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May 18, 2017


Dear Readers,


We are proud to present the Fourth and final Issue of the Twenty-Third Volume of the Richmond Journal of Law & Technology.

Our first article is written by JOLT’s own Madison Jennings, this year’s winner of the annual comment competition for the Journal of Law & Technology’s 2L members. Ms. Jennings’ article details the legal ramifications of the highly topical story of Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta Lacks’ cells were collected and ultimately utilized to advance one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of cellular discovery. Ms. Jennings applies a privacy and a property analysis to this discovery, arguing that Ms. Lacks should have been afforded a stronger right to her own cells and their correlating subsequent profitability.

The second article in our final issue is written by Ms. K.C. Webb, of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, the 1st place winner of the 2017 Richmond Journal of Law and Technology – Student Law and Technology Writing Competition with the Rick Klau Prize. In addition to Ms. Webb’s cash prize for winning the competition, her riveting article is published as our second article in Issue IV. Ms. Webb analyzes the revolution of fully autonomous vehicles and the lack of evolution in correlating tort law. Ultimately, Ms. Webb concludes that manufacturers must act proactively, to quell the inevitable liability issues of these vehicles.

Our third and final article of Issue IV is written by N. Scott Pierce. The article is entitled Patent Eligibility as a Function of New Use, Aggregation, and Preemption Through Application of Principle. Within, Mr. Pierce asserts that “preemption” and the “two-part test” in patents should follow the course laid by the doctrines of “new use” and “aggregation,” both of which became defunct with the incorporation of “invention” as non-obviousness under 35 U.S.C. 103 in the Patent Act of 1952, which, as Judge Learned Hand described, “expressly embodied [the definition of invention].” Mr. Pierce’s article takes an in-depth historical analysis leading to his conclusion and the article is well reasoned and uniquely interesting.

I would like to thank the Vol. XXIII Administrative Council, the Editorial Board, the 3L JOLT staff, and the 2L JOLT staff for working tirelessly to bring this final Issue to publication. Additionally, I would like to thank our faculty advisors, Dean Jim Gibson and Professor Chris Cotropia for their guidance over the past year. I would also like to thank Dean Perdue, Dean Henderson, and the rest of the administration for their continued support of JOLT. Without the support of the faculty and administration our Journal would not be capable of producing the high caliber publications we are proud to present to the legal and technological communities. An additional thank you to our wonderful authors, both on this Issue and throughout the entire year. Finally, I would like to thank you, the readers, for continuing to make our Journal thrive.

Thank you for visiting the Richmond Journal of Law & Technology. We sincerely hope that you enjoy Issue IV. As always, your questions, comments, and suggestions are welcomed @jolt.richmond.edu. It has been my honor to serve as the Editor-in-Chief for Vol. XXIII, on behalf of the entire 3L JOLT Editorial Board and Staff we wish Vol. XXIV an enriching and successful year ahead.




Bybee Signature

Brandon Bybee

Editor-in-Chief, Vol. XXIII


Protected Genetics: A Case for Property and Privacy Interests in One’s Own Genetic Material, by Madison Jennings


Products Liability and Autonomous Vehicles: Who’s Driving Whom?, by K.C. Webb


Patent Eligibility as a Function of New Use, Aggregation, and Preemption Through Application of Principle, by N. Scott Pierce