Saturday, April 22, 2017

'Reconstituted' Arthur Andersen closes U.S. offices amid trademark infringement suit; Accounting Today, April 20, 2017

Michael Cohn, Accounting Today; 

'Reconstituted' Arthur Andersen closes U.S. offices amid trademark infringement suit

"The original Arthur Andersen and Andersen Worldwide collapsed in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals of the early 2000s. However, the new entity's rights to the Andersen brand and trademark were challenged by Andersen Tax, a firm founded by a group of 23 former Andersen partners that has been growing its presence around the world after buying the rights to the Andersen name and changing its name from WTAS to Andersen Tax in 2014 (see Firms vie over rights to Arthur Andersen name).

Andersen Tax CEO Mark Vorsatz filed suit against Laffont-Réveilhac and several of his colleagues in France and the U.S. accusing them of trademark infringement, as the legal battle grew more contentious (see Dispute over Arthur Andersen name heats up). With former CEOs and managing partners of the original Arthur Andersen throwing their support behind Andersen Tax, along with the founder's great-granddaughter Kristin Andersen, the new Arthur Andersen canceled a press conference that was scheduled for last month in New York in which it had promised to answer questions about the dispute and provide testimonials from several Andersen alumni (see Former Andersen chiefs support Andersen Tax in dispute over Andersen name and Dispute over Arthur Andersen legacy continues)."

Four Reasons EMC Was First To Use A Trademark And Still Lost Its Case; Forbes, April 19, 2017

Jess Collen, Forbes; 

Four Reasons EMC Was First To Use A Trademark And Still Lost Its Case

"Do you get superior rights to use a trademark when you are the first to file for registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office?

Not necessarily. A lot of companies know this already. The earliest date of first use usually prevails, even over a federal trademark registration. Sometimes, the question of “who did what, and when?” is difficult to sort out. To earn trademark rights, you must use the mark in a way that creates a sufficient association between your trademark, and your product, in the minds of the purchasing public. Not all use is created equal."

Copyright system needs to be replaced: Vanderbilt professor; Research News @ Vanderbilt, April 20, 2017

Jim Patterson, Research News @ Vanderbilt; 

Copyright system needs to be replaced: Vanderbilt professor

"In his new book(Re)stucturing Copyright: A Comprehensive Path to International Copyright Reform (2017, Edward Elgar Publishing), Gervais suggests replacing the current copyright system with something much simpler.

“I’m proposing a system that rewrites all the rights and exceptions in a structured way,” he said. “Ultimately, we need a new version of the Berne Convention. It would send a great signal if the countries got together and said, ‘Let’s fix this.’”

Gervais suggests a broader use of licensing without affecting fair use. This would allow the use of more copyrights but also help creators to get paid. He acknowledges there are some users who are determined not to pay, but believes it is less of a problem than it seems...

“If we put aside this civil war mentality between users and providers, there would probably be far less money lost to piracy than most people think.”"

Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria: "Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them."; The Atlantic, April 20, 2017

James Somers, The Atlantic; Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria: "Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them."

"After the settlement failed, Clancy told me that at Google “there was just this air let out of the balloon.” Despite eventually winning Authors Guild v. Google, and having the courts declare that displaying snippets of copyrighted books was fair use, the company all but shut down its scanning operation.

It was strange to me, the idea that somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25-million books and nobody is allowed to read them. It’s like that scene at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie where they put the Ark of the Covenant back on a shelf somewhere, lost in the chaos of a vast warehouse. It’s there. The books are there. People have been trying to build a library like this for ages—to do so, they’ve said, would be to erect one of the great humanitarian artifacts of all time—and here we’ve done the work to make it real and we were about to give it to the world and now, instead, it’s 50 or 60 petabytes on disk, and the only people who can see it are half a dozen engineers on the project who happen to have access because they’re the ones responsible for locking it up."



"It all goes back to Franklin Loufrani, a Frenchmen who trademarked the famous “Smiley” face in Europe in the early 1970s. It had been around before that in the United States, but no one had bothered to trademark it. Franklin Loufrani did, though, as he used it in his newspaper. He then formed a company, the Smiley Company, to manage the trademark. When his son took it over in 1996, he really began to push the trademark and made the company a very successful company through the licensing of the trademarked image in Europe.

In the United States, though, the Smiley face had been used for years in various places. Wal-Mart, in particular, used it all over their stores. In 1997, Smiley Company tried to begin enforcing their trademark in the United States, which led to a long, drawn-put lawsuit with Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart even began to phase out the Smiley Face mark from their stores because they believed that they would ultimately lose (or, if they DID lose, they didn’t want to be unprepared).

In 2008, however, a United States Patents and Trademark Court ruled that the Smiley face mark was too generic to be trademarked and that the mark was in the public domain in the United States, which is how it had been treated for years up until that point. However, the mark remains protected by EUROPEAN trademark law."

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

McGill institute takes open science to a new level; University Affairs/Affaires universitaires, April 19, 2017

Tim Lougheed, University Affairs/Affaires universitaires; 

McGill institute takes open science to a new level

"According to Richard Gold, a professor in McGill’s faculty of law, that steep price tag should not surprise advocates of what has been dubbed the open science initiative. These advocates regularly invoke the mantra that “knowledge wants to be free,” but such freedom comes with a daunting checklist that can only be completed by paying for a great deal of time, talent and physical resources.
“The data has to be collected, you have to make sense of it, curate it, you have to build the software, you have to have the hardware to deliver it, you have to make sure the format of the data is what people want, that it’s precise enough, that we’re transparent about how the data was collected,” says Dr. Gold...
For his part, Dr. Rouleau has seen little to suggest that the effect will be anything but positive for all concerned. During early consultations with the research community, he was greeted by a range of responses to this attempt to resolve what he calls the “perverse effect” of intellectual property."

Are My Customer Lists a Trade Secret?;, April 17, 2017

Alex Meier and Eric Barton, Seyfarth Shaw LLP,; 

Are My Customer Lists a Trade Secret?

"A lawyer’s favorite phrase might be “it depends.” And when an employer asks whether its customer lists qualify as a trade secret, “it depends” is often the answer. But even if it’s difficult to definitively state whether customer lists qualify as a trade secret, the converse—whether customer lists might not constitute a trade secret—can be helpful to assessing how much protection a court will provide.

With the advent of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”), no state categorically denies trade-secrets status to customer lists. That’s because the default definition of a “trade secret” under the UTSA includes compilations of information, and several states modified the default definition to explicitly include customer lists as potential trade secrets."

Proehl: How long does a patent last?; Sioux Fall Business Journal via, April 18, 2017

Jeffrey Proehl, Sioux Fall Business Journal via; 

Proehl: How long does a patent last?

"The tenth and last question in the series of questions regarding patents is: How long does a patent last?

The term of a utility patent begins the day the patent is issued and has the potential to last for 20 years from the earliest filing date accorded to the patent application that became the patent. In order for the patent to remain in effect for the entire potential term, the patent owner must periodically pay a maintenance fee to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Payment of three maintenance fees is typically required for the full 20-year term."

Ivanka Trump won Chinese trademarks the same day she dined with China's president; Associated Press via Los Angeles Times, April 19, 2017

Associated Press via Los Angeles Times; Ivanka Trump won Chinese trademarks the same day she dined with China's president

"On April 6, Ivanka Trump's company won provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks, giving it monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewelry, bags and spa services in the world's second-largest economy. That night, the first daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to the president of China and his wife for a steak and Dover sole dinner at Mar-a-Lago, her father’s Florida resort.

The scenario underscores how difficult it is for Trump, who has tried to distance herself from the brand that bears her name, to separate business from politics in her new position at the White House."

Engineer, Prince's estate face off in court over unreleased music; MPRNews, April 19, 2017

Tim Nelson, MPRNews; 

Engineer, Prince's estate face off in court over unreleased music

"Prince's estate is suing a California sound engineer who is offering a multi-song selection of unreleased music from the late pop icon. The two sides faced off in an 80-minute federal court hearing Wednesday afternoon before U.S. District Court Judge Wilhelmina Wright in St. Paul."

Monday, April 17, 2017

Why The US Can't Afford To Fall Behind In Intellectual Property Enforcement; Forbes, April 17, 2017

Mark Elliot, Forbes; 

Why The US Can't Afford To Fall Behind In Intellectual Property Enforcement

"It’s not hard to see that the U.S. has more skin in the game when it comes to intellectual property. But that is why it might come as a surprise to some that America no longer leads the world when it comes to IP enforcement: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce 2017 International IP Index shows that the U.S. now ranks fifth, behind the U.K., Sweden, France and Germany. Given the high stakes, this is certainly not a new normal we should embrace.

So, how did we get here? The Chamber’s Index identified as a key weakness our: “inconsistent enforcement against counterfeit and pirated goods.”"

Friday, April 14, 2017

Company sued EFF over “Stupid Patent of the Month;” EFF now flips the script; Ars Technica, April 13, 2017

Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica; 

Company sued EFF over “Stupid Patent of the Month;” EFF now flips the script

"The Electronic Frontier Foundation has sued an Australian company that it previously dubbed as a "classic patent troll" in a June 2016 blog post entitled: "Stupid Patent of the Month: Storage Cabinets on a Computer."
Last year, that company, Global Equity Management (SA) Pty. Ltd. (GEMSA), managed to get an Australian court to order EFF to remove its post—but EFF did not comply. In January 2017, Pasha Mehr, an attorney representing GEMSA, further demanded that the article be removed and that EFF pay $750,000. EFF still did not comply.
The new lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday, asks that the American court declare the Australian ruling unenforceable in the US. Why? According to the EFF argument, the Australian ruling runs afoul of free speech protections granted under the United States Constitution—namely, that opinions are protected.
GEMSA attorneys have threatened to take this Australian court order to American search engine companies to deindex the blog post, making the post harder to find online."

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Stopping trade secret theft in your organization; CSO, April 10, 2017

Frederick Scholl, CSO; 

Stopping trade secret theft in your organization

"The recent Google vs. Uber self-driving car litigation has brought trade secret theft into the news again. I have blogged on this topic before. In this post and the next three I will take a deeper dive into trade secret theft and how you can reduce the chance you will be the next victim.

Trade secret theft is one of the major cybersecurity risks of our time. Organizations now lose nearly $300 billion per year due to theft or misappropriation of intellectual property." 

The Charging Bull Sculptor Is Right. Fearless Girl Should Go.; Slate, April 12, 2017

Christina Cauterucci, Slate; 

The Charging Bull Sculptor Is Right. Fearless Girl Should Go.

"Artist Arturo Di Modica, who installed his bull sculpture under the cover of night after the 1987 stock-market crash, called on Wednesday for New York City authorities to remove the girl statue, saying it violates his rights as an artist...

Though it’s rarely been invoked, the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 protects artists from having their works destroyed, moved, or altered under specific circumstances. Di Modica may have been able to argue a violation of his copyright under VARA if he could convince a judge that the city modified his work or damaged its integrity in a way that harmed his reputation, which the city almost certainly did. But the law doesn’t apply to artworks created before the law’s enactment, meaning Di Modica will have to find another legal basis if he decides to sue the city."

'Charging Bull' sculptor calls for New York to remove 'Fearless Girl' statue; Guardian, April 12, 2017

Jamiles Lartey, Guardian; 

'Charging Bull' sculptor calls for New York to remove 'Fearless Girl' statue

"Siegel and Di Modica have asked the city of New York to remove the statue, which became something of a phenomenon when it was first installed earlier this year, and tied by many to the global Women’s March movement. They say the city should place the “Fearless Girl” somewhere else where it no longer relies on the “Charging Bull”. “The work is incomplete without Mr Di Modica’s Charging Bull, and as such it constitutes a derivative work,” Seigel said, noting that the statue of the girl, hands on her hips, only becomes “fearless” because of the much larger, aggressive bull.

Siegel pointed to a 1990 copyright statute that grants visual artists the right “to prevent any intentional distortion, mutilation or other modification of that work which would be prejudicial to [the artist’s] reputation”.

In addition to the removal of the statue, Di Modica was seeking unspecified damages from the city of New York. Siegel said, however, that his client had not filed a lawsuit yet and is hoping the city – specifically its mayor, Bill de Blasio – will come to the table with the artist in good faith. De Blasio recently extended “Fearless Girl’s” permit through March 2018 and has called it a symbol of “standing up to fear, standing up to power” and doing what’s right. Seigel said the “inescapable implication” was that Di Modica’s bull became “a force against doing what’s right”."

U.S. Companies Should Register Trademarks in Cuba Early; Boomberg BNA, April 7, 2017

Peter Leung, Bloomberg BNA; 

"The thawing of U.S.-Cuba relations means American companies should consider registering their marks in the island nation to head off trademark squatters, lawyers said.

The expectation of increased trade between the countries has led to more unauthorized registrations of trademarks used by American companies, Katherine Van Deusen Hely of Caribbean IP PLLC said April 5 at the American Bar Association’s Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference...

Timely registration is particularly important with Cuba’s first-to-file trademark system which differs from the U.S., where registration is based on earliest, continuous use of a trademark."

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

32nd Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference April 4-6, 2017, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA

Kip Currier: 

Attending 32nd Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference

April 4-6, 2017, 
Crystal Gateway Marriott, 
Arlington, VA

Sessions and events for Day 2, Thursday, April 6:

Thursday, April 6

7:30 am – 5:00 pm
7:00 am – 8:15 am
Women in IP Law Breakfast
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Patent: AIA Trials Before the PTAB
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Trademark: Shush - Are We Permitted to Say...?
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Copyright: Are The Times A-Changin' in Copyright Law?
10:15 am – 11:45 am
Patent: Patent Year in Review
10:15 am – 11:45 am
Trademark: Here Comes the Judge: Mock Preliminary Injunction
10:15 am – 11:45 am
Copyright: DMCA 101: Post-Lenz
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Keynote Speaker Luncheon
Featuring: Maureen K. Ohlhausen · Commissioner · Federal Trade Commission · Washington, DC
1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Specialty: The New Landscape of Trade Secrets
1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Specialty: The (Gold) Stars Realigned: Post Brexit UK
1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Specialty/Ethics: Ethics in IP: Interactive Round Tables
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Specialty/Patent: What Makes a Valuable IP Portfolio?
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Specialty: All the Crime We Cannot See
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Specialty/Ethics: Duty of Loyalty: Avoiding Conflicts of Interest in IP

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

32nd Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference April 4-6, 2017, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA

Kip Currier: 

Attending 32nd Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference

April 4-6, 2017, 
Crystal Gateway Marriott, 
Arlington, VA

Sessions and events for Day 1, Wednesday, April 5:

Wednesday, April 5

7:00 am – 5:00 pm
7:15 am – 8:30 am
Conference Connections
New Members · First-Time Attendees · Young Lawyers
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Patent: Ten Lessons for Patent Prosecutors from Litigation
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Trademark: Get Ready for Cuba!
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Copyright: Legal Compliance... I Choose You!
10:15 am – 11:45 am
Patent: Ask the Office: Hot Topics from the US Patent and Trademark Office
10:15 am – 11:45 am
Trademark: Gripe Sites and Takedown Notices
10:15 am – 11:45 am
Copyright: Copyright 2016 at a Gallop
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Mark T. Banner Awards Luncheon
1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Patent: Save the Date: Priority Practice Points
1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Trademark: The USPTO Speaks: An Update from the USPTO and TTAB
1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Copyright: Securitizing of Artists' and Athletes' Careers
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Specialty: Implicit in Your Practice
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Trademark/Copyright: Not in My Backyard: Blocking Infringement at the Real and Virtual Border
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Specialty: Cannabis: Examination of IP
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Reception: Opportunities for Publishing with the ABA-IPL Section
6:15 pm – 7:15 pm
Sponsor Reception
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Conference Reception: Taking it Back...To the 80s
9:30 pm – 10:30 pm
LGBT Diversity Dessert Reception

EFF Says No to So-Called “Moral Rights” Copyright Expansion; Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), March 30, 2017

Kerry Sheehan and Kit Walsh, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF): 

EFF Says No to So-Called “Moral Rights” Copyright Expansion

"The fight over moral rights, particularly the right of Integrity, is ultimately one about who gets to control the meaning of a particular work. If an author can prevent a use they perceive as a “prejudicial distortion” of their work, that author has the power to veto others’ attempts to contest, reinterpret, criticize, or draw new meanings from those works...

A statutory right of attribution could also interfere with privacy protective measures employed by online platforms. Many platforms strip identifying metadata from works on their platforms to protect their users' privacy, If doing so were to trigger liability for violating an author’s right of attribution, platforms would likely be chilled from protecting their users’ privacy in this way.

For centuries, American courts have grappled with how to address harm to reputation without impinging on the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment. And as copyright’s scope has expanded in recent decades, the courts have provided the safeguards that partially mitigate the harm of overly broad speech regulation."

Sunday, April 2, 2017

London Book Fair 2017: Judge Pierre Leval Defends Google Books Decision, Fair Use; Publishers Weekly, March 16, 2017

Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly; 

London Book Fair 2017: Judge Pierre Leval Defends Google Books Decision, Fair Use

"In a packed room for the LBF’s 2017 Charles Clark Memorial Lecture, Judge Pierre Leval, America’s foremost copyright jurist and a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit, told attendees that Google’s program to scan tens of millions of library books to create an online index “conferred gigantic benefits to authors and the public equally,” and did not “offer a substitute or interfere with authors’ exclusive rights” to control distribution.

“It was,” Leval concluded, “not a, quote, close case.”

Leval delivered his remarks in what was billed as a debate with intellectual property lawyer and former General Counsel for the U.S. Copyright Office, Jon Baumgarten. But at the outset, both Leval and Baumgarten—long time acquaintances—downplayed the debate aspect. Rather, at a time when proposed exceptions to copyright law have many publishers in the U.K. and Europe on edge, Leval spoke mainly as an ambassador for the American doctrine of fair use...

The key to American fair use, he said, was the flexibility the law gives judges. While he acknowledged there is something to be said for “predictability and bright line rules,” he insisted that hard and fast standards do not best serve the purpose of copyright...

In his portion of the talk, Baumgarten reiterated the publishing community’s main complaints with the decision, and about fair use in the digital age more broadly. Most prominently, that the decision overly expanded the right to freely copy others’ works, which, if widely practiced in the digital age will harm rightsholders. He also bemoaned what he saw as the courts’ expansion of what “transformative” means."

Economic Development: Intellectual property must be protected from theft; Billings Gazette, April 2, 2017

Dena Johnson and Jennifer Webber, Billings Gazette; 

Economic Development: Intellectual property must be protected from theft

"Rising "intellectual property crime in the United States and abroad threatens our public safety and economic well being.” US Department of Justice.

What does this mean for Main Street businesses? Are they at risk? Or is intellectual property (“IP”) protection only a concern for larger companies? The answer? IP should be a priority for every business owner no matter the size. Your company should “protect the programs and systems that support what makes your company successful and unique.” Federal Bureau of Investigation.

We interviewed attorney Jennifer L. Webber of WEBBERpllc ( to learn more."

The findings of medical research are disseminated too slowly; The Economist, March 25, 2017

The Economist; The findings of medical research are disseminated too slowly

"As more researchers submit preprints and make their data available to others, they may find the comments they receive regarding their work helpful. Even the kudos of publication in the premier journals may slowly fade in the face of data about a piece of work’s actual, rather than potential, impact (see article). Having survived three and a half centuries, scientific journals will no doubt be around for a long time yet. With luck, though, they will return to being science’s servants, rather than its ringmasters."

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Uber Executive Invokes Fifth Amendment, Seeking to Avoid Potential Charges; New York Times, March 30, 2017

Daisuke Wakabayashi and Mike Isaac, New York Times; 

Uber Executive Invokes Fifth Amendment, Seeking to Avoid Potential Charges

"“The more we get into this, it might look like a public relations disaster for Uber,” said Michael Carrier, a law professor at Rutgers University. “The mere fact that you’re pleading the Fifth doesn’t look good.”"

Feds Call Miami Beach Patent Operation A Scam; NBC6 South Florida, March 29, 2017

Tony Pipitone, NBC6 South Florida; Feds Call Miami Beach Patent Operation A Scam

"For nearly three years, World Patent Marketing ran a multi-million dollar scam here, separating would-be inventors from their money, at times promoting a global patent that did not exist, according to a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission.

Based solely on the FTC’s claims, a federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order freezing all assets of the company and its founder, Scott Cooper, 43."

It's About Time for Congress to Improves [sic] the Copyright Office; Forbes, March 31, 2017

Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Forbes; 

It's About Time for Congress to Improves [sic] the Copyright Office

"In the pecking order of Washington organizations, the Copyright Office is close to last. The head of the Copyright Office does not report to the president. He reports to the Librarian of Congress. That’s right: the Librarian of Congress, who in turn reports to various members of Congress.

H.R. 1695 is a great start to remedy that situation, but it could be improved. For example, under the current bill, the Librarian of Congress would still select the Associate Registers of Copyrights. An improved bill would remove the Librarian of Congress from all responsibilities with respect to the Office of Copyright.

An astute observer might suggest that the obscurity of the Copyright Office and benign neglect in Washington have benefitted the copyright industries. Perhaps. The copyright industries have done quite well economically for decades without a forceful voice in government to advocate for them or to look after their interests. Have they done well because of neglect, or despite neglect?"

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Judge: Annotations to Georgia Law Are Protected by Copyright; Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report, March 28, 2017

Kate Brumback, Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report; 

Judge: Annotations to Georgia Law Are Protected by Copyright

"A federal judge has ruled that annotations to Georgia's legal code can be copyrighted and that a nonprofit organization's copying and distribution of them isn't protected by fair use laws.

The state in July 2015 sued Public.Resource.Org Inc. in federal court in Atlanta. The nonprofit is run by Carl Malamud, an internet public domain advocate who argues for free access to legally obtained files."

Judge Allows Copyright Lawsuit Against Marvel Over 'Iron Man 3' Poster; Hollywood Reporter, March 28, 2017

Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter; Judge Allows Copyright Lawsuit Against Marvel Over 'Iron Man 3' Poster

"[District Judge J. Paul] Oetken agrees with Marvel that the idea of a "highly mechanized suit of armor" and the "fighting pose" are unprotectable elements, scenes a faire in the comic book or superhero genre.
When it comes to the particularized expression of the idea, the judge notes some non-identical similarity — the hairstyles, the use of blue light, the color of the suits, etc. — with the ultimate conclusion that the works do share a similarity in their "total concept or feel" to survive a motion to dismiss."
According to the opinion (read here), "This is not a case where only non-copyrightable elements exist in the work, nor is it one where the Court can conclude, at this stage, that 'no reasonable jury, properly instructed, could find that the two works are substantially similar' based on their 'total concept and overall feel.'”

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations; Guardian, March 28, 2017

Victoria Hermann, Guardian; 

I am an Arctic researcher. Donald Trump is deleting my citations

"The consequences of vanishing citations, however, pose a far more serious consequence than website updates. Each defunct page is an effort by the Trump administration to deliberately undermine our ability to make good policy decisions by limiting access to scientific evidence.

We’ve seen this type of data strangling before.

Just three years ago, Arctic researchers witnessed another world leader remove thousands of scientific documents from the public domain. In 2014, then Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper closed 11 department of fisheries and oceans regional libraries, including the only Arctic center. Hundreds of reports and studies containing well over a century of research were destroyed in that process – a historic loss from which we still have not recovered. 

These back-to-back data deletions come at a time when the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average. Just this week, it was reported that the Arctic’s winter sea ice dropped to its lowest level in recorded history. The impacts of a warming, ice-free Arctic are already clear: a decline in habitat for polar bears and other Arctic animals; increases in coastal erosion that force Alaskans to abandon their homes; and the opening up of shipping routes with unpredictable conditions and hazardous icebergs. 

In a remote region where data is already scarce, we need publicly available government guidance and records now more than ever before. It is hard enough for modern Arctic researchers to perform experiments and collect data to fill the gaps left by historic scientific expeditions. While working in one of the most physically demanding environments on the planet, we don’t have time to fill new data gaps created by political malice."

BrewDog backs down over Lone Wolf pub trademark dispute; Guardian, March 27, 2017

Rob Davies, Guardian; 

BrewDog backs down over Lone Wolf pub trademark dispute

"Branding expert Graham Hales, chief marketing officer at the Chemistry Group, said BrewDog had made the right decision by backing down. “Lawyers have their jobs to do and any brand needs to protect its trademark,” he said. “That being said, the sense of David versus Goliath in a business context is something people will comment on."

Who Has the Keys to Self-Driving Cars?; Inside Counsel, March 28, 2017

Amanda Ciccatelli, Inside Counsel; 

Who Has the Keys to Self-Driving Cars?

"The question of who controls the future of self-driving cars may be answered in a lawsuit happening right now in a California courtroom. In the lawsuit filed in February, Waymo (Google’s self-driving car unit) accuses Uber of patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation because Uber bought a $700 million start-up company formed by a former Waymo engineer who Waymo says stole its technology with Uber’s knowledge. 

“This case is one of the first major battles over driverless car technology, and it promises to be a real food fight,” said Ryan Koppelman, a partner in Alston & Bird’s IP Litigation Practice and co-leader of the firm’s Connected & Autonomous Vehicle Group. “Both companies are angling to capture a large share in the burgeoning world of self-driving vehicles. The global market for autonomous driving hardware components alone is expected to grow from $400 million in 2015 to $40 billion in 2030. The stakes couldn’t be higher.”

Supreme Court Considers Why Patent Trolls Love Texas; New York Times, March 27, 2017

Adam Liptak, New York Times; 

Supreme Court Considers Why Patent Trolls Love Texas

"More than 40 percent of patent lawsuits are filed in a federal court in East Texas with a reputation for friendliness to plaintiffs. That curious fact was the backdrop for a Supreme Court argument on Monday over whether the court should halt what many big technology companies say is pernicious forum shopping in patent cases.

In recent years, a single judge based in Marshall, Tex., oversaw about a quarter of all patent cases nationwide, more than the number handled by all federal judges in California, Florida and New York combined.

The Texas court is a favorite venue of patent trolls, or companies that buy patents not to use them but to demand royalties and sue for damages." 

Let’s Make The Copyright Office Less Political, Not More; Electronic Frontier foundation (EFF), March 27, 2017

Kerry Sheehan, Electronic Frontier foundation (EFF); 

Let’s Make The Copyright Office Less Political, Not More

"In sum, we’ll have a Register, and a Copyright Office, that is accountable only to the President and the special interests that helped get them approved in the first place.  That will inevitably accelerate the politicization of the Office.
Under the current system, the official in charge of selecting the Register is a member of the one community that can usually be trusted to think about all of the interests copyright law affects: librarians.  As we’ve said before, libraries have an institutional obligation to serve the public, and to support access to knowledge and culture. Given copyright’s constitutional mandate to promote progress, we think the Office’s mission is best served when it is subject to the oversight and guidance of the library community.
It’s bad enough that Congress and the public can no longer look to the Register as a neutral arbiter of copyright policy.  We shouldn’t make the problem worse by effectively making the Copyright Office into an independent regulator and policymaker. Instead, the Register should remain an advisor to Congress and an administrator of the registration system."