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Friday, February 08, 2013

Ind. Law - "Purdue opens up intellectual property rules for students"

From the Purdue Office of Technology Innovation, a statement today that begins:

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University student inventors will own their innovations thanks to a new interpretation of the university's policy governing intellectual property.

"We're out to foster a culture of entrepreneurship that extends from the newest freshman on campus to the most senior faculty member," said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. "If you have a great idea, Purdue is the place to develop what's in your mind and take it to the market."

Interpreted strictly, the intellectual property policy states any invention created with the use of Purdue resources is subject to university ownership. The new interpretation offers students clear ownership rights as long as the resources used were part of a course and were available to all students in the course; that the student was not paid by the university or a third party; and the class or project was not supported by a corporation or government grant or contract.

"We have a large number of students who come here with great ideas or develop them with the friends they make in classrooms and laboratories," Daniels said.

The ILB has emphasized the term "new interpretation." This is apparently in lieu of actually amending the policy.

Here, in contrast, is MIT's readily available policy on ownership of intellectual property.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, February 08, 2013
Posted to Indiana Law

Ind. Law - "Animal Protection Groups Urge Opposition to Harmful Anti-Whistleblower Bill"

The ILB has been forwarded an email that includes:

(Feb. 8, 2013) — The Humane Society of the United States, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Farm Sanctuary, Mercy For Animals, Compassion Over Killing, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Welfare Institute, Compassion in World Farming and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association are urging members of the Indiana Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee to oppose SB 373, a bill that seeks to prevent whistleblowers from exposing the mistreatment of animals and other misconduct on industrial farms. If passed, the bill would prohibit, among other things, photography and recording images at agricultural operations.

“This bill punishes whistleblowers, hides animal abuse, and endangers the public by keeping unsafe working conditions, food safety issues and environmental problems on industrial farms hidden,” said Erin Huang, Indiana state director for The HSUS. * * *

“Under the guise of property rights, anti-whistleblower bills are intended to prevent consumers from ever seeing the animal abuse, contaminated crops, illegal working conditions and food safety problems that are commonly found on industrial farms,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

“This bill attempts to conceal from the public information about animal welfare and food safety conditions on farms,” said Vicki Deisner, state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Midwest region. “The agricultural industry should be attempting to rectify its on-farm problems rather than suppressing information about them.”

Critics question the constitutionality of whistleblower suppression bills as infringing First Amendment rights to free speech and freedom of the press, and a broad spectrum of national interest groups have spoken out against these bills. They include animal protection, civil liberties, public health, food safety, environmental, food justice, legal, workers’ rights and freedom of speech organizations.

Well, this email is evidently one of the groups warned about by the author of the constitutional amendment that would ensure the "right to hunt, fish, harvest game, or engage in the agricultural or commercial production of meat, fish, poultry, or dairy products." (See also this Feb. 7th entry.)

Here is the digest to SB 372:

Makes it unlawful recording of agricultural or industrial operations, a Class A misdemeanor, for a person to: (1) enter real property that is owned by another person and on which agricultural operations or industrial operations are being conducted; and (2) take a photograph of or make a video recording or motion picture of the real property, structures located on the real property, or the agricultural operations or industrial operations being conducted on the real property; without the written consent of the owner of the real property or an authorized representative of the owner.
On a related note, here is an article from Wired, reported by Maryn McKenna, headed "Why We Can’t See Inside Poultry Production, and What Might Change if We Could." The last two paragraphs deal with the so-called ag-gag laws.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, February 08, 2013
Posted to Indiana Law

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 2 NFP)

For publication opinions today (2):

In Billy Russell v. State of Indiana, a 23-page opinion, Judge Barnes concludes:

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to completely bifurcate trial of the SVF charge from the murder charge and in refusing to give Russell’s tendered self-defense jury instruction. The trial court also did not commit fundamental error by not giving an instruction on voluntary manslaughter as a lesser included offense of murder, or by not giving an instruction on the nexus requirement for the committing a crime exception to a claim of self-defense. Finally, Russell’s sentence is not inappropriate. We affirm.
In Hiawathia Hunt v. State of Indiana, a 7-page opinion, Judge Mathias writes:
Hiawathia Hunt (“Hunt”) was convicted of Class D felony theft following a bench trial in Marion Superior Court and sentenced to 545 days in the Department of Correction. Hunt appeals and claims that the trial court imposed an improper conditional sentence. We affirm. * * *

Thus, the trial court simply explained to Hunt that modification of his sentence was possible if he paid restitution to the victim; it did not make Hunt’s sentence conditional on the payment of restitution. Because Hunt’s sentence was not conditional, and because Hunt alleges no further error in his sentence, we affirm.

NFP civil opinions today (1):

Estate of Ruby L. Rowland: James A. Rowland, Jr. v. Michael B. Rowland (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (1):

Louis Townsend v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, February 08, 2013
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions

Ind. Courts - Applications available for vacancy on St. Joseph Co. Superior Court

The vacancy on the St. Joseph Superior Court will occur on June 3, 2013, when Judge Michael P. Scopelitis retires. See details here.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, February 08, 2013
Posted to Indiana Courts

Ind. Courts - "Sex offender who bought alcohol for minor ordered to walk outside courthouse with sign" [Updated]

WRTV6 has this brief report this morning. The ILB is currently unable to find out the name of the judge. A quote from the story:

Larry Bass, 27, of Pike County in southern Indiana, was convicted of child molestation in 2010 and was sentenced to five years.

But after his release from prison, he was arrested for buying vodka for a 14-year-old.

As part of his punishment, Bass will have to walk Friday outside of the Pike County Courthouse wearing a sandwich-style fluorescent sign reading, "Registered Sex Offender Who Bought Alcohol for Kids."

Mr. Bass's earlier conviction was affirmed on appeal by the COA on April 14, 2011.

[Updated at 12:30 pm] The ILB has just received this info from a helpful reader:

According to the docket, Judge Jeff Biesterveld (the judge of the Pike Circuit Court) presided over the relevant Pike County case (State v. Larry T. Bass, No. 63C01-1209-CM-000144). It looks like the case was resolved yesterday on a plea agreement.
[Updated again at 1:35 pm] A second reader writes:
According to Doxpop, the Judge on this new case is Biesterveld. The cause number is 63C01-1209-CM-144.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, February 08, 2013
Posted to Indiana Courts

Ind. Law - More on "Indiana legislature unlikely to vote on same-sex marriage in 2013"

Updating this ILB entry from Feb. 1st, yesterday it became official. The leadership of the House and Senate have agreed to wait until 2014 to vote on the currently pending amendment, which has to be adopted a second time in either 2103 or 2014 before being sent to the voters for ratification. The reason for waiting is to see what the SCOTUS does with the cases pending before it this term. Here are stories from Niki Kelly of the FWJG, and Dan Carden of the NWI Times.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, February 08, 2013
Posted to Indiana Law