By Mariko Kageyama
Say you are a maker of a brand new aircraft. You show off its blueprint and miniature model and take orders before you have even constructed it. What legal risks are you willing to assume at this stage? Though this may seem a quintessential contract question, a real case involving Mitsubishi provides us an interesting twist.
On September 28 and November 18, 2016, the first two Mitsubishi Regional Jet MRJ90 test aircraft made successful ferry flights from Nagoya, Japan to Moses Lake, Washington. Built by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, the MRJ90 is the first all-new commercial airplane manufactured in Japan in the last half a century. A fleet of MRJ90 test aircraft will be undergoing test flights in partnership with a local engineering firm, AeroTEC, which is based at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake. A team of over 200 aerospace engineers in Moses Lake, Seattle, and Nagoya is aiming to make the MRJ90’s formal certification process as smooth as possible to allow entry its into service in 2018.
By Tyler Quillin
The most important law governing the internet just had its 20th birthday earlier this year, the Communications Decency Act (CDA). Signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, the CDA grants online service providers immunity from liability for most illegal activities of their users. What’s more, the CDA not only allows large internet-based companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Yelp! to survive because they don’t have to individually each user’s activity, it also enables a large portion of the freedom of speech the general public enjoys online daily.
Yet, despite 20 years of precedent, the CDA has come under scrutiny. Most notably, a California appellate court issued a ruling that included an order for Yelp!, a nonparty to the case, to take down a defamatory post involving an attorney who sued a former client for posting defamatory comments and reviews on Yelp!. Along with the court order to take down the reviews, the attorney won on a default judgment to the tune of over $500,000.
Image: Uber circa 1802
By Jessy Nations
With the advent of the smartphone, people have gained unfettered access to technology and services previous generations never could have imagined. With a few taps on your touchscreen, you can have someone pick you up and drive you anywhere in the city. Going on a trip? You can find lodging nearly anywhere at an ostensibly reasonable price. Hungry? Through the miracle of technology, you can have groceries or meals from your favorite restaurant delivered right to your doorstep. It’s all thanks to the wonders of the exciting new “sharing economy.”
Of course, none of this is actually new. Uber is a taxi service that forces its drivers to provide their own cars. Airbnb allows you to rent a hotel room in some stranger’s house. There is an entire field of law that is older than the United States that regulates common carriers, such as taxis, and another field regulating hotels called hospitality law. But Uber isn’t considered a common carrier; it’s “ride sharing.” Airbnb isn’t a hotel service; it’s a “home sharing” platform.
BMW and MINI Enter the Sharing Economy as Seattle Proves Itself a Leader in Legislation
By Grady Hepworth
This month, Seattle drivers were treated to a new transportation option that will allow hundreds of citizens to ditch their old clunkers for fresh, new, German-engineered wheels. On April 8th BMW officially announced that it would be starting its own car sharing service, ReachNow, with the pilot program and headquarters to launch in Seattle. BMW, and its subsidiary MINI, have hopes to expand ReachNow to cities across North America in order to compete with established sharing services like Car2Go or Zip Car, and even chauffer services like Uber and Lyft.
By Talia Loucks
Remember when Skechers shoes were cool in the 90s? Well, now that the Spice Girls era of chunky platforms are no longer in style, and people opt for more conventional shoes, the modern shoe market has forced Skechers to expand into other shoe types. Unfortunately for Skechers, this expansion has resulted in trademark infringement claims against it, especially from Adidas.
This past September, Adidas filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Skechers in federal court for the District of Oregon. And, on February 12, 2016, Adidas had its first victory when Judge Marco A. Hernandez issued a preliminary injunction against Skechers, prohibiting it from selling its Onix, Relaxed Fit Cross Court TR, and women’s Supernova shoes as they are “confusingly similar” to three Adidas designs.