The law related to technology- sometimes
referred to as intellectual property - is an extremely complex
and wide body of law. Disputes concerning technology law or
intellectual property law are among the most complex cases
presented in the courts due in significant part to the “moving
target” aspect of the law.
In this information age, the courts are
flooded with a number of technology created issues. Law makers,
courts, businesses, and consumers are finding it increasingly
difficult to keep pace with novel issues brought by new
and rapidly evolving technologies. Because innovation has
expanded so rapidly over the last decade, courts seem to
be addressing both novel and new issues presented as cases
of first impression.
The legislative process is moving much
slower than technology, leaving many technology-based issues
to be decided in the courtroom. Variance in application
of law between federal and state law and even between federal
circuits – makes legal determinations uncertain. Additionally,
courts often attempt to apply older established legal principals
to new technology-based disputes, only later encounter additional,
unanticipated legal issues and problems. As such, an up-to-the-minute
understanding of technology is necessary for success in
any type of technology-based litigation.
The Internet, new digital mediums and
formats, encryption and decryption technologies, digital
copying and editing technologies, online music services,
and developments such as peer-to-peer file sharing, have
raised a number of high profile cases dealing with copyright
law, fair use, contributory infringement, privacy issues,
and consumer rights. Napster, KaZaA, Grokster, Gnutella,
and MP3 have become common terms inside and outside the
The Internet and the World Wide Web have
also created a whole new set of issues involving trademark
laws. Trademark issues involving domain disputes and cyber
squatting have become commonly litigated subjects. Patent
law is also evolving with the emergence of new technologies.
Software patents, “mask work” copyrights and patents (protecting
microchip designs), and online "e-business" method
patents are all relatively new developments and are still
the subject of hot debate.
New technology and the Internet have
also created complex contractual and licensing issues. Businesses
and individuals must anticipate new emerging technologies
and mediums in their development and licensing agreements.
The Internet has ushered in
a new information age, allowing people across the
globe to connect with one another and conveniently
access and share information. The Internet however
has raised numerous intellectual property issues such
as trademark infringement, cybersquatting, online
piracy, and copyright infringement. Additionally, Internet
practices such as hacking, identity theft, spamming,
information data mining and collection,, and online
defamatory statements has raised serious criminal
and constitutional issues involving free speech and
privacy rights Amendment rights.
Encryption and decryption technologies, advanced digital
copying and editing technologies, reverse engineering,
and the Internet, have facilitated the copying, modification,
and distribution of copyrighted digital and non-digital
works. In addition to infringement concerns, new mediums
and multimedia technologies have created a host of
other copyright issues involving licensing, authorship,
work for hire, and compilation copyright issues.
involves a number of sub specialties within the
intellectual property arena. While “Entertainment”
litigation is not one specialized field of law,
it draws upon the laws concerning intellectual
property, contract and tort, with increasing attention
attention and value to technology and intellectual
Since the advent of the
information age, the courts have been flooded with
legal dispute and issues involving new and emerging
technologies. New technologies, multimedia formats
and mediums, such as DVDs and online digital streaming,
have greatly expanded the scope of intellectual
property law. and
created a number of novel issues related to copyright,
contract, and licensing law.
Patent law is also evolving
with the emergence of new technologies. Software
patents, “mask work” copyrights and patents (protecting
microchip designs), and online "e-business"
method patents are all relatively new developments
and are still the subject of hot debate. New technologies
and the Internet have also created complex contractual
and patent licensing issues.