The U.S. Supreme Court is gearing up to hear arguments Tuesday in a high-stakes fight over the federal government's ability to access data stored abroad by Microsoft, and court watchers expect the justices to focus on a range of thorny legal and public policy issues in their quest to decide the close question of whether privacy rights or law enforcement needs should prevail.
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Analysis

What To Watch As High Court Takes On Microsoft Warrant Row

The U.S. Supreme Court is gearing up to hear arguments Tuesday in a high-stakes fight over the federal government's ability to access data stored abroad by Microsoft, and court watchers expect the justices to focus on a range of thorny legal and public policy issues in their quest to decide the close question of whether privacy rights or law enforcement needs should prevail. Read more »

Patent Agent Emails Merit Privilege, Texas Justices Say

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday sided with an inventor and upended a trial court's order that he turn over more than 300 emails between himself and his nonattorney patent agent in a dispute over restaurant technology, holding that the communications are privileged under the state's evidence rules. Read more »

Wilson Sonsini, Simpson Thacher Guiding Dropbox IPO

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP are guiding the initial public offering process of cloud storage tech giant Dropbox Inc., according to papers filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Friday. Read more »

Decency Law Shields Google From Defamation Suit: DC Circ.

The D.C. Circuit held Friday that an apparel company owner’s $8 million lawsuit against Google over an ex-contractor’s allegedly defamatory blog post was correctly dismissed, saying the Communications Decency Act immunized the tech giant from liability since it published the blog but didn’t create it. Read more »

Up Next At The High Court: Antitrust Rule, Public Unions

The U.S. Supreme Court is closing out its February oral argument session with a blockbuster docket, taking on a key doctrine of antitrust law in a case involving American Express Co. and pondering the fate of public sector unions. Read more »

Brand Battles: Maker's Mark, Apple, Duke University, LG

In Law360’s latest roundup of new actions at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, Maker's Mark takes on a "Bowmaker's" bourbon, Apple targets a New York City realty firm over an apple logo, and Duke University picks a fight with LG Electronics for trying to register its own "Duke" trademark. Read more »

POLICY & REGULATION

China's New VPN Crackdown 'Troubling,' US Tells WTO

The U.S. expressed concern Friday over China’s new internet access rules that seem to impose restrictions on virtual private networks, telling the World Trade Organization that China has not provided the proper assurance on the rules’ effects on cross-border business before they come into force next month. Read more »

FCC's Pai Awarded NRA Rifle For Net Neutrality Fortitude

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai received a surprise award Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, when the National Rifle Association revealed it was gifting him a token firearm for enduring threats and insults amid the recent net neutrality deregulation. Read more »

DOJ Official Urges Consistency In Tech Antitrust Enforcement

A top U.S. Department of Justice antitrust official said Friday in a London speech that despite the rapid pace of change in the data and tech landscape, open-minded, evidence-based enforcement remains the crucial ingredient to prevent governments from harming innovation and consumers. Read more »

Carriers Accused Of Cashing In On Net Neutrality Rollback

AT&T and other wireless carriers have ramped up their practice of blocking promotional text message alerts since the Federal Communications Commission repealed so-called net neutrality rules, in an effort to push paid service packages, communications platform company Twilio told the FCC on Thursday in an ex parte filing. Read more »

LITIGATION

Mass. Justices Revive Long Row Over Computer Contract Tax

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court handed down a ruling Thursday concerning a long-running putative class action by purchasers of computer service contracts who asserted the imposition of taxes on the contracts was unlawful, unfair and deceptive. Read more »

NJ Panel Affirms Award Over IT Worker's Unauthorized Access

The New Jersey Appellate Division on Friday refused to disturb a $27,000 judgment in favor of an information technology company that alleged its former worker accessed its system without authorization and destroyed data, ruling that a bench trial judge had properly assessed the evidence. Read more »

Fitbit Wants Rival Sanctioned After Beating IP Suit

A Fitbit Inc. rival should be sanctioned for not conducting the simplest of investigations before claiming Fitbit infringed a patent covering its motion detection technology, the company told a California federal court in a renewed push to have the since-dismissed suit deemed frivolous. Read more »

Insurer Says Policy Won't Cover Claims Over $3B Verizon Deal

U.S. Specialty Insurance Co. on Friday asked a federal judge to rule that it doesn’t have to defend IDT Corp. chairman Howard Jonas against a stockholder suit stemming from an IDT spinoff’s $3 billion wireless spectrum sale to Verizon, arguing that the spinoff isn’t covered by IDT’s policy. Read more »

Canon Gets Enhanced Damages In Bottle Patent Suit

A Georgia federal judge has beefed up a jury's $4.4 million verdict for Canon Inc. over patented toner bottles, saying Thursday that a damages enhancement is warranted because willful infringement went on for some time. Read more »

Licensee Wants Out Of Stolen-Car Tech Arbitration Row

South African company Tracker Connect Ltd., which sells technology used to recover stolen vehicles, urged a Massachusetts federal court Thursday to toss a suit brought by the owner of the technology, LoJack Corp., over arbitration proceedings that allegedly violated the companies’ licensing agreement. Read more »

DEALS

China’s Momo Pays More Than $600M For PE-Backed Tantan

Chinese social and dating app network Momo Inc. said Friday it will take over private equity-backed dating app rival Tantan in a deal worth upward of $600 million. Read more »

Sinclair-Tribune Divestiture Plan Underwhelms, Advocate Says

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. recently revealed plans to give up a slate of stations in its proposed megamerger with Tribune Media Co., but at least one advocacy group is crying foul at the plan as a half-hearted concession underpinned by cooperation from the Federal Communications Commission. Read more »

PE-Backed 'Emerging Growth Co.' Files For $300M IPO

A newly organized blank check company created by private equity firm Terrapin Partners filed for a $300 million initial public offering Friday, with its eye on large private technology companies and technology disrupting markets, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Read more »

ENFORCEMENT

FTC Sues Tech Cos. For Phony Computer Security Scam

The Federal Trade Commission sued a California man and his defunct tech companies in federal court on Thursday, accusing them of facilitating a scheme to deceive older consumers into paying for phony computer protection that bilked them out of millions of dollars and stole their personal information. Read more »

PEOPLE

Faegre Baker Daniels Adds IP Pro In Silicon Valley

An intellectual property partner from Jones Day who has deep technical expertise and a history of working with companies based in China has joined the Silicon Valley office of Faegre Baker Daniels, according to the firm. Read more »

Wilson Sonsini Adds Ex-Skadden National Security Pro In DC

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC on Thursday announced it has brought aboard a former Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP associate for the firm's national security regulatory practice in Washington, D.C. Read more »

Goulston & Storrs Grows Corporate Team With Boston Hire

A former Pepper Hamilton LLP partner has joined Goulston & Storrs PC in its Boston office, adding even more depth and experience to the firm’s corporate practice with a specialist in the middle-market mergers and acquisitions and private equity spaces. Read more »

Taxation With Representation: Davis Polk, Kirkland & Ellis

In this week’s Taxation With Representation, Rhône Capital inks a $560 million deal for a Brazilian steakhouse chain, Temenos buys Fidessa for $1.9 billion and IK Investment Partners closes on a €550 million ($676 million) small cap fund. Read more »

Health Hires: Goodwin, Alston & Bird, Lucas & Mercanti

So far in February, Alston & Bird LLP lost an FDA-focused attorney to Goodwin Procter LLP and gained a government contracts attorney from Dentons, and intellectual property boutique Lucas & Mercanti LLP announced the arrival of three attorneys specializing in pharma. Read more »

EXPERT ANALYSIS

10 Considerations For Blockchain Patent Applications

When filing blockchain patent applications, there are some issues to keep in mind, including divided infringement, Alice and open source, say attorneys with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP. Read more »

Cryptocurrencies: Money, Securities Or Other Property?

While newer forms of commercial crime policies specifically address cryptocurrency losses, there may be debate whether cryptocurrencies are "money," "securities" or "other property" under traditional crime forms. The argument will possibly focus on the "security" definition, say attorneys with Wiley Rein LLP. Read more »

What The DOJ Cyber Task Force Can Do

While history is littered with reports and whitepapers that do not inspire change, there is an opportunity for the U.S. Department of Justice's new Cyber-Digital Task Force to have an impact, say attorneys with Wiley Rein LLP. Read more »

LEGAL INDUSTRY

Feature

How Mentors For Senior Partners Could Benefit BigLaw

Large law firms have long offered mentorship programs in which senior partners bestow pearls of wisdom upon junior attorneys, but at least one law firm is shaking up that traditional model in what some say could be a game-changer for the legal industry. Read more »

Analysis

Ex-Skadden Atty's Plea Raises Specter Of Foreign Lobbying

The sudden guilty plea of a now-former Skadden lawyer who helped write a legal analysis commissioned by Paul Manafort on behalf of a Ukrainian president puts further scrutiny on the firm’s role in the controversial report and whether Skadden crossed into the legally precarious position of unregistered lobbying for a foreign government, experts said. Read more »

LSAT Administrator Likely In Contempt As Feds Sit Idly By

A California federal judge said Friday that the Law School Admission Council Inc. was likely in contempt of a consent decree laying out ways it should accommodate disabled test takers, adding it was “astounding” that the federal government took no position on the alleged violations after it had vigorously pursued the litigation for several years. Read more »

GC Cheat Sheet: The Hottest Corporate News Of The Week

A report revealed that National Public Radio management hired and retained news executive Michael Oreskes despite multiple "flags" regarding his inappropriate behavior toward women, Democrats dinged new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission guidance as old advice, and the general counsel of Discover Financial Services spoke with Law360 about how the company prioritizes diversity and inclusion. These are some of the stories in corporate legal news you may have missed in the past week.​ Read more »

Podcast

Law360's Pro Say: Microsoft's Supreme Court Privacy Battle

On the latest episode of Law360's Pro Say podcast, we are joined by Microsoft's head of litigation to talk about upcoming U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in a privacy case over data stored on servers overseas. We also chat about a BigLaw attorney swept up in Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation, the Supreme Court narrowing legal protections for corporate whistleblowers, and a legal beef over Dunkin' Donuts Angus steak sandwiches. Read more »

In Case You Missed It: Hottest Firms And Stories On Law360

For those who missed out, here's a look back at the law firms, stories and expert analyses that generated the most buzz on Law360 last week. Read more »

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COMPANIES

AT&T Inc.

Accenture plc

Akorn Inc.

Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd.

American Express Company

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

American Intellectual Property Law Association

Apple Inc.

Aruba Networks, Inc.

AstraZeneca

Bank of America Corporation

Beam Suntory Inc.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Broadcom Ltd.

BuzzFeed Inc.

CTIA

Canon Inc.

Cloud Technology Partners Inc.

Credit Suisse Group AG

Deutsche Bank AG

Digital Realty Trust Inc.

Discover Financial Services

Dropbox Inc.

Dunkin' Brands Group Inc.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Expedia Inc.

Facebook

Fidessa Group PLC

Fitbit Inc.

Fordham University

GE Healthcare Ltd.

Genesis Capital LLC

Google Inc.

Green Bay Packers

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.

Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co., Inc.

Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre

Hotels.com

IDT Corporation

IK Investment Partners Ltd.

IP Owners Association

ImClone Systems Inc.

International Business Machines Corporation

International Centre for Dispute Resolution

LG Electronics Inc.

LoJack Corporation

MasterCard Incorporated

MedImmune LLC

Microsoft Corporation

NASDAQ OMX Group Inc.

NFL Enterprises LLC

National Public Radio Inc.

National Rifle Association of America

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation

Nomura Holdings, Inc.

Pfizer Inc.

Robert Half International Inc.

Sanofi-Aventis

Sequoia Capital Operations LLC

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.

Snap Inc.

SoftBank Group Corp.

Sprint Nextel Corporation

Straight Path Communications Inc.

The American Law Institute

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.

Thomas H. Lee Partners LP

TomTom NV

Tribune Media Co.

Twilio Inc.

Twitter Inc.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Verisk Analytics Inc

Verizon Communications

Wells Fargo & Co.

Wi-LAN Inc.

YouTube Inc.

LAW FIRMS

Ahmad Zavitsanos

Allen & Overy

Alston & Bird

Arent Fox

Arnold & Porter

Ballard Spahr

Bass Berry

Boies Schiller

Bond Schoeneck

Clyde & Co

Covington & Burling

Cravath Swaine

Crowell & Moring

Cunningham Swaim

DLA Piper

Davis Polk

Dentons

Dorsey & Whitney

Durie Tangri

Faegre Baker

Fenwick & West

Fitzpatrick Cella

Friedman Suder

Gibson Dunn

Goodwin

Goulston & Storrs

Greenberg Traurig

Hogan Lovells

Holland & Hart

Holland & Knight

Hudnell Law Group PC

Hyman Phelps

Jones Day

Joseph Greenwald

Kasowitz Benson

Kellogg Hansen

Kilpatrick Townsend

King & Spalding

Kirkland & Ellis

Labaton Sucharow

Latham & Watkins

Leydig Voit

Linklaters

Littler Mendelson

Locke Lord

Lucas & Mercanti

McElroy Deutsch

Miles & Stockbridge

Morgan Lewis

Morrison & Foerster

Murphy & McGonigle

Norton Rose Fulbright

Nossaman LLP

Ogletree Deakins

Olive & Olive PA

Orrick Herrington

Patterson Belknap

Pepper Hamilton

Perkins Coie

Petrillo Klein

Polsinelli

Proskauer Rose

Quinn Emanuel

Ropes & Gray

Sandberg Phoenix

Sandler Reiff

Sharma & DeYoung

Sidley Austin

Simpson Thacher

Skadden

Sullivan & Cromwell

Tucker Ellis

Weil Gotshal

Wiley Rein

Wilson Sonsini

Womble Bond Dickinson

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States

Defense Security Service

Delaware Court of Chancery

Drug Enforcement Administration

European Commission

European Union

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal Communications Commission

Federal Trade Commission

Food and Drug Administration

National Institute of Standards and Technology

National Labor Relations Board

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance

Securities and Exchange Commission

U.S. Attorney's Office

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Supreme Court

World Trade Organization