Intellectual Property Roundup

Software Patents Are Crumbling, Thanks to the Supreme Court (Vox)
The practical consequences of the Supreme Court’s June ruling on the patentability of software is now coming to light as a series of decisions from lower courts show the pendulum of patent law is now swinging in an anti-patent direction.

HarperCollins Now Uses Invisible Watermarks to Combat Ebook Piracy (Slash Gear)
HarperCollins’ new tool to battle piracy involves using Digimark technology to tag their ebooks with an invisible and traceable watermark.

Alibaba Has a Major Counterfeit Problem (CNN)
Alibaba has been on a mission to rid its virtual shopping malls of counterfeit goods as it cleans house before a massive initial public offering, but industry experts and company executives say that fades skill flourish on Alibaba’s popular platforms.

Jury Finds CBS Infringes Podcasting Patent, Awards $1.3 Million (Ars Technica)
A jury in Texas found the infamous “podcasting patent” was infringed by CBS’s website and said the TV network should pay $1.3 million to patent holder Personal Audio LLC. The verdict form shows the jury found all four claims of the patent infringed, but awarded substantially less than what Personal Audio was seeking.

UK Copyright Cops Crush 34 Pirates and 3,000 Sites in First Year (Recombu)
The City of London Police’s anti-piracy squad PIPCU has arrested 34 people and shut down nearly 3,000 illegal file-sharing sites in its first year.

Keith Kupferschmid is General Counsel and SVP, Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement at SIIA. Follow Keith on Twitter at @keithkup and sign up for the Intellectual Property Roundup weekly newsletter here.

Brookings Event on the Mobile Economy Highlights Key Role of Patents

Brookings Institution Vice President and Director of Governance Studies Darrell M. West hosted an interesting event today on “The State of the Mobile Economy: Innovation, Investment and Economic Impact around the World.”   During the event, West and a panel discussed “The State of the Mobile Economy, 2014: Its impact and Future.”  Panelists included Todd Dickinson (former Executive Director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association), Deanna Tanner Okun (partner at Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg LLP), Derrick Brent (Associate General Counsel at Masimo), and Keith Mallinson (Founder of the mobile telecom consultancy WiseHarbor).

West presided over a substantive conversation that focussed heavily on the importance of the patent system as a key driver for the mobile economy.  What is particularly striking is the rise of China as a location for filing patents.  China currently holds the lead with the United States coming in second place.  The panelists agreed that this is a significant development, although Keith Mallinson cautioned that it is important to monitor carefully the possibility that competition policies could have the practical effect of undermining the value of patents in China.  This is certainly true and a policy issue that the Beijing-based United States Information Technology Office (USITO – SIIA is one of the founders of USITO) reviews closely.

The West report also includes the results of a Time Magazine September 2-27, 2013 survey of 6,133 adults in 17 countries asking the question of whether they consider inventions to be important for their societies.  Again, China came out on top with 95% of respondents saying inventions were important to their country vice 81% in the United States.  It is important not to read too much into this survey in terms of the public supporting specific patent policies.  Having said that, the survey does suggest that publics around the world are open to the idea that a strong patent system is essential for innovation.

Clearly, a strong patent system, including strong protections for software, is critical for sectors which are at the cutting edge of spearheading today’s and tomorrow’s economic growth.  Watch the webcast of today’s event and read the report, and you will gain a deeper understanding of why this is the case for the mobile economy.

About SIIA
The Software & Information Industry Association is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to the leading companies that are setting the pace for the digital age.

Carl Schonander is Director of International Public Policy at SIIA.

Intellectual Property Roundup

Google Settles With Photographers Over Book Scanning Lawsuit (The Next Web)
Google has announced a settlement with a coalition of photographers over use of their work in its Google Books scanning project.

Getty is Suing Microsoft Over Photo-Embedding Widget (The Wall Street Journal)
Getty Images, owner of one of the largest collections of digital photographs, said it sued Microsoft for copyright infringement over a tool that lets website owners embed images generated by the Bing search engine.

Fox News Suffers Major Legal Defeat to TVEyes (The Hollywood Reporter)
In the copyright infringement suit Fox News brought against the video monitoring company TVEyes, a service that monitors and transcribes video from cable, broadcast and radio for subscribers, a New York federal judge issued a significant “fair use” ruling, and in the process, handed Fox News a major legal loss in its attempts to protect its news shows from exploitation.

BBC Says Heaby VPN Users ARe Probably Pirates (The Register)
BBC Worldwide told the Australian government that heavy VPN users should be assumed to be engaged in piracy and that ISPs should surveil their users.

Keith Kupferschmid is General Counsel and SVP, Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement at SIIA. Follow Keith on Twitter at @keithkup and sign up for the Intellectual Property Roundup weekly newsletter here.

Digital Policy Roundup

SIIA Event to Examine Software’s Transformative Impact on the US Economy & Employment

Join SIIA for lunch and dialogue with business leaders on how software is transforming the U.S. economy, and reinventing the way businesses and consumers operate. The event, “The Software Century: Analyzing Economic Impact & Job Creation,” will take place on September 17 from 11:30am-1pm in Room HVC 215 of the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Featuring an exclusive interview with Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews.RSVP HERE.

At the event SIIA will unveil its new report, “The U.S. Software Industry: An Engine for Economic Growth and Employment.” This SIIA report is a comprehensive review of the software industry’s economic impact, authored by former Undersecretary of Commerce for economic Affairs, Robert Shapiro. For more information, or to register, click here.

SIIA to Participate in in FTC Workshop on Big Data and Discrimination

The FTC recently made available the agenda and list of participants for its upcoming Workshop “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” which will take place on Monday, Sept. 15. Mark MacCarthy, SIIA’s Vice President for Public Policy, will be participating on the panel focused assessing what is on the horizon for big data, exploring both the benefits and potential harms for particular populations of consumers. The workshop will include a range of academics, consumer advocates, industry and technology experts, including SIIA member SAS on a panel covering the current landscape of big data analytics. The workshop is a follow-up to the Administration’s white paper released in April.

SIIA and Tech Industry Press Enactment of USA Freedom Act

On Monday, SIIA joined with a group of technology industry associations in sending a letter to U.S. Senate leaders Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging the Senate to act in a bipartisan fashion and swiftly pass the USA FREEDOM Act (S.2685). In sending the letter, SIIA highlighted the need for surveillance reform in the U.S. as an essential part of restoring the public trust and providing support for U.S. businesses internationally. The USA FREEDOM Act modifies legislation already passed by the House in May, and it balances critical U.S. national security objectives and individual privacy needs. At this time, Senate leadership has not indicated when the legislation will be considered. With very few days of the congressional session remaining this month, consideration of the legislation could slip to the lame duck session after the November elections.

New European Commissioners Likely to be Announced this Week

The President-Elect of the European Commission, former Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claud Juncker, is expected to announce the portfolio allocation of the next European Commission sometime this week. The Commission is the executive branch of the European Union. Besides Italy’s Federica Mogherini, nominated to be the Commission High Representative for Foreign Affairs, we do not know who will take over the different Directorates General (akin to government departments) of the Commission. After the nominations are announced, the European Parliament has to give its consent, including for Juncker and Mogherini.

From an SIIA member standpoint, the Directorates General in charge of trade, justice and the internal market are the most significant because they control trade, intellectual property and privacy/data flow issues. Given that there will be a new Commission and a new Parliament, we can expect significant activity affecting SIIA member interests. Juncker’s “Political Guidelines for the Next European Commission” suggest that this will be the case. The Guidelines lay out ten priorities. Priority number two is called: “A Connected Digital Market.” Juncker plans to “swiftly” conclude negotiations on new European data protection rules. (Note: Interestingly the political declaration does not specify whether the rules will take the form of a Regulation or a Directive. The current draft of the new rules is a Regulation. Regulations become law in Member States without the Members having to change their laws for the Regulation to come into effect. Directives need to be “transposed” into Member State law through national legislation.) Juncker also plans on “modernizing copyright rules in the light of the digital revolution and changed consumer behavior.” Priority number six calls for: “A Reasonable and Balanced Free Trade Agreement with the U.S.” The Resident-Elect says he will “not sacrifice data protection standards “on the altar of free trade.”

David LeDuc is Senior Director, Public Policy at SIIA. He focuses on e-commerce, privacy, cyber security, cloud computing, open standards, e-government and information policy. Follow the SIIA public policy team on Twitter at @SIIAPolicy.

Intellectual Property Roundup

White House Picks Next ‘IP Czar’ (The Washington Post)
The White House announced it is nominating a new Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator – D.C. lawyer Daniel Marti, a managing partner in the D.C. office of the law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

Copying is Not the Ultimate Test for Copyright Infringement (The National Law Review)
In Paycom Payroll, LLC v. Richison, an infringement action involving computer software, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that copying alone is insufficient to establish copyright infringement.

“Six Strikes” Anti-Piracy Warnings Double This Year (Torrent Freak)
According to the Executive Director of the Center for Copyright Information, the Copyright Alert System is expected to double in size as warnings are being sent out at an increasing rate, in the hope that it will eventually change people’s norms toward piracy.

4chan Introduces DMCA Policy (Torrent Freak)
After doing without an element needed for safe harbor protection, 4chan has just introduced an official DMCA policy.

Rightscorp Closes Over 100,000 Cases of Copyright Infringement to Date (The Wall Street Journal)
Rightscorp announced it has closed over 100,000 cases of copyright infringement to date, up from 75,000 in May 2014, representing over a 33% increase over previously released figures.

Keith Kupferschmid is General Counsel and SVP, Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement at SIIA. Follow Keith on Twitter at @keithkup and sign up for the Intellectual Property Roundup weekly newsletter here.

SIIA Event Sept. 17 will Examine Software’s Transformative Impact on U.S. Economy

SIIA speaker seriesSIIA invites you to attend The Software Century: Analyzing Economic Impact & Job CreationThe new event, which will explore the software industry’s role in job creation and economic growth, will take place on Wednesday, September 17 at 11:30 a.m. in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, HVC 215.

The Software Century: Analyzing Economic Impact & Job Creation will feature Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews and business leaders, who will provide their unique perspective on how software is reinventing the way businesses and consumers operate and is transforming the U.S. economy.

At the event, SIIA will unveil a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind report on the software industry’s economic impact. As software has become essential to virtually all business operations across all industries, the new SIIA report – “The U.S. Software Industry: An Engine for Economic Growth and Employment” – will provide detailed data and analysis related to output, productivity, exports and job creation. The report’s author, Robert J. Shapiro, former Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs under President Bill Clinton, and SIIA Vice President of Public Policy Mark MacCarthy will discuss the study’s findings and implications.

To register for the event, please click here

Announced speakers include:

  • Bruce Andrews – Deputy Secretary of Commerce
  • Robert J. Shapiro – former Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs under President Bill Clinton; Co-founder and Chairman, Sonecon, LLC
  • Jason Mahler – Vice President of Government Affairs, Oracle
  • Bernie McKay – Chief Public Policy Officer and Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs, Intuit
  • Henry Lightsey – Executive Director of Global Connected Consumer-Global Government Relations, General Motors

WHO: The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)

WHAT: The Software Century: Analyzing Economic Impact & Job Creation

WHEN: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

WHERE: U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, HVC 215

Sabrina Eyob is the Public Policy Coordinator at SIIA. Follow the Policy team on Twitter @SIIAPolicy.

Intellectual Property Roundup

Indies Fighting Google, Amazon for Control of .Music Domain Name (Billboard)
The American Association of Independent Music has announced its intention to give the music industry control of the domain name .music. In doing so, the coalition will go up against Google and Amazon, which are also pursuing .music for their own purposes.

Judges Toy With One-Strike Policy on Patent Damages (The Recorder)
Facing increasing waves of Daubert motions in patent litigations, judges can’t seem to agree on what penalties to impose when the challenges succeed.

A Federal Court Rejects Aereo’s Request to Argue It’s a Cable Company (The Washington Post)
Aereo’s seemingly last-ditch argument to save itself won’t be given an airing in court, according to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Study Shows Patent Trolls Target Rich Companies (The Washington Post)
New data from the National Bureau of Economic Research confirms that patent trolls overwhelmingly target companies that are either “flush with cash,” beset by other lawsuits or have tiny legal teams that trolls likely perceive as weak.

Google Wins Victory in Row With German Publishers (Re/code)
A German regulator handed Google a victory as it said it would not pursue a complaint brought against the Internet search engine operator by a group of publishers for giving users access to their news articles.

Man Jailed For Filming ‘Fast and Furious’ in Cinema (BBC)
A man has been jailed for 33 months after recording Fast and Furious 6 from the back of a cinema. The upload of the film was downloaded more than 700,000 times.

Monkey’s Selfie Cannot Be Copyrighted, US Regulators Say (Ars Technica)
United States copyright regulators are agreeing with Wikipedia’s conclusion that a monkey’s selfie cannot be copyrighted by a nature photographer whose camera was swiped by the ape in the jungle.

Keith Kupferschmid is General Counsel and SVP, Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement at SIIA. Follow Keith on Twitter at @keithkup and sign up for the Intellectual Property Roundup weekly newsletter here.

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