Wawrzynski v. H.J. Heinz Co.: The Lucky Ketchup Packet

19 Apr 2014 03:10pm Lauren Blakely 

For years, the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit have dismissed state law claims by small inventors on the grounds that federal patent law preempts state laws offering patent-like protections. Recently, David Wawrzynski, a man who claims he invented the idea for Heinz’s new “Dip & Squeeze®” ketchup packet, filed state law claims against Heinz alleging it stole his idea. Instead of dismissing his claims, the Federal Circuit transferred the case to another court for a decision on the merits. This Casenote explores precedent and policy in an effort to understand why claims related to this ketchup packet invention were lucky enough to escape dismissal.

 

Koontz v. St. Johns: Expanding Property Rights in Takings Jurisprudence

19 Apr 2014 03:07pm Christopher Hammond 

The Supreme Court recently revisited the scope of the Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause--this time, in the land-use permitting context. In this Casenote, the author argues that the Court in Koontz v. St. Johns properly prioritized the right at issue over the means by which the government might infringe upon it and, in so doing, provided a broader jurisprudential view of property protections under the U.S. Constitution.    

How Should Lower Courts Interpret Plurality Decisions?: Exploring Options Through United States v. Duvall

19 Apr 2014 03:04pm Christopher Sung 

In this Casenote, the author examines the D.C. Circuit's decision in United States v. Duvall, a case that illustrates the difficulty the D.C. Circuit has had in interpreting the Supreme Court's plurality decision in Freeman v. United States. The author analyzes the Supreme Court's method for interpreting plurality decisions, the Marks rule, and potential alternatives to the rule. Ultimately, the author argues that Justice Sotomayor's concurring opinion should be the controlling opinion of Freeman.    

Note: This PDF's pagination was corrected on November 3, 2014. We regret any inconvenience.


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