The Government of Antigua is preparing to excercise its right to compel treaty obligations after attempts to negotiate the decade long dispute over online gambling have failed. In January, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body voted to allow Antigua to suspend its obligations to the U.S. under the TRIPS Agreement. As a result, the Government of Antigua announced plans to launch a platform to "[exploit] the suspension of American intellectual property rights" according to a recent press release by the government of Antigua.

Friday, 25 October 2013 21:34

Upcoming USPTO Fee Changes

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A number of patent fee changes will go in effect January 1, 2014.  Notably, the issue fees of all applications will decrease dramatically. Small and micro entity fees will now be available for a number of PCT fees. The assignment recordation fee has also been eliminated if filing electronically.

Thursday, 24 October 2013 22:21

Patent Legislative Forecast: Innovation Act of 2013

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In an all-too-rare showing of bipartisan cooperation, ten members of the U.S. House of Representatives came together in support of a patent reform bill introduced Monday by Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia.

Titled the “Innovation Act,” (H.R. 3309) the bill proposes some significant changes to the way patents would be procured and enforced.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 18:26

Video Games — Serious Business

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Once considered a mere novelty, video games may have nonetheless evolved into a multi-billion dollar, international industry many find worthy of intellectual property protection.

Thursday, 10 October 2013 15:10

University Tech Transfer in the Legal Spotlight

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Although the technology transfer system of research universities and related institutions has been long-established in the United States, it has been picking up even more steam recently, which in turn has generated some interesting legal issues with lessons to be learned.

By way of background, a recent Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) report underscores the economic importance and scope of university tech transfer, including the following statistics for 2012: over 22,000 total U.S. patent applications filed, total licensing revenue of $2.6 Billion, and over 700 startup companies formed, the majority remaining based in the university’s home state.

The New York Attorney General's office recently levied $350,000 in penalties against 19 companies for astroturfing and false endorsements. Dubbed "Operation Clean Turf," the year long investigation into the reputation management industry found that companies had flooded the Internet with fake consumer reviews on websites including Yelp, Google, and CitySearch. Throughout the investigation, the Attorney General's office found that many companies, including those in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry, used techniques to hide their identities, such as creating fake profiles on review websites and paying copywriters from around the world for $1 to $10 per review.

Wednesday, 02 October 2013 14:04

Supreme Court Grants Cert in Three I.P. Cases

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Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to review three intellectual property cases. Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog reported that “[t]he Tuesday grants represent a strong focus on issues related to intellectual property law.” The Court granted petitions to review two patent cases and one copyright case during the upcoming term. The two patent cases both concern standards for awards of fees in patent litigation, and the copyright case pertains to the timeliness of the action.

Additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D Printing, has long been relegated to the manufacturing industry as a method of rapid prototyping. More recently though, advances in technology and enthusiasm from the open-source and do-it-yourself crowds have catapulted 3D Printers into the mainstream. Aiming to make them mass-market items, companies like Makerbot produce desktop-sized printers that can be had for a few thousand dollars. The rise in ubiquity of these machines has also led to a rise in concern over copying and distribution of copyrighted works. Never before has the common consumer been able to so easily replicate such a wide variety of possibly copyrighted designs.