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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.

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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.

Intellectual Property Underpinnings of Pharmaceutical Innovation: A Primer

August 12, 2014 Comments off

Intellectual Property Underpinnings of Pharmaceutical Innovation: A Primer
Source: American Action Forum

Companies across the U.S. are meeting health challenges head on by investing in time, talent, and materials. U.S. federal law has long protected these endeavors through the intellectual property (IP) regime. Understanding the process of innovation in both health and medicine requires a basic knowledge of three areas: the legal underpinnings of patent law, the economics of patents, and how the two interact within a company. Today, we cannot forget just how important these laws have been in creating and sustaining the technological sectors, especially those where innovation is especially costly. A basic overview of intellectual property rights (IPR) in innovative industries, particularly in medical treatments, is a beginning point to explore where the regime has gotten things right.

CRS — Stealing Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage: An Abridged Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1831 and 1832

August 6, 2014 Comments off

Stealing Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage: An Abridged Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1831 and 1832 (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via U.S. State Department Foreign Press Center)

Stealing a trade secret is a federal crime when the information relates to a product in interstate or foreign commerce, 18 U.S.C. 1832 (theft of trade secrets), or when the intended beneficiary is a foreign power, 18 U.S.C. 1831 (economic espionage). Section 1832 requires that the thief be aware that the misappropriation will injure the secret’s owner to the benefit of someone else. Section 1831 requires only that the thief intend to benefit a foreign government or one of its instrumentalities.

See also: Stealing Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage: An Abridged Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1831 and 1832 (PDF)

EU — Customs action to tackle goods infringing Intellectual Property Rights – Frequently Asked Questions

August 1, 2014 Comments off

Customs action to tackle goods infringing Intellectual Property Rights – Frequently Asked Questions
Source: European Commission

As the EU’s 2020 Strategy underlines, the protection of IPRs is key to the EU economy. By giving people the incentive to be creative and innovative, IPRs foster economic growth, creating and protecting millions of jobs.

Right-holders can ask for customs action to protect their rights at the border. When they have a suspicion of an infringement, customs can detain the goods or suspend their release and inform the right-holder accordingly. The right-holder is given the opportunity to initiate court proceedings to determine the infringement, while the goods remain under customs control.

Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2013

July 3, 2014 Comments off

Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2013 (PDF)
Source: National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) today announced the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2013. The list, based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, recognizes the important role patents play in university research.

The NAI and IPO compile the list each year by calculating the number of utility patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office which list a university as the first assignee on the printed patent.

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