Intellectual Property Law Decisions: Decided
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What Is Net Neutrality? How the D.C. Circuit Ruling May Affect You

What is "net neutrality"? A federal court's ruling on this high-tech issue could potentially change your Web-surfing experience.

For starters, net neutrality is the idea that all content on the Internet should be treated equally. Under that theory, no service provider would be allowed to give preferential treatment to a website or company in terms of connection speed, according to CNN.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday struck down anti-blocking and anti-discrimination sections of an FCC ruling that prevented Internet service providers from giving certain websites special treatment.

Hotfile Lawsuit Settled; MPAA to Get $80M Over Piracy Issues

The Motion Picture Association of America's massive copyright infringement lawsuit against Hotfile has been settled outside of court, with the MPAA winning big.

But what does the high-profile Hollywood settlement entail, and how will it affect the future of cyberlockers like Hotfile?

Human Genes Can't Be Patented, Supreme Court Rules

In a first of its kind ruling on human gene patents, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided that synthetically produced genetic material can be patented, but naturally occurring DNA extracted from the human body cannot, Reuters reports.

The Court's decision is a partial victory to biotechnology company Myriad Genetics Inc., which holds the patents in question.

But since the Court ruled that isolated human genes may not be patented, the rights group that challenged the patents came away with a win too.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Monsanto's patent rights were infringed by soybean farmer Vernon Bowman when he planted second-generation seeds that were meant for consumption.

The Court may have made its unanimous decision in the case in small part due to Bowman's somewhat ingenious way of selecting out Monsanto crops from bulk seed mixes and further developing those crops, reports The New York Times.

This ruling, issued Monday, may be the first of many in the battle over GMO foods. But this decision already has significant consequences for growers using genetically modified seeds.

In a major music download lawsuit, Capitol Records has won a ruling against ReDigi Inc. claiming ReDigi violated the company's digital music copyrights.

A federal judge in New York found that ReDigi was not allowed to let users buy and sell "used" digital music files on its website, reports Reuters. These songs had originally been purchased through Apple's iTunes.

The lawsuit is significant, as several companies have been making headway in creating a marketplace for used and unwanted digital works like music and ebooks. This is similar to how second-hand record and book stores resell used physical copies of records and books, but with one critical difference.

In a virtual clean sweep for Apple, Samsung must pay more than $1 billion for willfully violating Apple's patents in developing a wide variety of phones and tablet computers, a Silicon Valley jury announced Friday.

Jurors also found Apple did not infringe on any of Samsung's patents and will not have to pay its rival a dime, Reuters reports. An appeal is likely.

In a historic and closely watched case, Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple sued South Korea-based Samsung for allegedly copying the design and technology used in Apple's iPhones and iPad tablet designs.

What could the decision mean for consumers?

Pharmaceutical Industry Violated Antitrust Says 3rd Cir.

The pharmaceutical industry was given a nasty shock Monday when a federal court ruled that their practices violated antitrust law.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a settlement between Schering-Plough and a competing firm that would delay the sale of a generic drug. These pay-for-delay deals have been standard practice in the industry for many years and this decision may spell their end.

The Federal Trade Commission has opposed the deals for years, reports The Washington Post, but this is the first time a court has struck down the deals as anticompetitive.

This may be bad news for big pharma but it could be great for American consumers.

Louis Vuitton protects its monogrammed image like a mama bear protects its cubs.

Earlier this year, Louis Vuitton successfully sued Hyundai for including a Louis Vuitton basketball in one of its car commercials.

Piggybacking on that success, another Louis Vuitton lawsuit was brought, this time suing Warner Brothers for its Hangover movie for including a scene with knockoff Louis Vuitton luggage and a common American mistranslation of the name "Louis." But in this case, Louis Vuitton lost.

How was this case different from Hyundai?

Hermes Wins $100M in Fake Birkin Bag Lawsuit

French fashion house Hermès successfully won a fake Birkin bag lawsuit on Tuesday. A federal judge in New York awarded the high-end retailer $100 million in damages to be paid by 34 websites that had sold counterfeit versions of the company's luxury goods.

The sites, which didn't defend themselves, were found to have infringed upon 9 trademarks. In addition to fake Birkin bags, they sold fake wallets, watches, belts and jewelry.

'Ghost Rider' Belongs to Marvel, Federal Judge Rules

Who owns "Ghost Rider" -- Marvel, or the man who created the comic book character? According to U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest, Marvel does. Writer and former Marvel employee Gary Friedrich's lawsuit against the comic book company was dismissed in federal court this week.

Friedrich created the fiery motorcycle-riding "Ghost Rider" character in the early 1970s.

He sought movie rights after he heard that Marvel planned other uses of the "Ghost Rider" character. The 2007 "Ghost Rider" flick, starring Nicolas Cage, grossed around $115.8 million in the U.S. and Canada.