The CLOUD Act: Mooting the Microsoft Ireland Case, but Not Forecasting Clear Skies Just Yet

One of the highest profile cases of the current Supreme Court term is likely now mooted due to a small portion of the lengthy omnibus spending bill, passed in March by Congress in a last-minute effort to avert an impending government shutdown. United States v. Microsoft[1]—which the Supreme Court heard oral argument for on February 27, 2018—is pending before the Court and a decision would have far reaching implications for government investigations, consumer privacy, and cloud storage technology. The main […] (More →)

Wither the Threshold for Patent Eligibility Following Berkheimer, Aatrix, and Exergen

Introduction and the Alice Test In 2014, the Supreme Court decided Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014), a landmark in patent law. Alice sets out a unified approach to determining whether inventions relying on abstract ideas, laws of nature, or products of nature constitute “patentable subject matter” under Section 101 of the patent act. Prong one under Alice asks if the patent claim is “directed to” one of those three judicially created exceptions to […] (More →)

ICOs: Emerging Regulatory Framework

Introduction Last year, entrepreneurs raised some $6 billion1 through “initial coin offerings”, or ICOs—a crowdfunding mechanism by which firms issue cryptocurrency, or digital coins, in exchange for legal tender or, usually, other cryptocurrency. Coin holders can stand to share in the projected returns of ICO-funded projects but do not necessarily receive a claim on the issuer’s earnings à la equity-holders who purchase stock in IPOs. Despite their name, digital coins serve as ‘currency’ only for the projects they are meant […] (More →)

Insider Trading in Cryptocurrency: Exploring New Territory for the CFTC

Introduction Insider trading in cryptocurrency has been a hot topic in industry and (to some extent) mainstream press[1]. Allegations that employees of Coinbase, a popular cryptocurrency exchange, bought Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in advance of its listing on the exchange sparked much of this recent interest. These allegations have even spawned a lawsuit by disgruntled BCH traders[2]. While that is a private suit not premised on traditional theories of insider trading liability, recent enforcement practices by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission […] (More →)

Public Benefit Corporations: Issues around Voting

As corporate social responsibility becomes a more prominent and permanent interest of a significant portion of U.S. consumers,[1] the Benefit Corporation could become a more attractive investment vehicle, and more Benefit Corporations may begin to go public. A Benefit Corporation is a legal structure that allows for-profit corporations to consider the interests of outside stakeholders in addition to shareholders, and have social purposes that go beyond maximizing share price.[2] In other words, a Benefit Corporation allows a for-profit business to […] (More →)

Color Wars: The Legal Protectability of Colored Corporate Branding

Introduction Developing a strong brand is a very important element of a company’s business, primarily because it can convey critical information about the consumer experience and what the company stands for. While companies commonly receive protection for company or product logos, seeking legal protection for colors associated with a brand has proven to be a much more difficult area of intellectual property law that companies have to navigate. Among the different tools that can be used to create exclusive rights […] (More →)

Wazers Beware: Can Police Access Your Data?

The average American spends roughly 42 hours per year sitting in traffic.[1] This staggering figure helps to explain the public’s enthusiastic response to Waze, a social media platform and mobile application designed to help drivers more effectively avoid traffic and reach their destination. What sets Waze apart from other navigation applications is the platform’s ability to effectively combine electronic meta-data with user-generated reports to determine the most efficient route for a driver to take. Users, referred to as “Wazers” on […] (More →)

How a Viral Snapchat of Tom Brady Shakes Up the World of Copyright

On February 15th, the Southern District of New York held in Goldman v. Breitbart that embedding copyrighted content does not protect content users from copyright infringement claims. This ruling contrasts with the Ninth Circuit holding in Amazon v. Perfect 10 and the way large publications and personal blogs have operated business. The facts surrounding this case, not surprisingly, involve a photo that became widely circulated through social media platforms and online news publications. The Plaintiff, Goldman, snapped a photo of […] (More →)

Rejected Trademark Licenses in Bankruptcy: Giving the Licensor a Fresh Start

Introduction: The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently issued a ruling which has significant implications for trademark licensees. Reversing a decision by the First Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, the court held that a trademark licensor in bankruptcy may reject a trademark licensing agreement contained in an executory contract, and in such instances the trademark licensee loses the right to continue to use the trademark.[1] The First Circuit explicitly noted that this decision rejects a contrary decision […] (More →)

Digital Trust Realty: The Simple Problem and Simple Solution for Whistleblowing Under Dodd-Frank

The Supreme Court ruled on February 21st that the protections offered by the Dodd-Frank Act to corporate whistleblowers does not cover “internal”  . The Court ruled in Digital Trust Realty, Inc v. Somers that the act only covers disclosures to the SEC, not to superiors or internal compliance departments.[1] While the full impact of this determination remains to be seen, the Securities and Exchange Commission has provided a strong argument that it will undermine the efficacy of the Dodd-Frank Act’s […] (More →)

About CBLR

Columbia Business Law Review is the first legal periodical at a national law school to be devoted solely to the publication of articles focusing on the interaction of the legal profession and the business community. The review publishes three issues yearly, which involve students in the editing of leading articles in business law, as well as the production of student-written notes.