Whether you started thinking about incorporating earlier this morning or you’re a serial founder about to launch your fifth unicorn, the Delaware incorporation might seem like an odd phenomenon. We often hear “Why do so many companies incorporate in Delaware?” and “I’m a proud Californian—I’ve never even heard of Rehoboth Beach!” While there are situations where we advise clients to incorporate in states other than Delaware, the truth is that Delaware is often the best choice—and likely not for the reasons you may have heard. For example, Delaware does not have special rules allowing secret corporations, is often not the cheapest jurisdiction for incorporation, and is not some sort of tax haven. That being said, setting up shop in Delaware does offer compelling perks.
A California state appellate court sided with Twitter and put a halt to a lawsuit filed against the social media service by white nationalist Jared Taylor. In the lawsuit, Taylor alleges he was wrongly banned from Twitter in December 2017 when Twitter permanently suspended Taylor and his publication, American Renaissance, soon after it announced a crackdown on “violent extremist groups.” In his lawsuit, Taylor claimed that the Twitter account suspensions violated several California laws, including one dealing with unfair business practices.
The IoT is a criminal cryptojacker’s delight; new patents suggest Walmart may have an eye on virtual reality in its future; MIT Technology Review has a few technologies worth thinking about in 2018; and more …
In their recent commentary, AI: Black boxes and the boardroom, colleagues Tim Wright and Antony Bott examine how well-founded concerns over the inscrutability of artificial intelligence processes and the bad outcomes that can be triggered by bad data can be alleviated by certain common sense approaches in the boardroom.
Does one person’s Twitter account a trade secret make? A newspaper in Virginia apparently thinks so. This past week, the owner of The Roanoke Times sued former Virgina Tech sports reporter Andy Bitter under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, among other things, because he refused to give up the login information for a Twitter account.
Last Tuesday afternoon, Elon Musk tweeted from his personal handle, “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” These words drove Tesla’s share prices up by 10% on Tuesday before Nasdaq halted trading, increasing Musk’s estimated net worth by $1.4 billion dollars.
Since then, there has been a lot of speculation about Musk’s tweet, including about whether it violated SEC rules. News outlets reported last week that the SEC has contacted Tesla to inquire as to the accuracy of the tweet, a move that could indicate the start of a more formal investigation.
The European Parliament adopted a resolution earlier this month to suspend the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield agreement. The Privacy Shield is a protocol that provides for the exchange of personal data between the EU and the United States for commercial purposes. Adopted in 2016 after the European Court of Justice invalidated the Safe Harbor arrangement, the shield is intended to safeguard the “fundamental privacy rights” of European citizens with respect to data transfers between signatory countries.
Every day, millions of people are being unwittingly recorded by others. Every person you see walking down the street likely has a means to record your image and transmit it to billions of people at a whim. But, would you have ever expected that your Lyft or Uber ride was being broadcast across the globe for others’ entertainment? For some passengers in St. Louis, this was their reality.
From the frontiers of content creation, we bring news in the longstanding war between man and machine. Or, in this particular case, animators versus software. Researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and the University of Washington are developing artificial intelligence software, dubbed “Composition, Retrieval and Fusion Network” (or CRAFT for short), that allows a user to generate a new video scene composed of graphic elements extracted from a library of preexisting video scenes by simply typing out a description of the new scene (e.g., “Fred is wearing a blue hat and talking to Wilma in the living room. Wilma then sits down on a couch.”). See here for those that prefer academic papers and here for those that prefer videos.
As we approach 2020, distributed ledger technologies (DLT) appear likely to have a far-reaching, comprehensive impact on our global economy. But core components of that economy—intellectual property rights in particular—sit in tension with DLT. Copyright owners learned this lesson with the advent of BitTorrent. Patent owners will face similar threats from DLT-based computing platforms executing programs referred to as “smart contracts.” To date, less than 500 U.S. patents have issued with the term “blockchain” in a claim, and none appear to have been litigated. As such, many nuances of DLT patent enforcement have not yet manifested. Nonetheless, even a cursory review of current case law reveals the road to a decentralized utopia is laden with patent-law potholes.