Saturday, June 14, 2014

Pom Wonderful Wins

It’s not every day that the U.S. Supreme Court releases an opinion that may increase business competition while also protecting consumers from misleading product labels.  Nor is it every day that this Court issues an opinion joined by every judge taking part in the decision, although it deals with business practices and consumer protection.  But last Thursday, when the Court decided Pom Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., was one of those days.

POM Wonderful LLC, which produces and sells a pomegranate-blueberry juice blend, had sued Coca-Cola Company under the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. Section 1125), claiming that Coca Cola's labeling of its competing Minute Maid juice blend product deceived consumers into believing the product contained primarily pomegranate and blueberry juice.  Its prominent display of "POMEGRANATE BLUEBERRY" on two separate lines on the front label, while the product actually contained 99.4% apple and grape juices and only 0.3% pomegranate juice and 0.2 % blueberry juice, had injured POM Wonderful in this competitive sales market.  Pom Wonderful sought both damages and injunctive relief. 

Coca Cola tried to counter with the argument that only the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. Sections 321(f) and 331)) and its beverage labeling regulations provided by the Food and Drug Administration control beverage labeling, and preclude such suits under the Lanham Act.  But the Supreme Court wasn't buying it.  This was not a preemption case about a state labeling law, the Court stated, but a case of two federal laws that "complement each other in the federal regulation of misleading labels."  Pom Wonderful's suit will now go forward in the lower courts.

SCOTUSblog's analysis of the decision is here


Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, June 13, 2014

Say farewell to Westlaw Classic

Starting July 1, Westlaw Classic will no longer be available on your law school password.  If you have not embraced WestlawNext already, here are a few resources to help you make the transition:
As always contact one of those favorite Reference librarians if you have any questions.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Eugene Goostman and the Turing Test

The Turing Test is a test of artificial intelligence. This blind test is considered successful if a computer program can fool a set of judges more than thirty percent of the time into believing that they are interacting online with a human being, and not a machine.

Recently, the University of Reading claimed that the Turing Test was passed for the first time by a computer “chatterbot” program that simulates a thirteen-year-old Ukrainian boy named Eugene Goostman. You can read more about the simulation
here. A Time magazine “interview” with Eugene appears here, and you can even chat with Eugene yourself by following this link*. Would Eugene have fooled you?

*Note that Eugene’s recent fame has increased his popularity, so the site may be a little slow to load or respond, at first.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

App: Word Lens

Have you ever been traveling in a foreign country and wondered what those road signs were?  Or where to get the bus?  Perhaps you are a non-US citizen in America and have the same issue.  The app, Word Lens, can help!

"Word Lens is an augmented reality translation application.... It uses the built-in camera of your smartphone to instantly scan and translate foreign text. It then displays the translation on your device’s screen...." Read more here.

This is what Word Lens will look like on your device:
(the image is an English -> Spanish visual translation)

You can get Word Lens free for a limited time.  It is available for iOS and Android devices.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, June 09, 2014

Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is in the news but you may not be sure what is meant by "net neutrality" and why experts are concerned.  This n+1 article "Net Neutrality" by Andrew Jacobs is a good overview of the common carrier issue. 

This is not a long article but it does set out very clearly the concepts, players, history and why this is important.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, June 08, 2014

New Book: The Soul of the Law

The Soul of the Law by Benjamin Sells is a new addition to the Law Library collection.  This book examines the issues that lawyers face in practice and provides ideas for bringing balance.  The contents of the book include several interesting chapters including What does the law want?, Tyranny of the mind, Lawyers in love and Soul values. This would be a great read for anyone contemplating the law or for those already in the field.  Please feel to browse the book at the new book table (K346 .S45 2014)

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat