Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Unaffordable Medicines Now Global Issue; System Needs Change, Panellists Say; Intellectual Property Watch,

Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch; Unaffordable Medicines Now Global Issue; System Needs Change, Panellists Say:
"At a side event to this week’s annual World Health Assembly, a member of the Netherlands Ministry of Health delivered an unexpected speech on access to medicines, calling for more clarity in the setting of medicine prices, looking inside and outside of the patent system for solutions, and praising de-linkage. Other panellists viewed partnerships as a key ingredient to fill research and development gaps. And a representative from the Gates Foundation advised against a hasty switch to new system."

Huawei sues Samsung over patents; BBC News, 5/25/16

BBC News; Huawei sues Samsung over patents:
"However, Huawei has said at least some of them are classed as Frand - an acronym referring to "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory". This means the Chinese company has committed itself to offering anyone a licence so long as they agree to a non-excessive compensation.
This kind of agreement is common in the tech sector as it makes it possible for different companies' products to communicate and share data formats with each other...
"Huawei may have initiated litigation as lever to get a settlement," commented Ilya Kazi from the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys.
"We don't know if it intends to go all the way through. Most cases do settle.""

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


"Marvel and DC Comics have officially dropped a case against small businessman Graham Jules over the use of the word "superhero." According to The Mirror, Jules can now legally use the word in his book title "Business Zero to Superhero."
When Jules attempted to publish his start-up manual, the two major comic book companies contested his use of "superhero," as the two publishers had jointly trademarked the word in 1979, covering a range of products, from comic books and playing cards to pencil sharpeners and glue. Their renewal of that mark in 2006 drew widespread attention, as well as scrutiny from those who question whether such a term should be allowed to be registered. They claimed Jules' title infringed on this trademark, while he argued that the word had become part of everyday language.

Embarking on a New Adventure: Open Data at the US Patent and Trademark Office; USPTO, 5/24/16

Michelle K. Lee, Huffington Post; Embarking on a New Adventure: Open Data at the US Patent and Trademark Office:
"When the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office heard President Obama’s call to provide the public with transparency and open government, I wasn’t exactly sure how one of the country’s oldest federal agencies would be able to respond. I challenged a small internal team to act like a “start-up” and develop some new ideas on how to use the vast reserves of data the USPTO gathers to help solve some of the agency’s age old challenges. They built a platform to dive into what very well may be the world’s largest repository of data on innovation and research and development technology trends. The unveiling of the USPTO’s new Open Data and Mobility Program offers a new platform in an ecological way to discover, explore, and innovate.
I’m thrilled to say this month we made a great leap into exposing the world to this wealth of information when we launched the USPTO’s new Developer Hub. We’re providing vast data sets, interactive visualizations, and a community platform for sharing and discussing this data. While this treasure trove of data has been available to the public for centuries, we also provided a step-by-step guide for you, the user, to create your own insights about innovation and share it with the world in the community cafĂ©. Go to github link to get the tutorial and be empowered -"

Making the Transition to Gold Open Access; Library Journal, 5/19/16

John Parsons, Library Journal; Making the Transition to Gold Open Access:
"Unlike other digital goods markets like eBooks or music, where a single dominant player can coordinate rapid change, scientific publishing is fragmented and heterogeneous. There are a multitude of publishers, disciplines, and funding organizations. “Like any other platform shift, it will take everybody on both sides to do it,” said Mark McCabe, a lecturer at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, and Professor and Director of the Digital Business Program at SKEMA Business School in France. “The transition between business models is a process that requires major players to subsidize or sponsor it. In the context of OA, the coordination challenges are substantial. This will take time...”
However, increasing pressure from researchers outside Western Europe and North America, as well as mandates from the EU, may eventually force even reluctant publishers and institutions to adopt the Gold model. “The thing about science is that if traditional publishers were to disappear tomorrow, research would still be conducted and articles would still be written,” McCabe said. “Research authors aren’t selling books or songs; they just want to get their stuff out there in the best way possible, and have it read by anyone who needs it.”"

A Little Understanding Motivates Copyright Abusers To Pay Up; Forbes, 5/23/16

Michael Blanding, Forbes; A Little Understanding Motivates Copyright Abusers To Pay Up:
"Obtaining an image from the Internet is as easy as right-clicking and downloading. We’ve all done it—or, ahem, know someone who has. We rarely think about who created these images or whether we have the rights to use them. This leaves the owners of those images with a conundrum: Should they pursue the violators?
First off, the monetary amounts at stake are often small—tens or hundreds of dollars in licensing fees. Is it worth the time, cost, and effort to send a bunch of settlement request letters? Second, few of these types of digital copyright infringements wind up in court. So why bother if the ultimate enforcement mechanism seems so far-fetched?
Harvard Business School Assistant Professor Hong Luo looks at these questions in a 2015 working paper, “Copyright Enforcement: Evidence from Two Field Experiments,” co-written with Julie Holland Mortimer of Boston College and the National Bureau of Economic Research. The paper was updated earlier this year.
Their findings about how to motivate copyright violators to actually pay up are important not only for copyright holders, but also applicable to many disputes involving small amounts."

Revealed: How copyright law is being misused to remove material from the internet; Guardian, 5/23/16

Alex Hern, Guardian; Revealed: How copyright law is being misused to remove material from the internet:
"Censorship by copyright
The motivation of Ashraf can only be guessed at, but censorship using the DMCA is common online. The act allows web hosts a certain amount of immunity from claims of copyright infringement through what is known as the “safe harbour” rules: in essence, a host isn’t responsible for hosting infringing material provided they didn’t know about it when it went up, and took it down as soon as they were told about it.
In practice, however, this means that web hosts (and the term is broadly interpreted, meaning sites like YouTube, Twitter and Google count) are forced to develop a hair-trigger over claims of copyright infringement, assuming guilt and asking the accused to prove their innocence.
As such, a very easy way to remove something from the internet is to accuse its creator of infringing copyright. Worse, the potential downside of such a false claim is minimal: the accused would have to first file a counterclaim, proving they own the copyright; then file a private lawsuit, and prove material damage; and then track down the offending party to actually recover any monies granted by the court.
That doesn’t happen all that often.
But in recent years, big web companies have started funding lawsuits themselves, to fill the gap in the law and tilt the scales a bit further in favour of content creators wrongly accused."