This blog post details the profits earned by 2019’s top movies. The worldwide box office totals alone have earned the films (all owned by Disney) fantastical returns, demonstrating how simple lead time advantage can make copyright unnecessary for production companies to recoup the upfront cost of their investment.
News and Commentary
Launching the High Tech Innovators Alliance, Amazon, Adobe, Dell, Cisco, Google, Intel, Oracle, and Salesforce are teaming up to lobby for patent reform. They frame their efforts as measures to limit trolling.
Pursuant to last year’s CLASSICS Act, any audio recording released before 1972 now has a fast-track to quasi-copyright status.
A recent article highlighted Justice John Paul Stevens’ resistance to creeping IP growth. In the so-called Betamax case, he successfully steered the court away from impulses to effectively ban the technological predecessors for DVRs VCRs, and DVDs. Meanwhile, he was on the losing side of a case that would have prevented the retroactive extension of copyrights.
IP is bedeviling a project to amass a database of research in a format amenable to computer analysis. Carl Malamud thinks that this might be a legal way to organize the entire scientific literature, which up till now has been hidden behind a maze of separate paywalls.
A cancer survivor lays out the culpability of the patent system in driving the unaffordability of prescription drugs. While pharmaceuticals and chemicals are the two areas where patents do the most good, there are still real problems of over-protection. Slight changes to a drug can lengthen patent protection beyond what most would consider reasonable.
The Trump Administration’s efforts to crack down on IP theft are drawing criticisms of anti-Chinese racial bias.
Congressional Corner: Here’s a review of the patent legislation Congress is currently considering. The STRONGER Patents Act would make Inter Partes Review more friendly to patent holders. The CASE Act would facilitate litigation against low-value copyright infringement but at a high cost. In the clunkily titled Prevent Abuse of the Legel System Act, Senators Rubio and Cornyn target Huawei’s treasure trove of US patent.
Recent Litigation: Fox is being sued over an AOC photo. Gigi Hadid may lead a legal revolution. Marvel only just now won a suit concerning a poster for Iron Man 3 (yes, that was back in 2013). A South Carolina occupational licensing board is being sued for copyright infringement.