by César F. Rosado Marzán In Epic Systems v. Lewis, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and four conservative Justices determined that class action waivers are enforceable, not least because of the Federal Arbitration Act’s (FAA) strong protection of arbitration agreements. Class action waivers are enforceable despite the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which provides workers...Read more →
Professor Edward Lee, Director of the Program in Intellectual Property Law, has authored a new article titled “Patent Trolls: Moral Panics, Motions in Limine, and Patent Reform.” The article is forthcoming in Stanford Technology Law Review, Vol. 19, 2016.
This Article provides the first empirical study of the use of the term “patent troll” by U.S. media-specifically, examining leading newspapers and online publications. The study offers several key findings: (1) First, starting in 2006, the U.S. media surveyed used “patent troll” far more than any other term, despite the efforts of scholars to devise alternative, more neutral-sounding terms. The tipping point was the combination of the controversial Blackberry and eBay patent cases in 2006 — prior to that time, “patent holding company” was the most popular term. (2) Second, the media more often portrayed such patent entities in a one-sided, negative light with very little analysis or empirical support. For example, few works provided statistics or discussion of any studies to support their negative portrayal. Practically no articles mentioned the lack of a working requirement in U.S. patent law, which permits all patentees not to practice their inventions. These findings provide support for the recent judicial decisions that have barred, at trial, the use of the term “patent troll” as unfairly prejudicial.
Download the paper on SSRN here.
Last week, Professor Cesar Rosado Marzán appeared on University of Pennsylvania’s Knowledge@Wharton to discuss the ongoing NLRB labor law disputes with McDonald’s. From the interview:
McDonald’s appears to be in a tight spot, with problems looming whichever direction it goes. “If McDonald’s is found to be liable for the labor law violations of its franchisees, then as a joint employer it could end up at the bargaining table,” said Cesar . . . If, on the other hand, it doesn’t support the franchise operators, he agreed that it might end up earning the latter’s wrath.
Prof. Rosado Marzán continued,
“If McDonald’s is found to be essentially liable for the labor law violations of a franchisee, it means that it’s a joint employer according to the NRA. And if such, then it may end up on the bargaining table if, at some point, McDonald’s workers decide to bargain collectively […] with the corporation.” (more…)
By William Birdthistle
Legal scholars, practitioners, and regulators of investment funds have a new learned society to encourage scholarship in their field. The Society of Investment Law is an international organization of academics and attorneys interested in the study of legal issues relating to investors, advisers, and investment funds. The society will host an annual meeting to promote the discussion of developments in this field.
For the past eight years, Professors Tamar Frankel of Boston University School of Law and William Birdthistle of Chicago-Kent College of Law have co-hosted an annual roundtable discussion about developments in investment law. Keynote speakers at those events have included Professor John Coates of Harvard Law School, reporter Daisy Maxey of the Wall Street Journal, Nell Minow of the Corporate Library, Professor Andrew Lo of the MIT Sloan School of Management, and Robert Plaze of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management.
As an institution, the Society of Investment Law will build upon these roundtables to encourage scholarship and discussions about investment law. The society’s founding board of directors includes Frankel, Birdthistle, Coates, and Mercer Bullard of the University of Mississippi School of Law, Quinn Curtis of the University of Virginia School of Law, Deborah DeMott of Duke University School of Law, Jennifer Taub of Vermont Law School, Dirk Zetzsche of the University of Liechtenstein, and John Morley of Yale Law School. The inaugural officers of the society are Frankel as chair of the board, Birdthistle as president, Morley as vice president, and Taub as secretary.
The society’s official web site is http://societyofinvestmentlaw.org.