Friday, July 21, 2017

Should Open Access And Open Data Come With Open Ethics?; Forbes, July 20, 2017

Kalev Leetaru, Forbes; Should Open Access And Open Data Come With Open Ethics?

"In the end, the academic community must decide if “openness” and “transparency” apply only to the final outputs of our scholarly institutions, with individual researchers, many from fields without histories of ethical prereview, are exclusively empowered to decide what constitutes ethical and moral conduct and just how much privacy should be permitted in our digital society, or if we should add “open ethics” to our focus on open access and open data and open universities up to public discourse on just what the future of “big data” research should look like."

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The spread of 3D models creates intellectual-property problems; The Economist, July 20, 2017

The Economist; The spread of 3D models creates intellectual-property problems

"GROOT, a character from Disney’s film “Guardians of the Galaxy”, is usually mass-produced by the entertainment company as a small, collectable figurine and sold by retailers such as Toys “R” Us. But just before the release of the second film in the franchise earlier this year, Byambasuren Erdenejargal, a Mongolian enthusiast, noticed that people in a 3D-printing group on Facebook were searching for a computer model of Groot. So Mr Erdenejargal decided to create one. He spent four days perfecting the design and its printability before uploading his creation to Thingiverse, an online 3D-printing community based in New York. His digital model of the arboreal creature has since been downloaded (and probably printed in physical form) over 75,000 times."

RadioShack brand to survive under new owner: sources; Reuters, July 19, 2017

Jessica DiNapoli, Reuters; RadioShack brand to survive under new owner: sources

"The RadioShack brand will live on after a family office already owed $23 million by the bankrupt U.S. electronics chain agreed to assume ownership of it, as no other buyers submitted better bids this week, people familiar with the matter said.

An affiliate of Kensington Capital Holdings, a family office based in the suburbs of Boston, will acquire RadioShack's intellectual property after it submitted a $15 million bid, the people said on Wednesday."

Copyright Case Over Richard Prince Instagram Show to Go Forward; New York Times, July 20, 2017

Andrew R. Chow, New York Times; Copyright Case Over Richard Prince Instagram Show to Go Forward

"Richard Prince, who has pushed the legal limits of artistic appropriation for decades, will continue to fight for his art in court. This week, a federal judge in New York refused to throw out a photographer’s lawsuit against Mr. Prince over Mr. Prince’s use of an image in an exhibition. The case will continue, and could set a precedent for how the fair-use doctrine relates to Instagram, the photo-sharing app."

Frances Gabe, Creator of the Only Self-Cleaning Home, Dies at 101; New York Times, July 18, 2017

Margalit Fox, New York Times; Frances Gabe, Creator of the Only Self-Cleaning Home, Dies at 101

"More than half a century ago, incensed by the housecleaning that was a woman’s chronic lot, Ms. Gabe began to dream of a house that would see to its own hygiene: tenderly washing, rinsing and drying itself at the touch of a button.

“Housework is a thankless, unending job,” she told The Ottawa Citizen in 1996. “It’s a nerve-twangling bore. Who wants it? Nobody!”

And so, with her own money and her own hands, she built just such a house, receiving United States patent 4,428,085 in 1984.

In a 1982 column about Ms. Gabe’s work, the humorist Erma Bombeck proposed her as “a new face for Mount Rushmore.”"

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Inventors Corner: How long does the patent process take?; Sioux Falls Business Journal via Argus Leader, July 18, 2017

Jeffrey Proehl, Sioux Falls Business Journal via Argus Leader; Inventors Corner: How long does the patent process take?

"Recent USPTO statistics suggest that this time period is becoming shorter, with the average length being about 16 months in 2016 as compared to about 28 months in 2011. Once the first communication is issued by the USPTO, things tend to move faster because of the deadlines imposed upon the applicant to respond to the communication and upon the patent examiner to act upon the applicant’s response.

The overall consideration time for a patent application also varies significantly, with the average being approximately 25 months unless the applicant needs to file a request for continued examination to obtain additional consideration by the examiner, in which case the time averages approximately 54 months."

How to make sure we all benefit when nonprofits patent technologies like CRISPR; The Conversation via The Associated Press via WTOP, July 19, 2017

The Conversation via The Associated Press via WTOP; How to make sure we all benefit when nonprofits patent technologies like CRISPR

"(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)
Shobita Parthasarathy, University of Michigan
(THE CONVERSATION) Universities and other nonprofit research institutions are under increasing fire about their commitments to the public interest. In return for tax-exempt status, their work is supposed to benefit society.
But are they really operating in the public interest when they wield their patent rights in ways that constrict research? Or when potentially lifesaving inventions are priced so high that access is limited? The public partially underwrites nonprofit discoveries via tax breaks and isn’t seeing a lot of benefit in return.
Questions like these arose recently in the case of CRISPR, the promising new gene-editing technology. After patenting it, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard sold the exclusive right to develop CRISPR-based therapies to its sister company Editas Medicine. Critics worry that this monopoly could limit important research and result in exorbitant prices on emerging treatments."

Apple has invented a way to secretly call 911 using your fingerprint; CNBC, July 18, 2017

, CNBC; Apple has invented a way to secretly call 911 using your fingerprint

"Apple  has invented a more discreet way to call emergency services with a touch, aimed at helping users evade potential attackers.

A patent granted on Tuesday depicted technology that would sense the "manner" in which a finger touched the iPhone screen to trigger a 911 call. For example, the phone might look for a particular sequence of fingers, the level of force, a gesture (pinching or swiping), or a certain cadence of taps to the screen, the filing says.

When the "panic command" is activated, the phone would provide the users' location to responders, and could also livestream audio or video from the iPhone. The system could also be used to activate other types of mobile command, according to the patent."

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Brendan (B.Rich) Richmond, YouTube; OUT FOR A SIP - FRIGGIN' BUDDY v COKE - OFFICIAL VIDEO 

[Kip Currier: A former student in my Copyright course at Pitt a few years ago alerted me to this Man versus Coke trademark dust-up, which BuzzFeedNews reports here.

Click here to see Friggin' Buddy's "Out For A Sip" rap "Cease-and-Desist-video-letter" to Coca-Cola Inc. FB's attorney Rob Kittredge gets in on the (civil) action too, busting out some best supporting barrister moves.]

Major German Universities Cancel Elsevier Contracts; The Scientist, July 17, 2017

Diana Kwon, The Scientist; Major German Universities Cancel Elsevier Contracts

"In Germany, the fight for open access and favorable pricing for journals is getting heated. At the end of last month (June 30), four major academic institutions in Berlin announced that they would not renew their subscriptions with the Dutch publishing giant Elsevier once they end this December. Then on July 7, nine universities in Baden-Württemberg, another large German state, also declared their intention to cancel their contracts with the publisher at the end of 2017.
These institutions join around 60 others across the country that allowed their contracts to expire last year.
The decision to cancel subscriptions was made in order to put pressure on Elsevier during ongoing negotiations. “Nobody wants Elsevier to starve—they should be paid fairly for their good service,” says Ursula Flitner, the head of the medical library at Charité–Berlin University of Medicine. “The problem is, we no longer see what their good service is.”
Charité–Berlin University of Medicine is joined by Humboldt University of Berlin, Free University of Berlin, and Technical University of Berlin in letting its Elsevier subscriptions lapse.
“The general issue is that large parts of the research done is publicly funded, the type setting and quality control [peer review] is done by people who are paid by the public, [and] the purchase of the journals is also paid by the public,” says Christian Thomsen, the president of the Technical University of Berlin. “So it’s a bit too much payment.”
Project DEAL, an alliance of German institutions led by the Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (German Rectors’ Conference), has been working to establish a new nationwide licensing agreement with three major scientific publishers, Elsevier, Springer Nature, and Wiley, since 2016."

Escaping Big Pharma’s Pricing With Patent-Free Drugs; New York Times, July 18, 2017

Fran Quigley, New York Times; Escaping Big Pharma’s Pricing With Patent-Free Drugs

"Although President Trump said before taking office that drug companies were “getting away with murder” and had campaigned on lowering drug prices, his administration is doing the opposite. A draft order on drug pricing that became public in June would grant pharmaceutical companies even more power to charge exorbitantly. For example, it could shrink a federal program that requires companies to sell at a discount to clinics and hospitals serving low-income patients.

Exorbitant prices are one thing that’s very wrong with the way we make medicines. The other is: medicines for what? If a malady has no market in wealthy countries, it gets no attention. Poor-country diseases, known as “neglected diseases,” have a ferocious impact: One of every six people in the world, including a half-billion children, suffers from neglected diseases. Yet of the 756 new drugs approved between 2001 and 2011, less than 4 percent targeted those diseases. The industry spends far more on lobbying government agencies to extend monopolies on high-cost drugs — or hand out deals like the Zika vaccine — than it does on research for a vaccine against dengue fever, which poses a risk for 40 percent of the world’s population.

But there’s one drug company that behaves differently."

Paralegal robot reviews patent documents; ABA Journal, July 17, 2017

Stephen Rinkiewicz, ABA Journal; Paralegal robot reviews patent documents

"New software helps patent lawyers draft applications that are more likely to pass muster with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, as well as respond to official letters from examiners.

TurboPatent Corp. on June 28 launched artificial-intelligence products that compare patent claims with past applications to make predictions about patent eligibility.

The patent drafting software, dubbed RoboReview, automates paralegal work, bringing more rigor to the task of researching prior art and potentially saving thousands of dollars on a filing. It’s sold as a subscription product on an unlimited or per-use basis.

“Typically this review is done by humans doing multiple searches,” says James Billmaier, TurboPatent’s chief executive officer. “Very seasoned attorneys are amazed at things the machine finds that they miss in these very technically written documents.”

Fair Use Vs Fair Dealing: How Australian Copyright Law Differs; Lifehacker, July 18, 2017

Nicolas Suzor, Lifehacker; Fair Use Vs Fair Dealing: How Australian Copyright Law Differs

"Copyright law sometimes allows you to use someone else’s work - as long as it’s fair. In Australia this is called “fair dealing”, and it’s different to the law in the US, which is called “fair use”. We explain the difference.

These exceptions are safety valves in copyright law – they allow lots of beneficial uses that society has agreed copyright owners should not be able to charge for, or worse, prevent.
There’s a serious ongoing debate about whether Australia should update its copyright laws and introduce fair use. The current law is not easy to understand – our research shows that Australian creators are often confused about their rights – and many think we already have fair use.

Fair dealing: What can you do in Australia?

The key difference between “fair use” and “fair dealing” is that Australia’s “fair dealing” laws set out defined categories of acceptable uses. As we will see, “fair use” in the US is much more flexible.
Australian copyright law sets out five situations where use of copyrighted material without permission may be allowed:
  • research or study
  • criticism or review
  • parody or satire
  • reporting the news
  • provision of legal advice.
We’ll explain the first four, as they’re most useful to the average Australian."

Monday, July 17, 2017

Free Data Sources: Municipal Open Data Portals For 85 US Cities; Forbes, June 30, 2017

Meta S. Brown, Forbes; Free Data Sources: Municipal Open Data Portals For 85 US Cities

"Seems like it was only a few years ago when my town of Chicago launched its first-of-a-kind municipal open data portal. Oh wait, it was only a few years ago. It was 2010.

What a difference seven short years can make. Dozens of US cities now offer fairly comprehensive open data portals, with information on varied types of government activity, in a choice of formats to suit the diverse needs of casual readers, journalists and data analysis junkies.

Others haven’t yet gone that far, but do offer some data, limited perhaps to single subjects such as police or property records. No fewer than 85 US cities now have some type of open data portal. Here’s where to find them..."

Amazon's meal-kit patent to blame for dip in Blue Apron share price; New York Business Journal, July 17, 2017

Anthony Noto, New York Business Journal; Amazon's meal-kit patent to blame for dip in Blue Apron share price

"The Seattle-based e-commerce giant filed a trademark for a meal-kit service just weeks after New York-based Blue Apron made its public debut. Now, multiple reports suggest that Blue Apron's stock — down 7.7 percent in Monday premarket trading — is feeling the effects...

...Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods was looking at meal kits as a way to boost sales before Amazon came knocking."

George A. Romero, Father of Zombie Movies, Dies at 77; Reuters via New York Times, July 16, 2017

Reuters via New York Times; George A. Romero, Father of Zombie Movies, Dies at 77

"Originally called "Night of the Flesh Eaters," the title was changed by the film's distributor, Walter Reade. Somehow, no copyright protection was filed after the name change, putting "Night of the Living Dead" into the public domain and allowing anyone to distribute it for free.

Romero told The New York Times in 2016 that many more people saw the movie as result, "keeping the film alive.""

Sunday, July 16, 2017

How can we stop algorithms telling lies?; Guardian, July 16, 2017

Cathy O'Neil, Guardian; 

How can we stop algorithms telling lies?

[Kip Currier: Cathy O'Neil is shining much-needed light on the little-known but influential power of algorithms on key aspects of our lives. I'm using her thought-provoking 2016 Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality And Threatens Democracy as one of several required reading texts in my Information Ethics graduate course at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Computing and Information.]

"A proliferation of silent and undetectable car crashes is harder to investigate than when it happens in plain sight.

I’d still maintain there’s hope. One of the miracles of being a data sceptic in a land of data evangelists is that people are so impressed with their technology, even when it is unintentionally creating harm, they openly describe how amazing it is. And the fact that we’ve already come across quite a few examples of algorithmic harm means that, as secret and opaque as these algorithms are, they’re eventually going to be discovered, albeit after they’ve caused a lot of trouble.

What does this mean for the future? First and foremost, we need to start keeping track. Each criminal algorithm we discover should be seen as a test case. Do the rule-breakers get into trouble? How much? Are the rules enforced, and what is the penalty? As we learned after the 2008 financial crisis, a rule is ignored if the penalty for breaking it is less than the profit pocketed. And that goes double for a broken rule that is only discovered half the time...

It’s time to gird ourselves for a fight. It will eventually be a technological arms race, but it starts, now, as a political fight. We need to demand evidence that algorithms with the potential to harm us be shown to be acting fairly, legally, and consistently. When we find problems, we need to enforce our laws with sufficiently hefty fines that companies don’t find it profitable to cheat in the first place. This is the time to start demanding that the machines work for us, and not the other way around."

Why was Mother Teresa's uniform trademarked?; BBC News, July 12, 2017

Why was Mother Teresa's uniform trademarked?

"It is also not clear how this trademark on the famous blue striped sari will be enforced. Many online shopping sites already sell variations of "unisex Mother Teresa dress" - blue bordered sari, and a long sleeved blouse.
Also, the move is bound to raise the hackles of the nun's critics - and she has her fair share of them - who have accused her of glorifying poverty, hobnobbing with dictators, running shambolic care facilities and proselytising. "How can anybody appropriate a sari, which has been a traditional Indian dress," one of them asked me, preferring to remain unnamed.
Designers like Anand Bhushan differ. "Some designs of the traditional Indian towel called gamcha, for example, have been trademarked. There's nothing wrong in trademarking a distinctive and iconic design or pattern like Mother Teresa's sari. It's not like anybody is beginning to own the sari.""

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Why musicians are so angry at the world’s most popular music streaming service; Washington Post, July 14, 2017

Todd C. Frankel, Washington Post; Why musicians are so angry at the world’s most popular music streaming service

"With the money from CDs and digital downloads disappearing, the music industry has pinned its hope for the future on online song streaming, which now accounts for the majority of the $7.7 billion U.S. music market.

But the biggest player in this future isn’t one of the names most associated with streaming — Spotify, Amazon, Pandora or Apple. It’s YouTube, the site best known for viral videos, which accounts for 25 percent of all music streamed worldwide, far more than any other site.

Now, YouTube is locked in an increasingly bitter battle with music labels over how much it pays to stream their songs — and at stake is not just the finances of the music industry but also the way that millions of people around the world have grown accustomed to listening to music: free of cost."

Friday, July 14, 2017

Office Marks 5 Years in Detroit, 10,000 Patents Granted; Associated Press via U.S. News, July 14, 2017

Associated Press via U.S. News; Office Marks 5 Years in Detroit, 10,000 Patents Granted

"The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says roughly 10,000 patents have been granted in Detroit, home to the first regional office in the system's 227-year history.

Officials say it's among the office's accomplishments as they mark the fifth anniversary of the Detroit-based Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office. A Friday event at Detroit's Stroh River Place, where the office is located, includes comments by USPTO officials, entrepreneurs, and a patent judge and attorney.

The office serves Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. Patent officials say it was a template for offices in Denver, Dallas and San Jose, California.

In addition to examining patents, regional offices hold innovation challenges and have helped incorporate science, technology, engineering and math education and intellectual property concepts into schools."

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), July 14, 2017

Past, Present, and Future: Celebrating 5 Years of the Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional USPTO

Five Years of Innovation

RSVP Today!(link sends e-mail)

Join in the celebration as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office marks the 5th anniversary of the Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office as we celebrate the success of the first regional office in the U.S. patent system's 227 year history. 

Event Summary

July 14, 2017
2:00 PM ET - 4:00 PM ET
The Stroh Atrium
300 River Place Drive
Detroit MI 48207

A patent lawyer switches teams; Crain's Chicago Business, July 8, 2017

Claire Bushey, Crain's Chicago Business; A patent lawyer switches teams

"Unlike a ​ traditional law firm, Blackbird is structured as a limited liability company, not a partnership, and it has no clients. Instead, it acquires patents from inventors or small businesses. Blackbird then sues companies for patent infringement on its own behalf, and it shares an unspecified percentage of any settlement or judgment with the original patent owner.

Blackbird filed 107 lawsuits between September 2014 and May, including against Amazon, Fitbit, Netflix and kCura, a Chicago company that makes software used by law firms. It has settled with Amazon. The other three cases are ongoing.

Three months ago it sued San Francisco-based Cloudflare, and in May the website infrastructure company blasted Blackbird as "a dangerous new breed of patent troll" and launched a scorched-earth campaign against the 11-person business. Cloudflare, valued at $3.2 billion and with a seven-employee Champaign office, offered to the public a total of $50,000 for evidence that would invalidate any of 35 patents Blackbird holds. It also lodged ethics complaints with legal disciplinary bodies in Illinois and Massachusetts, and it was successful in prompting Illinois Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) to introduce a bill that would outlaw Blackbird's business model...

A lawyer at Intel coined the epithet "patent troll" in 2001 to refer to Anthony Brown, a one-time Jenner & Block partner turned serial patent lawsuit filer, and his Chicago lawyer, the late Ray Niro. A troll asserts a patent of dubious quality, hoping the company will settle the infringement lawsuit quickly for maybe $50,000 to avoid spending millions on litigation. Detractors often slap the label on patent holders who do not manufacture a product, so-called nonpracticing entities."

ABA Webinar: Fundamentals of Today's Trade Secret Litigation: The DTSA, Section 337 at the ITC, and More, Tuesday, July 18, 2017 1 PM - 2:30 PM ET

IP practitioners and a former Administrative Law Judge from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will explore various topics related to the recently enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA).
Trouble Viewing? View online.
American Bar Association.
AMBAR.ORG     |      CAREER CENTER     |      MEMBERSHIP     |      CALENDAR     |      CLE     |   PUBLISHING
Fundamentals of Today’s Trade Secret Litigation Image.#
Fundamentals of Today's Trade Secret Litigation:
The DTSA, Section 337 at the ITC, and More
Webinar | July 18, 2017
1:00 PM — 2:30 PM ET
1.50 General CLE Credits
Why Attend?
Our esteemed panel of IP practitioners and a former Administrative Law Judge from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will:
  • Evaluate the various forums in the U.S. for bringing action for the theft and misappropriation of trade secrets, focusing on DTSA and Section 337 at the ITC
  • Address the ITC's increasing importance as a federal forum to address theft and misappropriation of trade secrets
  • Compare and contrast procedures and remedies available, across all forums, for trade secret theft and misappropriation
Sponsor(s): Section of Intellectual Property Law; Section of International Law; Young Lawyers Division; Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice

Panelist(s): Kalpana Srinivasan (Partner, Susman Godfrey); Mark Halligan (Partner, FisherBroyles, LLP); Matthew Bathon (Of Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson); Pallavi Seth (Principal, The Brattle Group); and Ellen Robbins (Partner, Sidley Austin(Moderator)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Monkey selfie photographer says he's broke: 'I'm thinking of dog walking'; Guardian, July 12, 2017

Julia Carrie Wong, Guardian; Monkey selfie photographer says he's broke: 'I'm thinking of dog walking'

"The one consolation for Slater is that he believes that his photograph has helped to save the crested black macaque from extinction.

“These animals were on the way out and because of one photograph, it’s hopefully going to create enough ecotourism to make the locals realize that there’s a good reason to keep these monkeys alive,” Slater said. “The picture hopefully contributed to saving the species. That was the original intention all along.”"

Can A Monkey Hold A Copyright?; NPR, Morning Edition, July 13, 2017

NPR, Morning Edition; Can A Monkey Hold A Copyright?

"A court is deciding if the rights for photos belong to a monkey that took selfie photos. A photographer published the photos in a book, but an animal rights group sued for copyright infringement."

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

If You Buy It, You Own It!; HuffPost, July 12, 2017

Darryl S. Weiman, MD, JD, HuffPost; If You Buy It, You Own It!

"The lesson learned from this decision was “the sale transfers the right to use, sell, or import because those are the rights that come along with ownership, and the buyer is free and clear of an infringement lawsuit because there is no exclusionary right left to enforce.” (Impression v. Lexmark) The buyer will not be sued for enfringement. In fact, all patent rights will “exhaust” after the sale. The next in line of a sale, in this case Impression, is still a buyer and the protection applies to them, also.

A patent owner must take into consideration the monopoly rights to his “invention” when he sets the price to purchase the item. He will not get another bite of the apple—the apple being the right to bring an infringement lawsuit—once that sale has been made. In other words, the only thing that matters is the patentee’s decision to make a sale. Any post sale restrictions that the patent owner wants to impose can only be enforced through some other action, such as breach of contract if a contract has been signed. If we buy it, we own it! This is a good decision."

The Supreme Court Explains Trademark Registration, And It's The Best Ever; Forbes, July 10, 2017

Jess Collen, Forbes; The Supreme Court Explains Trademark Registration, And It's The Best Ever

"Much has been said and written in recent weeks about the Supreme Court’s defense of the First Amendment in the Slants case (Did The Supreme Court Slants Case Just Approve A Big FU To Trademark Owners?), by striking down provisions of federal trademark law. The court has also provided us with perhaps the most authoritative explanation of the history of United States trademark registration ever written.

Whether you run a startup, small business or a company on Forbes World’s Biggest Companies list, this should be required reading. Here below, an abridged discussion of trademark registration in this country, courtesy of Justice Samuel Alito of the Supreme Court of the United States (in own his words, and citing prior Court decisions and trademark law experts):"