March 21, 2017
Professor Heidi Kitrosser wrote a column for the American Constitution Society blog in which she argued that courts can and should consider statements made by Donald Trump during his campaign for the presidency in determining whether his administration’s travel order purposefully discriminates against Muslims. She writes, for example, that in the litigation brought by the state of Washington and joined by Minnesota, both the federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals “simply took notice of Donald Trump’s own statements, made publicly and repeatedly from the early days of his campaign through the first days of his presidency, and acknowledged common sense connections between those statements and the travel order. This was no more and no less than what was necessary to hold the administration accountable under the Constitution.”
March 18, 2017
Professor William McGeveran, an expert in data privacy law, was quoted in a front-page StarTribune story about an unusually broad search warrant served on Google, Inc. by police in Edina, Minnesota. The warrant seeks to identify every Google user who entered the name of an identity theft victim as a search term over a five-week period. McGeveran commented that the warrant was close to “dragnet searches that the Fourth Amendment is designed to prevent” and warned of “police fishing expeditions” that could result from allowing such sweeping warrants. Google has said it will fight the warrant, potentially in court.
March 14, 2017
A March 13, 2017 article published in Boston Globe Media’s online science publication STAT and titled “US scientists accuse Turkish researcher of spiriting away their idea—and claiming it as her own,” quotes Professor Tom Cotter on the question of whether researchers at Boston University, who are pursuing a U.S. patent on technology relating to a human papillomavirus (HPV) diagnostic test, could prevent entities in other countries from manufacturing the invention. Cotter states that “Patent rights are territorial, so a U.S. patent would only be enforceable in the United States.”
March 12, 2017
In its March 2, 2017 opinion in Airbus Helicopters S.A.S. v. Bell Helicopter Texteron Canada Limité, the Federal Court of Canada cited two of Professor Tom Cotter’s articles, A New Framework for Determining Reasonable Royalties in Patent Litigation (coauthored with Norman Siebrasse), and Four Principles for Calculating Reasonable Royalties in Patent Infringement Litigation, in the course of awarding the prevailing patent owner $500,000 in compensatory and $1 million in punitive damages.
March 10, 2017
In a post on RegBlog—a University of Pennsylvania Law School blog on regulatory issues—entitled “Bank Culture in the Trump Era,” Professor Clared Hill argues that three deeply problematic aspects of bank culture, specifically irresponsible financial and legal risk-taking, conflicts of interest, and financial maneuvering, were important casues of the crisis, and, disturbingly, can also be seen in Donald Trump’s business dealings.
London Telegraph Profiles Prof. Vaaler's New Research on Customer Discrimination by International Airlines from the Middle EastMarch 9, 2017
The London Telegraph newspaper profiled Professor Paul Vaaler’s new study of international airlines from the Middle East with online route maps that omit Israel and online menu offerings that omit kosher meal options. Vaaler and co-author Joel Waldfogel, an affiliated faculty member of the Law School, document that such map and menu omissions are more likely for international airlines with more anti-Semitic likely customer preferences and owner tastes. Two such airlines, Saudia Arabia’s Saudia Airlines and Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines, are members of the SkyTeam Alliance led by Delta Airlines.
Prof. Vaaler's New Research on Customer Discrimination in Airline Industry Featured in the EconomistMarch 8, 2017
Professor Paul M. Vaaler and his co-author, Law School Affiliated Professor Joel Waldfogel, were interviewed by Economist business travel writer, Bill Ridgers for his Gulliver column. Their new study on customer discrimination in the international airline industry, “Discriminatory Product Differentiation: The Case of Israel’s Omission from Airline Route Maps” was also profiled. Vaaler and Waldfogel analyze determinants of international airline online route maps and inflight menu options that indicative of anti-Semitism. They find that international airlines are more likely to omit Israel from online route maps and omit kosher meal options from online inflight menus when their likely customers are more anti-Semitic, and when their owners are states that do not recognize Israel. Some of these “Israel-denying” airlines are members of major international airline alliances, including Saudi Arabia’s Saudia Airlines and Lebanon’s MEA Airlines. Both are members of the SkyTeam Alliance led by Atlanta-based Delta Airlines.
Prof. Shen Presents Bill Seeking Accountability and Innovation in Youth Sports Concussion ArenaMarch 6, 2017
Law Professor Francis Shen, director of the Neurolaw Lab at the University of Minnesota Law School, will present a bill to the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Reform Committee on March 7th at the State Office Building. The bill is designed to create accountability and innovation in the arena of traumatic brain injuries in youth sports. It builds upon a 2011 law that introduced a new set of protocols to govern the treatment of concussions experienced by youth athletes in Minnesota. Prof. Shen also leads a new University of Minnesota Grand Challenges initiative on concussions—a campus-wide effort to advance the research goals of the Twin Cities campus Strategic Plan. The sports concussions project is a new collaboration between six researchers across five different units, all focused on various aspects of traumatic brain injury.
March 6, 2017
Regina Jefferies, clinical teaching fellow at the James H. Binger Center for New Americans, was quoted by Minnesota Public Radio about President Trump’s second executive order on immigration. “What we’ve seen since the first order went into effect is an increase in scrutiny for individuals who identify as Muslim or might come from a Muslim-majority country,” said Jefferies. “The idea that the Executive would impose made-up standards, without going through the proper legal process, is extremely problematic.” Jefferies told KSTP that this revised travel ban is more of the same. “I think we will continue to see some of the chaos in the implementation,” said Jefferies.
March 2, 2017
Professor Amy Monahan was cited in MarketWatch about proposals to expand the use of Health Savings Accounts as part of efforts aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. She discussed how the cost-saving strategies embedded in Health Savings Accounts differ from those used in other health financing structures, such as Accountable Care Organizations.