Thursday, March 06, 2014

SCOTUS case making the news today: search without warrant

My regular readers will have gathered by now that I do have something of a background in law, although I wouldn't grade that background as anything greater than that of, say, a paralegal, just because I know my way around a law library.  When one delves into the U. S. Office of Patents and Trademarks, the law (even copyright law, as this office covers the differences among the 3 types) is a little hard to avoid...but that's just for starters.

With that, I'll don my legal beagle hat and address the SCOTUS case of Fernandez vs California which has sparked some controversy on the web today.  Searching a house without a search warrant was the battle cry today, decrying another apparent assault on the U. S. Constitution.

Not so fast--the U. S. Constitution mentions this thing called Probable Cause.  When a police officer has ample probable cause as he did in this case, no warrant is required even under the U. S. Constitution.  The SCOTUS ruling changed nothing.

And now I'll address what I'm sure some of you thought was a peculiar statement on my part in another post about how the U. S. Office of Patents and Trademarks cover copyright law.  Well, it does in terms of what can or cannot be patented or trademarked and is more appropriate as a copyright...also cases in which a patent was claimed but the judge ruled that the thing wasn't covered by patent but by copyright law (most infamous case of that was Apple Inc vs. Microsoft over Microsoft's absconding with Apple's operating system and then calling it "Windows".  That was a ruling that basically changed the tech world, and for the worse in my opinion).  So yeah--you can find copyright law in a patents and trademarks office.
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