About 11 percent of the Supreme Court's caseload this year consists of intellectual property questions.

Supreme Court will hear eight intellectual property cases

February 28, 2014 4:09 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Intellectual property is not a new problem in the business world, but due to the rise of technology and startups, the judicial system has raised more questions about copyright, trademark and patent protections.

Initially, the Supreme Court had five intellectual property cases on its docket this term, but recent reports show that number has expanded to eight—consisting of 11 percent of all the cases the justices will listen this year, Reuters reported.

The increase of business law's presence may be due to Chief Justice John Roberts, but pressure on patent reform has added a deeper interest to consider such legal concerns. What makes the Supreme Court's decision difficult is that many of the questions at hand has all members ideologically split.

For example, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his separate opinion that his lack of scientific knowledge made him "unable to affirm those details" on prohibiting patents for natural human genes.

During the 2014 season so far, two cases have already been heard. Altogether there are four more patent law and two more copyright law proceedings on the docket until the term ends in June.

One of the more visible intellectual property cases is between ABC and Aereo Inc. The question at hand has to do with streaming television shows on the Internet, a service that has becoming increasingly common in recent years. According to Mondaq contributor Martin Saad, the lower courts voted that ABC could not ban online screening, but recommend the network provide a "unique copy of each program."

As the Supreme Court continues to question intellectual property laws, identifying what protections are still relevant will become more difficult. Startups who may not have extensive knowledge on these laws could be face a lawsuit in the future. These headaches can be prevented if these entrepreneurs are represented by a business lawyer

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