Whole Designs

­­In the past decade, there has been a renewed interest in the concept of patentable subject matter—that is, what kinds of things can you get a patent for? But this attention has, to date, been focused on utility patents, the patents that protect how things work. There has been scant attention paid to statutory subject matter and design patents, the patents that protect how things look. These patents have gained prominence in both practice and scholarship since the $1 billion verdict in Apple v. Samsung. Continue reading → Continue reading →

A Pound of Flesh: How Medical Copayments in Prison Cost Inmates Their Health and Set Them Up for Reoffense

“[T]hey had come to regard insolvency as the normal state of mankind, and the payment of debts as a disease that occasionally broke out.”[2] Brad seldom talks about the time he spent in prison.[3] Even while he was incarcerated, he generally steered our email and telephone conversations to topics in my life and the outside world—how my high school volleyball season was going, where I wanted to go to college, or how the Packers’ season was shaping up. Since being out of prison, my brother Continue reading →

When the Cat’s Away: Techlash, Loot Boxes, and Regulating “Dark Patterns” in the Video Game Industry’s Monetization Strategies

“There are some aspects of this business model that make it so—you’re not making games to be fun anymore. . . . [H]ere’s the stuff that addicts players, that makes people come back. You’re implementing these strategies to hook people, but they’re not necessarily having fun with your game anymore. They’re compelled to play because they need to increase their level or feel like they’re making some other kind of progression.”[2] PDF: Goodstein,[1] When the Cat’s Away Introduction “How do you sustain a business model in which users don’t Continue reading →

Let Cities Decide: End Colorado’s Prohibition on Rent Regulation

Dana Gilbert has lived in Denver, Colorado for twenty-eight years.[2] In addition to providing after-school childcare to her granddaughter, she works two jobs cleaning office buildings. Despite the fact that Dana can barely afford a studio apartment in Harvey Park[3]—the cheapest neighborhood on the outskirts of Denver—her landlord just sent a rent renewal lease for her apartment; rent is increasing from $800 to $1,050 per month for next year. This 31 percent increase puts the unit out of Dana’s price range. She secures a housing Continue reading →

An Old View of the Cathedral: Intellectual Property Under the Colorado Uniform Partnership Act

The Colorado Uniform Partnership Act (“CUPA”) contains a subtle shortcoming. CUPA is a default statute that only operates in the absence of a governing agreement between two partners formed at the outset of the partnership. As with most things in this life, partnerships inevitably come to an end. When this happens, a partner is said to have “dissociated” from the partnership. Typically, this is followed by a dissolution of the partnership itself. Rather than terminating at that point, the partnership then goes into what is Continue reading →

Two Legal Mothers: Cementing Parental Rights for Lesbian Parents in Colorado

Two married couples decide to have a child via artificial reproduction. One parent in each couple will carry and give birth to the child. The other parent has no biological relationship with the child. One is an opposite-sex couple. Because they are married, they know that the father will automatically be considered the legal father. But the other couple is a lesbian couple. Leading up to the birth, the lesbian couple seeks out a lawyer and expresses concern regarding the nonbiological parent’s legal status. Because Continue reading →

Drug Conspiracy Sentencing and Social Injustice

The D.C. Circuit in United States v. Stoddard confronted a landmine of criminal and socioeconomic justice issues when it held that mandatory minimum sentences for drug conspiracy offenses should be imposed based on the amount of drugs attributable to the individual defendant (the individualized approach) as opposed to the amount of drugs attributable to the conspiracy as a whole (the conspiracy-wide approach). This decision reflects a nationwide circuit split implicating the courts and lawmakers’ ideological balancing of the issues of justice, liberty, public safety, and Continue reading →

A Short History of the Choice-of-Law Clause

In the field of conflict of laws, private actors are generally granted the power to choose the law to govern their contracts. This is the doctrine of party autonomy. In recent years, this doctrine has been the subject of several excellent histories that draw upon judicial opinions, scholarly writings, and legislative enactments to chronicle changing attitudes toward party autonomy over time. A moment’s reflection, however, reveals that judges, scholars, and legislatures are not the most important actors in this story. The true protagonists are the Continue reading →

Dustbowl Waters: Doctrinal and Legislative Solutions to Save the Ogallala Aquifer before both Time and Water Run Out

Eighty-three years after the Dust Bowl, residents of America’s High Plains face a dire threat: their primary aquifer faces depletion, and entire sections of the country are set to run out of groundwater by the end of the century or sooner. The Ogallala Aquifer provides a significant amount of America’s agricultural irrigation water and is a primary source of drinking water for Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. This Article argues that policymakers should slow the Aquifer’s depletion rate by Continue reading →

Solving the Pro Bono Mismatch

The pro bono interests of law firm lawyers tend to differ from the actual legal needs of the poor. This difference results in the mismatch problem or the incongruence between the interests of firm lawyers and the needs of the poor. Today, the mismatch problem has resulted in law firm lawyers’ increased demand of immigration matters while legal needs are greatest in housing and family law. This leaves nonprofit legal services organizations scrambling to find pro bono representation for poor clients or otherwise relying on Continue reading →