Hiatus

by Lee Gesmer on November 5, 2020

After 15 years, over 560 posts and, by word count, the equivalent of about five novels, I’m putting MassLawBlog on pause for a while.

Thank you to my readers for the many compliments and republications I’ve been favored with over the years.

Those of you who have followed the blog know that I’m fond of quotations, so I’ll close with one that describes why I started this blog in the first instance:

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”

Flannery O’Connor

Lee Gesmer… Read the full article

Gesmer Updegrove LLP Files Comments and Recommendations With Department of Commerce

[This post is adapted from Andrew Updegrove’s August 5, 2020 post]

Since May of 2019, standards setting organizations (SSOs) and U.S. companies have been struggling with the blowback from the decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) to add Huawei and scores of its affiliated companies to the “Entity List” maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security. In June of 2020, the DoC released a long-awaited “Interim Final Rule,” providing a safe harbor for U.S. companies and Huawei et al. to work together on standards. The DoC set a deadline of August 17, 2020 for interested parties to submit recommendations to improve the Interim Final Rule. 

In response to DoC’s request for recommendations Gesmer Updegrove LLP prepared a detailed comment letter which it has submitted on behalf of itself, multiple clients and other SSOs. 

The concerns addressed in these comments arise from the fact that U.S. law prevents U.S.Read the full article

Orace v. Google

Will the Supreme Court dodge the thorny copyright infringement issues in the long-running (ten year) Oracle v. Google case on a technicality? The case was originally scheduled to be argued in March 2020, but after Covid-19 it was deferred to the 2020-21 term. Then, on May 4, 2020 the Court ordered the parties to file supplemental briefs:

“The parties are directed to file supplemental letter briefs addressing the appropriate standard of review for the second question presented, including but not limited to the implications of the Seventh Amendment, if any, on that standard. The briefs, not to exceed 10 pages, are to be filed simultaneously with the Clerk and served upon opposing counsel on or before 2 p.m., Friday, August 7, 2020.”

The “second question presented” is Google’s appeal of the Federal Circuit’s 2018 decision reversing a trial jury’s fair use finding in favor of Google. The “standard of review” is a reference to the “de novo” standard used by the Federal Circuit in the opinion under review.Read the full article

Booking.com

(Bill Hilton, a partner at my firm, co-authored this post with me.)

On June 30, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the addition of “.com” to a generic term has the potential to create a protectable trademark. In so ruling the Court rejected the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s “nearly per se rule” that when a generic term is combined with a generic top-level domain the resulting combination is generic. The background of this Booking.com case is discussed in detail in an earlier post, Supreme Court Will Decide if “generic.com” Trademarks Are Entitled to Trademark Protection.

A few days after this case was decided Kevin Kickstarter scheduled a meeting with his long-time attorney, Mr. Jaggers, to discuss how he might be able to profit from this decision. Regular readers of this blog may recall Kevin and Mr. Jaggers’ past appearances.

Kevin has little regard for the attorney-client privilege, and once again he recorded his meeting with Mr.… Read the full article