Category Archives: Business Law

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Chris Odom: ‘Bitcoins are Not Under Legal Law, They’re Under Cryptographic Law’

By Kyle Torpey Nov 19, 2015 1:30 PM EST

Smart contract is a term that gets thrown around quite often in the Bitcoin community, but the reality is not many people truly understand why these types of cryptographic contracts are useful and secure. Smart contracts can come with varying levels of complexity, and one of the most widely-used smart contracts right now is a basic Bitcoin transaction. At the recent Bitcoin Investor Conference in Las Vegas, Stash Co-Founder Chris Odomexplained the key attribute of a smart contract that makes it different from a legal contract.

Smart Contracts Don’t Need a Court of Law

During his remarks on smart contracts, Chris Odom made it clear that the self-executing properties of these sorts of contracts are what separate them from the legal contracts that have been used in the past. He explained:

“The distinguishing factor of a smart contract is that it’s self executing. It executes on its own. You see, most contracts that people make in the legal world are contracts that are designed so that someday they have to be enforced in the court of law; they have to be legally enforced, and so they’re written that way. They’re written based on, you know, ‘We’re going to expect that if we have to enforce this it will be in a court of law, and therefore, all these terms are written based on that assumption.”

Odom also noted that the point of a smart contract is to — at least partially — avoid the legal system in its entirety. He explained that the preferred smart contracts are the ones that automate the enforcement of the contract and do not require the use of a court:

“The last thing you want on a [smart] contract is something saying that it’s enforceable in court. That, ‘Hey, if you use this smart contract, you’re going to end up in court!’ Who wants to sign that? That’s your worst nightmare. When I’m picking a smart contract, I want something that will securely flow the money properly according to its terms and will not land me in court.”

Smart Contracts Automate the Flow of Money

Another key point made by Odom during his presentation is that smart contracts are mostly about automating the flow of money between the parties associated with a particular contract. Instead of having a judge decide the outcome of a contract, a smart contract can automatically trigger a transfer of funds based on a set of parameters defined by computer code. Odom noted:

“A real smart contract is something that automates money flows. It does escrow; it does surety bonds; it does insurance. These are the sorts of things that we’re building with our smart contracts. They automate the money flow. The money goes in here; after so many days, it automatically goes over there, unless a dispute gets triggered, and then maybe an oracle has to come online — or a dispute mediator or arbitrator.”

Smart Contracts Operate Under Cryptographic Law

During his presentation, Chris Odom also told a short story about a lawyer who was recently trying to understand smart contracts and how they work. Odom told the lawyer there is one important statement that should be included in any smart contract:

“Here’s what you want to put in a smart contract. Here’s how you know when you’re writing a smart contract instead of a normal, legal contract. The first thing you put at the top of the contract is ‘This contract will not be enforceable in a court of law.’”

Odom claims the lawyer did not seem to understand the point of a contract that could not be enforced in a court of law, so he went on to describe his point in further detail:

“First of all, courts of law are not able to enforce these [contracts] anyway. Imagine that you’re in court, and there’s a judge, and she says, ‘I have ruled those bitcoins shall be moved to that address.’ But it doesn’t happen. Even though she has robes, a nice chair, and a bailiff with muscles, the bitcoins don’t move. You have to have the private key to move the bitcoins because bitcoins are not under legal law, they’re under cryptographic law. It’s a new form of law that’s coming into existence.”

In short, smart contracts do not require a court or a judge to be enforced. Not only do these types of contracts not operate within the current legal system, but as Odom explained, it is sometimes impossible to enforce the rule of law on what is essentially nothing more than computer code.


Kyle Torpey is a freelance journalist who has been following Bitcoin since 2011. His work has been featured on VICE Motherboard, Business Insider, RT’s Keiser Report, and many other media outlets. You can follow@kyletorpey on Twitter.

Full Article – http://insidebitcoins.com/news/chris-odom-bitcoins-are-not-under-legal-law-theyre-under-cryptographic-law/35915

Neopets accused of violating California business law

Hoang Tran

Nov. 4, 2015, 9:53am

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – A virtual pet game service is facing a lawsuit over allegations it violated California business codes.

John Doe, on behalf of himself and those similarly situated, filed a class-action lawsuit on Oct. 27 in the California Central District Court against Neopets, Inc. for allegedly violating California’s Automatic Renewal Law and California’s Unfair Competition Law, as well as for failure to obtain consumers’ consent and provide acknowledgement of automatic renewal.

The plaintiff alleges that Neopets, which provides a subscription for its virtual pet and games products/services, made automatic renewal or continuous service offers to consumers throughout California, but failed to present the terms in a clear and conspicuous manner and in visual proximity to the request for consent to the offer before the subscription or purchasing agreement was fulfilled. The plaintiff also alleges that the defendants charged the plaintiff’s credit or debit card, or third-party account without first obtaining the plaintiff’s consent. The plaintiff argues that the defendant failed to provide an acknowledgment that includes the automatic renewal or continuous service offer terms, cancellation policy, and information regarding how to cancel.

The plaintiff is suing for damages and full restitution in the amount of the subscription payments already made. He also wants injunctive relief, attorney costs and any other rewards deemed just by the court. The plaintiff is represented by Scott J. Ferrell, Richard H. Hikida, David W. Reid and Victoria C. Knowles of the office of Newport Trial Group in Newport Beach, California.

U.S. District Court, California Central District Court Case number 2:15-cv-08395-DMG-PLA

Full Article – http://legalnewsline.com/stories/510646459-neopets-accused-for-violating-california-business-law

Sun Pharma settles US patent litigation with Actavis over skin care drug

 

The settlement is subject to review by the US Federal Trade Commission and the US department of justice, Sun Pharma said. Photo: Bloomberg

Mumbai: Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc., a unit of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, has settled a patent litigation with Actavis over the generic version of Absorica, a drug used to treat acne.

Ranbaxy, along with its partners, Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Galephar Pharmaceutical Research, Inc. have entered into a settlement with Actavis that dismisses the lawsuit relating to Actavis’s abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) for a generic version of Absorica (isotretinoin capsules), Sun Pharma said.

Absorica is used to treat severe recalcitrant nodular acne, a skin disease, in patients 12 years of age and older.

As part of the agreement, Ranbaxy, Cipher and Galephar have entered into a non-exclusive license agreement with Actavis under which Actavis may start selling its generic version of Absorica in the US on 27 December 2020 (nine months before the expiration of the patents in September 2021) or earlier under certain circumstances, it said.

In 2014, Ranbaxy had introduced Absorica 25 mg and 35 mg capsules in the US after the product was licensed from Cipher Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

The settlement is subject to review by the US Federal Trade Commission and the US department of justice, Sun Pharma said.

Read Full Article – http://www.livemint.com/Companies/FzFiRFnBqLKVKWbhCBYnfM/Sun-Pharma-settles-patent-litigation-with-Actavis.html

Producers of Tupac Biopic Sued for $10 Million

Ron Galella/Getty Images
By Christina Lee • October 29, 2015

Translation: No, you won’t be seeing the film anytime soon.

Production company Emmett/Furla Oasis has filed a $10 million lawsuit against Morgan Creek Productions. Both companies are producing the anticipated Tupac biopic; however, Emmett/Furla claims that Morgan Creek cast its Tupac Shakur without their permission—a breach of their contract. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Morgan Creek agreed to let Emmett/Furla have sole approval of the film’s director and the lead actor.

This latest development (if you can call it that) has hardly been the film’s only setback. John Singleton, who worked with the rapper and Janet Jackson in 1993’s Poetic Justice, was set to direct the biopic but then exited production in April. He now wants to direct a Tupac film of his own. “The people involved [in the biopic] aren’t really respectful of the legacy of Tupac,” John said at the time on Instagram. Carl Franklin is now set to direct.

In 2009, Morgan Creek sued Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur over the music rights to the film. Afeni countersued before both parties eventually settled in 2011.

Tupac is more than deserving of a film about his life. Among other life events, he started rapping while enrolled in a performing arts school, only for his mother Afeni to miss the early years of his music career because she got addicted to crack cocaine. Politicians feared him as he faced death threats. He survived several shootings as he rapped about how he was going to die at a young age, all before he was fatally shot at 25.

Revisit the Poetic Justice trailer below.

Full Article – https://myspace.com/article/2015/10/29/emett-furla-oasis-sue-morgan-creek-productions-tupac-biopic

Small-business legal group urges Supreme Court to hear property case

By Lydia Wheeler – 10/19/15 11:23 AM EDT

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center is urging the Supreme Court to take a case out of California that questions whether a city can constitutionally force developers to sell certain housing units below market rates.

The case, California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, Calif., centers on a city rule that requires developers to set aside 15 percent of all newly constructed residential units for the city to use as affordable housing stock or opt out by paying a fee.

NFIB Small Business Legal Center is asking the Supreme Court to hear the case and reverse the California Supreme Court decision upholding the housing rule.

“Here we have the city of San Jose trying to use its power to bully landowners,” Karen Harned, the group’s executive director said in a news release. “Clearly, the constitution protects private property and the right of landowners to exercise their right to use and sell their property at market rate. The court should stop San Jose and other cities with similar schemes.”

The legal arm of the nation’s leading small-business association said the court should settle the lower court split and follow the legal precedence it set in Nollan v. California Coastal Commission. In that case, the court held that the government couldn’t require a landowner to dedicate property as a condition of a permit approval.

Read Full Article – http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/257306-small-business-legal-group-urges-supreme-court-to-hear-property-case