The Supreme Court Says Your Expectation of Privacy Probably Shouldn’t Depend on Fine Print

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled yesterday in Byrd v. United States that the driver of a rental car could have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the car even though the rental agreement did not authorize him to drive it. We’re pleased that that the…

Supreme Court: Fourth Amendment for Lawful Driver of Vehicle Regardless of Rental Agreement

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that a driver in lawful possession of a rental car has a reasonable expectation of privacy regardless of a rental car agreement. The Court held in Byrd v. United States that, “the mere fact that a driver in lawful…

Supreme Court: Government’s Reading of Wiretap Act ‘Makes Little Sense’

The Supreme Court has ruled in Dahda v. United States, a case about the federal Wiretap Act and the suppression of evidence obtained under an overly broad wiretap order. A lower court permitted the evidence, relying on a novel interpretation of the Act. EPIC filed…

Supreme Court To Review Fairness of Cy Pres Awards In Class Action Settlements

The Supreme Court today granted certiorari to address for the first time whether a class action settlement that awards cy pres but provides no direct relief to class members is “fair, reasonable, and adequate.” The case, Frank v. Gaos, involves a settlement arising from Google’s…

Supreme Court Upholds Patent Office Power to Invalidate Bad Patents

In one of the most important patent decisions in years, the Supreme Court has upheld the power of the Patent Office to review and cancel issued patents. This power to take a “second look” is important because, compared to courts, administrative avenues provide a much faster…

Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling Will Help Shed Light on Police Use of Biometric Technology

A decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday will help the public learn more about how law enforcement use of privacy invasive biometric technology. The decision in Webster v. Hennepin County is mostly good news for the requester in the case, who sought the…

Supreme Court Vacates Microsoft Email Privacy Case

The Supreme Court has vacated United States v. Microsoft, a case concerning whether a U.S. communications law can be used by a U.S. law enforcement agency to obtain personal data stored outside of the U.S. While the case was pending, the Congress quickly passed the…

EFF Asks Federal Circuit Not to Make It Harder To Challenge Software Patents

In its landmark Alice v. CLS Bank decision, the Supreme Court return some much-needed balance to the patent system. The court invalidated an abstract software patent, essentially ruling that adding “on a computer” to an abstract idea does not make it patentable. The Alice ruling…

Catalog of Missing Devices: Meme-Making DVR

The Supreme Court says that copyright requires “escape valves” like fair use to comply with the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of expression. Fair use — and its non-US cousin, Fair Dealing — allows people to make new works from copyrighted materials without permission, especially…

Stupid Patent of the Month: A Token of Troll Appreciation

In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a case that, for the most part, banned the kind of “do it on a computer” style patents that have plagued the U.S. patent system for decades. Ever since then, IP maximalists have been doing whatever they can…