Issues to Watch

Allergan’s Tribal Troubles: Sovereign Immunity and Patent Protection Measures in Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals


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* Yitzchak Besser

Major pharmaceutical companies, like their peers in other industries, are often presumed to zealously guard their patents; in fact, patent litigation in the pharmaceutical industry rose nearly 30% in 2017 .  Mike Botta, Report: Pharmaceutical Patent Litigation Increased Nearly 30 Percent in 2017, R&D (May 8, 2018, 7:00 AM), https://www.rdmag.com/news/2018/05/report-pharmaceutical-patent-litigation-increased-nearly-30-percent-2017. However, Allergan, Inc., has recently found itself in court for attempting to implement a novel approach toward safeguarding intellectual property: transferring ownership of their patents to a Native American tribe, and then filing for exemption from review under a theory of tribal sovereign immunity.  Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan Pharms. Inc., 896 F.3d 1322, 1325 (Fed. Cir. 2018). (more…)

Issues to Watch

Birds Take Flight in Baltimore: The City’s Attempt to Regulate the New Electric Scooters


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* Christina Araviakis

The Baltimore Orioles and Ravens have some competition because there is a new Bird in town–the electric scooter.  Bill King, Is Bird for the Birds?: Scooter Company’s Presence in Baltimore Raises Eyebrows and Questions, Balt. Sun, July 31, 2018, at A11.  A California-based company, Bird Rides Inc. (hereinafter “Bird”), recently brought over sixty electric scooters to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.  Id.  Riders simply use an app to unlock any scooter that is available on the street after entering their credit card and driver’s license information.  Id.  Bird hopes to reduce carbon emissions, get people out of their cars, and offer an alternative to sitting in traffic or a sweaty walk to Baltimore residents.  Morgan Eichensehr, Bird Brings Fleet of Rentable Electric Scooters to Baltimore, Balt. Bus. J., (June 28, 2018, 2:31 PM), https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2018/06/28/bird-brings-fleet-of-rentable-electric-scooters.html.  Costing only one dollar to start the scooter and then fifteen cents per minute, the scooters have become a quick and efficient way for many to avoid city traffic in Baltimore; however, city regulation of the scooters has become a problem.  King, supra. (more…)

Issues to Watch

DIY Weapons: The War on 3D Printed Firearms


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*Rebekah Nickerson

Support among the American public for stricter gun laws has steadily increased over the last few years in the wake of mass shootings.  Steven Shepard, Gun Control Support Surges in Polls, Politico (Feb. 28, 2018, 07:27 AM), https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/28/gun-control-polling-parkland-430099.  In 2016, support for more restrictive gun laws climbed to fifty-eight percent among Americans following the Pulse nightclub shooting.  Id.  Support rose again to sixty-four percent following the Las Vegas country-music festival shooting and climbed higher yet to sixty-eight percent after the horrific Parkland school shooting earlier this year.  Id.  (more…)

Issues to Watch

Corrupt Trump? Possible Violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses


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Bridget Mentzer*

 United States District Court for the District of Maryland Judge Peter J. Messitte permitted a lawsuit filed by the District of Columbia and Maryland against President Trump to proceed, contrary to the wishes of the Department of Justice.  District of Columbia v. Trump, 315 F.Supp.3d 875, 907 (2018); Peter Overby, Federal Lawsuit Against President Trump’s Business Interests Allowed to Proceed, Nat’l Pub. Radio (July 25, 2018, 5:00 PM), https://www.npr.org/2018/07/25/632300960/federal-lawsuit-against-president-trumps-business-interests-allowed-to-proceed.  The suit claims that President Trump, through his and the Trump Organization’s ownership of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., violated the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution by either directly or indirectly accepting payments from foreign and domestic governments.  Trump, 315 F.Supp.3d at 877, 907. (more…)

Issues to Watch

Is Social Media a Viable Vehicle for Alternate Service?


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Joseph Rossi*

Alternate service is service of a party in a court proceeding through means other than direct personal service.  Amanda Sexton, DGR Serves First Instances of Service via Social Media Through LinkedIn & Instagram, DGR Legal (Oct. 18, 2017), https://www.dgrlegal.com/electronic-service-of-process/service-via-social-media-linkedin-instagram/.  Often, courts must grant motions for alternative service due to either difficulties in obtaining current information for a party, or because of a party’s evasion. Erdal Turnacioglu, Facebook Notification: You’ve Been Served!, L. Prac. Today (Nov. 13, 2015), https://www.lawpracticetoday.org/article/facebook-notification-youve-been-served/.  This entails posting the summons at a known address, placing the summons in well-known publications, or using a public posting at a local courthouse.  Sexton, supra.  Alternative service has greatly evolved over time as new ways to serve and new issues in service have arisen.  See Turnacioglu, supra.  For example, in auto-tort cases, a party’s insurance carrier, which would be aware of its policy holder’s most current address, may be served rather than the policy holder themselves.  Md. Code Ann., Ins. § 4-107 (West 1997).  Fifteen years ago, service through email in certain instances was approved for the first time.  Sexton, supra; Rio Props., Inc. v. Rio Int’l Interlink, 284 F.3d 1007 (9th Cir. 2002).  In a modern era with the growth of social media there has been a question of, when all else fails, whether social media can be a proper way to serve a party. Turnacioglu, supra. (more…)