Tuesday, November 21, 2017
U.S. Court: Australian Order To Remove EFF's "Stupid Patent Of the Month" Post Unenforceable In U.S.
A U.S. District Court has ruled that an Australian court's order that the Electronic Frontier Foundation remove its blog post describing Global Equity Management (SA) Pty Ltd (GEMSA)'s patent for "virtual storage cabinets" as a "stupid patent of the month" in its "Stupid Patent of the Month" series is not enforceable in the United States because the injunction runs afoul of the First Amendment. As discretion is the better part of valor, I'm not linking to EFF's blogpost here.
After finding that it had jurisdiction to hear the case, the court also found, in part, that Australian law would not protect EFF's speech as fully as does California law.
The Australian injunction cannot strict scrutiny. It is unclear what, if any, governmental interest is served by the injunction, and any such interest could be served by a less broadly sweeping injunction. ECF No. 14 at 13 (restraining all speech about GEMSA’s intellectual property). It is thus clear that EFF would have been subject to law much more protective of its speech in California than it was in Australia.