News and Commentary
EFF’s stupid patent of the month makes claims to a device that “offers a number of ways to wirelessly share photos online such as though social media,” something that covers virtually all devices that can share photos, and a patent issued contrary to the Supreme Court’s Alice decision.
A post on FOSS Patents goes over the amicus briefs submitted in favor of the FTC in the current Qualcomm suit, with one argument standing out: Qualcomm is unique in its practice of licensing both its chips and the IP associated.
Another post from FOSS specifically addresses a particularly egregious aspect of Qualcomm’s business model raised by amicus briefs: the fact that Qualcomm demands patent royalties on repairs to products ranging from iPhones to parts of automobiles.
Senator Chris Coons and Representative Steve Stivers have an op-ed in The Hill make the case for their STRONGER Patents Act, decrying inter partes review and the general perceived attack on the U.S. Patent System.
The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing last month on the implications of a recent court ruling declaring that judges for the PTAB were unconstitutionally appointed.
Epic Games, Inc., creator of the popular game Fortnite, has prevailed in federal court after the Southern District of New York ruled on December 6th that its “pump it up” emote doesn’t infringe on the “dancing pumpkin man” character.
Katy Perry, following her defeat in the infringement claim against her for the song “Dark Horse,” is fighting back. Her legal team filed an appeal in October, and arguments from a group of musicologists are scheduled for late January of next year.
Dennis Crouch has written an excellent post summarizing the oral arguments for Georgia v. PublicResource.org, where the question is whether or not annotations to the Georgia state code are copyrightable. It boils down to a question of whether or not the government can own content that was produced for, but not by, the government. This quote from Justice Breyer is probably the best summary of the situation:
I thought this isn’t that difficult. If a judge does something in his judicial capacity, it is not copyrightable. If a legislator does something or a group of legislators in their legislative capacity, it is not copyrightable. I mean, who cares who the author is? There are public policy reasons that have existed forever in the law that you make those two things not copyrightable. The executive is harder to separate out, but you could do it. . . . If it’s not in their official capacity, if it’s simply a summary or is a comment upon something done in an official capacity, it is copyrightable, even though it be done by a sworn public servant, all right?
At IPWatchdog, while Paul Storm is broadly supportive of some of the worse aspects of the STRONGER Patents act (namely the significant curtailing of the inter partes review process), he is concerned about portions of the legislation that would leave intact law that allows district courts to stay litigation until the outcome of an IPR, creating something of a “two-track” system where some districts will outsource infringement cases to the IPRs.