Welcome to "On the 50 Yard Line" The Blog of Stuart L. Pardau, Attorney, Professor and Observer of Political Economy; It’s not just about football.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Adobe Security Breach Worse Than Originally Thought

Up to 38 million and counting.

And it looks like Source Code from flagship products like Reader and Flash were breached too.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Ixia CEO Resigns Over Falsifying Resume

Remember Scott Thompson at Yahoo!?  Just as in that case, the CEO of another publicly-traded tech company (here locally in the Los Angeles area) was terminated for representing that he had degrees that  in fact he did not have.


He's Baaaccck! Carl Icahn Buys More Apple, Shares Rise

Activist shareholder Carl Icahn who announced he was starting to take large positions in Apple, has just purchased some more. Icahn says Apple is very undervalued and that the company should commence a large share re-purchase program, which if adopted, claims Icahn, would increase Apple's EPS by 33 1/3%. The downside: The buyback plan would require Apple taking on significant debt.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Talk about Creepy: Aaron's Settles with FTC re Charges That It Secretly Monitored Consumers Including by Taking Webcam Pictures of Them in Their Home

Aaron’s, Inc., a national, Atlanta-based rent-to-own retailer, has agreed to settle FTC charges that it knowingly played a direct and vital role in its franchisees’ installation and use of software on rental computers that secretly monitored consumers including by taking webcam pictures of them in their homes.
Under the terms of the proposed consent agreement with the FTC, Aaron’s will be prohibited from using monitoring technology that captures keystrokes or screenshots, or activates the camera or microphone on a consumer’s computer, except to provide technical support requested by the consumer.
In addition, Aaron’s will be required to give clear notice and obtain express consent from consumers at the time of rental in order to install technology that allows location tracking of a rented product. For computer rentals, the company will have to give notice to consumers not only when it initially rents the product, but also at the time the tracking technology is activated, unless the product has been reported by the consumer as lost or stolen. The settlement also prohibits Aaron’s from deceptively gathering consumer information.
The agreement will also prevent Aaron’s from using any information it obtained through improper means in connection with the collection of any debt, money or property as part of a rent-to-own transaction. The company must delete or destroy any information it has improperly collected and transmit in an encrypted format any location or tracking data it collects properly.


3 Years in Prison Recommended for Scott London, Probation Office Report Reveals

Former KPMG audit partner, Scott London who engaged in insider trading is facing up to 3 years in prison. According to this news article he apparently was prepared to a settlement which would still require 12-18 months of jail time.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Innovation Act of 2013 -- Going After the Patent Trolls

Another new bill in Congress sponsored by Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), but enjoying broad bi-partisan support from such members as Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Howard Coble (R-NC), Peter Defazio (D-OR), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Blake Farenthold (R-TX). An earlier version of the bill was co-sponsored by Congressman Farenthold and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries from D-NY.

The following summary (courtesy of our friends at the EFF) of the bills key features include:
  • Heightened Pleading: Requiring a patent holder to provide basic details (such as which patents and claims are at issue, as well as exactly what products allegedly infringe and how) when it files a lawsuit.
  • Fee shifting: Requiring the loser in a patent case to pay attorney’s fees and costs. This would make it harder for trolls to use the extraordinary expense of patent litigation to force a settlement.
  • Transparency: The draft includes strong language requiring patent trolls to reveal the parties that would actually benefit from the litigation (called the real party in interest).
  • Joinder: If the plaintiff is a shell-company patent troll, the defendant could require the real party in interest to join the litigation. Even better, a prevailing defendant could collect attorney’s fees from the real party in interest if the patent troll can’t or won’t pay.   
  • Staying customer suits: Requiring courts to stay patent litigation against customerswhen there is parallel litigation against the manufacturer.
  • Discovery reform: Shutting down expensive and often harassing discovery until the court has interpreted the patent. This should make it easier for defendants to dispose offrivolous cases early before the legal fees and court costs really add up.
  • Post-grant review: The bill expands an important avenue to challenge a patent's validity at the Patent Office (known as the transitional program for covered business method patents). While this procedure is still too expensive for many of the trolls’ smaller targets, we support efforts to make it easier to knock out bad patents.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Bill, Baby, Bill

An Iowa contract attorney for the Public Defender's office was found to have billed more than 24 hours in a day for 80 separate days between 2007 and 2011.

Appropriately, felony charges have been brought.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Twitter Discloses That Data Mining Is A Significant Revenue Source

Not terribly surprising and still a relatively small percentage of Twitter's revenue, but I suspect this will only grow.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Law School 2013 Enrollments Are Down Dramatically

The numbers on the attached chart are quite shocking. One is left with the inescapable conclusion that except for the Top 5 or 10 Law Schools, legal education has to change and change dramatically. Several will simply disappear.


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Powered by Blogger