Intellectual Property Roundup

IP News

Google, Canon, Dropbox and Others Pool Parents to Ward Off Trolls (Re/code)
A coalition of technology companies have agreed to join the License on Transfer network, promising to grant licenses to one another whenever one of those patents is sold, in an attempt to defang patents before they get into the hands of patent trolls.

Copyright Office Ponders Aereo Fallout (The Hill)
The U.S. Copyright Office is asking the public to weigh in on what the Supreme Court’s ruling on streaming TV service Aereo means for the future of copyright law.

Aereo’s Plan C for Cable (ZDNet)
Aereo’s new plan after the Supreme Court ruled its service was illegal is to argue that it is a cable company and as such Section 111 of the Copyright Act grants it the “compulsory licenses” it needs to re-transmit over-the-air television content.

White House Pulls Plug on Controversial Patent Office Nominee (GigaOM)
The Obama Administration has backed away from an unpopular plan to name a Johnson & Johnson executive and patent reform opponent as head of the U.S. Patent Office.

House Panel Approves Bill to Curb Patent Threats (The Hill)
The House Commerce subcommittee approved Chairman Lee Terry’s bill, the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters Act, a bill aimed at increasing transparency and accuracy in the letters companies send to threaten patent infringement lawsuits.

File-Sharing Lawsuits Are a Waste of Mondy, Says the American Bar Association(VentureBeat)
The American Bar Association is recommending to its members that they stop filing file-sharing lawsuits since they “do not yield significant financial returns.”


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

House Commerce Marking Up Rogue Patent Letters Bill (Broadcasting & Cable)
The House Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee has scheduled a July 10 markup for the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters Act, a bill that would crack down on “illegitimate” patent demand letters.

Singapore Passes Law to Block Illegal Sites (CNET)
The Singapore government has passed an amendment to the country’s Copyright Act that will let content owners compel service providers to block infringing sites.

30,000 ‘Pirates’ Receive Fake ‘Fines’ With Trojans Attached (Torrent Freak)
An estimated 30,000 Internet users have recently received emails containing copyright warnings and demands for cash settlements. These fake emails detail alleged infringements, and contain Trojans waiting to be installed.

China’s ‘Little I Robot’ Prevails Over Apple in Patent Case (The Wall Street Journal)
Apple has suffered a legal setback in China, after a court rejected its claim against a Chinese company related to its voice-controlled assistant, Siri.

Why Apple Losing a Siri Patent Case in China is Great News for IP Holders Everywhere (Forbes)
A look at why Apple’s loss may be good for intellectual property holders everywhere- Chinese courts and Chinese companies are only going to start taking IP protection seriously when they have some of their own to protect.


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

Lawmakers Blast China, Russia for Piracy (The Hill)
In a report released by the International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus (formerly the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus), the U.S. pointed to policies and enforcement practices in China, Russia, India and Switzerland that they said allow for the theft of U.S. intellectual property.

Justices Deny Patent to Business Methods (The New York Times)
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that basic business methods may not be patented, even if computers are used to apply them. The ruling appeared to be modest and in line with earlier decisions of the court that were wary of stifling innovation.

U.S. Supreme Court Pulls the Plug on Aereo’s Streaming TV Service (NBC)
The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a potentially fatal blow to Aereo, finding that Aereo violates federal copyright law by retransmitting copyrighted programs without paying a copyright fee.

Government Control Emerges as Central Issue at ICANN Meeting (PC World)
More than 3,300 representatives from around the world met in London to discuss what will happen after the U.S. turns over control of ICANN, and government control over the Internet emerged as a central issue.


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

Publisher Sues Subscriber for Forwarding Copies of Magazine (The Southeast Texas Record)
A magazine publisher is suing a subscriber on copyright infringement after the subscriber allegedly sent electronic copies of the magazine to others in the company.

London Police Commissioner Says That Enforcing Anti-Piracy Isn’t Working (Digital Trends)
Though law enforcement agencies around the world are making efforts to curb piracy and illegal downloads, one copy in particular thinks that different approaches should be adopted in order to stem the massive global tide of copyright infringement.

One of the Biggest American Copyright Enforcers is Coming to Conquer Canada (Motherboard)
Rightscorp will be enforcing copyrights in Canada, with help from new federal legislation, a proposed bill called the Digital Privacy Act.

Appeals Court Affirms Sherlock Holmes Is in Public Domain (NYTimes.com)
A federal judge has rejected a copyright appeal brought by the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


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

Enforcement News

Chinese Company Works With MPAA in Piracy Fight (Associations Now)
The MPAA came to an agreement with a high-profile Chinese firm on piracy protections. The file-sharing firm will actively protect copyrighted materials such as TV shows and films.

Google Joins New Coalition to Stop Ad Revenue to Pirate Sites (TorrentFreak)
Google has reportedly joined a new coalition in Italy to cut off pirate sites from their ad revenue, following similar initiatives in the U.S. and UK.

Norway Moves to Block Piracy Sites (The Hollywood Reporter)
A Norwegian anti-piracy group is set to file a case aimed at forcing local ISPs to block access to sites illegally dealing in copyright protected material. The Pirate Bay is at the top of the target list.

Policy News

Nonprofits Allowed to Scan and Store Books to Enable Full-Text Search (The Washington Post)
The Second Circuit held in Authors Guild, Inc. v. HathiTrust that scanning and storing books so people can search, but not read, the full text is “transformative” and therefore a “fair use” and not a copyright violation.

Music Industry Officials Agree on Need for Licensing Rule Changes, But Little Else (The New York Times)
Entertainment and media executives repeatedly clashed with one another during a congressional hearing on music licensing, giving lawmakers a preview of how difficult it may be to satisfy all parties in the rapidly evolving but fractious music market.

Nadler Drafting Music Copyright Overhaul Bill (The Hill)
Rep. Jerry Nadler is working on a bill that would overhaul the music licensing system. Nadler says the bipartisan and comprehensive bill would address inequalities in current copyright law.

European Court: Viewing the Internet Doesn’t Require Copyright Permission (The Hollywood Reporter)
A court ruling in the European Union holds that copies of infringing content on browser screens and in hard drive cache are merely transient and incidental.


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

States Revise Laws to Curb ‘Patent Trolls’ (The Wall Street Journal)
States are rewriting their laws to make it more difficult for so-called “patent trolls” to pursue small businesses over questionable patent claims. Oklahoma last week became the 12th state to enact such legislation.

Patent Reform Bill Dealt Fatal Blow in Senate (The Hill)
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said weeks of negotiations on his patent reform bill had reached a dead end and announced he was yanking the bill from the panel’s legislative agenda.

A New Front in the War on ‘Patent Trolls’ (The Hill)
After hopes for a comprehensive reform bill expired in the Senate, advocates are scrambling for new ways to crack down on “patent trolls,” and one idea gaining traction in both chambers is to go after “demand letters.”

Feds Turn a ‘Blind Eye’ as Millions Wasted on Software (The Fiscal Times)
According to the Government Accountability Office, two dozen major government agencies have failed to put in place the kind of systems needed to manage the hundreds of millions of dollars in software that they purchase and license each year.

CCI Provides First Copyright Alert System Progress Report (Center for Copyright Information)
The Center for Copyright Information released a progress report for the first time, showing that 1.3 million alerts were sent out in the initial 10 months of the program, with only 265 challenges and no findings of false positives.

UK Anti-Piracy Police Take Down Largest Torrent Search Engine Torrentz.eu (The Independent)
Torrentz, the Internet’s largest torrent search engine, has been taken down in the latest attempt by UK police to curb illegal file-sharing.

[Read more...]

Intellectual Property Roundup

Petrella v. MGM Copyright Case Ruling

On Monday, in a 6-3 majority opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Petrella v. MGM copyright case, ruling that the equitable defense of laches cannot be invoked as a bar to the plaintiff’s claim for damages brought within the Copyright Act’s three-year statute of limitations. The doctrine of laches is an equitable doctrine used by courts to prevent and/or limit claims when the plaintiff has waited an unreasonable length of time to file the suit, and the delay has caused prejudice to the defendant. The case involved a dispute over the 1980 Oscar-winning movie “Raging Bull” and whether the screenwriter’s daughter waited too long (18 years) to sue the defendants, MGM and Fox, over the renewal of copyright under the equitable doctrine of laches.

The case will now go back to the lower court where Petrella will seek damages back to 2006 (three years before the filing of her lawsuit). Although Petrella’s delay did not bar her suit, the Supreme Court did specify that the district court take into account Petrella’s delay in commencing the suit when determining what damages should be awarded as well as determining the appropriate injunctive relief. SIIA had joined an amicus brief drafted by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in support of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Twentieth Century Fox unsuccessfully arguing that laches should be a defense to a copyright claim even when it is brought within the statute of limitations.


Other IP News

Apple and Google End Patent Fights (The New York Times)
Apple and Google agreed to dismiss patent lawsuits related to smartphone technology, saying they would work together on patent reform, but clarifying they would not agree to license each other’s technologies.

Apple Among Most-Sued as Patent Shakedowns Skew Market (Bloomberg)
Apple and Amazon were the most frequent targets of U.S. patent-infringement lawsuits last year, according to a report by Lex Machina. The report also found three companies filed more than 100 lawsuits each.

Zynga Opposed SOPA, Now Wants Voluntary Anti-Piracy Deals (TorrentFreak)
Zynga came out in 2012 as a SOPA opponent due to concerns that it could “freeze innovation” and damage the Internet, but now the company is joining its former pro-SOPA adversaries in championing voluntary anti-piracy initiatives.


SIIA Announces New Intellectual Property Protection Division

SIIA is significantly expanding its enforcement efforts, and will now target a broad range of intellectual property violations, on behalf of both software and content publishers. The new program, now called the Intellectual Property Protection Division or IPP Division, will continue its anti-piracy efforts but will now investigate and resolve many more types of nefarious activities that can adversely affect a participating company’s brand, intellectual property or reputation, such as: counterfeiting, fraud, unauthorized access, fraudulent use of domain names, and more.

SIIA will also assist participating publishers with the protection of their intellectual property. These protection services will include such things as assisting publishers with registering their valuable IP with the U.S. Copyright Office and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, registering their brands with the new domain name Trademark Clearinghouse, and more. The IPP Division will also place a renewed emphasis on content piracy and offer a range of specialized services that address the varying needs of participating content publishers.

More information about the new SIIA IPP Division is available here.

Important Message About Protecting Your Brands: Late last year, ICANN began approving the first new gTLDs. Like all new domain names that are or will be approved by ICANN, these new gTLDs will not go live until after brand owners are given a brief window to register addresses using their own brands before anyone else can. For more information about this process see this SIIA alert and FAQs. SIIA has created a new domain name alert system for those companies that are interested in knowing what new domain names are approved, when they will go live and how to protect themselves. Those who sign up for the alert will receive a weekly email from SIIA notifying them what new gTLDs have been approved by ICANN, and other relevant information. If you are interested in receiving these alerts, please email me at keithk@siia.net so that we can add your name to the list of alert recipients.


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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