (if anyone) should take credit for and hold copyright in AI-created works?

          [1].                        See Tesla, Autopilot, Tesla.com, https://www.tesla.com/autopilot (last visited April 11, 2020).

          [2].                        See Beverly Rich, How Read the rest

CONVENIENCE V. CONFIDENTIALITY: The California Consumer Privacy Act and the Limits of its Private Right of Action

A Note by Zachary Read

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In the United States, the most recent attempt to balance business interests and consumer concerns has come from California, in the form of the California Consumer Protection Act (the “CCPA,” or the “Act”), which went into effect January 1, 2020.[1]  The Act has created a seemingly robust set of rights for consumers to know what information businesses have about them, what is being done with that information, and how they may request to delete such information.[2]  However, the CCPA has also left businesses confounded on how to properly comply with the Act because of its amorphous reasonableness standard.[3]  As the Act continues to proliferate into the ordinary course of business, courts should adopt a clear reasonableness standard that aids administration and business planning.

[1].                         Richi Jennings, CCPA, California’s GDPR, confuses and confounds, TechBeacon (Jan. 2, 2020), … Read the rest

THE RISE OF ESG INVESTING: How Aggressive Tax Avoidance Affects Corporate Governance & ESG Analysis

An Article by Jacob Fonseca

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Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing is arguably the most popular and fastest growing investment strategy of the twenty-first century. This rise in sustainable investing has coincided with an increasing scrutiny of companies that utilize aggressive tax avoidance strategies.  In response to this growing scrutiny, ESG rating agencies and institutional investors have penalized companies that pursue these strategies, although the direct effect that these strategies have on ESG scores and analysis remains empirically unclear.  First, this paper explains the history of and surge in ESG investing and its place in today’s markets. Second, it details one of the most prominent aggressive tax avoidance strategies used by U.S. corporations—the “Double Irish, Dutch Sandwich.” With the recent closure of this strategy via tax reform, this paper examines the past use of the Double Irish, as well as the replacement strategies employed by large … Read the rest

TOUCHING THE UNTOUCHABLES: Regulating the Internet of Things Industry in Light of the European Union’s Upcoming ePrivacy Regulation

A note by Clinton Oppong

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This Note argues that because of growing security and privacy issues associated with IoT devices, it is time for the United States to implement an IoT specific regulation similar to the ePrivacy Regulation. Part I is devoted to a brief discussion on what IoTs are, the breadth and scope of the upcoming ePrivacy regulation and how the ePrivacy regulation affects the IoT Industry. Part I also briefly discusses the current regulatory landscape in the United States. Further, Part II investigates why there is a need to regulate the Internet of Things Industry because of growing security and privacy issues. Finally, Part III puts forth recommendations for regulating the internet of things industry by the federal government or Federal Trade Commission (FTC).… Read the rest

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY? How the ‘Value of a Standard’ Should be Apportioned in FRAND Licensing Royalties

A note by Matt Pham

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Although well-intentioned to mitigate patent holdup risks, recent case law on Standard Essential Patents and FRAND Licensing misses the mark on how a standard adds value to a technology and vice versa. Considering that technologies are not arbitrarily selected, the value of a standard is likely enriched by the inherent properties of its adopted technologies, justifying its inclusion within the relevant royalties. The inclusion of a standard’s value thus does not necessarily factor in any wrongful holdup value and would, to the contrary, mitigate any patent holdout concerns.  This note will explain how technologies contribute to the value of a standard and justify the standard’s inclusion in a FRAND royalty rate. This note will also show how the actual contribution of SSOs to a standard’s value can be distinguished in order to justify a lower FRAND royalty rate.… Read the rest

REVERSE ENGINEERING: Reconciling Trade Secret Law with 3D Printing and Scanning

A note by Prateek Viswanathan

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This Note proposes requiring competitors to sell original products if they reverse engineer competing products with 3D scanning and printing. This proposal would mitigate market destructive effects by providing first inventors lead time to recoup R&D expenses.  Part II of this Note provides background on 3D printing and scanning, Illinois’s trade secrecy law, and reverse engineering. Part III analyzes how 3D printing and scanning may make reverse engineering market destructive and stress the patent system. Part IV proposes a localized solution by amending Illinois’s statute to require originality in competing products.… Read the rest

ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL: The ‘Illinois Brick’ Co-conspirator Exception’s Treatment by United States Circuit Courts

A note by Preslav Mantchev

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The Supreme Court’s 1977 ruling in Illinois Brick Company v. Illinois profoundly shaped private antitrust enforcement at the federal level in the United States. Yet, the Supreme Court’s avoidance of subsequent questions stemming from its Illinois Brick ruling has created a circuit split regarding plaintiff standing in cases involving anticompetitive behavior by multiple co-conspirators. This Note examines the origins of this “co-conspirator” exception to Illinois Brick and analyzes the differences in the exception’s treatment by circuit courts across the United States in order to promote a clearer, more-uniform application of the legal theory going forward.… Read the rest

RIDESHARING & REGULATION: How Ridesharing Apps are Regulated and How They Should be Regulated

A note by Dawson Oler

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This note will discuss the question of whether Uber should be legally classified as a technology company or a private taxi company. Uber should be classified as a taxi company because although they consider themselves merely a technological intermediary between passenger and driver, their practice is more similar to a taxi company. Like a taxi company, transportation is its main supply and without it, the service would not exist. In addition, classifying Uber as a taxi company protects consumers. Part II of this note will provide more background into this question and how courts have grappled with it in the past. Part III of this note will analyze the way ride-sharing apps like Uber have been regulated since they first came into existence. Part IV recommends that other states follow the example of one particularly innovative state who found a solution … Read the rest

Hands Off the Wheel: An Analysis of Ethical and Legal Issues Facing Autonomous Automobiles

By George Cortina

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The days of having our hands on the wheel while cruising along a highway will soon be over. The advent of autonomous and semi-autonomous automobiles presents many new opportunities to enhance safety and comfort in one’s daily commute. However, this does not come without its challenges. Many ethical and legal questions remain unanswered as car manufacturers and automators continue to develop their autonomous driving technologies. As a result, further cooperation between stakeholders, legislators, and businesses is necessary to find answers to these questions and ensure a viable future for autonomous cars.… Read the rest