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Is The License Still The Product?, Robert W. Gomulkiewicz Jan 2018

Is The License Still The Product?, Robert W. Gomulkiewicz

Articles

The Supreme Court rejected the use of patent law to enforce conditional sales contracts in Impression Products v. Lexmark. The case appears to be just another step in the Supreme Court’s ongoing campaign to reset the Federal Circuit’s patent law jurisprudence. However, the decision casts a shadow on cases from all federal circuits that have enforced software licenses for more than 20 years and potentially imperils the business models on which software developers rely to create innovative products and to bring those products to market in a variety of useful ways.

For over two decades, we could say ...


Conditions And Covenants In License Contracts: Tales From A Test Of The Artistic License, Robert W. Gomulkiewicz Jan 2009

Conditions And Covenants In License Contracts: Tales From A Test Of The Artistic License, Robert W. Gomulkiewicz

Articles

Pity the poor Artistic License version 1.0 (ALv1). The Free Software Foundation criticizes the license as “too vague” with some passages “too clever for their own good.” The Open Source Initiative suggests that it has been “superseded.” ALv1’s authors at the Perl Foundation even acknowledge its flaws.

Yet it is the ALv1, not the venerable GNU General Public License (GPL), which the Federal Circuit upheld in Jacobsen v. Katzer [535 F.3d 1373 (Fed. Cir. 2008)], establishing at long last that open source licenses are enforceable. Although that outcome received most of the headlines, the case’s greater ...


The Impact Of Eu Unfair Contract Terms Law On U.S. Business-To-Consumer Internet Merchants, Jane K. Winn, Mark Webber Jan 2006

The Impact Of Eu Unfair Contract Terms Law On U.S. Business-To-Consumer Internet Merchants, Jane K. Winn, Mark Webber

Articles

This article focuses on the application of European Union unfair contract terms law to retail Internet transactions that U.S. businesses might engage in with European consumers. It compares attitudes toward consumer protection regulation in the U.S. and the EU to provide some context within which the specific provisions of unfair contract terms law can be understood.

While many lawyers and legal academics in the U.S. who study the development of online markets are aware of the profound differences in U.S. and EU information privacy laws, the magnitude of the divergence in consumer electronic contracting law is ...


The Use Of Mtas To Control Commercialization Of Stem Cell Diagnostics And Therapeutics, Sean O'Connor Jan 2006

The Use Of Mtas To Control Commercialization Of Stem Cell Diagnostics And Therapeutics, Sean O'Connor

Articles

The recent focus on patents as a hindrance to stem cell research may turn out to be a red herring. The real culprits are material transfer agreements (MTAs), which govern the transfer of cell lines and other biological materials. The MTA’s primary purpose in life sciences research is to set contractual rights and obligations between parties where one party transfers biological materials to the other. For example, MTAs often focus on the physical handling, use, and distribution of the materials by the recipient, ensuring that the recipient complies with regulations for research involving humans or animals.

Although these interests ...


Diverging Perspectives On Electronic Contracting In The U.S. And Eu, Jane K. Winn, Brian H. Bix Jan 2006

Diverging Perspectives On Electronic Contracting In The U.S. And Eu, Jane K. Winn, Brian H. Bix

Articles

The focus of this Article is the interrelated set of issues that have arisen, on one hand, from Internet transactions regarding the downloading of free or purchased software, as well as other Internet sales, and on the other hand, the distinctive transactional problems that modern business practices have created under the rubric of "shrink-wrap" or "terms in the box"—a late presentation of terms associated with the sale of computers or the licensing of software (with the terms included in the packaging, rather than presented to the user ahead of time)—but not necessarily confined to those transactions.

Such transactions ...


Contracting Spyware By Contract, Jane K. Winn Jan 2005

Contracting Spyware By Contract, Jane K. Winn

Articles

The question of what constitutes "spyware" is controversial because many programs that are adware in the eyes of their distributors may be perceived as spyware in the eyes of the end user. Many of these programs are loaded on the computers of end users after the end user has agreed to the terms of a license presented in a click-through interface.

This paper analyzes whether it might be possible to reduce the volume of unwanted software loaded on end users' computers by applying contract law doctrine more strictly. Unwanted programs are often bundled with programs that the end user wants ...


Getting Serious About User-Friendly Mass Market Licensing For Software, Robert W. Gomulkiewicz Jan 2004

Getting Serious About User-Friendly Mass Market Licensing For Software, Robert W. Gomulkiewicz

Articles

Software publishers use standard form end user licenses (“EULAs”) in mass market transactions on a regular basis. Most software users find EULAs perplexing and generally ignore them. Scholars, however, have focused on them intently. In the past twenty years over a hundred scholarly articles have been written on the subject. Most of these articles criticize EULAs and argue that courts should not enforce them. In their critique of EULAs, some scholars examine the adequacy of the offer, acceptance, and consideration. Others discuss EULAs as part of the troublesome issue of standard form contracting, and whether standard forms, on balance, harm ...


Whose Deal Is It? Teaching About Structural Inequality By Teaching Contracts Transactionally, Kellye Y. Testy Jan 2003

Whose Deal Is It? Teaching About Structural Inequality By Teaching Contracts Transactionally, Kellye Y. Testy

Articles

Although Scott Burnham and others have urged the use of more contracts to teach Contracts for some time,'9 it is safe to say that the majority of Contracts courses in the United States do not put actual contracts front and center. While particular phrases or provisions surely are referenced in the steady diet of appellate decisions that comprise the first-year course, those decisions very rarely include the actual contract at issue for study. Moreover, in the increased compression of the first year course," few professors believe they can justify the time for transactional exercises or simulations in the rush ...


Despatches From The Front: Recent Skirmishes Along The Frontiers Of Electronic Contracting Law, Jane Kaufman Winn, Michael Rhoades Pullen Jan 1999

Despatches From The Front: Recent Skirmishes Along The Frontiers Of Electronic Contracting Law, Jane Kaufman Winn, Michael Rhoades Pullen

Articles

This Article will provide a short overview of the current efforts in the United States and the European Union to reform contract law to accommodate recent innovations in electronic contracting. Whether changes are needed to current contract law doctrines governing contract formation, effectiveness of contract terms, choice of law and forum provisions, special protections for consumers, and signature and writing requirements, revisions in these areas have all proved controversial. Even in those areas where a consensus may be emerging on whether law reform may be appropriate in some form, consensus is often still lacking with regard to the specific legislation ...


The License Is The Product: Comments On The Promise Of Article 2b For Software And Information Licensing, Robert W. Gomulkiewicz Jan 1998

The License Is The Product: Comments On The Promise Of Article 2b For Software And Information Licensing, Robert W. Gomulkiewicz

Articles

Article 2B promises to draw together contract principles for software and information licensing that, at present, are spread among various bodies of law.

This Article argues that Article 2B must affirm industry standard licensing practices in order to prove beneficial. For example, Article 2B's affirmation of industry standard mass market licensing is important for both publishers and end users. Article 2B must also provide the flexibility to accommodate new distribution and licensing models that will arise as electronic commerce matures. Any other approach would fundamentally disrupt the software and information industries.

Moreover, this Article urges the drafters of Article ...


Washington Timber Deeds And Contracts, Ralph W. Johnson Apr 1957

Washington Timber Deeds And Contracts, Ralph W. Johnson

Articles

The law of Washington concerning the interests conveyed by timber deeds and contracts is foggy. Many vital questions are still totally unanswered, or have been left in confusion, by the cases in point. The principal area of doubt revolves around the question of whether standing timber, which has been sold separately from the land on which it stands, is realty or personalty. The answer is vital for many reasons. It determines whether a husband has power as manager of the community to convey community-owned timber without his wife's signature, which statute of frauds applies to a timber transaction, which ...