President Obama’s Supreme Court Justice nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, has ruled on important intellectual property cases in the past. This is a good thing, since the U.S. Supreme Court has recently re-shaped intellectual property law, and adding an Justice with experience in this area is important for future cases dealing with the law of innovation.
Judge Sotomayor wrote an opinion in 2002 that created a strong precedent for cases involving license contracts involving software downloads. That case was Specht vs. Netscape, where Judge Sotomayor ruled that Netscape’s software license terms were not binding on individuals who clicked the prominent download button at the top of the screen before scrolling down to click on the link that opened the license terms.
As a result of this decision, companies now routinely require users to manifest their acceptance of the license terms by clicking on a check box before downloading software.