This Week in Intellectual Property, February 23rd

This Week in Intellectual Property, February 23rd

Rent Check

Sean Mooney provides a rundown of a new report from the Government Accountability Office, which reviewed the success of Operation Warp Speed, how recipient firms were able to share their knowledge, and how supply constraints associated with vaccine manufacturers working at capacity at the start of the pandemic posed challenges.


I review two articles, one from IPWatchdog and another from Intellectual Asset Management, which both make the same general points against compulsory licensing for COVID-19 technology–that such measures would be ineffective and that they would harm R&D investments. While both points in isolation are reasonable (even if not true), they necessarily contradict each other.


News and Commentary

A post on China IPR goes over the findings at the recent 3rd Annual Berkeley-Tsinghua program on transnational IP litigation. The findings showed that while American firms were the most litigious among foreign litigants, about half of the claims brought by US firms were against non-Chinese firms. This demonstrates the  increased importance of China as a venue for patent litigation.

A new petition filed before the Supreme Court seeks to address the issue of obviousness-type-double-patenting in Sandoz Inc. v. Immunex Corp. & Amgen. The patentee, Immunex, is seeking to extend the patent term for a first invention via an arguably obvious innovation which was exclusively licensed from a third party.

At TechDirt, Mike Masnick writes about a performance streamed on Twitch by none other than the anti-piracy crusaders Metallica. Twitch has had significant copyright woes as of late, and Twitch Gaming channel substituted 8-bit music over the Metallica show to avoid any issues.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed comments on a proposed rule by the USPTO which would expand the already rock-bottom requirements to earn design patents. The new rule, which EFF opposes, would allow design patents on computer generated images.

In The New York Times, I-MAK’s Priti Krishtel writes that the new Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can promote racial equality by reducing drug prices, making them more accessible and affordable through more stringent requirements to extend patent terms on drugs–if they should be extended at all.

The Guardian reports on a victory by the Duchess of Sussex in a privacy case against the Mail on Sunday, which published a private letter she wrote to her father. While there are many legal issues at stake in the letter, one of the more troubling ones was a finding that Markle could also prevail on copyright grounds as the letter “would inevitably be held to be the product of intellectual creativity sufficient to render it original in the relevant sense and to confer copyright on its author or authors.”


New Research

A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research examines the best way to expand vaccine supply during a crisis such as the current one, finding that the optimal policy solution would be to shift the risk to the buyers via large advanced commitments for vaccine purchases.

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By |2021-02-23T15:04:35-08:00February 23rd, 2021|Blog, Intellectual Property|