Chief Judge Randall Rader announced that he will be stepping down from his position as chief judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, effective May 30, 2014. Judge Sharon Prost will succeed Judge Rader as chief judge. Judge Rader, who leaves the position with three years remaining in his seven-year term as chief judge, will remain in active service to the Court.
The fires of the long running trade dispute between Antigua and the U.S., previously blogged about here, were recently stoked by the January 21, 2013 Speech from the Throne. In it, Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack reiterated the intent to suspend TRIPS obligations to the U.S., but did not provide any substantive direction regarding what that might entail.
The Supreme Court has granted cert on several new cases today including four relating to intellectual property issues, including a copyright case, a trademark case, as well as two patent cases. Lyle Denniston of the Scotus Blog reports that the new cases will probably be argued in April, the last sitting of the term.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive, multi-national trade agreement that has been developing behind closed doors for the past several years. Bits and pieces of the text have leaked over time, but recently the entire draft chapter on Intellectual Property protection has been released by WikiLeaks. The TPP marks the largest economic treaty to-date, which encompasses nations including the U.S., Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.
In the event of a general government shutdown on October 1, 2013, the United States Patent and Trademark Office is expected to remain open, using reserve funds to operate as usual for approximately four weeks. Should the USPTO exhaust its reserve funds before a general government shutdown comes to an end, the USPTO would shut down at that time, except for minimum activity to accept new applications and maintain IT infrastructure, etc. The USPTO's website will provide updates on the situation as it develops. In the meantime, details for an orderly shutdown are available on page 78 of the United States Department of Commerce’s shutdown plan.
The 2013 Ig Nobel Prizes Ceremony was held at Harvard University last night. Established in 1991, the Ceremony allows Nobel laureates to present ten awards for odd and unusual research projects. This marks the 23rd year of the awards, which continues the tradition of honoring scientific achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think."
West Encounters East, a film by firm client Stella Holmes, a Miami-based art collector and museum trustee, is currently airing on PBS stations across the country. West Encounters East explores the Japanese diaspora to Latin America through the eyes of artists whose work emerges from the Asian-Latin American cultural mix. The film will be airing locally in South Florida on WPBT on May 6, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. and on May 10, 2013 at 10:00 p.m. Click here for WEE air dates and times in your area. The 7-minute Trailer for West Encounters East can be viewed below.
The Supreme Court returned to session this morning in accordance with a long-held tradition of opening the annual term on the first Monday in October. The recent changes to the Court's composition, coupled with the potential impact of the decisions looming on the horizon, promise to make this session a particularly interesting one.
For years now the federal judiciary has made documents filed in federal court litigation available through a search platform known as PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records.) While the documents available through PACER are in the public domain, access to the documents requires registration as the documents are not indexed by commercial search engines. Moreover, a government fee of eight cents a page is charged for reading, printing, or downloading the documents.
The registration and fee requirements arguably have the effect of limiting public access to these records. Accordingly, an individual named Carl Malamud has been asking paying users of PACER to send him their documents and has begun publishing these for free on his website.