Archive for the ‘intellectual property’ Category

New From the GAO

November 20, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Individual Retirement Accounts: IRS Could Bolster Enforcement on Multimillion Dollar Accounts, but More Direction from Congress Is Needed. GAO-15-16, October 20.
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2. Veteran’s Disability Benefits: Improvements Could Further Enhance Quality Assurance Efforts. GAO-15-50, November 19.
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3. Consumer Product Safety Oversight: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Coordination and Increase Efficiencies and Effectiveness. GAO-15-52, November 19.
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4. Intellectual Property: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Could Better Manage Its Process to Enforce Exclusion Orders. GAO-15-78, November 19.
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5. Freedom of Information Act: DHS Should Take Steps to Improve Cost Reporting and Eliminate Duplicate Processing. GAO-15-82, November 19.
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6. Defense Contractors: Additional Actions Needed to Facilitate the Use of DOD’s Inventory of Contracted Services. GAO-15-88, November 19.
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CRS — Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation (September 5, 2014)

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

A trade secret is confidential, commercially valuable information that provides a company with a competitive advantage, such as customer lists, methods of production, marketing strategies, pricing information, and chemical formulae. (Well-known examples of trade secrets include the formula for Coca-Cola, the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the algorithm used by Google’s search engine.) To succeed in the global marketplace, U.S. firms depend upon their trade secrets, which increasingly are becoming their most valuable intangible assets.

However, U.S. companies annually suffer billions of dollars in losses due to the theft of their trade secrets by employees, corporate competitors, and even foreign governments. Stealing trade secrets has increasingly involved the use of cyberspace, advanced computer technologies, and mobile communication devices, thus making the theft relatively anonymous and difficult to detect. The Chinese and Russian governments have been particularly active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage with respect to U.S. trade secrets and proprietary information.

In contrast to other types of intellectual property (trademarks, patents, and copyrights) that are governed primarily by federal law, trade secret protection is primarily a matter of state law. Thus, trade secret owners have more limited legal recourse when their rights are violated.

Deloitte Review — Issue 15

September 11, 2014 Comments off

Deloitte Review — Issue 15
Source: Deloitte

Is the romance gone? An extensive new study suggests that Gen Y takes a more pragmatic view of car ownership. Deloitte Review issue 15 also explores analytics and predicting behavior; new players in the intellectual property arena; the economics of additive manufacturing, and the persistent problem of labor abuse in supply chains.

Rights in Data Handbook: Protecting and exploiting IP in data and databases internationally

September 4, 2014 Comments off

Rights in Data Handbook: Protecting and exploiting IP in data and databases internationally (PDF)
Source: DLA Piper

The value of data and databases to business is undeniable and continues to increase. As a result the laws which enable data to be protected and exploited are crucial to many industries, from horseracing to financial services. Nonetheless, while much has been written about the neighbouring area of data privacy/data protection, the issue of IP rights in data and databases has traditionally received almost no attention. This guide sets out an overview of the IP and related rights affecting data and databases in 12 key global jurisdictions.

Adapting the EU copyright rules to the digital transformation

August 25, 2014 Comments off

Adapting the EU copyright rules to the digital transformation
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The initiative to modernise the EU copyright framework was launched in May 2011 in the European Commission’s strategy on “A Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights” and pursuant to actions in the Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe. In December 2012, the Commission then published a “Communication on Content in the Digital Single Market” in which it aims to complete the review in 2014, followed by legislative reform proposals, as appropriate. Although two new Directives in specific areas of copyright – on orphan works (2012) and on the collective management of copyright (2014) – have since been adopted, a White Paper is now expected, and should be accompanied by an ‘Impact Assessment’, which will in fact be a presentation of detailed policy orientations and options in advance of decisions on specific Commission initiatives (legislative and non-legislative). According to the CWP 2014, its Annexes, and the 2013 Roadmap, the review seeks to achieve a modern framework that fosters innovative practices, creativity, cultural diversity, new business models, guarantees effective recognition and remuneration of rights holders, and enhances legal offers for end users while tackling piracy more effectively.

Dragging Patent Trolls Into the Light

August 21, 2014 Comments off

Dragging Patent Trolls Into the Light
Source: Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

Proponents say that non-practicing entities play a valuable role by sticking up for small inventors, going up against big companies that steal the ideas of entrepreneurs who are unable to fight their own legal battles. (NPEs acquire patents either by purchasing them from companies, inventors, and academic institutions, or by being assigned them in the first place for original work.) If it weren’t for NPEs, the argument goes, resource-rich companies would be free to steal ideas of small inventors without fearing retaliatory lawsuits—and this would poison the business environment.

But critics have another name for many NPEs: patent trolls. In this view, a significant number of non-practicing entities acquire patents for the sole purpose of coercing companies, mostly technology firms, into paying licensing or settlement fees (whether justified or not).

New research coauthored by Lauren H. Cohen, professor of finance at Harvard Business School; Umit G. Gurun, of University of Texas at Dallas; and Scott Duke Kominers, of the Harvard Society of Fellows, attempts to answer that question by studying which firms NPEs target in litigation, when the litigation occurs, and the impact of the legal challenges on the targeted firms’ abilities to innovate and grow. Their paper, released in July, is entitled “Patent Trolls: Evidence from Targeted Firms.”

The research concludes that NPEs not only go after the most susceptible, cash-rich targets, but in the process damage those companies’ abilities to innovate in the future.

Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition (Public Draft Released August 19, 2014)

August 21, 2014 Comments off

Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition
Source: U.S. Copyright Office

Maria A. Pallante (Register of Copyrights and Director) has released a public draft of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition (the “Third Edition”). The first major revision in more than two decades, the draft presents more than 1200 pages of administrative practices and sets the stage for a number of long-term improvements in registration and recordation policy. It will remain in draft form for 120 days pending final review and implementation, taking effect on or around December 15, 2014.


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