Friday, January 20, 2017

CBS, Paramount Settle Lawsuit Over 'Star Trek' Fan Film; Hollywood Reporter, 1/20/17

Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter; CBS, Paramount Settle Lawsuit Over 'Star Trek' Fan Film

"Stand down from battle stations. Star Trek rights holders CBS and Paramount have seen the logic of settling a copyright suit against Alec Peters, who solicited money on crowdfunding sites and hired professionals to make a YouTube short and a script of a planned feature film focused on a fictional event — a Starfleet captain's victory in a war with the Klingon Empire — referenced in the original 1960s Gene Roddenberry television series. Thanks to the settlement, CBS and Paramount won't be going to trial on Stardate 47634.44, known to most as Jan. 31, 2017."

Lee staying on as patent chief under Trump administration; Politico, 1/19/17

Ashley Gold, Nancy Scola, Li Zhou, Tony Romm, Politico; 

Lee staying on as patent chief under Trump administration

"President-elect Donald Trump has decided to keep former Google executive Michelle Lee on as director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, according to Rep. Darrell Issa, who informed tech industry organizations gathered in Washington Thursday for a breakfast event...

Lee, who served a dozen years as patent counsel at Google, has been seen in her years in office as walking a careful line between the two patent camps — choosing to focus less on policy than on process upgrades aimed at improving the quality of patents issued by the office.

"I hope that Director Lee expands her focus from just patent quality and lends her expertise and authority to help fix the very real problem that the U.S. has lost its "gold standard" patent system — it no longer promises stable, effective property rights to innovators," said Adam Mosoff, a law professor and co-founder of the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property at George Mason University."

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Author sued for making children's books of On the Road and Breakfast at Tiffany’s; Guardian, 1/19/17

Guardian Staff, Guardian; 

Author sued for making children's books of On the Road and Breakfast at Tiffany’s

"Swedish author Fredrik Colting is being sued for creating children’s versions of classic novels.

Colting, who was taken to court in 2010 for publishing an unofficial sequel to The Catcher in the Rye, is now the subject of a suit filed by Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster and the estates of Truman Capote, Jack Kerouac, Ernest Hemingway and Arthur C Clarke.
Under the banner Moppet Books, Colting allegedly infringed copyright of four books: On the Road, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Old Man and The Sea and 2001: A Space Odyssey."

Will open data survive Trump?; InfoWorld, 1/16/17

Eric Knorr, InfoWorld; 

Will open data survive Trump?

"The incredible quantity of data collected across the federal government is a national treasure. Few other countries on earth apply the same energy, funding, and rigor to assembling such extensive stores. Even if ordinary citizens don't go to for entertainment, both policymakers and business leaders need objective data to make sound decisions.

Before joining the Sunlight Foundation, Howard worked at O’Reilly Media, starting there a few years after Tim O’Reilly convened a group of open government advocates to develop the eight principles of open government data in 2007. Howard says the idea of open data really goes back to the Constitution, which stipulates an "Enumeration" (aka, census) be held to apportion Congressional seats -- an indication that "open data is in the DNA of the USA." Even further, open data harkens to the original Enlightenment idea that reason based on fact should govern human action.

We'll see how that quaint notion survives the postfact era. Meanwhile, consider contributing to the Sunlight Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation."

Openness by Default; Inside Higher Ed, 1/16/17

Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed; 

Openness by Default

"The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation now requires all its grant recipients to make their published, peer-reviewed work immediately available to the public, the latest development in a larger push to make research more accessible.

The foundation rolled out the new policy in 2015, but allowed for a two-year transition period during which grant recipients could embargo their work for 12 months. That option went away on Jan. 1 -- from now on, anyone who receives some funding from the foundation must make their research and underlying data available, for example by publishing it in an open-access journal or depositing it in a public repository.

The full impact of the policy has yet to be felt, but Richard Wilder, associate general counsel in the foundation’s global health program, said in an interview that the open-access requirement is changing how the foundation interacts with grant recipients, publishers and others."

Paul McCartney Sues Sony to Regain Rights to Beatles Songs; Hollywood Reporter, 1/18/17

Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter; Paul McCartney Sues Sony to Regain Rights to Beatles Songs

"Paul McCartney has filed suit in New York against Sony/ATV and is looking to get a declaratory judgment that states he will soon regain his copyright ownership share to a treasured catalog of songs created as a member of The Beatles.
In what could become one of the most important legal battles in the music industry this decade, the iconic songwriter is looking to leverage the termination provisions of the Copyright Act.
In 1976, Congress increased the period that works are under copyright protection, and, in recognition of authors who had signed over their rights to publishers and studios without much bargaining power, allowed such authors 35 years hence to reclaim rights in the latter stages of a copyright term."

Why Patent Protection In The Drug Industry Is Out Of Control; Forbes, 1/19/17

Robert Pearl, M.D., Forbes; 

Why Patent Protection In The Drug Industry Is Out Of Control

"Patents originated in ancient Greece. This legal protection assumed greater importance in 15th-century Venice as a means to protect the nation-state's glass-blowing industry. The first patent granted in the United States was in 1790.

Across history, governments created patents for two important purposes. The first was to stimulate interest in research and find solutions to problems that vexed the nation and the world. The second was to promote the broader good of the country. The duration of time designated for exclusive use of the new technology or approach was intended to be relatively short, with the public gaining the resulting benefits in perpetuity. As such, the granting of a patent was designed to advance not only the interests of its creator, but also, equally, the economy and well-being of the nation.

The intent of the patent process and the balance between the dual objectives have been warped over the past decade. "

Retro Patents turns famous inventions into art you can buy; TechCrunch, 1/19/17

Steve O'Hear, TechCrunch; 

Retro Patents turns famous inventions into art you can buy

"A fun little side project-cum-startup from two of the founders of Soundwave, the social music company acquired by Spotify, wants to turn patents into art. Launching today, Retro Patents lets you buy prints of famous patents to hang on your office wall, or at home, if that’s your thing.

The patent prints for sale include games consoles, such as the original Nintendo Gameboy and Sony PlayStation, mobile devices, including the Apple iPhone and original BlackBerry, and more ubiquitous inventions like the humble calculator or computer mouse. Each patent has been designed and printed using HDR ink-jet technology on Ultra Premium Luster Photo Paper with a basis weight of 180 gsm."

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Amazon patent hints at self-driving car plans; Guardian, 1/18/17

Alex Hern, Guardian; 

Amazon patent hints at self-driving car plans

"Amazon is working on self-driving cars, according to a new patent that deals with the complex task of navigating reversible lanes.

The patent, filed in November 2015 and granted on Tuesday, covers the problem of how to deal with reversible lanes, which change direction depending on the bulk of the traffic flow. This type of lane is typically used to manage commuter traffic into and out of cities, particularly in the US.

Autonomous vehicles, the patent warns, “may not have information about reversible lanes when approaching a portion of a roadway that has reversible lane”, leading to a worst-case scenario of them driving headfirst into oncoming traffic."

University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute's "First Gear Program", 2017

[Kip Currier: Last week I highlighted a few from-invention-to-market initiatives offered through the University of Pittsburgh Innovation InstituteFirst Gear is another of these Pitt initiatives:]

"The First Gear program helps shape Pitt inventions originating from University research from early-stage discovery to products and services that can be taken to market. The program offers hands-on guidance and mentorship that takes an inventor through the necessary steps in creating a go-to-market plan that can result in the creation of a new enterprise or licensing agreement for the technology. As a designated NSF I-Corps site [sic; this is the correct link re NSF I-Corps sites], First Gear participants also receive $3,000 in funding to help validate the market-readiness of the innovation, and qualify for additional NSF funding of larger amounts. Want to learn more, watch the Pitt Ventures & NSF I-Corps webinar.
To request an application or more information on the program, fill out the form on this page."

U.S. Supreme Court justices fret over offensive trademarks; Reuters, 1/18/17

Andrew Chung, Reuters; 

U.S. Supreme Court justices fret over offensive trademarks

"The justices during the arguments seemed to agree with the band that the government was favoring some trademarks while disapproving others, a kind of discrimination based on viewpoint traditionally forbidden by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees free speech.

But the justices appeared to struggle over whether banning offensive slurs is reasonable in the trademark system, which is used to promote commerce.

Conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy asked the band's attorney, John Connell, whether a group of non-Asians using the name The Slants to mock Asians could be denied a trademark. Connell said they could not.

Kennedy questioned whether the trademark system should be considered like a public park "where you can say anything you want.

In rejecting The Slants' trademark, government officials relied on a provision of the 1946 Lanham Act that prevents the registration of marks that may disparage certain people."

In Battle Over Band Name, Supreme Court Considers Free Speech And Trademarks; NPR, 1/18/17

Nina Totenberg, NPR; 

In Battle Over Band Name, Supreme Court Considers Free Speech And Trademarks

""Vagueness means that a law doesn't give enough instruction to citizens on how to follow the law," Shapiro says. "What is disparaging? It depends on the particular trademark examiner you get, or the particular judge."

Tushnet replies that in a program with 500,000 applications for trademark registration each year, there will inevitably be some inconsistencies, just as there are in the judgments made under the other parts of the law. In each case, she observes, if you get turned down for a trademark registration, you can appeal within the agency. If you lose there, you can go to court.

But she adds that the trademark registration system has served the nation well.

"It's a complex system, and if you pull out a chunk of it without extreme care, you're going to upset the rest of the system."

And that, she says, could put the whole trademark system in jeopardy."

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

SCOTUS To Hear From Band The Slants For Right To Trademark Name; Here & Now, WBUR, 1/17/17

Here & Now, WBUR; 

SCOTUS To Hear From Band The Slants For Right To Trademark Name

"The Asian-American band The Slants will appear before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to argue for full trademark rights to their name, which is a pejorative.

The Portland band has won its case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in which the court ruled that the Patent and Trademark Office and the Department of Justice is infringing on the group's rights to freedom of speech.

Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with Rebecca Tushnet (@rtushnet), professor of law at Georgetown Law School, about the conflict for rights to the name."

Five Steps You Can Take Now To Protect Your Company's Trademark; Forbes, 1/17/17

Forbes Legal Counsel, Forbes; 

Five Steps You Can Take Now To Protect Your Company's Trademark

"You've submitted an application for a trademark. But that doesn't necessarily mean you should sit back and relax. Other companies may be applying for trademarks that are strikingly similar to yours — or worse — your mark could be infringing on someone else's. So how do you go about preventing concerning situations like these?

Below, five experienced chief legal officers and law firm partners from Forbes Legal Council discuss the various steps you can take to proactively protect your trademark."

Library Experts Weigh in On Next Register of Copyrights; Library Journal, 1/12/17

Brandon Butler, Kyle K. Courtney, Mary Minow, Kevin Smith, Library Journal; 

Library Experts Weigh in On Next Register of Copyrights

"In the wake of the October 29 resignation of Maria Pallante, the former Register of Copyrights, the Library of Congress (LC) has put out a call to the public for input on the expertise needed by the next Register of Copyrights. (On January 17, Pallante will join the Association of American Publishers as president and CEO). The survey, posted on the LC website on December 16, invites the public to answer a series of questions about the knowledge, skills, abilities, and priorities that the incoming Register should possess...

LJ asked four library copyright experts to give their opinions on what they see as important considerations for the incoming Register of Copyrights, and for LC as well.
The survey will be open through January 31."

It's Copyright Week: Join Us in the Fight for a Better Copyright Law; Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), 1/16/17

Kerry Sheehan, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); 

It's Copyright Week: Join Us in the Fight for a Better Copyright Law

"We're taking part in Copyright Week, a series of actions and discussions supporting key principles that should guide copyright policy. Every day this week, various groups are taking on different elements of the law, and addressing what's at stake, and what we need to do to make sure that copyright promotes creativity and innovation...

Here are this year’s Copyright Week principles:
  • Monday: Building and Defending the Public Domain. The public domain is our cultural commons and a crucial resource for innovation and access to knowledge. Copyright policy should strive to promote, and not diminish, a robust, accessible public domain.
  • Tuesday: You Bought It, You Own It, You Fix It. Copyright law shouldn't interfere with your freedom to truly own your stuff: to repair it, tinker with it, recycle it, use it on any device, lend it, and then give it away (or re-sell it) when you're done.
  • Wednesday: Transparency and Representation. Copyright policy must be set through a participatory, democratic, and transparent process. It should not be decided through back room deals, secret international agreements, or unilateral attempts to apply national laws extraterritorially.
  • Thursday: 21st Century Creators. Copyright law should account for the interests of all creators, not just those backed by traditional copyright industries. YouTube creators, remixers, fan artists and independent musicians (among others) are all part of the community of creators that encourage cultural progress and innovation.
  • Friday: Copyright and Free Speech. Freedom of expression is fundamental to our democratic system. Copyright law should promote, not restrict or suppress free speech.
Every day this week, we’ll be sharing links to blog posts and actions on these topics at and at #CopyrightWeek.
If you’ve followed Copyright Week in past years, you may note that this year, we didn’t designate a specific day to focus on fair use. Fair use—the legal doctrine that permits many important uses of copyrighted works without permission or payment—is critical to the law’s ability to promote creativity, innovation, and freedom of expression. Fair use is a part of each of this year’s principles."

Sunday, January 15, 2017



[Kip Currier: Clever examples of fair use "transformativeness"--"remixing" bonafide Donald Trump quotes with actual copyrighted comic book covers that have been satirically transformed, both textually and visually--by cartoonist Robert Sikoryak.]
"Cartoonist Robert Sikoryak, work has appeared in “Raw,” The New Yorker and Nickelodeon Magazine, has transformed some of the more controversial statements by President-Elect Donald Trump into parody comic book covers in a project he’s called “Unquotable Trump.”"

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Library of Congress and U.S. Copyright Office Roundup; Information Today, 1/10/17

Corilee Christou, Information Today; Library of Congress and U.S. Copyright Office Roundup

"Copyright Office Struggles

The overall picture at the LC certainly seems rosy. However, the U.S. Copyright Office is a different story. The office, led by then Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante, was attempting to fix its problems in 2016, but with its budget and IT systems both dependent on the LC, this was not a simple task. After only a month as the Librarian of Congress, Hayden removed Pallante from her position. She had been Register of Copyrights since 2011, after holding several positions at the Copyright Office since 2008. Never before has a Register of Copyrights been removed from his or her post by the Librarian of Congress.

Instead of taking the alternative position of senior advisor to the Librarian of Congress that Hayden offered her, Pallante resigned, effective Oct. 29. Reactions were both positive and negative."

Librarian of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights; Press Release, Library of Congress, DECEMBER 16, 2016 (REVISED JANUARY 11, 2017)

"DECEMBER 16, 2016 (REVISED JANUARY 11, 2017)Librarian of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights

Press Contact: Gayle Osterberg (202) 707-0020
Website: Librarian of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights (Survey) External
The public will have the opportunity to provide input to the Library of Congress on expertise needed by the Register of Copyrights, the Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, announced today.
Beginning today, December 16, an online survey is open to the public. The survey will be posted through Jan. 31, 2017.
Link to survey: External
Deadline for submitting comments: Jan. 31, 2017
Input will be reviewed and will inform development of knowledge, skills and abilities requirements for the position.
Information provided through the survey will be posted online and submitters’ names will appear. Note that input will be subject to review and input may not be posted that is off-topic; contains vulgar, offensive, racist, threatening or harassing content; personal information; or gratuitous links to sites that could be considered spam. The Library’s complete comment policy can be viewed here:

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at, and register creative works of authorship at"

Friday, January 13, 2017

Innovators and patent holders; The Hindu, 1/13/17

Achuthsankar S. Nair, The Hindu; Innovators and patent holders:

"J.P. Subramonya Iyer, who invented the tap, was a grass-root innovator, start-up hero, global technology merchant … all ahead of his times. He served as an insurance officer in Travancore-Cochin state. Noticing the wastage of water from road-side water taps that were carelessly left open, he dreamt of an automatically closing tap and got one such tap made with the help of his engineer friends. He patented it and went on to improve it further and patented the improved tap too...

Innovation is a buzzword in academia and the business world. Government and industries seem to take it as “invention—patenting—commercialisation—economic development.” Academia has a more intellectual view of innovation, focussing on the process of development of new knowledge leading to inventions. India has declared 2010-20 as the ‘Decade of Innovation’ and established a National Innovation Council...

An innovation ultimately creates wealth, through economic, social or environmental activity, by creating value, solving problems, creating jobs and so on. The Jaison water tap is an excellent example of innovation. Its production was an economic activity that created wealth and solved the problem of water wastage in public taps, which benefited society.

Almost everything we use or see in day-to-day life was at one time an innovation or invention that had a revolutionary effect on life of those times. Clothes, wheels, toys, tools, food, building materials, construction methods, traditional home utensils, appliances..."

19th century patents see value today; Farm Forum, 1/13/17

TERRY AND KIM KOVEL Kovels’ Antiques and Collecting, Farm Forum; 

19th century patents see value today:

"The 19th century in the U.S. was a time of invention. The patent office at first required a working model of an invention, but later, just accurate drawings and details were enough. Victorians loved gadgets and specialty tools. There were hundreds of patents granted for apple peelers, lighting devices, corkscrews, fruit jars, washing machines, washboards, toasters, napkin rings and cooking pots, and today there are collector clubs for almost every one of these specialties."

Thursday, January 12, 2017

'Could You Patent The Sun?'; New York Times, January 2017

Video, New York Times; 'Could You Patent The Sun?'

"Decades after Dr. Jonas Salk opposed patenting the polio vaccine, the pharmaceutical industry has changed. What does that mean for the development of innovative drugs and for people whose lives depend on them?"

U.S. Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement Announced; Press Release, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), 12/12/16

Press Release, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); U.S. Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement Announced

[Kip Currier: The following sections of this joint strategic plan caught my attention and should be of particular interest to researchers and universities:


In addition to their essential role as centers of knowledge, learning, and scholarship, universities around the world are engines for innovation. Universities are often the first step in the innovation lifecycle, but too often the big idea does not make it to the marketplace. The promise of innovation that is first conceived by professors, researchers, and students in university laboratories frequently goes unrealized." 

The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute has several initiatives to help university-based innovators get their ideas and inventions off the ground: 


Public policy is at its best when well-grounded in sound research and data. Given the profound technological and legal changes that have taken place over the past several years, it is critical that academics, researchers, the private sector, and others continue to rigorously study the IPR ecosystem to identify areas of concern, emerging trends, and opportunities for enhanced enforcement mechanisms."

From pages 143-147 the plan presents examples of research topics and questions, e.g. 

"Research into Commercial-Scale Piracy is Needed…
  • To assess the economic scope and magnitude of digital piracy. Beyond any top-line numbers, what is the magnitude of the harm suffered by the copyright owner? What is the impact on employment in the creative sectors? Who are the entities that profit from, or may be unjustly enriched by, the unauthorized exploitation of copyrighted materials? 


  •  To examine the range of attendant harms and risks to the public. What is the relationship between pirated content and incidents of malware, phishing, or other threats to the public?"]

[Press Release] "Today, the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) released the 2017-2019 U.S. Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement, which offers a blueprint for coordinating resources and priorities to sustain a robust IP enforcement environment.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office partnered with the IPEC and agencies throughout the federal government in crafting a plan that both highlights the cultural and economic importance of intellectual property incentives, and also ensures certainty in the marketplace through enforcement mechanisms to encourage creative growth and minimize misappropriation of innovation. USPTO is proud to play a role in promoting clear, consistent, high quality and enforceable IP rights to enable market growth. The office also provides critical international leadership in protecting IP overseas and navigating international IP laws. From copyrights and trade secrets protection, to the examination and registration of patents and trademarks, the USPTO will continue to foster a balanced IP playing field for U.S. businesses to compete in foreign markets and export abroad.  
The report recognizes how IP-intensive industries continue to be an integral part of a growing economy, and identifies critical and strategic actions to safeguard that innovation and combat illicit infringement activities.

More New Ways to Explore Patent Data; Blog by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee, Director's Forum Blog, 1/12/17

Michelle K. Lee, Blog by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee, Director's Forum Blog; More New Ways to Explore Patent Data

"Making patent data accessible to the public has been a cornerstone of this agency’s policy since its inception. I’m pleased to announce yet another step we’ve taken at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to make such data even easier for the public to understand and use, namely the addition of new features to our patent data visualization and analysis tool, PatentsView. First launched in 2014, PatentsView provides the public a variety of ways to interactively engage, through a web-based platform, the highest-quality patent data available. The underlying database connects 40 years’ worth of information about inventors, their organizations, and their locations in unprecedented ways. PatentsView is a key component of our open data efforts to improve the accessibility, usability, and transparency of U.S. patent data...

You could argue that the innovations documented in our records may very well, collectively, constitute the world’s largest repository of scientific and technological knowledge. But the larger a data set, the more challenging it is to find useful information or trends or, put another way, to separate the signal from the noise. This collaborative tool, developed by the USPTO’s Office of the Chief Economist in conjunction with the American Institutes for Research, New York University, the University of California at Berkeley, Twin Arch Technologies, and Periscopic, aims to make that sorting and separation possible. The shared public and private effort in creating and improving the platform is symbolized in the “.org” domain of

By providing new tools and data to the public, PatentsView demonstrates this agency’s continuing commitment to open data, open government, and evidence-based policymaking."

There is no shortage of open data. The question is, is anyone using it?; Computer Weekly, 1/9/17

Jonathan Stoneman, Computer Weekly; There is no shortage of open data. The question is, is anyone using it?

"Why publishing data is not enough
So there is no shortage of open data – but is anyone using it? The UK government’s data portal,, currently shows 36,552 published datasets available, and just over 30,000 of those have an open government licence. There are 6,444 more without a licence and, intriguingly, a further 3,664 are listed as “unpublished”.
Some 1,401 government departments, including local government and agencies, are listed as “publishers”. Two million datasets were downloaded in 2016, but 11,481 – 31% of the whole collection – were not, not even once.
The UK government sees publication as a measure in itself."

An overview of trade secrets; Lexology, 1/11/17

Liu, Shen & Associates, Lexology; An overview of trade secrets:

"An important form of intellectual property, trade secrets are increasingly attracting attention, particularly in regard to operational information such as customer lists and technical information in software. In China, trade secrets are mainly protected by the Law for Countering Unfair Competition and the Criminal Law."

USPTO Announces New Patent and Trademark Advisory Committee Members; Press Release, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), 1/9/17

Press Release, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); USPTO Announces New Patent and Trademark Advisory Committee Members:

"The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced new Patent and Trademark Advisory Committee Members for the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) and the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC).

The Public Advisory Committees for the USPTO were created through the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act statute in the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 to advise the Secretary of Commerce and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO on the management of patent and trademark operations. The Public Advisory Committees review the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the patent and trademark operations, respectively, and advise the director on these matters.  Each committee has nine voting members who are appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Secretary of Commerce. Each member serves a three-year term."

What the NHL’s trademark fiasco can teach you about brand preparedness; Financial Post, 1/12/17

Chad Finkelstein, Financial Post; What the NHL’s trademark fiasco can teach you about brand preparedness:

"Whether the USPTO’s position will hold up in the United States (and what the fate of the Canadian trademarks applications are) remains to be seen, but the situation should be viewed by trademark owners and prospective trademark owners as a warning about not taking proactive steps to get trademarks registered. The longer an unregistered trademark is in use, the more it will cost to go through a rebranding."

Why Unreleased Marvin Gaye, Supremes, Beach Boys Tracks Are Suddenly Appearing: EU Copyright Law; Billboard, 1/10/17

Robert Levine, Billboard; Why Unreleased Marvin Gaye, Supremes, Beach Boys Tracks Are Suddenly Appearing: EU Copyright Law:

"On Dec 30th, without much fanfare or marketing, Universal Music Group put out Motown Unreleased: 1966, a digital-only collection of 80 previously unavailable tracks by Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, and lesser-known performers like the Underdogs. It’s one of a few recent archival releases of music from 1966 that may appeal to hardcore fans – and they have the European Union to thank.

In 2011, the EU updated copyright law in a way that means officially unreleased material could fall into the public domain 50 years after it was recorded. That would mean any company would be free to release it. In order to keep the copyright to such recordings – the law applies to live as well as studio material – artists and labels have been releasing them in what some fans call “copyright collections.”"

Katy attorneys to focus on copyright basics; Houston Chronicle, 1/10/17

Houston Chronicle; 

Katy attorneys to focus on copyright basics:

"Area attorneys are invited to the Tuesday, Jan. 24, luncheon of the Katy Bar Association at 11:30 a.m. at Hasta la Pasta, 1450 W. Grand Parkway S.

Teresa Lechner-Fish, IP associate with Gardere Wynne Sewell, LLP, will present "Copyright Basics: What Are Copyrights? How Are Copyrights Created? Who Owns the Copyrights? And How Can They Be Protected."
She will identify examples of copyrights, provide guidance on how copyrights are created and who owns those copyrights, and offer suggestions on how copyrights can be protected in the marketplace.
Her law practice includes assisting growing companies as intellectual property counsel, handling copyright, due diligence, trademark, trade secret, licensing and patent matters. She has prepared and prosecuted hundreds of copyright, patent and trademark applications, and assisted patent litigation teams, involving complex technologies and litigation strategies."

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tech luminaries team up on $27M A.I. ethics fund; PC World, 1/10/17

Blair Hanley Frank, PC World; 

Tech luminaries team up on $27M A.I. ethics fund:

"Artificial intelligence technology is becoming an increasingly large part of our daily lives. While those developments have led to cool new features, they’ve also presented a host of potential problems, like automation displacing human jobs, and algorithms providing biased results.

Now, a team of philanthropists and tech luminaries have put together a fund that’s aimed at bringing more humanity into the AI development process. It’s called the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund, and it will focus on advancing AI in the public interest...
[Reid] Hoffman, a former executive at PayPal, has shown quite the interest in developing AI in the public interest and has also provided backing to OpenAI, a research organization aimed at helping create AI that is as safe as possible."