Tech crunched between clashing U.S.-EU privacy law

November 10, 2015

Facebook got dinged in Belgium for secretly tracking visitors, while Spokeo’s similarly nosy conduct will probably go unpunished in America. Yet in neither case could victims prove they were harmed. The disparate outcomes highlight the need for more uniform data-gathering rules.

Rob Cox: Wal-Mart just shy of target on gun front

October 6, 2015

Like CVS with smokes, the retailer stopped selling AR-15 rifles, the kind used in an Oregon college shooting, because it’s bad business. Yet Wal-Mart blocked a Wall Street parish’s plan to make that and similar policies permanent. The church’s case merits Supreme Court review.

Supreme Court slices Wall Street some wedding cake

June 26, 2015

The landmark ruling approving gay marriage gives even banks reason to celebrate. Benefits for same-sex spouses will be far cheaper and easier to grant, enabling stronger competition with more progressive Silicon Valley for workers. It’s a joyous union of equality and utility.

U.S. insider trading cops risk pasting from bench

January 30, 2015

Prosecutors’ aggressive view of the law has already irked appeals judges, and the Supreme Court may be next. A case on the definition of an illegal tip could give Justice Scalia his long-sought chance to rein in Wall Street watchdogs. Their loss would be a win for clearer rules.

REIT scandal could be good test for Sarbanes-Oxley

October 30, 2014

American Realty Capital Properties says its false financials were intentionally left uncorrected. Details are scant, but that sounds tailor-made for the Enron-inspired law. After more than a decade as an afterthought for U.S. prosecutors, the reform may have a chance to shine.

TV broadcasters missing big picture in Aereo fight

August 29, 2014

CBS, Disney and others oppose the Barry Diller-backed streaming startup’s rebirth as a cable firm. But conceding could put online services and, say, Time Warner Cable on equal legal footing and create more competition for content. That’s a win for viewers and networks alike.

Aereo is dead, long live TV disruption

June 25, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court says the Barry Diller-backed streaming startup violates copyright law. Legal loopholes abound, however, and investors and viewers will reward those who find ways to exploit them. The likes of CBS and Disney can’t afford to spend much time celebrating.

Supremes ride shotgun with Tesla down open road

June 19, 2014

The top U.S. court unanimously ruled that abstract ideas even if run through a computer can be freely adapted. Elon Musk’s electric carmaker also just opened up its technology. Both decisions spread an important message to the vicious world of patent fighting: share, don’t hoard.

U.S. patent law mission creep needs to be reversed

November 17, 2011

The system is supposed to reward inventors but not stifle innovation. Fuzzy concepts like the interpretation of data aren’t protected. Yet one firm says it owns a way to read medical tests. The U.S. Supreme Court has a chance to serve the law’s original intent by disagreeing.

“No harm, no foul” legal concept worth preserving

November 28, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court is due to hear arguments on Monday over a consumer’s right to sue despite suffering no obvious injury. That only encourages dubious litigation against corporate America and upends constitutional logic. The high court now has a chance to squelch such cases.