Author Archives: Kumar Jayasuriya

USPTO Issues the Sixth Edition of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure

On October 12, 2009 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued the sixth edition of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP). The TMEP, provides USPTO trademark examining attorneys, trademark applicants, and trademark attorneys with detailed information about the practices and procedures for prosecution of applications to register marks in the USPTO.

The sixth edition incorporates USPTO trademark practice and relevant case law reported prior to September 1, 2009. The policies states that this revision supersede any previous policies stated in prior editions, examination guides, or any other statement of USPTO policy, to the extent that there is any conflict.

The TMEP may be viewed or downloaded free of charge from the USPTO Web site at: http://tess2.uspto.gov/tmdb/tmep/.

SPARC Issues Report on “Income Models for Supporting Open Access” for Scholarly Journals

In order to help scholarly journals provide open, free, immediate, and online access to scholarly research, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, know as SPARC, has issued a new guide, “Income models for Open Access: An overview of current practice, by Raym Crow. The guide provides information about both supply-side and demand-side income models and identifies publishers that use each.

Online Archive of Records on Holocaust Era and Nazi Art Looting Released

The Slaw.ca blog out of Canada reports on a new online interactive archive with hundreds of thousands of records on the Holocaust Era and Nazi art looting.

The archive is available online from Footnote.com and includes records related to legal issues such as:

  • The Ardelia Hall Collection of records relating to the Nazi looting of Jewish possessions, including looted art
  • Nuremberg War Crimes Trial proceedings

The Slaw.ca entry also mentions two other collections related to the Nuremberg trials:

Another collection of Nuremberg trial materials is the University of Texas’ collection of the trial notebooks of Judge Mallory Blair, one of three judges who presided over Nuremberg Case No. 3: U.S. v. Joseph Alstötter et al.

Law Library Sponsors Inaugural Law at the Movies Screening Thursday Oct. 1 at 6:00

Law at the Movies
Hart Auditorium
Thursday, October 1 @ 6:00 pm

The Man Who Shot Liberty ValanceThe Friends of the Georgetown University Law Library invites you to join Georgetown Law Professors Naomi Mezey and Randy Barnett as they introduce and discuss The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

In this film classic Jimmy Stewart is the big-city lawyer determined to bring the rule of law to the untamed West. John Wayne, Lee Marvin, and Vera Miles also star.

This is the inaugural event in the Law Library’s series of popular feature films that illustrate legal themes. Each screening will start with a discussion led by members of the Georgetown Law Faculty. Future events will include movies like Anatomy of a Murder, A Few Good Men, and many more.

Facebook Agrees to Shut Down Beacon in Class Action Settlement

In a proposed settlement for a class action suit, Facebook has agreed to shut down its Beacon marketing system. The agreement is before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California: Lane v. Facebook Inc., N.D. Cal., No. 5:08-cv-3845, 9/18/09).

Beacon is a controversial Facebook system that monitors a users purchases on certain online venders and then publishes that information on the user’s news feeds, read by the user’s Facebook friends.

Facebook aslo proposes creating a $9.5 million settlement fund, partially to pay damages. Part of the of the fund would launch a privacy foundation to fund and sponsor programs designed to educate users, regulators, and enterprises regarding critical issues relating to protection of identity and personal information online through user control, and to protect users from online threats.

Read more about the case through the library’s subscription to BNA Privacy Law Watch.

Full text of the Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement is available at http://0-op.bna.com.gull.georgetown.edu/pl.nsf/r?Open=dapn-7w6jg2.

Full text of the proposed Stipulation and Agreement is available at http://0-op.bna.com.gull.georgetown.edu/pl.nsf/r?Open=dapn-7w6jjb.

Spring 2009 Law Library Survey Response; or What The Library Did This Summer

During the Spring 2009 semester, the Law Library conducted a survey asking students to comment on various aspects of the library. 573 students completed the survey, providing more than 1,300 separate responses. We thank everybody who completed the survey. We read every comment.

In May, the library published initial findings from the survey, focusing on qualitive responses.

Based upon student comments, the library used the Summer break to make several improvements so that the buildings, equipment,, and services better meet student current usage and needs.

Highlights from the survey responses are:

  • The purchase of new chairs for the Reading Room;
  • The instalation of three new free self-serve digital scanners;
  • The move of the Wolff reference desk to a new location;
  • The implementation of changes to the library’s catalog, GULLiver, which will make it easier to locate library materials;
  • The creation of a new online system for students to remotely reserve group study rooms.

The library has posted a page with the most frequent comments from the Spring Student Survey alongside library responses.

We greatly appreciate student input. Please feel free to continue this dialog through our Law Library Feedback Blog, a place where we post answers to your student questions.  You can send us your comments through our suggestion page, linked from the library’s home page.  The library will use the Feedback Blog to respond.

Ten Online Social Networking Mistakes by Lawyers and Judges

IMS ExpertServices posted an online list of 10 mistakes that lawyers and judges made while using online social networks.

Highlights of the list include a lawyer who asked for a continuance because of a death in the family but had posted Facebook status updates about going partying.

Another highlight was from a judge who friended a lawyer trying a case in his court. The lawyer posted a status during the litigation that "I have a wise judge."  Opposing counsel moved for a new trial and the judge removed himself from the case and granted the new trial. The state’s Judicial Standards Commission issued a public reprimand for violating the prohibition against a judge engaging in ex parte communications.

California Court May Order a Blog to Reveal the Identity of an Anonymous Commenter

This week the Sacramento Bee reported that a California judge ruled that a litigant may learn the identity of a person who posts an anonymous comment on a blog.

In the case Calvin Chang, a police officer for the University of California in Davis filed suit against UC, claiming discrimination and breach of a settlement agreement in a prior lawsuit. David Greenwald, who operates a blog called The People’s Vanguard of Davis, wrote about the suit and people commented. Chang believes that one anonymous comment was written by a ‘managing agents’ of the university and contained information that would violate the agreement of the prior settlement agreement.

The California judge ruled that Chang can hire a third-party to investigate whether the author of the comment was a manging agent. If it was the court would allow Chang to request that Google, the Vanguard’s former host, provide him with the anonymous poster’s e-mail addresses and log-in information.

The Sacramento Bee also reported that the judge ruled that the First Amendment generally protects anonymous speech, but online anonymity may be breached. "When vigorous criticism descends into defamation, constitutional protection is no longer available."

Read more about the case in the Chronicle of Higher Education, provide through the library’s subscription.

Federal Court of Appeals Still Issues Unpublished Appellate Opinions

In the August 24, 2009 issue of the National Journal, Aaron S. Bayer reports on the history of unpublished federal appellate cases. The article notes that there has been general criticism of the practice since at least 1985, when Supreme Court Justice Steven’s dissent in County of Los Angeles v. Kling, 474 U.S. 936, 938 (1985), and compares the practice "like the decision to promulgate a rule spawning a body of secret law – plainly wrong."

The article states that according to the Judicial Business of the United States Courts:  Annual Report of the Director, tbl. S-3, between 2000 and 2008 the federal courts have not published more than 81% of all appellate opinions issued.  The number is not getting smaller.  In 2008 the same courts failed to publish more than 81.8% of all appellate opinions issued. See Annual Report of the Director, tbl. S-3 (2008).

Bayer’s article is available through subscriptions to the National Law Journal purchased by the Georgetown Law Library.  Read it either in print or online versions.

New Search Engine for Oregon Statutes Provides Enhanced Search Features

The blog VoxPopuLII  recently published an article about a new type of legal research product called OregonLaws.org.

The service was created by Robb Shecter, a third year law student at Lewis and Clark Law School in Oregon. OregonLaws.org provides a system to "gather, create, visualize, and mine data." Shecter explains that his database provides new ways to research Oregon statutes because it:

  • uses the hierarchy created by the Oregon Legislature when it designed the Oregon Revised Statutes;
  • uses the subjects of each statute to create a tag cloud leading the researcher to related statutes;
  • provides digital authentication for each document;
  • creates a statutory dictionary based upon all o f the defined terms in the Oregon Revised Statutes (see principal office) – https://www.oregonlaws.org/blog/2009/04/began-a-new-sub-project-oregon-legal-glossary/ new annotations.