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Federal Circuit sustains bar to whistleblower claims

Congress' retroactive elimination of whistleblower actions against companies that falsely label products as patented did not violate the Constitution, the Federal Circuit has ruled. A unanimous three-judge panel said that the America Invents Act's retroactive removal of the qui tam option did not violate the due process or intellectual property clauses.

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Terms of Service Monitoring – Monitor Your Terms of Service Agreements for Changes – Receive Change Notifications by E-mail

Terms of service monitoring is important for companies that operate websites because these business managers do not want to be held liable for any sort of punitive damage that can take place due to fraud or liability by the company.

While there are strong advantages for companies who monitor terms of service, the best examples of terms of service monitoring are likely geared toward subscribers of website services.

How It Works

Here is a reoccurring scenario outlining how it works for subscribers.

You sign up for many online services and you agree to their terms of service before proceeding to checkout or completing sign up.

However if the company changes these terms at some point in the future and the changes end up becoming adverse to your interests, then you could be held liable for events outside of your control or in some other way be placed at a disadvantage.

Case Study

One large company required a large deposit from its subscribers and had these subscribers agree to non-threatening terms of service. However at some point in the future, the company quietly added a number of one-sided clauses to their Terms of Service – all in the favor of the company. The biggest, most egregious changes allowed the company to close accounts “for any reason” with the subscriber thereafter forfeiting all deposits made previously. If you had monitored these Terms of Services for changes, you would have caught the change and been able to take corrective action against this company.

Use an automated, online tool like ChangeDetect for monitoring terms of service agreements for changes. With ChangeDetect, you will be able to expertly and efficiently manage your account relationships.

Terms of Service Monitoring – Use Cases for Companies

Many companies have legal teams in place to develop these terms of service to protect company assets from future litigation. Unfortunately, too many shady individuals in society today seek out weak terms of service in order to take advantages of weaknesses in companies – this is why terms of service monitoring is so important in the day to day operations of a company or companies.

The main weakness in terms of service monitoring is the same weakness that government also has in implementing laws – many people will try to see what they can get away with without getting caught or coming as close to the boundaries as possible.

Due to the possibility of litigation and the high costs of litigation, many companies that do have terms of service often do not pursue litigation for terms of service violators because of the high cost of legal fees. However, this should not deter a company from providing terms of service monitoring. Terms of service monitoring is also a good way for a company to provide due diligence to protect itself from future litigation in case someone tries to use the company against itself to claim a lawsuit.

Many times terms of services are used to lay out the ground rules for what is allowable in a company or allowable for a user to use a product or service. For example, many open source software titles have terms of service agreements for users to agree to, stating that they will not use the software for any commercial purposes. While a company may not be able to effectively monitor this aspect of the terms of service agreement, it is understood that terms of service agreements are created to free the company from any sort of liability that may be incurred by the company in case of destruction caused by its products.

Terms of service monitoring is crucial because companies want to make sure that the public can enjoy their product for a small or no fee without having to worry about company litigation fees and practices. While many companies spend hours on terms of service agreements and monitoring, many times this effort is small compared to the amount of hours that go into development. It is definitely smart for a company to invest time and money into terms of service monitoring.

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