Astronomy and Law

Here you will find posts on science, astronomy and intellectual propsrty law.
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If you, or someone you know, need help with any Intellectual Property issue, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just advice regarding how best to protect your ideas and your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at or call (213) 785-8070 and ask for Norman.

- Ex astris, scientia -

I am and avid amateur astronomer and…

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Big Boom On The Moon Is A Record Breaker.

desert moon

A high-speed meteor impact on the surface of the moon on September 11th,  last year triggered the brightest lunar explosion ever seen, scientists say.

Record-Breaking Meteorite Crash on Moon Sparks Brightest Lunar Explosion Ever

Video of the impact shows a long flash that was almost as bright as Polaris. The meteorite’s lunar crash could be visible to anyone on Earth who happened to be staring up at the moon at 8:07 p.m. GMT.

Earth's history of meteorite strikes, in one awesome visualizationJose Madiedo, a professor at the University of…

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How The Copyright “Anti-Circumvention” Problem Can Affect You.


The Electronic Frontier Foundation was before Congress asking  lawmakers to abandon or modify the “anti-circumvention” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  The “anti-circumvention” provisions of the Copyright Act, bar circumvention of access controls and technical protection measures.  Congress intended the change to stop pirates from defeating DRM and other content…

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Curiosity Reaches The Mountain.


After two years and about 5 1/2 miles (9km), curiosity has reached the base of Mount Sharp.  This has to be the slowest road trip ever.  But considering all the scientists stopping the rover and saying “Look over there!”, “Do science here!”, “Drill Baby Drill!”…well maybe not the last one. (It’s a joke people, I don’t want any comments!)

'Mount Sharp' on Mars compared to three big mountains on earth

Anyway, with only 3.4 miles to the top, Curiosity still…

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Using Trademarks In DMCA Takedown Notices May Cost CrossFit.


The US District Court for the Northern District of California has ruled that the exercise company CrossFit may have violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) when it submitted a takedown notice to Facebook based on alleged infringement of its trademark rights rather than on a violation of its copyrights.

CrossFit sent the notice to Jennie Alvies, who wrote a blog on…

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Europes Answer To The Shuttle.


The European Space Agency is readying its first-ever “space plane” for sub-orbit for tests.

The Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) is undergoing final ground tests, before being launched from Kourou in French Guiana.

The sneaker-shaped IXV will be launched from a Vega rocket to a height of 450 kilometres (280 miles) for a 100 minute flight test.

The IXV will then re-enter Earth’s…

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Robotic Hamster Sparks Sanctions In Trade Secret Case.


The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld sanctions in a trade secret case due to factual misrepresentations in a complaint.

Toy designer, Jason Heller, filed the case against Cepia LLC alleging that Cepia designed a line of toys using trade secrets he had given two Hong Kong companies he hired to make prototypes of a robotic hamster called “Hammy.”

He contracted with a Chinese company to build…

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Calling All Amateur Astronomoers…You Input Is Needed.

Night Sky Network
The Night Sky Network is conducting a new survey of amateur astronomers located in the United States. We wish to better understand the landscape of educational outreach performed by astronomy clubs and assess the needs of the amateur astronomy community for the next five years. You can take the survey here:  Your answers will directly influence the future of the…

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Another “Software” Patent Found Invalid Under Alice.

US District Court ‑ Middle District of Florida_seal

The US District Court ‑ Middle District of Florida has invalidated a set of patents as lacking eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. 101 as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Alice Corp. (2014).

Many people are rushing to conclude that the end of software patents is nigh.  However, this isn’t the case.

Most of the “patents” that have been invalidated are financial methods that have been…

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Recap Of This Weekends RAS General Meeting.


John Carpenter

Our guest speaker was John Carpenter, from the Department of Astronomy at Caltech.  His talk was an interesting twist on what was once a lone subject: The Origin of Solar Systems (notice the plural).


Now that the Kepler mission has provided us with a lot of new planetary systems, the old model of how our solar system was formed has to be tossed.  It just didn’t hold up after all the new data…

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