Technologist: October 2010 Archives
Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

October 2010 Archives

Sex.com - The Value of A Domain Name

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

Sex sells, right?  And that is true when it comes to domain names, and in particular the domain name sex.com, which reportedly just sold for $13 million.

Adult content always has been at the monetary forefront of technological advances.  Still photography long ago, video recordings later, and online images/action more recently all began with people willing to pay for sexually oriented material.

Domain names obviously are important, in that they draw Internet traffic from search engines to particular Web sites.  Domain names that include trademarks are valuable to the trademark holders who hope to benefit from their brand and the goodwill associated with their trademarks.  And the Anti-Cyber Squatting Consumer Protection Act allows trademark holders to seek relief from others who improperly include the trademarks of the trademark holders in specific domain names.

HP Slate: It's Official and It's Aimed at Businesses

HP is releasing it's Slate 500 for $799. No one seems particularly excited about this. But no one seems to be saying it isn't a decent device either.

HP seems to be downplaying the Slate, saying that it is not intended to compete with the iPad and that it is a "bussiness-oriented device." The Slate 500 comes with a lot of power, and weights 1.5 lbs. The computer has 2GB of RAM and a 1.86 GHz processor. The screen is multitouch, can also be used with a stylus and comes with Windows 7 installed.

For a certain group of people, the device sounds like it could be very helpful. Namely, corporations that run Windows that require specific locked-in Windows settings. However, no one seems to be suggesting that the overall experience with the device is on par with the iPad. HP seems to have resigned itself to the fact that it is making a niche product and marketing itself as such. That is more honest than the common approach, though it may not exactly help sales.

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

In this electronic age, we leave our digital footprints practically everywhere we go on computers and online. What are the limits to data retention and when should our footprints be wiped clean? This question perhaps raises even more questions instead of a firm answer.

Once upon a time, what we said and how we acted was not recorded in any real way. If we spoke to someone, those words disappeared into the atmosphere after having been uttered. Now, of course, so much speech is conducted electronically, leaving a retrievable record of what was said. Perhaps in certain contexts we might like to know that our previously electronically recorded words might not live on forever, only potentially to haunt us later in life.

For example, teenagers frolicking about on Facebook might prefer to think that later when adults their earlier online exploits and comments will not surface and come back to bite them. Individuals evolve over time, and earlier electronically recorded conduct and statements may no longer truly define who they are later in life.

More Countries Consider BlackBerry Bans; UAE Ban Averted

The number of countries considering BlackBerry bans is growing, although UAE is off the list for now. The BlackBerry controversy comes as a growing number of countries, including the United States, seek ways to eavesdrop on people using mobile technology. India has a deadline at the end of the month for BlackBerry to comply with its laws on eavesdropping. Saudi Arabia and the UAE had threatened to do the same, but eventually backed off on Monday, The Associated Press reports.

The problem is that, according to experts, the corporate version of the BlackBerry email system has such a strong encryption system it is nearly impossible to eavesdrop on it without the cooperation of BlackBerry. The system was designed to be strong to keep the user's materials safe from being intercepted. However, authorities are concerned it is being used to shield illegal activity.

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

Where do people spend more and more of their time on the Internet? In your face on Facebook - that’s where. Indeed, Americans now are socializing more on Facebook than conducting searches and related activities on Google, according to recent statistics.

So what is the average time spent on facebook? The data, from comScore Inc., details that for August 2010, Americans spent 41.1 million minutes on Facebook - a whopping 9.9 percent of their overall online monthly minutes.

This surpassed Americans’ 39.8 million minutes and 9.6 percent of total spent on Google sites, which include Gmail, YouTube and Google news.

ABA Releases Results of Legal Technology Survey

A new report demonstrates that attorneys are increasingly making use of technology. According to the 2010 American Bar Association Legal Technology Survey Report, attorneys are increasingly using Web 2.0 and other technologies in their practice. Attorney's use of social networking and smart phones both grew by double-digit percentages.

The ABA survey is a project of the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center, which provides the legal community with news and information on technology and its use by attorneys. The Legal Technology Resource Center writes about technology and provides continuing legal education on practice management through the use of improved technology. The survey provides over 500 pages of detailed statistics and trend analysis on the use of technology in the practice of law. Over 5,000 ABA members were surveyed as part of the project. The Legal Technology Survey Report comes in six volumes, Technology Basics, Law Office Technology, Litigation and Courtroom Technology, Web and Communication Technology, Online Research, and Mobile Lawyers.

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

Jury damages awards in patent infringement litigation can be quite large. And at times, they have been reversed or reduced on appeal. This raises the issue of how patent infringement damages can be proven or defeated in a way at trial that will stick.

This issue is addressed in a recent article in the Business Valuation Monitor by Grant Thorton, titled “Value Creation Perspectives for Corporate Executives and the Investment Community.” The article notes that a significant part of the value of a patent is the size of the royalty it can command. And, a core damages issue in cases is the method of apportioning the value of the subject patents.