Not many people know it was actually a “trade” dispute that precipitated the Star Wars “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” Professor Sungjoon Cho shares the history of trade wars, laws that aim to prevent trade wars, and how they might have obviated the need for Jedi knights.Read more →
By Sungjoon Cho
On the sidelines of the Davos World Economic Forum this week, seventy six WTO member countries agreed to launch a negotiation on electronic commerce. Yes, we all know that e-commerce has recently been skyrocketing, becoming part of our everyday lives. Meanwhile, the WTO has been criticized for having failed to provide effective multilateral rules to regulate e-commerce. I see a bit of déjà vu from the Uruguay Round here, in particular within the context of the North-South tension. Developed countries such as the United States, the European Union and Japan are spearheading this new initiative, while developing countries such as China and India seem to be lukewarm about the initiative. China joined the initiative with the reservation that developing countries’ concerns must be reflected. India argued that the Doha Development Round must be addressed before starting a new set of negotiations in the WTO. (more…)
In his new book, Empire of the Fund: The Way We Save Now (Oxford University Press 2016), Professor William Birdthistle exposes and critiques what he calls the richest and riskiest experiment in our nation’s financial history. He illustrates the flaws in the hypothesis of that experiment: that millions of ordinary, untrained, and busy citizens can successfully manage trillions of dollars in a financial system governed by powerful financial institutions.
Professor Birdthistle explores the obstacles that individual investors face when using mutual funds to save and offers three solutions for how to safeguard their individual financial destinies as well as the nation’s fiscal strength.
A single generation ago, many Americans enjoyed the prospects of paying for their golden years with a steady stream of income from their pension plans. Today, only 3 percent of U.S. private-sector workers are covered solely by pensions, while one-third of American households have no retirement savings at all. With the demise of pensions and the rise of 401(k) plans, Americans today will have to support themselves on the returns
— however high or low
— of their personal investment accounts.
To protect their financial security, Professor Birdthistle argues that Americans will need “a greater understanding of mutual funds, more transparency from the financial firms that manage them, and stronger enforcement by prosecutors of the regulations that govern funds.” He proposes opening the federal Thrift Savings Plan to all Americans so they can benefit from a low-cost, well-run saving plan.
Find out more about Empire of the Fund at the book’s website, and watch the video trailer of Professor Birdthistle introducing the book
— in verse.
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.