Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

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Apple Inc. is known for manufacturing some of the sleekest and highest quality consumer technology available. However, according to a recent review of legal filings by Ars Technica, the most creative people on the Apple team might in fact be the lawyers.

The In Re Apple IPhone Antitrust Litigation case has found its way to SCOTUS review. Now the tech goliath will have a chance to test out their novel arguments before the High Court in a bid to get the case tossed once again.

Uber Turns Over Key Evidence in Self-Driving Lawsuit

They found a proverbial 'smoking gun' in the self-driving car case against Uber.

It was buried in discovery documents that the company wanted to hide. Ultimately, the judge ordered Uber to produce them.

The plaintiff has the documents now, but there's a problem. It's going to take some time to figure out if the smoking gun shot the bullets.

Did Tribes Find Pass Around Patent Review?

If you thought Native American tribes just made money from casinos, you don't know the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation.

The tribes, with about 15,000 members, occupy about one million acres in North Dakota. Most members live elsewhere due to poor conditions on the tribal lands.

Unlike many Native American tribes, however, the North Dakota tribes don't survive solely on casino money. In addition to oil rights, the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation owns a significant technology patent.

Ever wonder why so many patent cases get filed in the Federal Eastern District Court of Texas? It might be that wild wild west Texas mindset, or it might be the fact that over 70 percent of patent holders win their cases in that judicial district.

While you might think that reputable companies like Raytheon might rise above the troll-ish act of venue shopping, you should never underestimate the desire of corporations to save money and to get a leg up in litigation. Unfortunately for Raytheon in their patent infringement case against Cray Inc. over supercomputer patent stuff, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals just shipped the case out of the Texas district that has become the most popular for patent holders, and into Cray's home state of Washington.

The increasing adoption of blockchain technology may soon have a significant impact for entertainment and copyright lawyers. It's more of a question of when rather than whether. In fact, any lawyer that drafts or reviews contracts better start learning about blockchain as the future is here (so no more complaining about the lack of flying cars). If you don't know anything about blockchain, you need to start learning.

Blockchain is already seeing some use on the fringes of the music industry. There are already music distribution services using the technology to help artists, creators, and even regular people, make money by distributing music using blockchain.

Detroit Law Firm Starts Self-Driving Car Team

Only in Detroit would you expect to find a law firm with a self-driving car practice.

America's traditional car capital is also home to Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, a law firm with 300 attorneys. They are a long way from Silicon Valley, where autonomous car research is progressing, but the lawyers plan to pass the competition with their first-of-its-kind practice group.

"The establishment of an Autonomous Vehicle Industry Group made perfect sense for us given our tremendous experience working with clients in the automotive, technology, regulatory, manufacturing and privacy/data sectors," said David Foltyn, Chairman and CEO of Honigman.

As a practitioner, you may have noticed that you can't throw a pleading into a crowded room nowadays without hitting someone trying to sell you on some new legal services innovation. In fact, a new report by Thomson Reuters indicates that the number of patents filed for new legal technology has increased by nearly 500 percent. (Disclosure: Thomson Reuters is FindLaw's parent company.)

The numbers are staggering enough to make you want to throw a pleading in a crowded room. In 2012, less than 100 legal services related patents were filed; in 2016, that number jumped to 579. The majority of these patents, approximately 38 percent, were filed in the United States, with China having filed nearly as many, at approximately 34 percent.

Nintendo Sued for Allegedly Stealing Gamevice Invention

The video game business is no game; it is all business.

That's the bottom line when it comes to Nintendo's Switch, a controller-console that slides onto a tablet computer to allow portable gaming. The company has sold almost 5 million units since March, boosting revenue to $1.41 billion during the first quarter this year.

The problem is, another company says Nintendo stole its invention. Patent game on.

Podcasting Patent Is Dead, but Not the Troll

All good things must come to an end and even some bad things, too.

At least that's the story of Personal Audio and its litigation against podcasters. The failed startup lived on suing companies based on its patent for "disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence."

The lawsuit business worked for a while, including victories against Apple and other companies, but an appeals court put an end to the patent-trolling against podcasters.

Massachusetts Targets Patent Trolls

Our story begins with Carbonite, best known as the icy preservative of Han Solo in "The Empire Strikes Back."

Only in this story, Carbonite is the name of a data backup company. It's not quite a Star Wars story, but there are trolls -- patent trolls.

According to reports, Carbonite has spent millions fighting false patent infringement claims and become a hero in the industry for not giving up. Now Sen. Eric P. Lesser is joining an alliance for legislation to stop such attacks in "the other Silicon Valley" -- Massachusetts.