Tag Archives: Jane Fraytet

Library Event – October 8 – Navigating the New LexisAdvance: Nuts & Bolts Lecture

lexis advance

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October 8, 12:15-1:00pm

October 8, 1:15-2:00pm

October 8, 6:15-7:00pm

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The U.S. Supreme Court Has Been Asked By 32 States to Settle the Issues Surrounding Gay Marriage


Thirty-two states that either allow gay marriage or have banned it have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to settle these issues once and for all. The Associated Press reported that the following states have asked the Supreme Court to address the gay marriage laws that differ from state-to-state: Fifteen states that allow gay marriage, led by Massachusetts, filed a brief asking the justices to take up three cases from Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma and overturn bans. And 17 other states, led by Colorado, that have banned the practice asked the court to hear cases from Utah and Oklahoma to clear up a “morass” of lawsuits, but didn’t urge the court to rule one way or another.

Lyle Denniston, a reporter for SCOTUSblog, posted on September 10, 2014 that same-sex marriage cases were set for an early review by the U.S. Supreme Court. In fact, the Court has set September 29 for a private conference to discuss same-sex marriage and to review the seven petitions it has received on gay marriage.

Listed below are the seven petitions the Court has received and from which states they came:

  1. Herbert v. Kitchen (Utah) http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Utah-same-sex-marriage-petition-8-5-14.pdf
  2. Smith v. Bishop (Oklahoma) http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Oklahoma-Smith-petition-8-6-14.pdf
  3. Rainey v. Bostic (Virginia) http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Virginia-ssame-sex-marriage-pet.-8-8-14.pdf
  4. Schaefer v. Bostic (Virginia) http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Virginia-Schaefer-petition-8-22-14.pdf
  5. McQuigg v. Bostic (Virginia) http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/McQuigg-petition-8-29-14.pdf
  6. Bogan v. Baskin (Indianna)http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/14-277-baskincert.pdf and
  7. Walker v. Wolf (Wisconsin) http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/14-278-pet.pdf

Will the U.S. Supreme Court Review Any of America’s Gay Marriages Laws?

Sometime after September 29, 2024, I will write a follow-up blog detailing which, if any, of the above listed petitions were granted Cert by the U.S. Supreme Court.

~Jane Fraytet~

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In Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, the Court Limits Software Patents, but Does Not Eliminate Them


The US Supreme Court ruled against Alice Corporation, the owner of the patent in dispute.

A New York Times article published on June 19, 2014 said that the trial court had invalidated Alice’s patents, stating that the patent holder had only recited abstract concepts. The trial court’s decision was effectively affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit when it issued seven separate opinions, none of which commanded a majority, thus not issuing clear guidance and direction for software patent protection.

Adam Liptak of the N.Y. Times stated that the Court of Appeals decision for the Federal Circuit in the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International summarized that the use of Alice’s computer software was not unique, but was simple business software – considered “a building block of the modern economy”, but not deserving patent protection.

According to the US Supreme Court, adding the use of a computer added nothing.

Stating an abstract idea while adding the words ‘apply it’ is not enough for patent eligibility,”  and because the petitioner’s system and media claims add noth­ing of substance to the underlying abstract idea, we hold that they,  too are patent ineligible under §101.

Charlotte Law students, staff and faculty can use their library barcode to view these two BNA articles for a more complete summary of this U.S. Supreme Court patent case decision:

~Jane Fraytet~

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North Carolina Will Be Introducing Legislation to Rein in Patent Trolls


State legislation to control patent trolls could move to the House floor this week. A state-wide coalition has formed to enact legislation “that would entitle companies victimized by frivolous demands of lawsuits from NPEs (Nonpracticing entities) to obtain attorney’s fees and treble damages.” A proposed North Carolina bill would aim to rein in patent trolls; the primary sponsor of the bill is state legislator Tom Murry- who said it was very important to pass this bill since there is such a high concentration of technology companies in North Carolina. According to an article that appeared in the Charlotte Observer on May 24, 2014, “the legislation has broad industry support from a coalition that likens the litigation tactics of patent trolls to extortion”.

Updates on this bill will be posted to this blog when and if the bill passes the North Carolina legislature.

~Jane Fraytet~

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Patent Trolls May Think Twice After Supreme Court Moves To Curb Their Abuses*


Sonia Sotomajor recently wrote two Supreme Court opinions both unanimous and both dealing directly and indirectly with parties known as “patent trolls”. The concepts reviewed in Highmark dealt with the concept of “exceptional cases” and reviewing District Court cases de novo:

The District Court in Highmark found the case “exceptional” and granted Highmark’s motion that their attorney fees be paid by the plaintiff. The Federal Circuit Court reviewed the District Court’s determination de novo and reversed the decision in part. as to the attorney fees.

All aspects of a district court’s exceptional-case determination under §285 should be reviewed for abuse of discretion. Prior to Oc­tane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., ante, p. ___, this determination was governed by the framework established by the Federal Circuit in Brooks Furniture Mfg., Inc. v. Dutailier Int’l, Inc., 393 F. 3d 1378. Octane rejects the Brooks Furniture framework as unduly rigid and holds that district courts may make the exceptional­ case determination under §285 in the exercise of their discretion. The holding in Octane settles this case. Decisions on “matters of dis­cretion” and holds that district courts may make the exceptional ­case determination under §285 in the exercise of their discretion. HIGHMARK INC. v. ALLCARE HEALTH MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, INC.

In the second opinion that Sotomayor wrote Octane Fitness, she wrote that the case law relied upon in Octane from the Brooks case was unduly rigid:

 (a) Section 285 imposes one and only one constraint on district courts’ discretion to award attorney’s fees: The power is reserved for “exceptional” cases. Brooks Furnitureis too restrictive in defining the two catego­ries of cases in which fee awards are allowed. The first category— cases involving litigation or certain other misconduct—appears to ex­tend largely to independently sanctionable conduct. But that is not the appropriate benchmark. A district court may award fees in the rare case in which a party’s unreasonable, though not independently sanctionable, conduct is so “exceptional” as to justify an award. For litigation to fall within the second category, a district court must de­termine that the litigation is both objectively baseless and brought in subjective bad faith. But a case presenting either subjective bad faith or exceptionally meritless claims may sufficiently set itself apart from mine-run cases to be “exceptional.” The Federal Circuit imported this second category from Professional Real Estate Inves­tors, Inc. v. Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., 508 U. S. 49, but that case’s standard finds no roots in §285’s text and makes little sense in the context of the exceptional-case determination. Pp. 8–10.

(2) Brooks Furniture is so demanding that it would appear to render §285 largely superfluous.

In conclusion, the Wall Street Journal Blog stated that the defense bar hopes that these  rulings will make patent-holding firms,” think twice before filing cases based on flimsy patents.”*

~Jane Fraytet~

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The City of New York Will Settle Both Cases That Were Brought Against Them


Mayor de Blasio has agreed to withdraw the city’s Appeal from the Federal District Court  decision rendered by Judge Scheindlin. The city asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to return the case on appeal back to the Federal District Court in New York.

Once the N.Y. Federal Appeals Court returns the case back to the N.Y. Federal District Court, Judge Torres will implement the agreement reached by the sets of Plaintiffs who filed the original two suits against the City of New York.

In the lower court decision decided by Judge Scheindlin, she “ordered the appointment of a monitor to develop, in consultation with the parties, widespread reforms of the department’s policies, training, supervision, monitoring and discipline regarding stop-and-frisk” and that process will go forward as part of the agreement.

New York Times Resources:

Previous Blog Postings on Charlotte Law Library News:

~Jane Fraytet~

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Oakland Football Cheerleader Filed a Class-Action Suit Against the Oakland Raiders

cheerleaders Lacy T. filed a lawsuit as a class action suit on behalf of all present and former Oakland Raider cheerleaders who have worked for the football team since 2010. Ms. T claims that the owners of the Oakland Raiders violated both California and Federal wage laws, as the Raider cheerleaders were paid $1,250 per season, which amounted to $125 per home game and an average of $5.00 per hour worked.  The federal minimum wage is $8.00.

Oakland Raider cheerleaders are required to work approximately 9 hours per day on game days and attend 2 or 3 three-hour rehearsals per week and make approximately 10 unpaid appearances per year at charitable events.

The Oakland cheerleaders also have many out-of-pocket expenses each year that they are not reimbursed for, which can amount to as much as $650.00. The cheerleaders have to pay their own travel expenses to appearances, pay for Raider-approved hair stylists, yoga mats and false eyelashes.

In order for this lawsuit to move forward, a hearing must be held in the Superior Court in Alameda County in California on whether the lawsuit can be certified as a class action.  The hearing should take place within the next 3-5 months.

~Jane Fraytet~


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