Wiliam J. Cook - Brinks Hofer Gilson and Lione

Feb 07, 1997

"If You Can See it You Can Sue It: Internet & Web Law"

Abstract

In 1996 governments, courts and lawyers discovered the Internet.

  • Courts began adopting an expansive view of personal jurisdiction in view of the growing size and the impact of the Internet - spelled "web pages."
  • Corporate officials and information system personnel were faced with personal liability for information posted on a corporate or university web pages.
  • The corporate take over of the Internet resulted in nationwide trademark and copyright infringement litigation.
  • Litigation on whether "real time " information about an ongoing sports event is protectable on the Internet challenged the viability of stock brokers internationally.
  • Courts wrestled with how, or if, to protect trade secrets once they were posted on the Internet.
  • Similarly, courts and governments attempted to protect databases in an Internet environment, notwithstanding court decisions abandoning "sweat of the brow" compilation copyright protection.
  • Despite protests from Congress aud the software industry, the Clinton administration continued to push key escrow requirements, while courts in Washington, D.C. and northern California argued over whether encryption software was export controlled or First Amendtnent protected.
  • Against this background privacy concerns, - evolving around e-mail, hackers, browser technology, and "cookies" - struggled to be recognized.

About the Speaker

Bill Cook, a trial lawyer and partner in the Chicago intellectual property firm of Brinks Hofer Gilson and Lione, and author of the hypertext column in the Chicago Lawyer magazine, will discuss these and other Internet and web law developments.


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