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Category Archives: Courts

Supreme Court says generic domains like booking.com can be trademarked

ars technica: “The US Patent and Trademark Office erred by finding the term booking.com was too generic for trademark protection, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday. Trademark law prohibits anyone from registering generic terms that describe a class of products or services. Anyone can start a store company called “The Wine Company,” but they can’t use trademark law to stop others from using the same name. When the online travel giant Bookings Holdings sought to trademark its booking.com domain name almost a decade ago, the US Patent and Trademark Office concluded that the same rule applied. Booking Holdings challenged this decision in court. The company pointed to survey data showing that consumers associated the phrase “booking.com” with a specific website as opposed to a generic term for travel websites. Both the trial and appeals courts sided with booking.com, finding that booking.com was sufficiently distinctive to merit its own trademark—even if the generic word “booking” couldn’t be trademarked on its own. Trademark law declines to protect generic terms in an effort to promote competition. If a company could trademark a word like “booking” or “wine,” it could interfere with competitors who want to accurately describe their products in the marketplace. That would give companies that trademark generic terms an unfair advantage…”

Thousands of U.S. judges who broke laws or oaths remained on the bench

“…In the first comprehensive accounting of judicial misconduct nationally, Reuters reviewed 1,509 cases from the last dozen years – 2008 through 2019 – in which judges resigned, retired or were publicly disciplined following accusations of misconduct. In addition, reporters identified another 3,613 cases from 2008 through 2018 in which states disciplined wayward judges but kept hidden from… Continue Reading

Judiciary Launches Redesigned PACER Website

“The Administrative Office of the U.S Courts on June 28 will launch a redesigned informational website for the Judiciary’s electronic court records system, known as PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). The new PACER website includes features that will make it easier for users to learn how to navigate the system, find what they are looking… Continue Reading

John Bolton’s Book That Trump Wanted to Stop Is Spreading Widely on Piracy Sites

Motherboard: ‘The Room Where it Happened’ is tearing up the charts on sites where people download the book for free. Former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s memoir The Room Where It Happened is set to release tomorrow, but it’s already a huge hit on pirate sites. According to Torrent Freak, The Pirate Bay, Google Drive,… Continue Reading

ACUS Publishes New Report on Recusal Rules for Agency Adjudicators

ACUS – “ACUS is pleased to release a new report, Administrative Recusal Rules: A Taxonomy and Study of Existing Recusal Standards for Agency Adjudicators. The report, prepared by Stetson University College of Law Professor Louis J. Virelli, III, collects and analyzes a wide-ranging set of recusal standards and practices employed by more than 60 agencies… Continue Reading

Supreme Court’s landmark LGBTQ rights decision summarized

Vox: “Bostock v. Clayton County, a landmark Supreme Court decision holding that federal law prohibits employment discrimination against LGBTQ workers, was a test of Justice Neil Gorsuch’s principles. He passed. Gorsuch is a vocal proponent of “textualism,” the belief that the meaning of a law turns on its words alone, not on the intentions of… Continue Reading

Policing the Police: Qualified Immunity and Considerations for Congress

CRS report via LC – Policing the Police: Qualified Immunity and Considerations for Congress, June 10, 2020: “In the wake of unrest arising from George Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020,after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck, broader questions have arisen with regard to how existing law regulates the conduct of… Continue Reading

Why filming police violence has done nothing to stop it

MIT Technology Review – “After years of police body cams and bystander cellphone video, it’s clear that evidentiary images on their own don’t bring about change. What’s missing is power …The hope for sousveillance comes from the same logic. If police officers know they’re being watched both by their body cameras and by civilians with… Continue Reading

Social distanced justice? Courts restart trials, struggle to adapt to COVID-19 precautions

ABC News: “As courts across the country begin to cautiously resume in-person hearings through the COVID-19 pandemic, judges are confronting a vexing challenge: how to safely convene jury trials at a time when health officials continue to caution against public gatherings. With no real federal guidance or uniform system governing the nation’s vast judiciary, current… Continue Reading

We Mapped Where Customs and Border Protection Drones Are Flying in the U.S. and Beyond

Gizmodo: “Over nearly a decade since that standoff, the details of CBP’s drone operations have been vague. Previous reporting and public documents suggest that the agency operates a fleet of 10 Predator drones that are legally permitted to patrol within 100 air miles of the border—CBP also asserts the power to do so within 100… Continue Reading

Black Lives Matter Suing Trump, Fed Govt Over Force Used Against Protesters Outside WH

BussFeedNews: “The DC chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement filed a lawsuit on Thursday accusing federal law enforcement officers of violating the constitutional rights of peaceful demonstrators who were forcibly cleared from a park north of the White House so President Donald Trump could walk through for a photo op earlier this week. The… Continue Reading

Section 230 and the Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship

CRS Legal Sidebar via LC – Section 230 and the Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship – June 3, 2020: “On May 28, 2020, President Trump issued the Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship (EO), expressing the executive branch’s views on Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act. As discussed in this Legal Sidebar,… Continue Reading