'Gleevec, which made almost $5 billion for Novartis last year, has been at the center of a long battle between pharmaceutical companies and activists fighting price increases. The drug cost about $26,000 per year in 2001, and Novartis repeatedly raised the price even as competitors emerged; early this year, it was more than $120,000. Those who support broader access to medicines argue that poor countries should reject patents and make generic versions of leukemia drugs. In 2013, India’s highest court struck down Novartis’s patent application for Gleevec, opening the way for generics. They now cost about $400 a year in India and about $9,000 in Canada."
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Donald G. McNeil Jr., New York Times; Summer Project Turns Into Leukemia Testing Breakthrough:
Ashley Cullins, Hollywood Reporter; Jury Finds 'Jersey Boys' Creators Liable for Copyright Infringment:
"The jury on Monday found that DeVito did not grant an implied license for the creators of the stage play to use his book as source material — and attributed 10 percent of Jersey Boys' success to infringement of the book."
Zhang Huibin, China Daily; Effective online copyright law a thorny issue:
"Data from Tencent indicate the value of internet works, including IPR deals, was 420 billion yuan ($60.72 billion) in 2015－and it is expected to cross 560 billion yuan this year. Along with many benefits, the internet has also created difficulties for copyright protection. The reuse of traditional works on the internet in new forms, such as through digitalized disposal, show the efforts to protect copyright have not been fully successful. China started amending its copyright law for the third time in July 2011. A series of copyright dilemmas, such as combating cyber literature piracy, illegal online video aggregation, non-payment for music and live broadcasts of sports events, pose a major problem for the healthy development of the internet sector... How to effectively protect copyrights as well as ensure the public continues to share authorized content are pressing issues for country's copyright law. Lenient laws will compromise the rights of copyright owners, but very strict measures for copyright protection could restrict the sharing of even many authorized works by the public. Legislative, judicial and law enforcement departments should, therefore, weigh the pros and cons and try to strike the right balance in copyright legislation and protection."
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Evan Greer, Tom Morello, and Evangeline Lilly, Guardian; The TPP wasn't killed by Donald Trump – our protests worked:
"As more and more people learned about what the TPP really meant for them and their families, it became politically toxic, to the point that no major party candidate for president could openly support it. This was a sign that the TPP was on its deathbed, but with the threat of a last-minute push during the “lame duck” session after the election, we needed to be sure. So we targeted undecided lawmakers with protests and flew inflatable blimps outside their offices. We harnessed the power of music to draw huge crowds across the country to “Rock Against the TPP” concerts and teach-ins, taking our opposition to the TPP into the cultural mainstream. We tuned out the chorus of voices that told us that corporate power would always prevail in the end. And finally, we claimed our victory. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that Americans understand how the TPP was really defeated. An organized and educated public can take on concentrated wealth and power and win. With four years of new battles ahead of us, this is a story we must commit to memory, and a lesson we must take to heart."
On Eve Of WIPO Traditional Knowledge Negotiations, Nations Swap Experiences; Intellectual Property Watch, 11/28/16
Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch; On Eve Of WIPO Traditional Knowledge Negotiations, Nations Swap Experiences:
"A seminar was organised by the World Intellectual Property Organization to provide a discussion platform on the eve of this week’s meeting on the protection of traditional knowledge, and as a way for countries to share systems of protection. Panellists presented views on possible graduated protection for different sorts of traditional knowledge. The WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) is meeting from 28 November to 2 December. This week, delegates are expected to discuss a list [pdf] of outstanding and pending issues. This includes the use and meanings of certain terms and concepts, such as terms describing the diffusion of traditional knowledge (TK). Criteria for eligibility of the protection, and whether beneficiaries should include nations and states, are also on the list."
Monday, November 28, 2016
Carl a. Rohsler and Florian Traub, National Law Review; Patents – A Novel and Inventive Approach to Brexit? :
"The announcement on Monday afternoon by the UK Government that it intended to proceed with the ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) took almost all commentators by complete surprise. It was commonly believed that Brexit would either completely destroy, or at least significantly delay, the introduction of the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court. After all, the UK was going to leave the EU and it seemed nonsensical that it would continue to play an active role in supporting treaties that would have a profound effect on the EU just at the time that it was planning to leave the party."
Chris Griffith, The Australian; YouTube protects copyright with artificial intelligence:
"YouTube is using artificial intelligence to thwart a game of cat and mouse by users circumventing copyright. The Google-owned service already has algorithms for detecting copyright movie, video and music content that users post on YouTube. Over the years, some users have developed tricks for getting around detection. Some have posted video with colours reversed, or images of each frame reversed vertically or horizontally. Other techniques include altering colours, changing the aspect ratio, cropping frames and using a halo effect. The idea is to make video unrecognisable as copyright content... YouTube however is fighting back. It has been delving into the world of artificial intelligence and machine learning to dissemble video and music, and outfox these cunning operators. “That’s what we’re using machine learning for, to take out these things, and to work out they are the same image,” said Harris Cohen, senior product manager of Content ID at YouTube."
Turning Promises Of Marrakesh Treaty For Visually Impaired Into Reality; Intellectual Property Watch, 11/21/16
Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch; Turning Promises Of Marrakesh Treaty For Visually Impaired Into Reality:
"With the recent entry into force of the Marrakesh Treaty providing copyright exceptions for persons with visual impairments, a panel convened alongside last week’s World Intellectual Property Organization copyright committee meeting explored ways to transform the treaty’s promises into reality. The WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) met from 14-18 November. The 15 November side event was organised by the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC), which is hosted by WIPO. Recently appointed WIPO Deputy Director General for the Copyright and Creative Industries Sector Sylvie Forbin said at the event that 25 countries have now ratified the 2013 Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled, which entered into force on 30 September..." Chris Friend, representing the World Blind Union, in the audience, presented the World Blind Union Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty: Facilitating Access to Books for Print Disabled Individuals, to be published by Oxford University Press in February. The guide is intended to provide an analysis of the treaty to multiple audiences including parliamentarians and policymakers who adopt domestic legislation and regulations to give effect to the treaty, judges and administrators who interpret and apply those laws, and to disability rights organisations and other civil society groups who advocate for the treaty’s implementation and effective enforcement, according to the guide executive summary."
Librarians, Archivists, Call On WIPO Members To Create Safe Harbour Against Copyright Liability; Intellectual Property Watch, 11/18/16
Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch; Librarians, Archivists, Call On WIPO Members To Create Safe Harbour Against Copyright Liability:
"The age of digitisation has opened new doors to distribution of information including for libraries and archives. However, librarians and archivists are often confronted with risk of liability for copyright infringement, nationally and in cross-border activities. This week, they asked the World Intellectual Property Organization copyright committee to provide them not only with some exceptions to copyright, but with protection against liability. The WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) is taking place from 14-18 November. On the SCCR agenda is copyright exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives. On 17 November, librarians and archivists took the floor to explain why an international standard protecting them against liability is indispensable."
Ira Sather-Olson, Missoulian; Local attorney presents class on copyright law for artists and authors:
"Artists and authors who want to learn more about copyright are invited to join Sarah J. Rhoades, an intellectual property attorney with Missoula’s Sherwood Law Offices, for a presentation about copyright and copyright registration that occurs at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 30, in the Large Meeting Room. After her presentation, Rhoades will be available to help artists and authors complete a copyright application form, and to answer questions. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own laptops to fill out copyright applications during this class."
Saturday, November 26, 2016
It’s Iceland vs Iceland as trademark row erupts between country and frozen supermarket chain; The Conversation, 11/25/16
The Conversation; It’s Iceland vs Iceland as trademark row erupts between country and frozen supermarket chain:
"One significant factor that could count against the Icelandic government’s legal challenge is that the application for the Iceland trademark – granted in 2014 – was actually filed by the supermarket chain back in 2002. The reason it took 12 years before the mark was granted was that the application passed through a lengthy and rigorous “opposition” process, which involved the weighing up of the various pros and cons of allowing the mark from various perspectives, most notably the possibility of consumer confusion arising between the “Iceland” mark and any prior existing marks. Given that Iceland (the country) does not itself seem to own any conflicting trademarks in the name Iceland, it’s hard to see how the Icelandic government can raise any grounds that have not already been dealt with during the application and opposition period from 2002 to 2014. Nonetheless, the dispute brings up a pertinent question: should it ever be possible to register the name of a country, regardless of what the business is involved in and whether or not there is any likelihood of confusion?"
Christmas Tree Candles and Candle Holders - Web’s Largest Gallery of Historic Patents Shows How We Used To Decorate Our Trees; Huffington Post, 11/25/16
Tom Conrad, Huffington Post; Christmas Tree Candles and Candle Holders - Web’s Largest Gallery of Historic Patents Shows How We Used To Decorate Our Trees:
'Decorating with Christmas tree candles was in its commercial prime for about 50 years — from roughly 1870, gradually tapering off through the 1920s and 30s, although the U.S. Patent Office was still awarding patents for Christmas tree candle holders as late as 1945. Studying patent drawings and reading the filings from the U.S. Patent Office is a good way to trace the design developments and get a feel for how the Christmas tree candle holders evolved through the years before they were overtaken by electric Christmas tree lights. The following selection is excerpted from our online Gallery of Christmas Tree Candle Holder Patents, which is the largest collection available on the web. Check out the gallery and see varieties of Christmas tree candle holders, clips and pendulums that are available to buy online."
FAQ: What you need to know, but were afraid to ask, about the EU Open Science Cloud; Science Business, 11/24/16
Science Business Staff, Science Business; FAQ: What you need to know, but were afraid to ask, about the EU Open Science Cloud:
"Will the data in the EU science cloud be available for free? Some of it, yes; some of it, no. The EU says that not all data ‘will necessarily be free’, due to the legitimate rights of IP holders, so there will be an opportunity for some organisations to sell access to some of their data through the cloud. Private publishers, such as Elsevier and Springer, are also keen to be able to maintain charges for access to some of their services – but have also been unexpectedly enthusiastic about exploring the possible new business models that a very large, very active cloud could permit. On the other hand, some universities and research councils – among the most active proponents of free open access for research reports and text and data mining – are pushing to make the new cloud a tariff-free zone. It’s difficult to predict yet how this issue will be resolved... What about privacy or ethical concerns? Differing privacy and ethical policies and regulations in Europe, the US, and elsewhere could become sticking points which would prevent the cloud becoming fully global. There are legal restraints on where research data can be stored – essentially it has to be located in countries, and under the control of organisations, that are subject to EU data protection legislation, and that should make US-based commercial providers a little wary. Rules will need to be established to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the funding agencies, the data custodians, the cloud service providers and the researchers who use cloud-based data. The Commission has said these legal issues will be resolved as part of its broader rule-making efforts under its Digital Single Market – for privacy, copyright, and security of data. But it may not be so simple. The last time science and data rules collided was in 2014/15, when the EU was rewriting its data-privacy regulation; the original, EU-wide proposal would have had an unintended impact on medical research – leading medical universities across the EU to scream loudly that the EU was about to kill drug research. A muddled compromise resulted. Expect similar surprises in cloud regulation."
Friday, November 25, 2016
Mark Hannemann, Thomas R. Makin, Matthew G. Berkowitz, Patrick Colsher, Joseph Purcell and Eric Lucas, Mondaq; United States: Lee v. Tam: Disparaging Trademarks At The Supreme Court:
"On April 20, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the "PTO") petitioned for a writ of certiorari on the following question: Whether the disparagement provision in 15 U.S.C. 1052(a), which provides that no trademark shall be refused registration on account of its nature unless, inter alia, it "[c]onsists of... matter which may disparage... persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute," is facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment."
Leo Kelion, BBC News; China breaks patent application record:
"One patent expert - who asked not to be named - suggested the disparity between Chinese inventors' local and international filings reflected the fact that not all the claims would stand up to scrutiny elsewhere. "The detail of what they are applying for means they would be unlikely to have the necessary degree of novelty to be granted a patent worldwide," he said. But Wipo's chief economist said things were not so clear cut. "There is clearly a discussion out there as to what is the quality of Chinese patents," said Carsten Fink. "But questions have also been asked about US and other [countries'] patents. "And one should keep in mind that China is a huge economy. "If you look at its patent filings per head of population, there are still fewer patents being filed there than in the United States.""
Steven Seidenberg, Intellectual Property Watch; New US Copyright Rule Sets Trap For Online Firms:
"The US Copyright Office is supposed to balance the interests of copyright owners with the interests of everyone else. However, the Office’s latest regulation, which takes effect 1 December, may be anything but fair and balanced. It could, according to critics, strip Facebook, YouTube, and other online companies of a vital statutory safe harbor, thus making these companies liable when their users post infringing material online. Online companies could face billions in infringement damages, driving them out of business."
Jordana Williams, Slate; Have I Got a Play for You:
"Flipping now through our patchwork golem of a script, aghast, I estimate that 80 percent of what we performed actually appears in the original Company. We left lengthy passages essentially unaltered, but fully rewrote others. Even when the lines and lyrics were unchanged, we took subtler liberties, like converting “Being Alive,” Bobby’s solo meditation on loneliness and longing, into a full company number featuring three-part harmony... So, where were the grown-ups when all of this was happening? Why didn’t they stop us, or at least advise us that our violations of copyright ranged from artistically disastrous to legally actionable? Now that I have kids of my own, I can guess why they stepped back and let us go hog wild. They knew we’d have the rest of our lives to question and edit ourselves (and acquire permission before monkeying with someone else’s art). The heedlessness we displayed would be repellent in an adult, but is arguably kind of awesome in a bunch of kids. My son is working on his first musical, the soon-to-be smash hit Army Chickens. He’s a very practical boy, so early on, he came to my husband and me with a bunch of questions about budgets and ticket prices and actor pay and set construction needs. “No!” I shouted, probably too vehemently. “Just write the thing however you like.” And why not? He’ll never know what his wildest dreams are if he doesn’t start out as if nothing is impossible."
Thursday, November 24, 2016
‘Fraud is not a trade secret’: How a 27-year-old blew the whistle on Theranos; MarketWatch, 11/17/16
Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch; ‘Fraud is not a trade secret’: How a 27-year-old blew the whistle on Theranos’ :
[Kip Currier: Ethics instructors of all stripes were served up a whopping good case study with the story of Tyler Schultz (grandson of former Secretary of State George Schultz) exposing the dazzlingly fraudulent actions of health tech powerhouse, Theranos, Inc. and its now-disgraced CEO Elizabeth Holmes. This is one that should and will be studied in MBA programs and ethics courses for years.] "‘Fraud is not a trade secret. I refuse to allow bullying, intimidation and threat of legal action to take away my First Amendment right to speak out against wrongdoing.’"
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Ben Sisario, New York Times; ‘We Shall Overcome’ Copyright Case Moves Closer to Trial:
"Along with the recent suits involving “Happy Birthday to You” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” the case has focused attention on one of the central questions in copyright: finding a balance between protecting intellectual property on behalf of private owners, and giving the public access to famous songs whose origins may be murky. For “We Shall Overcome” and “This Land,” the issue is also freighted with politics at a time when the songs are being embraced by protesters and activists on multiple sides of major issues. The suit over “We Shall Overcome” was filed in April on behalf of a nonprofit group called the We Shall Overcome Foundation, and later joined by the producers of the 2013 film “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” It argues that the song — which was adapted from a 19th-century black spiritual, although its origins may date back even further — should be declared part of the public domain."
Monday, November 21, 2016
Anna Tims, Guardian; Consumers caught out as UK firms furnished with crippling copyright laws:
"Voga, it transpires, reinvented itself as an Irish company in May to escape new UK copyright laws that would have rendered much of its merchandise illegal. There’s no mention of the relocation on its website, which also does not give an address, and the FAQs on delivery and extra charges are silent on the issue. Only deep down in the terms and conditions is it mentioned that customers must arrange their own delivery from Ireland. McGrath is an early casualty of a change in British legislation which has made it a criminal offence to sell replicas of design icons without a pricey licence. The amendment to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, which came in to force in July, retrospectively extends the design rights to unregistered classic works created after 1957 from 25 years after their launch to 70 years after the designer’s death. This sounds the death knell for affordable replicas of 20th-century bestsellers such as the Arco floor lamp and Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair and threatens to put scores of companies that supply them out of business. A further proposed rule change will slap copyright on iconic pre-1957 designs which never qualified for copyright protection in the first place, making it a criminal offence to incorporate any element of them into a new work. This means that anyone without a licence from the copyright holder who is selling , for example, the Finn Juhl-inspired chair bought by McGrath could face a £50,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison. Householders who want to get the look will now have to fork out thousands rather than hundreds for a piece of furniture, and magazines will be penalised if they show photos of items protected by the copyright without buying a licence."
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Alice Ross, Guardian; Tim Berners-Lee warns of danger of chaos in unprotected public data:
"Asked about whether open data could have security vulnerabilities, Berners-Lee said criminals could manipulate open data for profit, for example by placing bets on the bank rate or consumer price index and then hacking into the sites where the data is published and switching the figures. “If you falsify government data then there are all kinds of ways that you could get financial gain, so yes,” he said, “it’s important that even though people think about open data as not a big security problem, it is from the point of view of being accurate.”... Berners-Lee said during a presentation that a key challenge, particularly in the era of Brexit and Donald Trump, was making reliable data available to people who felt disenfranchised: “How can we help everyone in the country feel that they have access to good quality information … whether they get it on the web or not – maybe they get it through TV and radio? How can we restore a culture and civilisation based on knowledge … and a democratic system based on knowledge, based on facts and truth?”"
Bill Camarda, Naked Security; Berners-Lee raises spectre of weaponized open data:
"Whether data is coming from governments or corporations – and whether it’s formally “open” or simply “widely available” like AP’s Twitter feed – it’s increasingly vulnerable to deliberate falsification. But, for governments and others who believe in the open data movement, it’s no longer enough to protect privacy when they release data, or even to ensure its quality and consistency – already significant challenges. From now on, they’ll need to protect it against deliberate sabotage, too."
Pittsburgh's smart city efforts include autonomous driving, open data, and renewable energy; TechRepublic, 11/18/16
Teena Maddox, TechRepublic; Pittsburgh's smart city efforts include autonomous driving, open data, and renewable energy:
"Pittsburgh is the home for CMU and it has helped with the push to add new technology. Pittsburgh is partnering with the university to serve as an urban lab for CMU's research and development. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CMU and the city serves as a formal partnership to allow CMU to try new tech around Pittsburgh without undergoing a lengthy approval process, similar to how the city is able to send maintenance crews out to do small projects without first seeking funding, Peduto explained... The city has formed partnerships with county and universities to create an open data platform. Pittsburgh is providing the public with real-time data about crime, emergency calls, building permits, or anything else being measured."
Richard Bilbao, Orlando Business Journal; Disney's flying coaster patent resurfaces:
"The Walt Disney Co. is quick to patent many of the ideas its Imagineers create, as each has the potential to end up being the next bleeding-edge ride... Theme park fans said Disney's patent is alluding to a new attraction in the works for the Orlando parks. Some believe it could be a new ride for Epcot that may adapt the company's popular intellectual property, like Guardians of the Galaxy."
Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter; Dr. Seuss Enterprises Suing Over 'Star Trek' Mashup:
"The lawsuit isn't catching defendants completely off-guard. According to the complaint, in a section on its Kickstarter page presenting the "risks and challenges" to the project, the defendants proclaimed, "While we firmly believe that our parody, created with love and affection, fully falls within the boundary of fair use, there may be some people who believe that this might be in violation of their intellectual property rights. And we may have to spend time and money proving it to people in black robes. And we may even lose that." Copyright infringement or fair use? Here's the complaint from Dr. Seuss One side will win And one side will lose."
Nicky Woolf, Guardian; Urban Outfitters settles with Navajo Nation after illegally using tribe's name:
"Urban Outfitters reached a settlement with the Navajo Nation after illegally using the tribe’s name for a collection that included “Navajo hipster panties” and a “Navajo print flask”. The lawsuit was brought against the fashion company in 2012, though it had used the name since 2001... The tribe registered the name Navajo as a trademark in 1943, according to court documents."
Friday, November 18, 2016
Deep Dive: Open Access and Transforming the Future of Research; Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), 11/4/16
Gennie Gebhart, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); Deep Dive: Open Access and Transforming the Future of Research:
"Open access depends on more than removing cost barriers. It also means giving the public freedom to use research. Under the current academic publishing model, even the simple act of sharing can be a crime. When Diego Gomez, a Master’s student in Colombia, shared a colleague’s thesis with other scientists over the Internet, he was doing what any grad student would do: sharing research he found useful so others could benefit from it. But the author of the paper filed a lawsuit, and Diego’s act of sharing became a copyright violation punishable by four to eight years in prison. In the U.S., activist Aaron Swartz also met unjust charges on 13 criminal counts for downloading millions of articles from academic journal database JSTOR. The charges would have put him in jail for years under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. If other users see Diego’s or Aaron’s cases and fear the consequences that can come with copyright infringement allegations, everyday activities like sharing academic resources can become intimidating. These cases remind us that sharing and building on existing research is integral to the open access vision. That could mean anything from translation to remixing to large-scale analysis. In an open access world, these innovative, collaborative actions would not be criminal."
Peter Sciretta, Slashfilm.com; Jonathan Nolan Responds To That Westworld Location Theory:
Minor spoilers re "Westworld" plot themes [Kip Currier: Viewers of Season 1 of the popular new HBO series "Westworld"--a reimagined reboot of the 1973 film, based on Michael Crichton's eponymous novel--have increasingly seen the protect-at-all-costs value of Westworld's Intellectual Property, as well as privacy concerns. Showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy Nolan touch on these issues below:] "In regards to the computer terminals where the Delos staff communicate to their loved ones back home, [Lisa Joy Nolan] says: Regardless of where they are, the park is very, very vast, and you don’t rotate home often. You don’t have open communication where you can just pick up a phone. Even senior people have to go to the coms room – because [the park is] protecting their intellectual property. We’re hoping to paint a portrait of the culture of the corporation. [Jonathan] Nolan (who was a showrunner on Person of Interest, a series about a computer system that could analyze all forms of public and private data to predict the future) seems to be very interested in the aspect of big brother looking in on our communications. As for how it relates to Westworld, he says the Delos corporation wants to protect its intellectual property and the privacy of the park’s guests: In Westworld, the value of the park is all in its intellectual property, it’s all in the code. So regardless of the park’s location, they would be extremely careful with that code and making sure its virtually impossible to smuggle it out of the park. And there’s the privacy of the guests – you’re not going to have a good time in Westworld if somebody is Instagramming your activities. I’m amazed [th]at [sic] Las Vegas has survived the Instagram age. In episode 2, when the guests come in, we don’t see this, but we assume these guys have cell phones that they’re not allowed to bring in the park. We very much think this is a path where culture may be going – that we’ll get over-exposed and sick of the interconnectedness of our lives that we’ll hunger for places [that offer disconnected privacy]. We’ll hunger for a moment where we can go back toward having some privacy."
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Abel Fernandez, Miami Herald; The number of U.S. trademark registrations in Cuba is multiplying — fast:
"The policy of rapprochement with Cuba promoted by the Obama administration has sparked a frenzy in U.S. companies rushing to register their brands on the island. The Cuban Office of Industrial Property (OCPI), the government agency that examines and awards trademark and trade name registrations on the island, has received more than 1,000 applications so far this year to register trademarks and distinctive signs belonging to U.S. companies. That is more than double the number of applications received in 2015, and far exceeds the number before Havana and Washington announced a thaw in relations on Dec. 17, 2014. Only 78 U.S. brands were registered on the island that year, according to a report by Reuters."
Sarina Locke, ABC; Cattle researchers fight 'extraordinary' patent of bovine genome:
"In a move which has shocked cattle researchers and breeders, two American companies are trying to patent the bovine genome in Australia. Meat and Livestock Australia has lodged action in the Federal Court against the Australian Patent office for granting the patent to Cargill and Branhaven. Researchers fear it could spread to other livestock research. Livestock Professor Rob Banks, said he was appalled that a private company could be granted rights over genes that had been publicly available since the 1980s."
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Atlantic; Elena Ferrante’s Right to a Pseudonym:
"Curiously, the United States remains possibly the only country in the world not to recognize an author’s right to be named as the creator of his or her own work, despite huge pressure from authors’ groups and legal experts to do so. American law provides for a limited “right of attribution,” as it is called in the U.S. Copyright Act, but only in relation to works of fine art. Writers, musicians, and creators working in other disciplines have no such right at all. Establishing one would bring the United States into line with the rest of the world—a good thing when creative works literally circulate without borders, and reputations must stand or fall on the global stage. In Italy, the copyright law says that a pseudonym will be treated as equivalent to the author’s true name, unless (and until) the author chooses to reveal his or her identity. Both the language of the law, and its silences, are arguably significant. In no way is any outsider empowered to reveal an author’s “true” identity when the author has chosen to publish under a pseudonym. Italian law wouldn’t seem to condone a concerted effort such as Gatti’s to uncover Ferrante’s identity."
C. Ramsey Fahs, The Crimson; Patent Pending:
"One way to ensure that offices truly act in the public good, says Rooksby, is to promote broader public understanding of the tech transfer process. “Intellectual property as a topic is misunderstood… but the issues are important,” says Rooksby. “They are important in isolation and in aggregate. These problems are too important and too impactful on the public to just let the lawyers figure them out.”"
Monday, November 14, 2016
Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News; YouTuber Faces $300,000 Fine Over Donald Trump Parody:
[Kip Currier: Interesting fact pattern but misleading clickbait headline and incomplete/inaccurate statements in some areas regarding the potential damages, i.e. the maximum amount for an instance of willful copyright infringement is $150,000. But the range of that damages continuum is $750 - $150,000. Under the U.S. Copyright Act, § 504. Remedies for infringement: Damages and profits sets out under the Statutory Damages provision that: "(1) Except as provided by clause (2) of this subsection, the copyright owner may elect, at any time before final judgment is rendered, to recover, instead of actual damages and profits, an award of statutory damages for all infringements involved in the action, with respect to any one work, for which any one infringer is liable individually, or for which any two or more infringers are liable jointly and severally, in a sum of not less than $750 or more than $30,000 as the court considers just. For the purposes of this subsection, all the parts of a compilation or derivative work constitute one work. (2) In a case where the copyright owner sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that infringement was committed willfully, the court in its discretion may increase the award of statutory damages to a sum of not more than $150,000. In a case where the infringer sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that such infringer was not aware and had no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted an infringement of copyright, the court in its discretion may reduce the award of statutory damages to a sum of not less than $200."] [Paul Resnikoff writes here that:]"Perhaps more importantly, the cost for infringing on copyright is $150,000 per work. At two license violations, that comes to $300,000. Atkins may face that penalty if a judge rules against him. [In that last sentence, "...may face that penalty...", is an important nuance.] The teardown and lawsuit is raising fresh questions about whether parody is indeed protected by copyright law. Or, whether substantial uses of copyrighted material constitute grounds for a complete rip-down. The ‘Clockwork Trump’ YouTube clip employs plenty of snippets from A Clockwork Orange, though it also borrows heavily from Carlos’ version of William Tell Overture. Atkin is obviously arguing that this isn’t infringement, though his parody makes no mention of the music itself. Update: 5:30 am PT: Looks like another version of the Donald Trump video is back up, though we’re not sure if this is the original upload. We’re still determining if this is because the counter-notification was indeed granted. The teardown comes at a tense moment between YouTube and the music industry. Outspoken critics like manager Irving Azoff have blasted YouTube for failing to compensate artists properly, while YouTube says its takedown system is effective. Now, it appears that copyright owners are taking matters into their own hands."
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Robert D. McFadden, New York Times; Clarence M. Ditlow III, Auto Safety Crusader, Dies at 72:
"As head of the Center for Auto Safety, based in Washington, for 40 years, Mr. Ditlow exposed hundreds of automotive defects. He was instrumental in forcing manufacturers to recall the Ford Pintos with infamous exploding gas tanks, Toyotas that suddenly accelerated out of control and General Motors pickup trucks with sidesaddle gas tanks that blew up in collisions, killing more than 1,000 people. With a budget of less than half the cost of one G.M. Super Bowl commercial, Mr. Ditlow took on auto industry giants in lawsuits that tightened standards for ignition systems, airbags and fuel efficiency; lobbied government agencies to ban driving while texting or using cellphones; and achieved “lemon laws” in all 50 states that made it easier for buyers to return defective vehicles. “He was the nightmare of the misbehaving auto industry and the dream of safety-conscious motorists,” Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate and Mr. Ditlow’s mentor, said in an interview in October. “He was also honest, ethical and self-effacing.”... He often sought data under the Freedom of Information laws and sometimes found shocking unintended revelations... Clarence Mintzer Ditlow III was born on Jan. 26, 1944, one of three children of Clarence Mintzer Ditlow Jr. and the former Myrtice Lamb, and grew up in Camp Hill, Pa. His father was a service manager at a Chevrolet dealership in Harrisburg, Pa. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania in 1965. After working for five years as a patent examiner in the United States Patent Office, he received a juris doctorate from Georgetown University in 1970 and a master’s degree in law at Harvard in 1971."
[Video] New York Times; Clinton Campaigns in Philadelphia:
"Hillary Clinton is in Philadelphia with President Obama, the first lady, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi in an effort to get out the vote Tuesday. The audio may mute intermittently because of copyright concerns."
J.D. Biersdorfer, New York Times; Erasing the Past From Google Search:
"Q. Is there a “right to be forgotten” in the United States? How do you get false or damaging personal information removed from Google search results?"
Reuters; U.S. Judge Rejects World Chess Bid to Block Websites From Airing Moves:
"Organizers of the World Chess Championship on Thursday failed to persuade a federal judge to block rival website operators from broadcasting chess moves at the upcoming Nov. 11-30 match in New York. U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero ruled that the tournament organizers had not made a sufficient case to justify a preliminary injunction. He said the public interest would be served by "robust reporting," and analysis of the event... The defendants E-Learning Ltd and Logical Thinking Ltd, which operate website Chess24.com, had argued in court papers that World Chess was seeking to stop websites from reporting on information already in the public domain and not protected by copyright law."
Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed; Not Everyone’s Hero:
"Course Hero has in the past banned users for repeatedly violating its honor code -- which states, “[Don’t] use Course Hero materials or tutors to complete assignments when instructed not to use outside help” -- and its terms of service, though Mork did not say how many times users can violate those policies. The company also uses technology that detects and blocks students from posting content that has previously been removed in response to a DMCA takedown request. The technology doesn’t detect copyright violations before the material is posted, however. In Gollin’s case, for example, each page of the homework assignment was marked with copyright language."
Rebecca Smithers, Guardian; Rubik's Cube puzzled after losing EU trademark battle:
"...[O]n Thursday – after a 10-year legal tussle – Rubik’s Cube lost a key trademark battle after the European court of justice (ECJ) said its shape was not sufficient to grant it protection from copycat versions. The eponymous puzzle, invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and architect Prof Ernő Rubik, is popular among young and old, with more than 350m cubes sold worldwide. UK company Seven Towers, which oversees Rubik’s Cube intellectual property rights, registered the shape as a three-dimensional EU trademark with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in April 1999. But the court ruled that the EU trademark representing the shape of the Rubik’s Cube was invalid. The ruling has ramifications for the game’s various licensed manufacturers, including John Adams in the UK, which could face competition from mass-produced, cheaper imitations."
Jess Collen, New York Times; Examining Trump's History: The New President And Trademark Rights:
"What does Mr. Trump’s history of trademark litigation foretell? We’ve made an extensive examination of lawsuits filed, administrative challenges in the Trademark Office, and Trump’s history of trademark registration ownership. Two of the things about Donald Trump which have become legendary are his love of the “Trump” brand, and his love of litigation. What do his trademark lawsuits and registrations foretell about the course of trademark law in this country for the next four years?"
David Post, Washington Post; Murder (or not) at the Library of Congress? :
"We’ll likely never know the details of Pallante’s departure from her job. I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that the logical explanation is probably the actual one. I have no difficulty believing that Hayden and Pallante are both principled, independent, capable people who disagreed on a structural matter so fundamental to the future of the library and the Copyright Office that it was simply not possible for them both to continue in the jobs to which they had been appointed. The Copyright Act gives the librarian supervisory authority over the register of copyrights: “The Register of Copyrights, together with the subordinate officers and employees of the Copyright Office, shall be appointed by the Librarian of Congress, and shall act under the Librarian’s general direction and supervision.” (17 U.S.C. § 701.) Hayden operated within her authority when she reassigned Pallante to another position within the Library of Congress. The register graciously and understandably declined the new appointment. Those of us who care about the future of the copyright system and the important cultural values it is intended to further — and we are a big tent full of strong-minded people — should get to work finding the next register of copyrights. It’s past time to move beyond the suspicion and rancor that have come to dominate debates over copyright policy. We have a new librarian of Congress, and we will soon have a new register of copyrights. As a community of big and small creators and technologists, we should help the librarian and the register work together to build a more technologically advanced and operationally focused Copyright Office."
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Alexandra S. Levine, New York Times; New York Today: 104 Years Old, and Still Voting:
"On this Election Day, as the presidential campaigns of two New York residents come to an end, another New Yorker — Rose Orbach — plans to do her civic duty and vote — again. The resident of Bayside, Queens, is 104. She’s voting in her 16th presidential election. (Stevenson. Kennedy. Johnson. Humphrey. McGovern. Carter, twice. Mondale. Dukakis. Clinton, twice. Gore. Kerry. Obama, twice. You may spot a trend.) Born in 1911, Mrs. Orbach emigrated from Poland shortly after World War II. She became an American citizen by 1955, and voted in her first presidential election here the following year. The idea of having and using her voice, without facing persecution, was novel. “In Poland, it was a whole different system,” she said. “Especially for Jewish people, who weren’t treated like everybody; they were always beneath.” When she stepped behind the curtain to vote in the 1956 race, things felt different. “I was one with the people: I was different, I was Jewish, but I pushed the button,” she said. “I had my idea, and I was treated nice no matter what. You had your privacy and you were allowed to think what you wanted to think.” In her nearly 60 years of living in New York, she has not missed a single presidential election — that’s at a time when more than 100 million Americans who can vote don’t vote. So exercise your right — it’s one that many people in this world do not have."
Monday, November 7, 2016
Mason Marks, Wired; Want Your Marijuana Startup to Succeed? Study Patent Law:
"...[M]any players in the legal marijuana industry are skeptical of the patent system. Some view patents as an ugly instrument of big business linked to over-priced drugs and other abuses. At a recent event for cannabis entrepreneurs in San Francisco, marijuana growers, manufacturers, and retailers gathered to discuss the current state of their industry. At one point the conversation turned to patent law. Many participants expressed anger and disbelief at the notion of patenting cannabis technology. One attendee stood up and exclaimed, “At least you can’t patent plants! They are part of nature!” But her assertion was incorrect. There is no prohibition against patenting plants and other living organisms. In fact, nearly any invention can be patented as long as it meets a few basic requirements—and surprisingly, being legal under federal law is not one of them... Whether you approve of cannabis patents or not, they are taking root in this multi-billion dollar industry. The upcoming votes and changing regulatory landscape will likely help them grow. To be fully prepared, anyone entering the cannabis industry should learn the fundamentals of patent law."
Jordan Minor, Geek.com; Harry Potter and the Abandoned Trademarks:
"Check out this list of abandoned Harry Potter trademarks. Harry Potter and the Serpent Prince Harry Potter and the Curse of the Dementor Harry Potter and the Tower of Shadows Harry Potter and the Death’s Head Plot Harry Potter and the Shadow of the Serpent Harry Potter and the Serpent’s Revenge Harry Potter and the Realm of the Lion Harry Potter and the Quest of the Centaur Harry Potter and the Mudblood Revolt Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Hallows Harry Potter and the Battle for Hogwarts Harry Potter and the Hogsmeade Tomb Harry Potter and the Myriad Moors of Miitomo"
Baker & McKenzie, Lexology; How To Protect Your Trade Mark From Becoming a Generic Term:
"The term “brand genericide” has been used to describe the process where a trade mark brand owner, sometimes unknowingly, participates in the destruction of the distinctiveness of its trade mark. Indeed, trade mark history is full of examples of marks - often for innovative products - that have become generic: Linoleum, Escalator, Shredded Wheat, to name but a few. The well-known phenomenon of "genericism" affects various industry sectors, including the food and beverages industry: NESTLE, M&M's, COCA-COLA, TABASCO all had to deal with the risk of genericism in one way or another. Read on for practical tips which will to prevent your trade marks from becoming a common descriptive name and potentially entering the public domain."
National Law Review; UK Copyright Infringement: ‘Fair Dealing’ in Digital World:
"Fair dealing is, in essence, a defence to copyright infringement. It allows you to copy part of a (usually already published) third party copyright work without having to get the copyright owner’s prior permission. For example, it would allow you to copy a short passage from a book, to reproduce a photograph or other image, or to use clips from television, film or online footage. You are not required to make any payment to the copyright owner in return for use of their material. You do not need to let the copyright owner know what you are doing and you can go ahead even if the copyright owner is aware of what you are doing and objects. It is irrelevant whether you are acting in a commercial or non-commercial context. The fair dealing defence is set out in Chapter III of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA). There are a number of specific fair dealing exceptions covering, for example, libraries and educational settings. However, some aspects of the fair dealing defence are of wider application."
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Clinton v. Trump on copyrights and patents: Reading the platform and the tea leaves; Ars Technica, 11/6/16
Joe Mullin, Ars Technica; Clinton v. Trump on copyrights and patents: Reading the platform and the tea leaves:
"The hot-button issues this election can be counted on one's fingers—and for most voters, things like copyright and patent policy don't make the list. Assigned to a wonkish zone far from the Sunday morning talk shows, intellectual property issues aren't near the heart of our deeply polarized political discourse. Of the two major party candidates in 2016, only the Democratic candidate has a platform that even addresses copyright and patent policies. So today, let's look at what we know about Hillary Clinton's plan, and make some informed speculation about what could happen to these areas under a Donald Trump presidency."
Thursday, November 3, 2016
'Gone With the Wind' and 'Wizard of Oz' protected by copyright in merchandising suit; Los Angeles Times, 11/1/16
David Ng, Los Angeles Times; 'Gone With the Wind' and 'Wizard of Oz' protected by copyright in merchandising suit:
[Kip Currier: This week in my IP and "Open" Movements graduate course we looked at two high profile music infringement lawsuits, Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset and Sony BMG v. Tenenbaum. Good case studies (among others) for thinking about use of copyrighted works by individuals/institutions and copyright enforcement. Timely to see Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset damages assessment and rationale cited in the case discussed below.] "The defense filed another appeal, but this week, a court upheld the ruling as well as damages amounting to $10,000 for 257 copyright infractions, resulting in an award of nearly $2.6 million. The judgment “sends a strong message about the risk of engaging in copyright and trademark infringement,” said Frederick J. Sperling, a partner at the law firm Schiff Hardin LLP, who represented Warner Bros. Valencia, the defendant, didn’t respond to a request for comment sent through a lawyer. The case was filed in Missouri because some of the licensees selling the products in question were based in the state. In upholding the damages amount, the appeals court cited a 2012 Capitol Records case in which the label sued an individual for putting copyrighted songs on the Kazaa file-sharing platform. In that case, a court awarded damages of $9,250 per infringed work. Damages for copyright infringement range between $750 and $30,000 per instance, according to U.S. law. In its 2011 decision, the 8th Circuit court ruled that characters such as Dorothy and the Scarecrow, as well as Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, are “sufficiently distinctive to merit character protection under the respective film copyrights.”"
Mike Masnick, Techdirt; Conspiracy Theories Run Amok Over Copyright Office Executive Changes:
"...[S]ome folks who support ever more draconian copyright immediately jumped on all sorts of conspiracy theories about how this was really Google somehow firing Pallante, including one site that directly had that as a headline. To anyone who actually had knowledge of what was going on, this made no sense. Hayden is not connected to Google in any way. This is just out and out tinfoil hat conspiracy theory territory from people who see "Google" behind any policy they dislike. It seemed rather obvious that, like just about any new CEO of an organization, Hayden was clearing out some senior staff for a variety of reasons. And there was a pretty obvious big reason why Hayden would like to reassign Pallante: she has been directly and publicly advocating for Congress to move the Copyright Office outside of the Library of Congress. If you came in to run an organization and one of your direct reports was going over your head to try to transfer an entire division somewhere else, it's likely you'd fire that person too. It's kind of a management 101 thing. Over the past week, in talking to a few people at the Library of Congress, or close to it, this is the basic story that came out. Hayden didn't feel comfortable with Pallante publicly advocating against the Library of Congress, and used her role as the boss to remove her from that position. Others seem to be discovering the same thing. A report at Publisher's Weekly notes that the conspiracy theories are bunk:"
Wall Street Journal; A Copyright Coup in Washington:
"Ms. Hayden is now looking for a copyright office successor, and don’t be surprised if she chooses someone whose experience includes time at Google. This is reason enough for Congress to take a look: If the position is open to political influence, then the register should be politically accountable—and report to elected officials, not the nation’s librarian. Perhaps these are all coincidences and Ms. Hayden merely botched a personnel dispute. But she now has an opening to install a register friendly to Google, and anyone tempted to write off the Pallante dispute as bureaucratic squabbling should remember: The company’s goal is to defenestrate laws that protect property. The guarantee to own what you create is the reason entrepreneurs take the risks that power the economy—a reason guys like Larry Page and Sergey Brin start Google."
Who owns your ink? Tattoos artists turn to lawsuits to protect intellectual property; Australian Broadcasting Company, 10/26/16
Antony Funnell, Australian Broadcasting Company; Who owns your ink? Tattoos artists turn to lawsuits to protect intellectual property:
"Professor Johnson said she had never heard of a situation where a judge has ordered the physical removal of a tattoo. Most disputes are resolved before the need for court intervention. "Oftentimes when there is a lawsuit, they settle very quickly because the tattoo artist a lot of times doesn't have much to lose. They are very, very interested in getting justice," she said. "But we do have a lot of settlement talks, a lot of negotiations where people are trying to figure out how to agree in this particular capacity." Her advice for anyone thinking of getting a tattoo in this modern litigious world? "Get a release very early. Get a contract signed between you as the tattooed individual and the tattoo artist," she said. "That is one of the best things an individual can do if they find themselves running afoul of some copyright-related claim, some type of contract.""
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines Report: Promoting Innovation and Access to Health Technologies; United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, 9/14/16
United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines; United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines Report: Promoting Innovation and Access to Health Technologies:
"Whether it’s the rising price of the EpiPen, or new outbreaks of diseases, like Ebola, Zika and yellow fever, the rising costs of health technologies and the lack of new tools to tackle health problems, like antimicrobial resistance, is a problem in rich and poor countries alike. According to a High-Level Panel convened to advise the UN Secretary-General on improving access to medicines, the world must take bold new approaches to both health technology innovation and ensuring access so that all people can benefit from the medical advances that have dramatically improved the lives of millions around the world in the last century. For decades, many international treaties and national constitutions have enshrined the fundamental right to health and the right to share in the benefits of scientific advancements. Yet, while the world is witnessing the immense potential of science and technology to advance health care, gaps and failures in addressing disease burdens and emerging diseases in many countries and communities remain. The misalignment between the right to health on the one hand and intellectual property and trade on the other, fuel this tension. The UN Secretary-General established the High-Level Panel to propose solutions for addressing the incoherencies between international human rights, trade, intellectual property rights and public health objectives. The report recommendations come at the end of a ten-month process for the Panel under the leadership of Ruth Dreifuss and the former President of the Swiss Confederation and Festus Mogae, the former President of the Republic of Botswana."
Robert A. Freeman, Trib Live; Patent rights key to ensuring access to medication:
" A United Nations panel recently released disastrous policy recommendations designed to increase access to medicines in developing countries. The panel ignored obvious solutions. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon originally tasked the UN High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines with remedying the “policy incoherence” between intellectual property rights and drug access. The panel predictably — and wrongly — viewed IP protections as a barrier to access rather than a bridge to medical innovation. Undermining IP rights will not help patients in developing countries access medicines. A 2016 Foreign Affairs study sought to determine whether strong patent protections increase the prices of drugs to developing countries. It found that patents were not key drivers of higher expenditures."
Editorial Board, Bloomberg View; The Real Reason Drugs Cost Too Much:
"The problem would not be nearly so severe if the drugs' government-granted monopolies were shorter. Once generic versions are allowed to compete, a medicine's price often drops by almost half, sometimes more than 85 percent, if enough competitors jump into the market. Yet the government tends to do the opposite, the Brigham and Women's researchers found, by extending market exclusivity via additional patents for trivial alterations -- a new coating on a pill, for example. This is nonsensical: Unless a drug is transformed in a way that affects its therapeutic value, it should not qualify for an extended patent. Drug makers often stretch their own market exclusivity by paying generics companies to delay introducing competitive medicines. The government, which is protecting these companies' monopoly rights, should demand an end to this tactic."
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Dave Shumaker, Information Today, Inc.; Librarians Working Inside Out: An Open Access Week Interview:
"Heather Joseph is the executive director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). SPARC is sponsoring this week’s ninth annual observation of Open Access Week (Oct. 24–30), a worldwide event held to celebrate open access and advocate for further progress toward its goals. I visited with Joseph at SPARC’s Washington, D.C., office for a wide-ranging conversation about past progress, the state of open access today, the road ahead, and how open access could change the role of academic librarians."
Adam Liptak, New York Times; In a Copyright Case, Justices Ponder the Meaning of Fashion:
"The case, Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, No. 15-866, concerned stripes, zigzags and chevrons copyrighted by Varsity Brands, the leading seller of cheerleading uniforms. The company sued Star Athletica, a rival company, after it started to market uniforms with similar designs. All concerned agree that two-dimensional designs may be copyrighted but that the cut and shape of three-dimensional garments may not. The question for the court was the legal significance of fusing Varsity’s designs with cheerleading outfits."