News and Commentary
Since the debate surrounding the “cancellation” of six of Dr. Suess’ works became a debate surrounding copyright terms, I wrote in Ordinary Times about the need for a more practical fix to the issue of disappearing works. Not only will copyright term reductions not happen on this side of eternity, but they won’t solve the works which are currently on the cancellation block. Making digital ownership and controlled digital lending a reality, however, will.
Gary Winslett of R Street Institute proposes a compromise solution to the current debate surrounding TRIPS waivers as it relates to COVID-related IP. He proposes a two-year moratorium on the enforcement of COVID-19 related patents, rather than the broader proposals being advanced currently.
In IPWatchdog, William Honaker discusses the problems that face small businesses with the passage of the CASE Act. While larger firms infringing on the rights of smaller rights holders can always opt-out, the late-registration and minimum damages features of the CCB adds teeth to threats made by copyright trolls who can shake down small businesses.
Disney has filed a patent for a multimedia system that would turn a whole room into an interactive show. While Disney is most famous for its portfolio of works protected by copyright, its entry into the streaming business means it will rely more and more on patents and will be thoroughly involved in the patent quality debate.
In TechDirt, Timothy Geigner discusses the case of the video game Frogwars, embroiled in a dispute over royalties with the game The Sinking City’s publisher Nacon, has sent DMCA takedown notices to the video game distributing platform Steam. If the allegations against Nacon are true, then Frogwars is clearly owed compensation, but this is an example of how platforms can be caught in the crossfire of these disputes.
Geigner also has a post in TechDirt about a claim against the U.S. Navy of infringement (or piracy, if you prefer) brought by a German software company.
A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that while the returns to general use of publicly funded science is small, the values are significant for first-movers who tend to be those most heavily involved in science and are most familiar with the technologies being developed.
Another NBER paper examines the entry (or lack thereof) of biosimilars into the pharmaceutical market. While the passage of the 2010 Biological Price Competition and Innovation Act created an abbreviated pathway for entry, progress has been slow. The paper finds that the entry of 1-3 new firms yields a reduced price of 5.4%-7%.
Patients for Affordable Drugs has a new paper out discussing problems with PhRMA messaging related to the necessity of high drug prices to promote innovation.