SZD CURRENTS: Business methods dodge bullet; cloud computing; employee internet usage


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Business methods dodge bullet in Bilski

The Supreme Court in Bilski v. Kappos continued to leave the door of the U.S. Patent Office open to patents on methods of doing business and failed to create a singular, workable standard for what is a protectable patent process.

Practical guidance for cloud computing

Cloud computing is one of the IT industry's latest fads. In actuality, cloud computing has been offered to consumers for a few years, but it is only recently that some consensus has been reached regarding the benefits and pitfalls associated with its use. This article is intended to provide an introduction to cloud computing and describe some of its benefits and pitfalls.

Employer policies need to address employee internet usage

Employer-provided Internet access has become standard for many businesses. With that access comes challenges for employers, from excessive personal use on company time, including use of web-based personal e-mail accounts, to the posting of photographs and other information on social networking sites with which the company would rather not be associated.

Employers must exercise caution when monitoring employee e-mails

Two recent cases addressed the propriety of an employer accessing and retaining e-mails written or accessed by former employees using the employer's computer equipment, but which were ultimately stored on third-party servers (e.g. Hotmail, Gmail). Even though the cases do not apply Ohio law, they are part of a larger trend toward limiting an employer's rights to access such e-mails.

Proposed multi-track patent examination process

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office proposed changes to the patent application examination process under its Enhanced Timing Control Initiative to provide applicants with greater control over when applications are examined, to enhance work sharing between intellectual property offices around the world and to reduce the overall pendency of patent apps.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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