Intellectual Property Roundup

IP News

Supreme Court Justices Appear Conflicted Over Aereo Copyright Case (Los Angeles Times)
Confronting a case that could reshape the television broadcast industry, Supreme Court justices sounded conflicted over whether upstart streaming service Aereo is violating copyright laws.

U.S. Aims to Defuse Tension Over Control of Internet (The Wall Street Journal)
World representatives are arriving in Brazil for Net Mundial, a two-day meeting about Internet governance. The meeting comes amid fallout over spying by the NSA that has renewed concerns over the U.S. government’s credibility and over longtime U.S. oversight of the Internet.

‘Notorious Market’ Blocks Privacy in its P2P Streaming Player (Torrent Freak)
A company labeled a notorious market by the USTR says it has taken dramatic steps to stamp out piracy. The China-based outfit behind the P2P-enabled QVOD file-sharing technology says it is no longer possible to stream or download unauthorized copyrighted content with their software.

Pandora Sued by Major Labels Over Pre-1972 Copyrights (Bloomberg)
Several major record labels, including Capitol Records LLC and Sony Music Entertainment, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan against Internet radio service Pandora for failing to pay for using music recorded before 1972.

Grams Lets You Easily Access the “Darknet” and Buy Illicit Things Online(Canada.com)
Grams, a new search engine and the darknet’s answer to Google, allows almost anyone to access unlisted merchant websites selling drugs, guns and other illegal items.


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

Enforcement News

ISP’s “Six-Strike” System is Now in Full Force, Says Industry Official (GigaOM)
A U.S. Chamber of Commerce official stated that the “six-strike” anti-piracy program involving major Internet service providers is now in full effect, more than a year after news of the so-called Copyright Alert System was first reported.

ICANN Chief: Russia, China Will Not Hijack Internet Oversight (Reuters)
The head of ICANN defended the U.S. government’s move to cede oversight of the body, and downplayed concerns that Russia, china or other countries could exert control and restrict the web’s openness.

Rightscorp Finds Shortcut to Expose Alleged Bittorrent Pirates (TorrentFreak)
Anti-piracy firm Rightscorp has found a shortcut to obtaining the personal details of account holders connected to pirating IP-addresses. Instead of having a judge decide, Rightscorp obtains DMCA subpoenas which only a court clerk has to sign off on.

Document Reveals When Copyright Trolls Drop Piracy Cases (TorrentFreak)
A submission to an Illinois court that was supposed to remain under seal has revealed when Malibu Media, a so-called “copyright-troll,” will dismiss cases against alleged pirates.

Diller Sees Aereo in Every Major City if Backed by Court (Bloomberg)
Barry Diller plans to expand Aereo’s streaming-TV service into every major U.S. city if the startup prevails in its fight with broadcasters before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Studios File New Lawsuit Against MegaUpload and Its Founder (The New York Times)
Hollywood’s major film studios added a new civil lawsuit on copyright infringement to the legal challenges facing MegaUpload’s owners.

Policy News

House Republican Working on Patent Demand Letter Bill (The Hill)
Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb) pledged to introduce a bipartisan bill to curb demand letters from “patent trolls,” saying the bill will likely establish requirements about what information must be included in demand letters.

Senate Patent Markup Pushed Back Again (The Hill)
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s consideration of Chairman Patrick Leahy’s patent reform bill, the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act, has been pushed back a third time as committee members negotiate contentious provisions.


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

Leader and Co-Conspirator of Android Mobile Device App Piracy Group Plead Guilty (Justice.gov)
Florida Individuals Represent First U.S. Convictions for Distributing Counterfeit Apps.

ICE, CBP announce year-end intellectual property seizure statistics; Seizures increase as collaboration at the IPR Center continues (ICE.gov)
The number of IPR seizures increased nearly 7 percent from 22,848 in FY 2012 to 24,361 in FY 2013.

Ex-MP3tunes Chief Held Liable in Music Copyright Case (Reuters)
The former chief executive of bankrupt online music storage firm MP3tunes was found liable for infringing copyrights for sound recordings, compositions and cover art owned by record companies and music publishers once part of EMI Group Ltd.

Megaupload’s Dotcom Loses Case to Access Extradition Evidence (Reuters)
Kim Dotcom suffered another blow to his fight against extradition to the U.S. to face online piracy charges after New Zealand’s highest court rejected his appeal to access evidence to be presented at the hearing.

CinemaCon: MPAA Chief Chris Dodd Won’t Stop Challenging Silicon Valley Over Piracy (Hollywood Reporter)
“We have both the right and responsibility to express our concerns about piracy undermining our industry on a global level,” Hollywood’s top lobbyist tells theater owners.

Copyright Office Announces New Fee Schedule; First Since 2009 (Copyright Office)
The Copyright Office is adopting new fees for the registration of claims, recordation of documents, special services, Licensing Division services, and FOIA requests. These fees will take effect on May 1, 2014. More info here. The final rule establishing the new fee schedule was published in the Federal Register and is available here.

 


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

Enforcement News

Web Domain Name Revolution Could hit Trademark Defense (Yahoo)
The UN’s intellectual property body warned that the mass expansion of Internet domain names could cause havoc for the defense of trademarks in cyberspace.

U.S. Plains to Give Up Oversight of Web Domain Manager (The Wall Street Journal)
The U.S. Commerce Department said it plans to relinquish its oversight of ICANN, a move that could bring more international cooperation over management of the Web, but will make some U.S. businesses nervous.

Viacom and Google Settle YouTube Lawsuit (Financial Times)
Viacom and Google have settled a $1 billion copyright infringement suit tied to Google’s YouTube digital video service, ending a seven-year battle between the two companies.

‘Netflix for Piracy’ Popcorn Time Saved By Fans (BBC)
Popcorn Time, a service that offers a Netflix-like interface for accessing pirated films, has already resurfaced just days after being closed down.

Policy News

Senate Takes Next Steps on Patents (The Hill)
The Senate is moving forward with its patent reform efforts and will begin considering Sen. Leahy’s bill at an executive session on March 27.

The GOP Freak Out Over the U.S. ‘Losing the Internet’ Has Begun (The Wire)
Republicans see the Obama administration’s decision to relinquish control of the Internet to the international community as a big, and even dangerous, mistake.

Congress Looms Large in Piracy Battle (The Hill)
While the content and tech industries are coming together to try and solve the problem of online piracy, Congress looms large in the background, threatening to step in if the stakeholders can’t come to an agreement.


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.

SIIA Welcomes DHS Secretary Jeh Johson, Urges Continued Leadership in Protecting America’s IP

SIIA is proud to join the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy in welcoming the appointment of Secretary Jeh Johnson as the Secretary of Homeland Security. We look forward to working with Secretary Johnson and his department, and urge him to continue the Department’s strong position of leadership in protecting America’s intellectual property against online theft.

More than 40 million American jobs depend on intellectual property, and those jobs are threatened by websites offering fake goods under U.S. companies’ brand names. Pirate sites sell copyrighted work, including software, and take advantage of consumers by exposing them to identity theft and financial fraud.

The Department has been effective in its enforcement program administered by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the National IPR Center: Operation in our Sites (OiOS). These efforts have shut down over 2,713 websites, and protected consumers and industries from the threats posed by online piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods.

The problem of IP theft continues to plague our country. Secretary Johnson should continue and expand upon the good work that has been done to date, and use all the resources possible to combat this serious issue. SIIA looks forward to working with the Secretary and his department in support of these efforts.

Join the conversation using #SafeSites.


Laura Greenback is communications director at SIIA. Keep up with the SIIA policy team on Twitter at @SIIAPolicy.

Intellectual Property Roundup

President Calls for Patent Reform in SOTU (The Hill)
President Obama repeated his calls for patent reform during his State of the Union address, calling on Congress to “pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not costly and needless litigation.”

Court: Google Infringed Patents, Must Pay 1.36% of Adwords Revenue (Ars Technica)
Vringo, a tiny company that purchased some patents from Lycos in 2011 and then used those patents to sue Google, has been awarded a 1.36% running royalty on US-based revenue from Google’s Adwords.

U.S. Justice Department Files Lawsuits Over Counterfeit Apps (PCWorld)
The U.S. Department of Justice has filed its first lawsuits over counterfeit smartphone apps, charging four men who now face up to five years each in prison. The defendants are accused of conspiring to copy Android apps and distributing more than a million copies through their online markets.

India Undermining IPR: US Chamber of Commerce (Business Standard)
Unveiling the 2014 global IP index by its Global Intellectual Property Center, the US Chamber of Commerce accused India of allowing the deterioration of the intellectual property climate in the country, and asked the Obama administration to enforce IP rights.

New App Rewards Consumers For Reporting Counterfeits (ABC)
A new app called “uFaker” allows consumers to report counterfeit products and earn rewards like online discounts.

Dutch Court Finds Pirate Bay Block Ineffective, Ends It (Computerworld)
The Court of Appeals in The Hague lifted a block on The Pirate Bay in the Netherlands because the measure was ineffective and disproportionate for two ISPs.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Set Up Companies to Protect ‘Intellectual Property Rights’ (Metro)
Prince William established the firm APL Anglesey, and Kate set up CE Strathearn, in order to protect their intellectual property rights.

Three-Strikes Laws Don’t Stop Piracy, Researchers Say (Torrent Freak)
New findings published by U.S. and French researchers show that the “strikes” systems designed to warn and punish P2P file-sharers do not stop or even reduce piracy.

Judge Issues Devastating Ruling Against Online Copyright Crusaders (Business Insider)
Washington District Judge Robert Lasnik ruled that IP addresses are not individuals, and that a suspected Internet pirate should not be prosecuted solely because his computer’s IP address was identified.

Teens’ Photo Feed is a Viral Hit- and a Copyright Conundrum (GigaOM)
A popular Twitter account run by two teenagers publishes historical photos and is delighting its nearly million followers, but also raising questions of how to define artistic ownership and attribution in an age of ubiquitous images.


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: The Latest IP Policy & Enforcement News

Enforcement News

Kim Dotcom’s Mega-Lawsuit Could Make Him a Multi-Millionaire Again (Wired)
MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom filed a seven-figure lawsuit against the New Zealand government over the 2012 raid on his mansion, and the electronic spying that preceded it.

Aereo Claims DC Injunction Doesn’t Affect It (GigaOM)
Broadcasters and upstart streaming TV service Aereo are skirmishing in Boston over whether an injunction issued in DC against another streaming service should affect Aereo. Aereo claims the two companies’ technology are not the same, and that the DC ruling misunderstands copyright law.

Fashion Designers Look to Patents to Fight Knockoffs (Reuters)
Because U.S. copyright and trademark laws often do not apply to new, logo-free designs, fashion designers are applying for design patents — patents that protect the way something looks — to protect clothing and other accessories from being targets for knock-offs.

MPAA Report Says Google, Other Search Engines a Major Gateway to Piracy (Los Angeles Times)
A study released by the Motion Picture Association of America alleges that search engines are making it too easy for consumers to find pirated content online, even when they’re not looking for it. The MPAA says it found no evidence that the change Google made to its algorithm last year to take into account the number of copyright takedown notices a site has received affected search-referred traffic to illegal sites.

IP Policy News

Senate Judiciary Chairman Crafting Bill to Combat ‘Patent Trolls’ (The Hill)
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy plans to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to limit frivolous patent lawsuits.

Expanded Anti-Piracy Bill Hits Russian Parliament (RIA Novosti)
A new bill allowing for websites to be blocked if they contain any copyright-infringing content was introduced in the Russian parliament, expanding an earlier law against film piracy that was met with considerable public outcry.


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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