Intellectual Property Roundup

Google Asks Supreme Court to Decide Oracle Copyright Fight (Reuters)
Google has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to wade into contentious litigation against Oracle Corp, arguing that the high court must act to protect innovation in high tech.

Anti-Piracy Group Plans to Block in Excess of 100 Sites (Torrent Freak)
An anti-piracy outfit ‘blockaded’ by the Pirate Party last week in Austria has revealed its expanded plans for website blocking. The Hollywood-affiliated group says it will strive for blocks of hundreds of sites while applying to the court for more effective blocking technical solutions.

YouTube’s Ads on Unauthorized Content Pay Off (Financial Times)
YouTube has hit $1 billion in payments to companies through Content ID, a program that scans user-generated content for copyright infringement and sells advertising on those clips as a way to monetize unauthorized use of the copyrighted material.

Patent Trolling Pays (GigaOM)
Since 2010, non-practicing entities (or patent trolls), have made three times as much money in court as real companies, according to recently published statistics.

Obama Urges Patent Reform (The Hill)
Obama stated that patent “trolls” are one of the “biggest problems” the administration is targeting, indicating the White House is still interested in moving forward with patent reform.

Sen. Cornyn: We Need to Limit the Business of ‘Frivolous’ Patent Litigation(VentureBeat)
Sen. John Cornyn says introducing new patent reform legislation is high on his agenda when a new body of Congress convenes in 2015.


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.

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

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...]

SIIA Calls for Continued Action on Patent Reform

 In response to Chairman Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) announcement about patent reform efforts in the Senate, we urge members of Congress to not give up the fight on patent reform legislation.  Between the good work done in the House and the efforts by Senator Leahy and others in the Senate, much progress has been made.

At a time when Americans believe our political parties are badly divided, patent reform is one issue that has clear, bipartisan support in Washington.  SIIA is committed to continuing to work with our member companies, with both sides of the aisle, and with the White House to get reform legislation done this year. There is simply too much at stake for American innovation and jobs to kick the can further down the road.


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. Resists Pressure to Give India Worst Offender Rating in IP Review (Reuters)
The U.S. has resisted lobbying by U.S. drug and pharmaceutical companies to take tougher trade action against India for its intellectual property policies, deciding against risking ties with a likely new government, and instead keeping India on its Priority Watch List.

U.S. High Court Conflicted Over Limelight Networks Patent Fight (Reuters)
The U.S. Supreme Court appeared unsure how to proceed in a dispute over whether Limelight Networks Inc. infringed upon patented technology for managing Web images and video held by Akamai Technologies Inc.

Tech Frets as Clock Ticks on Patent Reform (The Hill)
Anxiety is rising in the tech industry about the fate of patent reform as the Senate Judiciary Committee once again delayed work on legislation that would crack down on “patent trolls.”

Apple-Samsung Jury Sticks With Original Total for Damages (The New York Times)
The federal jury in the latest patent trial involving Apple and Samsung returned to court this week to recalculate some of the damages Samsung owed to Apple. After making the changes, the jury came to the same overall figure of $119.6 million.


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.

Intellectual Property Roundup

IP News

Court Rules on Standard for Fees in Patent Cases (The Washington Post)
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in two companion cases this week, finding that trial judges have discretion to award fees in patent cases that are particularly frivolous or unreasonable. The rulings could deter lawsuits from so-called patent trolls.

Akamai Patent Case Before Supreme Court (The Boston Globe)
The Supreme Court is hearing a long-running patent infringement case between Akamai Technologies and Limelight Networks. What’s unusual about the case is that it will test an expanded version of a legal theory called “divided infringement” that has the technology and life sciences communities flocking to weigh in.

Knockoffs Thrive on Alibaba’s Taobao (The Wall Street Journal)
The large number of counterfeit goods on Taobao, the online marketplace run by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, could raise awkward questions as Alibaba prepares to list in the U.S. in what’s expected to be one of the world’s largest public offerings ever.

UK Copyright Law Change Will Let You Rip CDs Starting June 1 (CNET)
The UK is making changes and updating its copyright law so that starting June 1, UK consumers will be allowed to make personal copies of media they own.

“Rogue” Video Site Gets Raided By Police (Torrent Freak)
A site listed as a notorious pirate market by the USTR decided to distance itself from infringement by blocking pirate videos and shifting to licensed content, but the move came too late for Chinese authorities who carried out raids on the company just days later.

Senators Seek Breakthrough on Patent Reform (The Hill)
The Senate Judiciary Committee next week is once again scheduled to mark up a patent reform bill from Chairman Patrick Leahy. Leahy has already delayed action on the bill multiple times as he sought a compromise with support from members on both sides of the aisle.
[Read more...]

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