Colombia recently became the 87th member to join the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks, effective August 29, 2012. Administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks (“Madrid system”) is designed to provide a cost-effective and efficient way for trademark holders to secure and maintain protection for their marks in multiple countries.
Facebook’s historic initial public offering (“IPO”) on Friday was preceded by a patent portfolio “shopping spree” illustrative of the importance of intellectual property’s role in the U.S. economy. According to news reports in the months leading up to its IPO, it appears that Facebook acquired well over 1,000 patents and patent applications outright, as well as licenses to many more patents, including large groups of such patents formerly owned by IBM [article] and AOL [article], among others. Regardless of the strategy implications as to whether the acquisitions were primarily for defensive purposes, offensive purposes, or a relatively equal balance of each, the sheer magnitude of Facebook’s patent purchasing activity was exemplary of the dominant impact that intellectual property-intensive industries are having on the U.S. economy.
As widespread theft of intellectual property continues on a global scale, an increasing number of counterfeits and pirated goods produced overseas are directed to the U.S. market. While this is not a new phenomenon, it merits continued vigilance on the part of intellectual property rights (“IPR”) holders and law enforcement agencies.
The United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari in the case of AMP v. Myriad Genetics, vacated the previous Federal Circuit opinion, and remanded the case back to the Federal Circuit for reconsideration in view of its recent decision in Mayo v. Prometheus.
The arrival of a new month has brought with it another slew of lawsuits filed by ArrivalStar S.A. and Melvino Technologies in the Southern District of Florida, asserting patent infringement against a host of business entities.
Anti-piracy legislation in both the U.S. House (H.R. 3261, Stop Online Piracy Act, or “SOPA”) and Senate (S.968 PROTECT IP Act, or “PIPA”) has been abruptly halted following this past Wednesday’s worldwide online blackout protest involving numerous popular Internet sites, tweets, blogs, and the like (including WIKIPEDIA). There has also been growing domestic concern over the potential extent of the federal government's reach in its effort to address rogue overseas websites.
Happy New Year!
As of January 1, 2012 the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is now permitting international PCT applicants who are interested in licensing their inventions to request that the International Bureau to make this information publicly available.