These experts figured out why so many bogus patents get approved

28 12 2017
If you’ve read our coverage of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Stupid Patent of the Month” series, you know America has a patent quality problem. People apply for patents on ideas that are obvious, vague, or were invented years earlier. Too often, applications get approved and low-quality patents fall into the hands of patent trolls, creating headaches for real innovators.

Why don’t more low-quality patents get rejected? A recent paper published by the Brookings Institution offers fascinating insights into this question. Written by legal scholars Michael Frakes and Melissa Wasserman, the paper identifies three ways the patent process encourages approval of low-quality patents:

  • The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is funded by fees—and the agency gets more fees if it approves an application.
  • Unlimited opportunities to refile rejected applications means sometimes granting a patent is the only way to get rid of a persistent applicant.
  • Patent examiners are given less time to review patent applications as they gain seniority, leading to less thorough reviews.

None of these observations is entirely new. For example, we have covered the problems created by unlimited re-applications in the past. But what sets Frakes and Wasserman’s work apart is that they have convincing empirical evidence for all three theories.

more

The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/12/these-experts-figured-out-why-so-many-bogus-patents-get-approved/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



How do you change the most important law in Internet history? Carefully

25 12 2017
Congress has spent much of the past year grappling with a heartbreakingly difficult issue: victims who are prohibited by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act from suing the websites where they were sex-trafficked.

Unfortunately, some of the debate has been sidetracked by a misunderstanding of how the statute works and a recent court case that interpreted it. Section 230 is one of the most important laws in the history of the Internet, and before we amend the statute to fix problems, we need to understand precisely what the problems are.

Twenty-six words within Section 230 shield websites from many types of claims arising from user content: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” For example, if a newspaper publishes a defamatory article, the subject can sue the newspaper publisher for defamation. But under Section 230, if a user posts a defamatory comment on Twitter, the subject cannot successfully sue Twitter for defamation (but can sue the tweeter).

more

The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/12/how-do-you-change-the-most-important-law-in-internet-history-carefully/and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



A Patent Year in Review: Looking back on 2016, Forecasting for 2017

5 02 2017

It is that time once again when we look back on the previous year in preparation to close the final chapter on 2016 and to look ahead toward 2017. With patent reform surprisingly stalled, the biggest news stories of the year may have been the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)… As 2016 started and through at least the first half of 2016 it seemed as if the PTAB had become rather all-powerful and completely unsusceptible to judicial restraints. As we close 2016 and look forward to 2017 a decidedly different picture seems like it is emerging… The other big news story of 2016 was with respect to patent eligibility…

more

The content in this post was found at http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2016/12/06/patent-year-review-2016-2017/id=75331/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



EFF sues US government, saying copyright rules on DRM are unconstitutional

27 01 2017
Since the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) became law in 1998, it has been a federal crime to copy a DVD or do anything else that subverts digital copy-protection schemes.

Soon, government lawyers will have to show up in court to defend those rules. Yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit (PDF) claiming the parts of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that deal with copy protection and digital locks are unconstitutional.

Under the DMCA, any hacking or breaking of digital locks, often referred to as digital rights management or DRM, is a criminal act. That means modding a game console, hacking a car’s software, and copying a DVD are all acts that violate the law, no matter what the purpose. Those rules are encapsulated in Section 1201 of the DMCA, which was lobbied for by the entertainment industry and some large tech companies.

more

The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/07/eff-sues-us-government-saying-copyright-rules-on-drm-are-unconstitutional/and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



US Commerce Department wants courts to be kinder, gentler to file sharers

16 01 2017
A US Department of Commerce task force recommended Thursday that Congress alter the Copyright Act in a bid that likely would reduce financial damages for file sharing copyright scofflaws.

The recommendations from the agency’s Internet Policy Task Force don’t call for doing away with the maximum $150,000 in damages available to rights holders per infringement. But if Congress adopts the task force’s recommendations, it’s doubtful there would be large awards, as one of the recommendations would require juries to consider a file sharer’s ability to pay and, among other things, the actual value of the works that were infringed.

“We believe that litigants and courts would be well-served by requiring consideration of a uniform set of factors designed to result in an appropriate award based upon the facts of each case,” said the report from the task force, which included members from the US Patent and Trademark Office, The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and other Commerce Department entities.

more

The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/01/us-commerce-department-wants-courts-to-be-kinder-gentler-to-file-sharers/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Commerce Recommends Amendments to Copyright Act Statutory Damages Provisions

16 01 2017

Earlier today the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a report titled White Paper on Remixes, First Sale, and Statutory Damages, which recommends amendments to U.S. copyright law that would provide more guidance and greater flexibility to courts in awarding statutory damages. However, the Task Force has found insufficient evidence to show that there is a change in circumstance in the markets or technology that requires action on amending the first sale doctrine.

more

The content in this post was found at http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2016/01/28/commerce-department-recommends-amendments-to-copyright-act-statutory-damages-provisions/id=65490/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



WARNING: Copyright Office Resurrects Troubling Plan To Strip Websites Of 512 Safe Harbor

30 05 2016

The Copyright Office has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding a new electronic submission process for websites and online services to designate agents to receive 512(c)(3) copyright takedown notices. The agent designation process is crucial to the 17 USC 512 safe harbors because the formality of designating an agent is required to qualify for the 512(c) safe harbor. See, e.g., BWP v. Hollywood Fan Sites. As part of rolling out the electronic submission process, the NPRM proposes reducing the filing fee from $105 (or more) to $6, reflecting that an electronic filing system would reduce the Copyright Office’s operating costs.

more

The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2016/05/warning-copyright-office-resurrects-troubling-plan-to-strip-websites-of-512-safe-harbor.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



President Obama Signs Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act

16 05 2016

President Obama Signs Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act

By David Enzminger & Daniel Fazio
May 13, 2016

 IP Watchdog

On May 11, 2016 – after years of bipartisan negotiation resulting in widespread support from both sides of the political aisle, as well as from the business community – President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), the long-proposed legislation that establishes a federal trade secrets law.

Before the DTSA, companies seeking civil remedies for misappropriation of their trade secrets were generally limited to state law enforcement. Although 48 states have adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) in some form, there are significant differences among the states in the application of the UTSA. Moreover, companies were usually limited to litigating in state court, except in cases where federal diversity jurisdiction exists. Some jurisdictions, but not others, had allow federal courts to hear trade secret claims along with claims under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act where employees exceeded their authorization to access trade secret materials from their company computers. In short, there was no consistent nationwide scheme for enforcement of trade secret protection.

The DTSA amends the federal Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to create, for the first time, a federal civil remedy for the misappropriation of trade secrets.

more

The content in this post was found at http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2016/05/13/obama-signs-defend-trade-secrets-act/id=69102/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



U.S. Senate Passes Bill Creating A Civil Cause of Action in Federal Court for Trade Secret Misappropriation

7 04 2016

The U.S. Senate passed on a unanimous 87-0 vote the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 late Monday.

The bill will create a civil cause of action in federal court for trade secret misappropriation and provide remedies that are not available in state court trade secret actions.

Like patents, trademarks, and copyrights, trade secret owners may seek redress for intellectual property theft based on a federal statutory right in federal court should the bill become law. Additionally, the bill provides for the availability of orders that will allow trade secret owners to have law enforcement seize stolen trade secrets without notice to the misappropriator upon a sufficient showing to the federal court.

Senate bill, have indicated that the bill will harmonize federal law and give businesses more consistent legal protections when their trade secrets are stolen.

more


The content in this post was found at http://www.tradesecretslaw.com/2016/04/articles/trade-secrets/new-year-new-progress-2016-update-on-defend-trade-secrets-act-eu-directive/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TradingSecrets+%28Trading+Secrets%29 and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Protecting Intellectual Property Throughout Its Lifecycle

4 12 2015

Trade Secrets Law

November 5, 2015

Guest Author for Trade Secrets Law

As a special feature of our blog—special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Stroz Friedberg, a global leader of cybersecurity, investigations and risk management. The firm recently launched Strategic Intellectual Property Protection Services (SIPPS), an offering Stroz Friedberg designed to help companies best handle intellectual property throughout its lifecycle.

-Robert Milligan, Editor of Trading Secrets

Across industries ranging from pharma to entertainment to electronics, the success of an organization is often directly tied to its intellectual property. However, many companies don’t effectively determine whether their products or internally developed solutions constitute protected intellectual property until there is a need for enforcement action.

It’s better (and easier) for a company to identify its intellectual property and trade secrets at the outset than it is for a company to retrofit its intellectual property and trade secrets to a bad event. Waiting until intellectual property is misappropriated delays enforcement, and is generally less successful overall than defining intellectual property early on. After identification, it is also important for an organization continually to evaluate how it safeguards its intellectual property. If a company proactively identifies and protects its trade secrets, enforcement efforts, if necessary, will prove much easier—even more so when a detailed response plan is already in place.

more.


The content in this post was found at http://www.tradesecretslaw.com/2015/11/articles/trade-secrets/protecting-intellectual-property-throughout-its-lifecycle/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TradingSecrets+%28Trading+Secrets%29 and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.