Vol. 7 (2011)

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Stephen D. Lott, Getting Under Fido's Skin:  Analyzing the Objections to Mandatory Pet Microchipping Laws, 7 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 52 (2011)

"[A] number of cities across the United States, including Los Angeles and El Paso, have instituted, or are considering instituting mandatory microchipping laws.These laws require pet owners to have microchips implanted in their pets, and in some cases pay a fine for failure to do so.  In support of such laws, El Paso city councilman Beto O’Rourke noted that his “city’s goal is ‘zero kill’ of animals, ‘which we’re nowhere near right now’ . . . . ‘We’re spending $2.5 million every year housing, feeding and euthanizing those pets, and then dumping them at the landfill.’”Likewise, Los Angeles councilman Tony Cardenas said that “[i]f animals ‘aren’t chipped, it will [take] longer for them to be returned.  It is a cost-saving measure.’”  However, not everyone is sold on the idea of mandatory microchipping.  There are those who object to mandatory microchipping laws on the grounds that forced chipping is unsafe, unnecessary, and in contravention of the rights of pet owners. Accordingly, they argue that “[t]he decision of whether or not to microchip an animal belongs solely to the owner and should not be mandated by any government entity.” This principal argument is buttressed by a variety of legal and policy-based objections to mandatory microchipping laws.  This note will conduct a brief overview of several of the most common objections and examine whether those who oppose mandatory microchipping have any legs (or paws?) to stand on."

David A. Puckett, Terms of Service and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act:  A Trap for the Unwary?, 7 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 53 (2011)

"Technological development poses a unique challenge to Congress. Regardless of how far-sighted Congress attempts to be in its legislation, the law of unintended consequences may manifest. Policy effects which are positive, for instance, can be accompanied by unexpected detriments due to ignorance, error, or contrary intermediate interests. When technological development proceeds at the pace that has characterized the development of computers in the past thirty years, these dangers are magnified even more. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) presents an interesting case of unintended legislative consequences.1 As a product of the computer systems of the 1980s, the CFAA has proceeded into the Web 2.0 age with comparatively few modifications. As might be expected from the pace of technological development in the interim, the interaction between the CFAA and computer systems has produced some possibly detrimental consequences."

Riley A. Williams, Videoconfrencing:  Not a Foreign Language to International Courts, 7 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 54 (2011)

"In an ever expanding world filled with rapidly advancing technology, certain innovations can modify and facilitate some of the world’s oldest traditions. The conventional practice of presenting in-person witnesses at trial has become increasingly more difficult due to the introduction and expansion of international crimes. New crimes and clever criminals have resulted in the implementation of new technologies in criminal trials in the United States. While a witness’s presence at trial may be hindered by geographical impediments, fears associated with testifying in person, or even lack of security at the trial site, there nevertheless remains a viable method to obtain testimony. Through videoconferencing, unavailable witnesses can be transmitted into courtrooms, thus eradicating the limitations on testimonies of encumbered individuals as well as individuals located worldwide. Videoconferencing appears to be an unassailable solution; however, as a seemingly new technology, it presents a number of practical and legal issues for courts."

Jeffrey C. Cartmell, A Shift in the Winds:  What Outer Continental Shelf Renewable Energy Program and the Dismantling of the Minerals Management Service Mean for Offshore Energy, 7 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 55 (2011)

"Beginning in 1776, when America won its independence from England, the primary sources of energy were manpower and wood.Since then, America has undergone two drastic shifts in energy consumption. The first shift occurred in the middle of the nineteenth century. As the country expanded westward, the use of trains and construction of railways increased, which resulted in a demand for a more efficient source of fuel; that demand was answered by coal.Coal was the obvious choice due to its proximity to where railroads were being built, as well as its ability to increase the distance a train could travel and the capacity a train could carry.At the beginning of the twentieth century, petroleum, America’s next major source of energy, began to emerge, as large oil fields were discovered in Texas.The total usage of petroleum, however, would not surpass that of coal until after the Second World War.Along with the changes in energy sources, America’s energy consumption continued to increase.This rising demand did not present a problem until a gap emerged between domestic energy production and consumption in the 1960s and 1970s.7 At this point, preventative measures should have been instilled in order to forestall any potential catastrophes resulting from America’s dependence on foreign oil. Although the federal government developed initiatives to lessen America’s dependence on fossil fuels, the overall result was minimal.  While there is little argument that petroleum is a finite resource, there is still much debate over the size, lifespan, and harvest-ability of untapped reserves. We are, perhaps, in the next great transitional phase in energy consumption. America must move away from its dependency on petroleum, especially to the extent that it forces America to be dependent on foreign nations that have traditionally unstable governments."

Shivan Mehta, Patent Reform Act of 2010:  The Time for Change Is Now, 7 OKLA. J.L. & TECH. 56 (2011)

"The Patent Reform Act of 2010 is a significant undertaking that will modernize the patent system by harmonizing American creativity and innovation with that of other developed countries. Continuous pressure and valid attempts to reform the patent system have existed throughout the last decade; however, the Patent Reform Act of 2010 has presented the most advantageous changes to the current patent system.  This note concentrates on details surrounding the major reformations present in the Patent Reform Act of 2010, which are expected to impact the American patent system. Much controversy is associated with many of the reforms due to the varying effects the Act stands to generate as a result of its ratification. Although the opinions of both the proponents and opponents of this Act are discussed, this note inherently appreciates and acknowledges the ultimate benefit the Reform Act of 2010 will render on the American technology market, i.e., synchronizing the processes for American creativity and innovation with those of developed countries and possibly stimulating essential innovations in the intellectual property realm."