Posts Tagged ‘patent marking’

“Five train wrecks of information disclosure law”

That was the title of the talk I gave Friday at a panel on food and product labeling law as part of a stimulating symposium put on by the Vermont Law Review at Vermont Law School in South Royalton, Vt. I drew on a number of different sources, but especially two relatively recent articles: Omri Ben-Shahar and Curt Schneider, “The Failure of Mandated Disclosure,” U. Penn. Law Review (2011), and Kesten C. Green and J. Scott Armstrong, “Evidence on the Effects of Mandatory Disclaimers in Advertising”, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Fall 2012. I was able to bring in examples ranging from patent marking law to Prop 65 in California to pharmaceutical patient package inserts, as well as the durable phenomenon of labels, disclosures, and disclaimers going unread even by very sophisticated consumers.

My talk was well received, and I think I might adapt and expand it in future into a full-length speech for audiences on failures of consumer protection law.

April 6 roundup

  • Lack of defect poses problem for plaintiff: Toyota prevails in first acceleration case [NLJ]
  • Australia: writer Andrew Bolt on trial for alleged racially disparaging columns [Herald Sun, Crikey, The Age]
  • “Attorneys Put Themselves Before Consumers in Class Action over Faulty Computer Chip” [CJAC, Frank/CCAF on NVidia case]
  • Ruling by Federal Circuit is thinning out rush of patent marking cases [Qualters, NLJ, earlier]
  • Podcast: Lester Brickman and “Lawyer Barons” [PoL, earlier here and here]
  • “Are class actions unconstitutional?” [Lahav, Mass Tort Lit, on Martin Redish book]
  • “Free speech belongs on campuses too” [Ilya Shapiro, Cato, on Widener case, with kind mention of Schools for Misrule]
  • King Canute turns attention to dry land: states mull bills to forbid use of distressed properties as appraisal comps [Funnell]

March 24 roundup

  • “Woman suing Carnival: Ship sailed too fast, made me sick” [Gene Sloan, USA Today “Cruise Log”]
  • U.S. Department of Justice sues Illinois school district for denying Muslim teacher’s request for three-week Mecca-trip leave [WaPo]
  • “California Assembly Says Complying with Government Standards Not Enough to Avoid Punitive Damages” [Cal Civil Justice]
  • “Four Loko Suit Is an Example of Bogus Economic Loss Classes” [Russell Jackson]
  • New Benjamin Barton book on lawyer-judge bias reviewed by Larry Ribstein [TotM, earlier]
  • “Prolific Colorado Consumer Attorney Filed 2/3rds of State’s FDCPA Cases Since 2007” [ABA Journal]
  • Different kind of false marking case? Judge says company knowingly claimed inapplicable patent [WSJ Law Blog]
  • “Extra-special education at public expense” [five years ago on Overlawyered]

“Constitutional attacks on patent false-marking law gain traction”

I’m quoted in this report by Sheri Qualters in the National Law Journal:

The false-marking statute “tempts people to become roving bounty hunters filing suits which at least the targets often see as shakedowns for money,” Olson said.

Last month, in a case called Unique Product Solutions v. Hy-Grade Valve Inc., a different federal court (in the Northern District of Ohio) found the statute unconstitutional on the grounds that it violates the Constitution’s “Take Care” clause, the same argument I and the Cato Institute advance in our recent amicus brief.

An unconstitutional patent false-marking statute

Along with the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies, I’ve filed an amicus brief (a first for me) urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to recognize the constitutional flaws in the federal “false marking” statute, which empowers private parties to sue over inaccurate (in practice, mostly expired) patent markings on products and collect fines of a generally criminal/punitive as opposed to civil/compensatory nature. Here’s our argument in a nutshell, from the Cato website:
Read On…

October 25 roundup

  • And she’s a psychology professor too: “Pro se litigant of the day” [ATL]
  • “Access to justice” makes handy slogan, but has its limits re: appeal bonds [Ted at PoL]
  • New Federalist Society white papers on Michigan, Illinois, California and Alabama supreme courts;
  • Per her opponent this year, CPSIA proponent and perennial Overlawyered bete noire Jan Schakowsky ranks as most left-wing member of Congress []
  • Naming opportunity at Faulkner U.’s Jones School of Law falls to Greg Jones of Beasley Allen [BA press release]
  • Lockyer pushes divestment of firms for taking wrong stance on ballot controversy [Coyote]
  • “Patent marking” suits continue to proliferate as Reps. Latta, Issa propose measures to curb opportunistic filings [Gray on Claims]
  • “South Carolina tobacco fees: how to farm money” [ten years ago on Overlawyered]

September 7 roundup

August 13 roundup

  • Lawyer sued for sexual harassment countersues, wins $1.55 million in damages [The Recorder]
  • Court rejects another challenge to tobacco multistate settlement agreement [Sullum, Reason]
  • European human rights claim: “Fury as German doctor seeks injunction against victim’s sons” [Daily Mail]
  • New CPSC rulemakings on CPSIA testing frequency and component testing could sink many small businesses [Woldenberg]
  • Connecticut AG Blumenthal picks fight with life insurers [Hartford Courant, with comments]
  • Undies moral: “Excess litigiousness is part of the whole shebang of dangerizing everything.” [Skenazy, Free-Range Kids]
  • “False-Marking Suits Head for a Showdown” [Robbins, Texas Lawyer]
  • “I think my years in the [adult film] industry will make me a great lawyer.” [Above the Law]