Monday, February 27, 2017

Law Professors Address RCEP Negotiators on Copyright; Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF, February 24, 2017

Jeremy Malcolm, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); 

Law Professors Address RCEP Negotiators on Copyright

"Next week the latest round of secret negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) kicks off in Kobe, Japan. Once the shy younger sibling of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the recent death of the TPP has thrust RCEP further into the spotlight, and raised the stakes both for its sixteen prospective parties, and for lobbyists with designs to stamp their own mark on the text's intellectual property and e-commerce chapters.
Our last analysis of RCEP pointed out some of the ways in which the then-current leaked text represented an improvement on the TPP, but how other parts of it—including those on copyright enforcement—repeated its mistakes and failed to seize opportunities for improvement. This week, over 60 copyright scholars released an open letter that sets out their views of what negotiators ought to do in order to address these problems...
The RCEP negotiators evidently haven't taken the failure of the TPP to heart, or they would be doing more to ensure that their negotiations are inclusive, transparent, and strike a fair balance between the interests of copyright owners and those of the public."

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Copy This: Vatican Stakes Out Rights to Pope Francis' Image; Associated Press via New York Times, February 26, 2017

Associated Press via New York Times; 

Copy This: Vatican Stakes Out Rights to Pope Francis' Image

""The pope's image rights are no different from those of any other famous celebrity and so it's not surprising that the Vatican is giving notice that it will protect its (intellectual property) rights as necessary," said Nick Kounoupias, the founder of an intellectual property consultancy in London. "What will be interesting to see, however, is how vigorously these rights are pursued, given who the IP owner is.""

Friday, February 24, 2017

Second Internet of Things National Institute; American Bar Association, Washington, DC, May 10-11, 2017

Second Internet of Things National Institute

"A game-changer has emerged for businesses, policymakers, and lawyers, and it's called the "Internet of Things" (IoT). It's one of the most transformative and fast-paced technology developments in recent years. Billions of vehicles, buildings, process control devices, wearables, medical devices, drones, consumer/business products, mobile phones, tablets, and other "smart" objects are wirelessly connecting to, and communicating with, each other - and raising unprecedented legal and liability issues.

Recognized as a top new law practice area, and with global spending projected to hit $1.7 trillion by 2020, IoT will require businesses, policymakers, and lawyers (M&A, IP, competition, litigation, health law, IT/outsourcing, and privacy/cybersecurity) to identify and address the escalating legal risks of doing business in a connected world. Join us in Washington, D.C., on May 10 - 11, 2017, for our second IoT National Institute, which will feature:
Overviews and demos of the powerful technology driving the legal and liability issues
Practical guidance and the latest insights on the product liability, mass tort, big data, privacy, data security, intellectual property, cloud, and regulatory issues raised by IoT
Dynamic new additions: a mock trial, a tabletop exercise, a corporate counsel roundtable, and niche issue mini-updates.
Two full days of CLE credit (including ethics credit), plus two breakfasts, two lunches (with keynote speakers), and a cocktail reception.
Our distinguished faculty includes prominent legal and technical experts and thought-leaders from companies, government entities, universities, think-tanks, advocacy organizations, and private practice. Organized by the American Bar Association's Section of Science & Technology Law, the IoT National Institute offers an unparalleled learning and networking opportunity. With billions of devices and trillions of dollars in spending, IoT is a rapidly growing market that everyone wants to get in on."

CRISPR Patent Ruling: 3 Different Takes; KQED, February 23, 2017

Lindsey Hoshaw, KQED; 

CRISPR Patent Ruling: 3 Different Takes

"The Feb. 15 ruling from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office let Berkeley’s rival–the Broad Institute jointly owned by Harvard and MIT–keep its existing patents issued in 2014. UC Berkeley has yet to say whether or not it will appeal...

So what’s next? Only Berkeley knows; the university has said it will “carefully consider all options.”

Science journalists are abuzz about what this means for biotech. Here’s a sampling of what they’re saying:"

Google accuses a former top engineer of stealing trade secrets and taking them to Uber; Washington Post, February 23, 2017

Brian Fung, Washington Post; Google accuses a former top engineer of stealing trade secrets and taking them to Uber

"Google is suing Uber and alleging that a former employee engaged in a “concerted plan” to steal trade secrets related to the search giant's self-driving car technology.

In a blog post Thursday, Google's self-driving car subsidiary, Waymo, said that a former top executive who later went to work for Uber illegally downloaded troves of proprietary data onto an external hard drive before taking the information to his new employer."

Today in History; Associated Press via Washington Post, February 24, 2017

Associated Press via Washington Post; Today in History

"One year ago:..President Barack Obama nominated Carla Hayden, longtime head of Baltimore’s library system, to be the 14th Librarian of Congress; Hayden became the first woman and the first African-American to hold the position."

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Story Behind Trump’s Chinese Trademark; The Atlantic, February 22, 2017

Jeremy Venook, The Atlantic; 

The Story Behind Trump’s Chinese Trademark

"None of this definitively proves that Trump and China did not execute a straight-up swap, with Trump receiving a trademark and China receiving renewed adherence to the One China Policy. Nor does the mere coincidence of Trump receiving his trademark so shortly after speaking with Chinese President Xi Jinping represent the smoking gun his critics desire. Instead, what the story demonstrates is just how much the president’s financial dealings complicate any understanding of the motivations behind his policy decisions: Whether on purpose or by mere coincidence, the outcome of a decade-long legal dispute is now inextricably linked, in the public imagination if not in fact, to a high-profile question of international diplomacy. And it highlights the way accusations of corruption often exist not in obvious acts of self-dealing or one-to-one trades but in shades of gray, with cross-cutting motives and well-timed coincidences that almost never definitively prove payoffs but that nevertheless continually suggest malfeasance."

Public Knowledge Launches Copyright Educational Video Based on Frozen’s “Let it Go”; Public Knowledge, February 22, 2017

Shiva Stella, Public Knowledge; 

Public Knowledge Launches Copyright Educational Video Based on Frozen’s “Let it Go”

"Today, Public Knowledge proudly released its new copyright educational video entitled, “Let Them Go.” The video is a parody of the well-known Disney song “Let It Go,” with revised lyrics that educate viewers on important topics in copyright, namely copyright term extension, intermediary liability, and fair use. Clips throughout the video also illustrate numerous fair uses and other adaptations of “Let It Go.”"

Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week; Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Monday, February 20 through Friday, February 24, 2017

Association of Research Libraries (ARL); 

Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week

Monday, February 20 through Friday, February 24, 2017

"Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines."

Washington signed into law the first copyright law; Daily Record, February 22, 2017

Daily Record; 

Washington signed into law the first copyright law

"On May 31, 1790, President Washington signed the Copyright Act of 1790 into law. ...[T]he legislation was the first law protecting copyright in the United States...

Copies of the law bearing Washington’s signature were re-printed in newspapers throughout the country."

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Data disappeared from Obama administration site promoting transparency; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 22, 2017

Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; 

Data disappeared from Obama administration site promoting transparency

"If you wanted to know who visited the White House, how much the president’s secretary is paid, or which state has the most federally funded teaching positions, the information was just a few clicks away. With a bit more technical knowledge, you could explore public data sets to analyze the president’s budget, or look for trends in government spending.

No more.
Dozens of data sets disappeared last week from, a website the Obama administration created to promote government transparency.
Visitors to the website now and find a message saying “check back for new data.” But it isn’t clear when any new data will be posted, and government watchdogs aren’t confident that it will ever happen.
“We are working to open up the new sites,” White House press aide Helen Ferre emailed in response to questions. She did not respond to follow-up questions about the content of the “new sites,” whether they will include visitor logs, why data sets were removed, and when aides will post new information...
The data the Obama administration provided hasn’t been deleted. Rather it’s been preserved by the National Archives in accordance with a law that prohibits federal data from being destroyed. Find it at
The data is no longer in a user-friendly format. Users have to have the technical knowledge to unpack zipfiles and must have software that can handle large files with millions of rows of data."

From Trump the Nationalist, a Trail of Global Trademarks; New York Times, February 21, 2017

Danny Hakim and Sui-Lee Wee, New York Times; 

From Trump the Nationalist, a Trail of Global Trademarks

"The trademarks are the natural outgrowth of a global-spanning strategy. Like any businessman, Mr. Trump has long sought to protect his brand and products legally with trademarks, whether by registering a board game he once tried to sell, slogans like “Make America Great Again” or simply the name “Trump.”

But the trail of trademarks offers further clues to his international business ties, which leave the president vulnerable to potential conflicts of interest, or at least perception challenges. The Chinese government’s trademark announcement last week came just days after Mr. Trump retreated from challenging China’s policy on Taiwan in a call with China’s president, Xi Jinping.

The Times review of nine databases identified nearly 400 foreign trademarks registered to Trump companies since 2000 in 28 countries, among them New Zealand, Egypt and Russia, as well as the European Union. There are most likely many more trademarks, because there is no central repository of all trademarks from every country. The Trump Organization has been filing trademarks for decades, and has said that it has taken out trademarks in more than 80 countries."

T Bone Burnett Delivers Scathing Message to Copyright Office, Urging Reform: 'Our Culture Is At Stake'; Billboard, February 21, 2017

Dan Rys, Billboard; 

T Bone Burnett Delivers Scathing Message to Copyright Office, Urging Reform: 'Our Culture Is At Stake'

"T Bone Burnett today submitted a five minute video to the U.S. Copyright Office that issued a scathing critique of current copyright laws, taking aim at "mega corporations and web moguls" that "are enriching themselves off the artistic, cultural and economic value everyone else creates," and urging Congress to fix a copyright system that he says threatens the ability of artists and creators to make a living.

At issue is section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) signed in 1998, which includes the "safe harbor" provisions that protect digital service providers such as YouTube from copyright infringement litigation by outlining a system to deal with illegal copyrighted material uploaded to its platform. Burnett, who serves on the advisory board of the Content Creators Coalition (c3) and submitted the video on behalf of the organization, says the current safe harbors provision has failed, allowing the internet to become a "digital black hole.""

[Excerpt from transcript of T Bone Burnett remarks]

The false prophets of the internet may have imagined an egalitarian, open source, creative wonderland, but what we got instead was an exploitative digital black hole that benefits a handful of mega corporations and web moguls. They are enriching themselves off the artistic, cultural and economic value everyone else creates."

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Sarah Larson, New Yorker; 


"The new Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, is highly motivated to make this library, and all libraries, a favorite object of the people. Hayden is the first person of color, and the first woman, to lead the Library of Congress; she is also the first actual librarian to lead it since 1974. Her predecessor, Dr. James Billington, a distinguished Russia scholar appointed by Ronald Reagan, was beloved for his intellect but criticized for mismanagement; he neglected, for many years, to appoint a chief information officer, which was required by law, and he also didn’t use e-mail. Hayden, a former head of the American Library Association, revitalized and modernized Baltimore’s twenty-two-branch Enoch Pratt Free Library system. President Obama nominated her, in 2010, to be a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board, and, last year, to become Librarian of Congress...

Like many librarians, Hayden is a big believer in the rights of all people to educate themselves, and in the importance of open access to information online. (This inclusive spirit has become more urgent nationally in recent weeks: see “Libraries Are for Everyone,” a multilingual meme and poster campaign, created by a Nebraska librarian, Rebecca McCorkindale, to counter the forces of fake news and fearmongering.) In September, Hayden gave a swearing-in speech in which she described how black Americans “were once punished with lashes and worse for learning to read.” She said that, “as a descendent of people who were denied the right to read, to now have the opportunity to serve and lead the institution that is our national symbol of knowledge is a historic moment.”...

I thought of the drafts of Lincoln’s first Inaugural Address that a curator in the Inaugurations exhibit had shown me. Lincoln had originally ended his speech with a challenge to the South: “Shall it be peace or sword?” William Henry Seward had suggested an edit that pushed Lincoln toward a more conciliatory tone, and the phrase “guardian angel of the nation.” Lincoln turned that into the sublime “better angels of our nature,” an appeal to our common humanity. Our greatest President was also, possibly, our greatest reviser—a cutter and paster who questioned his imperfect ideas, accepted input, made them better, and kept all of his drafts, so that history could learn not just from his speeches but from the workings of his mind. The contents of the library, like Hayden herself, often directed my attention to the systems by which progress is made and recorded."

Supporting Open Access; Library Journal, February 20, 2017

John Parsons, Library Journal; 

Supporting Open Access


Both Taylor and Schiff agreed that scholars and researchers need to be a significant part of the Open Access discussion. “Librarians like myself are very much Open Access advocates,” Taylor observed, “but it’s important for us to keep an open mind. We need to listen to what our researchers, scholars, students, and administrators want.” She cautioned against giving only the positive benefits of Open Access for institutions, without understanding the concerns and reservations of those doing the research.
“It’s important to get correct information out there,” Schiff added, “but it’s important to get scholars to jump into the conversation. For example, it would be great if scholars were more involved in discussing the economic challenges in the scholarly communication world. Librarians are naturally involved because our budgets are a huge part of that mix. But we’re paying for the work of scholars. They not only need to be more informed about how their work is part of this economic ecosystem, they also need to advocate for how they think that ecosystem should be sustained—and how resources should be allocated.”"

‘All of our federal data assets are currently at risk’ — here’s how people are trying to protect them; FedScoop, February 19, 2017

Samantha Ehlinger, FedScoop; 

‘All of our federal data assets are currently at risk’ — here’s how people are trying to protect them

"A group of coders, librarians, scientists, storytellers and others passionate about data came together at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., this weekend to preserve federal data that some worry could disappear under different Trump administration priorities. The goal of the DataRescueDC event: store federal climate and environmental data that is “vulnerable under an administration that denies the fact of ongoing climate change.”

But while fear of losing federal scientific data during the Trump administration has galvanized work across the country to preserve reputable copies of key data, during Saturday’s events experts involved in the project said that it also highlights the need for creating an official infrastructure for safeguarding federal data.

“We talk a lot in this country about our failing infrastructure, and it’s really obvious when drinking water supplies are dangerous to the people who drink them. And it’s really obvious when a bridge collapses over the Mississippi river. But what was not really obvious, I think, until this juncture that we are now at is how incredible vulnerable our infrastructure for federal data is. Like, there isn’t one really. It’s totally just absent in many — in very powerful ways,” said Bethany Wiggin, founding director of the University of Pennsylvania Program in Environmental Humanities, which is facilitating Data Refuge."

Monday, February 20, 2017

Information Access and the 800-Pound Gorilla; Inside Higher Ed, February 20, 2017

Bryn Geffert, Inside Higher Ed; 

Information Access and the 800-Pound Gorilla

"The first copyright statute, enacted in 1790, allowed authors to retain copyright in their work for 14 years. And they could, if they desired, renew that copyright for an additional 14 years. Congress believed that a maximum period of 28 years offered the “limited” protections authorized by the U.S. Constitution to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.”

Under the original statute, the Library of Congress, my library and any library in the world could digitize and disseminate without charge Miller’s, Flexner’s and Furtwangler’s studies of Hamilton to the homeschooled fifth-grader, to my 15-year old son, to the high school student in rural Arkansas, to the college student at a state university and to the scholar in Niger.

We have now, today, the technology to achieve the vision endorsed by our new (and possibly best) librarian of Congress -- a vision ostensibly shared by her admiring senatorial colleagues who, though they agree on little else, appear to agree on this.

What we lack and what we need is an old law -- an old law to serve new technology.

But first we need our new chief librarian to point at the gorilla, yell for Congress’s attention and beg the legislators who confirmed her to act in accord with the ideals they articulated last spring."

US Federal Court Bars Online Publication Of Copyrighted Standards Incorporated Into Laws; Intellectual Property Watch, February 17, 2017

Dugie Standeford, Intellectual Property Watch; 

US Federal Court Bars Online Publication Of Copyrighted Standards Incorporated Into Laws

"In a case pitting standards development organisations against internet content aggregators, a United States federal court ruled that Public.Resource.Org breached copyright by posting unauthorised copies of standards incorporated into government education regulations. Public Resource has appealed.
The 2 February opinion of the US District Court for the District of Columbia consolidates two cases, one of which is American Educational Research Association [AERA], Inc., American Psychological Association, Inc. and National Council on Measurement in Education, Inc. v. Public.Resource.Org. The plaintiffs in both cases are standards development organisations (SDOs); Public.Resource.Org (Public Resource) is a non-profit entity devoted to the public dissemination of legal information."

The Evolution of Open Access; Quora via Huffington Post, February 13, 2017

Quora via Huffington Post; 

The Evolution of Open Access

"What has been the evolution of open access, and where do you think we are heading? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world..
Answer by Richard Price, Founder of, on Quora"

Science journals permit open-access publishing for Gates Foundation scholars; Nature, February 14, 2017

Richard Van Noorden, Nature; 

Science journals permit open-access publishing for Gates Foundation scholars

"If research funders demand open-access publishing, will subscription journals acquiesce? An announcement today by the publisher of Science suggests they will — as long as that funder is as influential as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The global health charity, based in Seattle, Washington, has partnered with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in a year-long agreement to “expand access to high-quality scientific publishing”. This means that Gates-funded research can be published on open-access (OA) terms in Science and four other AAAS journals."

Google and Bing to deprecate piracy websites; Press Association via Guardian, February 20, 2017

Press Association via Guardian; 

Google and Bing to deprecate piracy websites

"Internet users will find it harder to search for pirated films and music and illegally streamed live football matches under a new plan to crackdown on piracy websites.

Search engine companies Google and Bing have signed up to a voluntary code of practice aimed at preventing users from visiting disreputable content providers.

The code, the first of its kind in the UK, will accelerate the demotion of illegal sites following notices from rights holders.

It means those who search for content such as music videos, digital books and football coverage will more likely to be taken to bona fide providers rather than pirate sites, where a user’s security may be at risk."

Kim Dotcom extradition to US can go ahead, New Zealand high court rules; Guardian, February 19, 2017

Eleanor Ainge Roy, Guardian; 

Kim Dotcom extradition to US can go ahead, New Zealand high court rules

"The high court in New Zealand has ruled Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the United States to face a multitude of charges including money laundering and copyright breaches.

US authorities had appealed for Dotcom’s extradition to face 13 charges including allegations of conspiracy to commit racketeering, copyright infringement, money laundering and wire fraud."

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Why the CRISPR patent verdict isn’t the end of the story; Nature, February 17, 2017

Heidi Ledford, Nature; 

Why the CRISPR patent verdict isn’t the end of the story

"The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a key verdict this week in the battle over the intellectual property rights to the potentially lucrative gene-editing technique CRISPR–Cas9.

It ruled that the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT in Cambridge could keep its patents on using CRISPR–Cas9 in eukaryotic cells. That was a blow to the University of California in Berkeley, which had filed its own patents and had hoped to have the Broad’s thrown out."

Feinstein: Trump trademark in China may violate Constitution; Politico, February 17, 2017

Kyle Cheney, Politico; 

Feinstein: Trump trademark in China may violate Constitution

"A decision by the Chinese government to grant President Donald Trump a trademark for his brand could be a breach of the U.S. Constitution, a senior Democratic senator warned Friday.

“China’s decision to award President Trump with a new trademark allowing him to profit from the use of his name is a clear conflict of interest and deeply troubling,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in a statement. “If this isn’t a violation of the Emoluments Clause, I don’t know what is.”

The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution prohibits federal officials — including the president — from accepting payments from foreign governments. Trump’s critics have argued that Trump’s opaque and byzantine business network could run afoul of this principle.

“The fact that this decision comes just days after a conversation between President Trump and President Xi Jinping where President Trump reaffirmed the U.S. policy of ‘One China’ is even more disturbing as it gives the obvious impression of a quid pro quo,” said Feinstein, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee."

Friday, February 17, 2017

When Machines Create Intellectual Property, Who Owns What?; Intellectual Property Watch, February 16, 2017

Bruce Gain, Intellectual Property Watch; 

When Machines Create Intellectual Property, Who Owns What?

"The concept of machines that can think and create in ways that are indistinguishable from humans has been the stuff of science fiction for decades. Now, following major advances in artificial intelligence (AI), intellectual property created by machines without human input is fast becoming a reality. The development thus begs the question among legal scholars, legislative bodies, and judiciary branches of governments worldwide of who owns the intellectual property that humans did not create."

Was ‘Weird Al’ the real star all along?; Washington Post, February 16, 2017

Geoff Edgers, Washington Post; Was ‘Weird Al’ the real star all along?

"As his friend Miranda has reminded him, he doesn’t have to get permission from artists. Parody is protected by the First Amendment. But Yankovic has built his reputation on respecting artists’ wishes.

“I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings,” Yankovic says. “I don’t want to be embroiled in any nastiness. That’s not how I live my life. I like everybody to be in on the joke and be happy for my success. I take pains not to burn bridges.”
Prince never agreed to let him parody one of his songs, so he didn’t. Paul McCartney dissuaded Yankovic from turning “Live and Let Die” into “Chicken Pot Pie.” The former Beatle, a vegetarian and animal rights activist, suggested “Tofu Pot Pie.” Somehow, that didn’t have the same ring to it."

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Winston Churchill's views on aliens revealed in lost essay; BBC News, February 15, 2017

Paul Rincon, BBC News; 

Winston Churchill's views on aliens revealed in lost essay

"Dr Livio told BBC News that there were no firm plans to publish the article because of issues surrounding the copyright. However, he said the Churchill Museum was working to resolve these so that the historically important essay can eventually see the light of day."

Don't get too excited about Amazon's drone delivery patent; CNet, February 14, 2017

Sean Hollister, CNet; 

Don't get too excited about Amazon's drone delivery patent

"Like with most patents, the specifics don't matter -- Amazon's lawyers wrote down as many possible ways of building such a thing (again, compressed air, steering fins) so Amazon has a better chance of defending the idea in court.

Ready for me to rain on the parade? The other thing about patents, particularly ones that have been granted, is that they describe old ideas -- ideas that may have been discarded.

Amazon applied for this particular patent in June 2015, and yet Amazon's first drone deliveries, in December 2016, didn't use such a system."

America as a Place of Innovation: Great Inventors and the Patent System: Thursday, February 16, 2017

America as a Place of Innovation: Great Inventors and the Patent System

[Kip Currier: Looking forward to attending this panel discussion at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.]


Thu, February 16, 2017
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EST


National Museum of American History
1300 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C 20013
The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution and the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) at Antonin Scalia Law School invite you to a panel discussion at the National Museum of American History.
This panel will explore the history of innovation and the broader social, political, and legal context for inventors in late nineteenth century America. The panel will address the historical role of patents, research-intensive startups, litigation, and licensing during an important period of disruptive innovation.
  • Speakers:

    • Prof. Ernest Freeberg, University of Tennessee, discussing Thomas Edison and how the invention of the electric light impacted American culture. Professor Freeberg is the author of the book The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America(Penguin, 2014)
    • Prof. Christopher Beauchamp, Brooklyn Law School, discussing Alexander Graham Bell and the legal disputes that erupted out of Bell’s telephone patent. Professor Beauchamp is the author of the book Invented by Law: Alexander Graham Bell and the Patent That Changed America (Harvard University Press, 2015)
    • Prof. Adam Mossoff, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, discussing early American innovation by Charles Goodyear, Samuel Morse, and Joseph Singer.Professor Mossoff is the author of the influential article “The Rise and Fall of the First American Patent Thicket: The Sewing Machine War of the 1850s.”
    • Moderator: Arthur Daemmrich, Director, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
    • Closing RemarksAlan Marco, Chief Economist, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Open Science: Beyond Open Access webinar; Library Journal, February 21, 2017

Library Journal; Open Science: Beyond Open Access webinar

"Open Science: Beyond Open Access

Presented by: Dove Press & Library Journal
Event Date & Time: Tuesday, February 21st, 2017, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT
Collaboration can be a major driver for success. When data is shared among researchers, analysts and stakeholders, the opportunities for innovation and development increase exponentially, particularly in the medical and science fields. To be most effective, the Open Science framework demands more than simply sharing data–it requires dedication, transparency and responsible publishing.
Join this webcast to learn from our panel of experts as they discuss the challenges and benefits of Open Science in the context of global health and medical concerns. They will explain how the disruptive concept of Open Data can reshape and improve the nature of research and results.


  • Dr. Eric Little, VP of Data Science, OSTHUS
  • Dr. Robin Bloor, Chief Analyst, The Bloor Group
  • Andrew Johnson, Research Data Librarian/Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Boulder


  • Rebecca Jozwiak, Editorial & Research Director, The Bloor Group"

These Are the Best Ways to Improve the Scientific Publication Process; Quora via Huffington Post, February 13, 2017

Quora via Huffington Post; 

These Are the Best Ways to Improve the Scientific Publication Process

"How should the scientific publication process be rethought to be more meritocratic? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Rishabh Jain, MIT PhD, Co-founded two Research based companies in India and America, on Quora:
There are two major hurdles en route to meritocratic publishing:
  • Speed to publication.
  • Peer review meritocracy/efficacy."

Monday, February 13, 2017

Harold Rosen, Who Ushered in the Era of Communication Satellites, Dies at 90; New York Times, February 2, 2017

Zach Wichter, New York Times; 

Harold Rosen, Who Ushered in the Era of Communication Satellites, Dies at 90

"Whether you are reading these words online or in print, there is a strong chance that Harold A. Rosen played a part in getting them to you. Mr. Rosen, who died on Monday at 90 at his home in Pacific Palisades, Calif., was a driving force in the invention of modern communication satellite technology...

Mr. Rosen received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Ronald Reagan in 1985 for his work developing geostationary communication satellites. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2003."

Why the rise of authoritarianism is a global catastrophe; Washington Post, 2/13/17

Garry Kasparov and Thor Halvorssen, Washington Post; Why the rise of authoritarianism is a global catastrophe

[Kip Currier: A must-read ethical-call-to-action by two people who have directly suffered under authoritarianism and are expending their energies and voices toward raising awareness and taking civil liberties-based action on behalf of humanity, against abject moral bankruptcy and appalling abuses of power by authoritarian regimes.]

Illustrative point excerpted below about authoritarian impacts on patent filings.]

"If injustice and oppression aren’t bad enough, authoritarian governments bear an enormous social cost. Dictator-led countries have higher rates of mental illnesslower levels of health and life expectancy, and, as Amartya Sen famously argued, higher susceptibility to famine. Their citizens are less educated and file fewer patents. In 2016, more patents were filed in France than in the entire Arab world — not because Arabs are less entrepreneurial than the French, but because nearly all of them live under stifling authoritarianism. Clearly, the suppression of free expression and creativity has harmful effects on innovation and economic growth. Citizens of free and open societies such as Germany, South Korea and Chile witness advances in business, science and technology that Belarusans, Burmese and Cubans can only dream of."

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Oracle refuses to accept pro-Google “fair use” verdict in API battle; Ars Technica, 2/11/17

David Kravets, Ars Technica; 

Oracle refuses to accept pro-Google “fair use” verdict in API battle

"Google successfully made its case to a jury last year that its use of Java APIs in Android was "fair use." A San Francisco federal jury rejected Oracle's claim that the mobile system infringed Oracle's copyrights.
But Oracle isn't backing down. Late Friday, the company appealed the high-profile verdict to a federal appeals court."

Trade Secret Misappropriation Rights: Defend Trade Secrets Act; National Law Review, 2/9/17

Craig S. Hilliard, National Law Review; 

Trade Secret Misappropriation Rights: Defend Trade Secrets Act

"In the recent past, a company would weigh the benefit of 1) filing a public patent with 20 year exclusivity and strong infringement remedies; or 2) choosing to keep the IP “secret” despite limitations on court actions and remedies. A balancing advantage for “trade secret” over patent is the indefinite period of protection. If the business keeps it well-hidden, it has a sort of quasi-monopoly over the “product.”

Unlike with patents, however, trade secret misappropriation rights have historically been limited. For example, if a suspected bad actor reverse-engineered a product protected by patent, it would be ruled an infringement with harsh penalties. For a trade secret however, accidental discovery or reverse-engineering are not protected rights. Both are valid defenses to a misappropriation claim...

Dealing with issues involving patents or trade secrets can be very complex. It is suggested that you consult with experienced legal council to assist with the process."

3 companies apply to patent 'fake news'; CNN Money via ABC affiliate, 2/10/17

Heather Long, CNN Money via ABC affiliate; 

3 companies apply to patent 'fake news'

[Kip Currier: I just posted (see post below this one) this CNN Money story by Heather Long, and then saw this version of the same story posted by WPLG in South Florida. In the original CNN Money article, Heather Long correctly used "trademark" in the headline. Inexplicably and mistakenly, WPLG changed the term "trademark" to "patent", rather than just going with the correct headline Heather Long had used.

(Psst...WPLG--trademarks and patents are different types of Intellectual Property!)

Looks like someone in that newsroom needs a primer on the different types of Intellectual Property (an *opportunity* for WPLG General Counsel?). Or an editor who understands the IP distinctions.]

3 companies apply to trademark 'fake news'; CNN Money, 2/10/17

Heather Long, CNN Money; 

3 companies apply to trademark 'fake news'

"Three U.S. companies are trying to trademark the term "fake news." One of the applications is from the animation team behind "The Simpsons." Another is from the group behind the popular game Cards Against Humanity.

These companies applied for a trademark to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on January 12, the day after the press conference when then President-elect Donald Trump called CNN "fake news" (a claim CNN debunked)."