The History and Future of E-Commerce Patents

The tide has definitely turned against e-commerce patents. In a series of important cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has shifted the doctrine of patent eligibility in ways that will make it much more difficult to obtain or enforce e-commerce and software patents. After walking through the lead-up to our current state of affairs, we consider a set of four historic e-commerce patents and whether the patents would be eligible under the new rules.


Opening the Door to Trust: Privacy and Intellectual Property Policies during Exit Events

When privacy, NSA monitoring, and Snowden are common stories on the evening news, and data breaches result in hundreds of millions of dollars of lost revenue and force CEOs to resign, it is impossible to argue that privacy is not a major issue. This article looks at Alibaba’s $25 billion dollar IPO, the largest in history, to highlight potential privacy issues in the startup IPO context.

Trade Secrets

Patentability of Commercial Use of a Trade Secret

The AIA, a single most significant U.S. patent law reform effort since 1952, has raised many questions and issues. One of the questions raised is whether and, if so, how the AIA will affect the patentability of the commercial use of a trade secret. Assumptions should not be made about the law governing the impact of secret commercial use on patentability without some careful and diligent investigation. In a limited scope, this article offers some food for thought for inventors, licensees, and anyone else who may have a financial interest in a patentable process that can be practiced in secret.


Liability of E-Commerce Platforms for Copyright and Trademark Infringement: A World Tour

This article offers two different perspectives on the topic of e-commerce platforms’ liability for copyright and trademark infringement: the first part of the article focuses on the differences between the U.S. and EU approaches to the liability of online marketplaces. The second perspective offers a brief world tour of ISP liability via German, Swiss, and Chinese case law.