Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sotomayor on IP

One IPBiz reader complained that IPBiz had not commented on the IP decisions of Judge Sotomayor and sent along the following:

Sotomayor SCOTUS case history: Intellectual property
Posted: 06:53 PM ET

From CNN Research Director Robert Yoon

WASHINGTON (CNN) – During Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's 17 years as a federal judge, the U.S. Supreme Court has reviewed her decisions on at least eight occasions. CNN has reviewed those cases and has summarized each in a series of posts. The names and citations reflect the cases as they were known when they first came before Sotomayor.
Tasini vs. New York Times, et al (1997), 972 F. Supp. 804: As a district court judge in 1997, Sotomayor heard a case brought by a group of freelance journalists who asserted that various news organizations, including the New York Times, violated copyright laws by reproducing the freelancers' work on electronic databases and archives such as "Lexis/Nexis" without first obtaining their permission. Sotomayor ruled against the freelancers and said that publishers were within their rights as outlined by the 1976 Copyright Act. The appellate court reversed Sotomayor's decision, siding with the freelancers, and the Supreme Court upheld the appellate decision (therefore rejecting Sotomayor's original ruling). Justices Stevens and Breyer dissented, taking Sotomayor's position.

In passing, Justice Breyer is considered an expert on copyright, in part because of a certain law review article he once authored.
YET, on two pivotal cases in copyright (Tasini and Lessig's case), Justice Breyer was in the minority on the Supreme Court.

A different blog states that Sotomayor was "right" on Tasini:

Sotomayor’s opinion was thoughtful and articulate, and, in my view, correct. Unfortunately, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit did not see it that way. The Second Circuit held that the revision right held by creators of a collective work under Section 201(c) does not include the right to republish the collective work in electronic media. This decision was subsequently affirmed 7-2 by the Supreme Court.

That blog also mentioned Specht v. Netscape Communications Corp.

**IPBiz considered the nomination of Sotomayor a no-brainer for Obama. Tough for Republicans to fight AND who else do we know with Princeton undergrad and Ivy law degree?

USPTO director is less foreseeable, NASA counts for more in Obama's eyes.

***From the New York Times, in 1998, on then district Judge Sotomayor -->

Judge Sonia Sotomayor seemed like a trouble-free choice when President Clinton nominated her to an appeals court post a year ago. Hers was an appealing story: a child from the Bronx housing projects who went on to graduate summa cum laude from Princeton and become editor of the Yale Law Journal and then a Federal prosecutor.

Moreover, she had been a trial judge since 1992, when she was named to the bench by the last Republican president, George Bush.

But Republican senators have been blocking Judge Sotomayor's elevation to the appeals court for a highly unusual reason: to make her less likely to be picked by Mr. Clinton for the Supreme Court, senior Republican Congressional aides said in interviews.


''Basically, we think that putting her on the appeals court puts her in the batter's box to be nominated to the Supreme Court,'' said one senior Republican staff aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ''If Clinton nominated her it would put several of our senators in a real difficult position.''


''PROFILE: Sonia Sotomayor'' BORN: June 25, 1954. BIRTHPLACE: New York City. EDUCATION: Cardinal Spellman High School, New York City; Princeton University, B.A., 1976; Yale Law School, J.D., 1979. CAREER: Assistant District Attorney, New York County District Attorney's Office, 1979-84; associate and then partner in the New York law firm Pavia & Harcourt, 1984-92; United States District Judge, Southern District of New York, 1992 to the present. FAMILY: Divorced. No children. HOBBIES: Running.

*** The douche-bag case

See NBC Connectict: Sotomayor Ruled in "D-Bag Case"
Ruled teen's blog post created a created "foreseeable risk of substantial disruption"

Recall South Park's Giant Douchebag vs. Turd Sandwich and Biggest Douche in the Universe


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