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.

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.

Intellectual Property Roundup

IP News

U.S. Patent Office Rejects Apple Autocomplete Patent Used Against Samsung (CNET)
While the Apple v. Samsung patent battle may have ended overseas, it is still going strong in the U.S. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected several claims of one of the patents Apple wielded against Samsung in the most recent patent-infringement trial.

Suit Against Alibaba Opens Window on Issue of Counterfeiting (The Wall Street Journal)
A lawsuit filed and then withdrawn last month against Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. by several of the world’s leading luxury brands provides extensive details about the issue of allegedly counterfeit goods on the Chinese Internet company’s shopping platforms.

Wasn’t Cloud supposed to End Shelfware? (GigaOM)
One of the supposed advantages of cloud computing over an on-premises deployment model was that you would only buy what you need and pay for what you use. But it turns out customers are still buying more cloud resources than they need and ending up with shelfware, only in someone else’s cloud.

Japanese Manga, Anime Firms Debut Latest Antipiracy Project (Publishers Weekly)
A consortium of Japanese government organizations, manga publishers and anime production and game companies announced that they have formed the Manga-Anime Guardians Project, a combined effort to crack down on online piracy.

Twitch to Mute Copyrighted Music in Video-On-Demand (CNET)
Video-game streaming service Twitch, which is the subject of rumors about a Google takeover, announced a new copyright protection policy that threatens to muffle audio on much of its users’ Video on Demand content.

Photographer Sues Textbook Company for Copyright Infringement (The Pennsylvania Record)
A New York City-based photographer claims Houghton Mifflin Harcourt infringed on his copyrights with photos reprinted in millions of copies of the company’s books.

Australia Eyes Copyright Act Amendment to Curb Downloading (Intellectual Property Watch)
The Australian government is seeking to amend its copyright act to address online copyright infringement.


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.

Intellectual Property Roundup

IP News

Microsoft Sues Samsung Over Android Royalty Payments (The New York Times)
In the lawsuit, Microsoft said that Samsung stopped making royalty payments on time last fall and is refusing to pay interest for the delay, as required by their 2011 agreement, which related to Samsung’s use of Microsoft’s intellectual property in its Android smartphones and tablets.

Apple and Samsung Drop Patent Fights Outside the United States (The New York Times)
Apple and Samsung Electronics on Tuesday said they had agreed to drop patent litigation against each other in countries outside the United States, including Germany, Australia and Japan.

Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads on Illegal Sites (BBC News)
The City of London police have started placing banner advertisements on websites believed to be offering pirated content illegally.

UK Adopts Private Copying Exception As Some Rightholders Mull Legal Action (Intellectual Property Watch)
A new United Kingdom copyright exception for private copying cleared Parliament on 29 July and will become law in October.

Lawsuit Threatens to Break New Ground on the GPL and Software Licensing Issues (Opensource.com)
When Versata Software sued Ameriprise Financial Services for breaching its software license, it unwittingly unearthed a GPL violation of its own and touched off another lawsuit that could prove to be a leading case on free and open source software licensing.

Victoria’s Secret loses PINK Brand Battle (CNNMoney)
Victoria’s Secret could be barred from using its PINK branding across the region after a British judge ruled the company was infringing on the trademarks of up-scale shirt-maker, Thomas Pink.

Poll: Should Internet Providers Block Piracy Sites? (The Wall Street Journal)


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.

Intellectual Property Roundup

Congress Oks Bill to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking (PC Mag)
Congress approved the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, a bill that, if signed by President Obama, would reverse the Library of Congress’s decision two years ago that made cell phone unlocking illegal.

DOJ to Congress: Make Online Streaming a Felony (The Hill)
The Department of Justice is pushing Congress to increase the penalties for streaming copyright-infringing content online, so that online streaming of pirated content should receive the same consequences as illegal downloading.

House Returns to Patents (The HIll)
The House Judiciary subcommittee on intellectual property will hold a hearing this week on the state of the Patent and Trademark Office. The hearing comes after a concerted push from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to reform the country’s patent system.

Infringement To Go: Pirate Bay Goes Mobile (Ars Technica)
The Pirate Bay has now debuted a new mobile service at http://www.themobilebay.org/, which will eventually have such features as personal RSS feeds so users can browse torrents on the go, and start the downloads at home.

UK Police Start Replacing Ads on Copyright Infringement Sites With Warnings(GigaOM)
Under a UK police initiative called Operation Creative, the police will now start replacing ads on copyright-infringing websites with official police banners that warn users that hte site is under investigation.


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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